Heh, I googled “writing prompts” and got zillions of hits. I wonder what that says about the blogosphere… Anyway, this one particularly caught my eye:
“The things you didn’t have growing up define you.”
Well there was one thing I didn’t have growing up that sure as hell defined me then, and in some measure continues to define me today.
I was the weird kid who didn’t have a TV.
First world problems, I know. But back in the 1970s this was huge. You couldn’t just go watch stuff on youtube back then. If you didn’t have a TV, if you hadn’t watched last night’s episode of Welcome Back Kotter or Happy Days, or the god damn Saturday morning cartoons, you were totally cut out of 90% of the playground conversations going on around you.
This was extremely painful to me. I felt like such a freak. It was embarrassing. When other kids found out, at first they didn’t even believe it. And then they teased me. Worst of all? My parents didn’t even have a good reason for being TV-less. It wasn’t a matter of principle. We didn’t go to a Waldorf school or anything like that. Nor was it a question of money. They just didn’t feel like getting one. No matter how hard my sister and I begged, it just wasn’t gonna happen.
Today? You’d be surprised how often things like ABC Afterschool Specials or The Electric Company come up in conversation among the 40-something crowd. When that happens, I just blush and feel like an idiot.
In case you are wondering:
- I don’t have cable and I restrict the amount of screen time my kids get. However they are allowed to watch pretty much anything they want on video and the internet. There is nothing their friends are watching that they aren’t. I am way more permissive than most of my friends.
- My parents now own a TV.