Although I am just over two decades old I can now say to teenagers and little kids “When I was a girl” or “when I was a little child” or even “In MY day”.
Times have changed and is still in the process of changing. With a teenage brother and a sister who hasn’t reached the double digits yet, I can see this.
When I was at primary school I played Hopscotch. Who remembers jumping around from block to block? I played marbles with the boys during interval (and I beat them most times, might I add). I played Red Rover with them (and I am proud to say I out ran them :)).
I played with a spinning top, perhaps the action is better known as “kapping tol”. I loved my Coca Cola yoyo! I played Buck Raages. I played Kennetjie (that’s the one where you throw the sticks, right?).
And while I was an only child I played “school school” with my imaginary students. I even gave them a hiding when they didn’t listen to me!
I’m from the era where I got a hiding at primary school. And my parents encouraged my teachers! And I had to take it like a woman. Now the kids are attacking the teachers. And what comes out of these kiddies’ mouths are “you have no right to hit me”, “it’s abuse”, “I will take you to the police”. Oh, how times have changed.
My brother came along and he played with marbles and spinning tops for some years in primary school. Soon after it fizzled out. And then I never saw or heard of kids playing with them. I don’t recall him ever having a real yoyo, or being able to swing one properly.
Now, I’m not sure if this is because my bro and sis go to “white” schools and I went to a “coloured” school… or what? I will tackle race and “white areas” and “coloured areas” on another day. That’s a heavy topic.
My sister arrived on the planet and she has never owned a yoyo or a tol. She doesn’t know how to play all the hopscotch games and she has never played “school school” or “housie housie” on her own.
Now they come home from school and occupy their time with the internet and online games. Lil sis even has her own email address! And she so wishes she had a Facebook account. But I insisted that FB is not for little girls. Can’t have my angel be exposed to stalkers!
On another note. Are there still pen-pal columns in magazines? I used to look for the ideal pen-pal in People magazine when I was about 11. I never actually got round to finding that person because I sooooo wasn’t going to give my address! Yes, I am paranoid. I know.
Do people actually still look for pen-pals? And post letters? All you need to do now is have Twitter and Facebook accounts and randomly follow/add people. And voila! You instantly have friends from all across the globe. No need to go hunting for them anymore.
I can proudly say that I have had the experience of licking a stamp and sticking it on a letter a few times before. And then putting the letter in that red box. I wonder how often people still do that and how often Postman Pat empties that red box. And I wonder how many children “of today” have licked stamps.
I’m really not even on the planet for very long, yet I can talk about Chappies bubblegum being 10c and Wilson blocks being 20c. Now they are 30c and 60c, if I remember correctly. Or is 711 being skelm? Do you still get 50c chips?
Ok, I know the price differences aren’t, like, major. But at least I can say “When I was a girl…”