The Generation Gap

Menstuff® is providing the following information on the Generation Gap.

College Freshmen - 2002
How Old is Grandpa?
The New Gender Gap

College Freshmen - 2002


Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of this year's incoming freshmen. Here's this year's list:

Do you feel old yet?

How Old is Grandpa?


One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events. The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.

The granddad replied, "Well, let me think a minute ...I was born, before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill. There was no radar, credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens.

Man had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers, and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and man hadn't yet walked on the moon.

Your grandmother and I got married first-and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than I, 'Sir'-and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, 'Sir.' Sundays were set aside for going to church as a family, helping those in need, and visiting with family or neighbors.

We were before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy. Our lives were governed by good judgment, and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege. Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started.

We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.

Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums. We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.

We listened to the Big Bands and Jack Benny, and I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey. The President's speeches on our radios.

If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan' on it, it was junk. The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam. Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of. We had 5 & and 10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel. And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600 but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.

In my day, 'grass' was mowed, 'coke' was a cold drink, 'pot' was something your mother cooked in, and 'rock music' was your grandmother's lullaby. 'Aids' were helpers in the Principal's office, 'chip' meant a piece of wood, 'hardware' was found in a hardware store, and 'software' wasn't even a word. And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.

No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap....and how old do you think I am ???"

This man would be only 59 years old.

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