Thursday, December 11, 2008

What happens when something

normally found in your own childhood memories, like a toy or gadget, resurfaces in your children’s present lives? Does it retain its previously trendy value? Or does it now fall under the retro category? Or neither? Maybe it’s just another something.

We found a cassette player (!!) with headphones at a local salvage/surplus store and lo and behold! Cassette tapes were also available for the bargain basement price of 2 for 99¢. We gave the archaic contraption to the Boy for his 12th birthday, along with a couple more contemporarily acceptable gifts and you would’ve thought we gave him a touch screen mp3 player/pocket camcorder that makes ice cream sundaes. I can only surmise his reaction came from not really knowing what the heck a walkman actually was or even realizing that he was born long after they’d served their sole purpose (to jog in neon-colored spandex while listening to AC/DC) and had died accordingly in 1990 following the birth of cd's. He likes the click whir click whir noises that accompany stopping, fast forwarding and rewinding. I suppose when you’re adapted to on-demand media and music it might be a mysterious treat not knowing where the next song is. It’s rather like he’s a sleuthy detective trying to crack the cold case #72 “Where’s That Song I Really Like?” and the fate the outcome rides on his mad button-pressing skills. That’s how it was for me anyway. I’d sulk on my bed, popping pimples and listening to Peter Frampton’s Premonition album, just wanting to hear number seven over and over. I had rewind button reflexes like a cat. An angsty cat wearing tapered-legs jeans and sporting a bad haircut that no amount of Rave #4 would fix.

It’s a good thing he’s homeschooled because as much I love him reading Calvin and Hobbes while listening to his walkman in 2008, I know that would totally get him beaten up in school.


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