29 Things a 2000s Kid Will Never Understand
Bring back the penny candy and the typewriter! Although you can keep the VHS tapes.
Burning your butt on a metal slide
Kids’ playgrounds today may be slickly designed marvels of safety but pity the child who will never know the thrill (terror?) of rocketing down a steep, metal slide. In the summer. In shorts. Feel free to reminisce: here’s how happy nostalgic thoughts make you healthier.
Waiting until 8 p.m. to call grandma
You think phones are complicated now? Just try and keep track of the per-minute price of peak versus after-hours, long-distance versus local, and business versus personal calls. And if you were ever tempted to just call someone without doing all the math, you were swiftly punished with an $800 phone bill.
“Juice” was anything that wasn’t soda or booze
Want a juice? Here’s some Kool-Aid. It’s good for you. It’s fat-free. Drink some now as a nostalgic way to celebrate the first day of summer.
The satisfying click of a typewriter
Click, click, click… chiiiiiing! Modern keyboards—especially tiny pretend ones on touch screens—can never compare to the tactile joy of banging out your novel (literally and figuratively).
Flipping through a card catalog
Finding a book in the library used to require a trip to a huge file filled with rows of cards. You had to decipher their beautiful but strange system, golf pencil clenched tightly between your teeth, write it down, and then remember the Dewey Decimal System. But your reward (the latest book in The Babysitter’s Club series?) was so worth it! Want to rediscover your love of libraries? Here’s how one author found hers again.
Dialing zero on a rotary phone
Imagine: Operators used to be people, not automated voices! All you had to do to summon one of the magical helpful genies was to whip your finger around the telephone dial. (And then listen happily to the beautiful whir.)
Waiting two weeks to see if you got a good picture
With endless takes, it’s no wonder youngsters today take so many gorgeous selfies. As long as you have the patience—and the right photo-editing tools—anyone can be a master photographer. Back in the day you had to line up your shot through an itty bitty plastic square, press the button and just pray that in two weeks when your film was developed you caught something good. (And don’t forget to wind the film before your next shot!) Here’s how to make those old photos last longer.
And then the joy of one-hour photo stores
When you had to wait weeks to get back 24 (or, if you were rich, 32) pictures meant you had pretty much already forgotten the vacation they memorialized. But while it was fun being surprised by memories and entertained by weird shots, the day that one-hour photo services were invented was the best day of your life.
“Smoking” bubblegum cigars
Adults used to think it was cute when little kids pretended to smoke or chew with fake bubblegum tobacco products. Then we learned about lung cancer. Yeah, maybe it’s best this one went away.
“Be kind, please rewind!”
Some video stores used fines to remind you to rewind the VHS tapes before you returned them while others just guilted you into being a good renter with their cheery stickers. Either way, it meant you spent endless hours (fine: minutes) jamming the rewind button hoping to make it go faster.