29 Things a 2000s Kid Will Never Understand
Bring back the penny candy and the typewriter! Although you can keep the VHS tapes.
The horror of an unspooled cassette
There was nothing more horrifying than putting your favorite cassette tape into the player, punching play, and hearing the garbled screech of the machine eating it. If you were very careful—and very patient—you could pull it out and careful tape it back together before winding it back up with a pencil. Maybe you were listening to one of your favorite 90s bands whose hits you’re still enjoying.
Looking up information in an encyclopedia
School children with a report due on Monday often spent the weekend with a table full of open encyclopedias. Upside: They were more accurate than Wikipedia. Downside: You only got one measly paragraph on the Boer Wars to work with and it was the exact same one everyone else was using. Or you gave up and just used the giant volumes to hold up your blanket fort.
Having at least 20 phone numbers memorized
Do you know your best friend’s phone number? Your mother’s? Your own?? These days all you have to know is the name and your smart phone does all the hard work for you but a generation ago kids were drilled daily on important numbers. Grandma’s phone was considered as important as the nuclear codes and you practiced until you knew them all by heart. Perhaps after your phone call, you’d go watch one of these classic shows that are still on Netflix.
Cranking up the car window as fast as you could when it started to rain
How fast could you use the crank to manually roll your window up? Depended on how fast the storm was coming in (or how fast your brother was running for the front seat).
Poring over mail order catalogs
Amazon and other online stores are the Tinder of shopping—fast, cheap, and instantly gratifying. Mail-order catalogs, on the other hand, were a serious commitment. You had to decide exactly what you wanted, make sure you wrote all the item numbers correctly, calculated the correct total, tax, and postage, and then you sent off your hard-earned money in an envelope and hoped for the best (in six to eight weeks).
The art of a well-dictated voice mail
Ever hear a Millennial leave a voice mail? Probably not because most of them hate them with a fiery passion. Leaving a well-crafted, coherent, informative, and non-rambling voice message is a dying art.
How to fix a CD with your breath
A scratched CD was a worthless CD but ingenious teens didn’t give up if their favorite album got a little banged up (probably because they forgot to put it in their giant protective CD binders). A blast of moist breath and a rub on your shirt was often all it needed.
Picking out a bag of penny candy
Gumdrops, jelly beans, taffies, chocolate-covered peanuts, sour cherries, licorice whips, lemon drops, and starlight mints were just a few of the hundreds of confections you could find on the wall of plastic bins at the store. And the best part? Each cost exactly one cent. Spending a quarter could keep you entertained for an hour. Which one of these candies was your favorite?
Stringing the phone cord under your door so you could have privacy
Long, coiled cords stretched under doorways, and around corners were often the best way to spot teenage girls in the wild. These days kids can talk anywhere they want or text if they can’t talk. Before, you had to be a structural engineer just to get a little privacy.
Staring at the wall of videos in Blockbuster for hours every Friday night
John Linton Photography/Shutterstock
…only to discover the one you picked was all rented out and you’d have to start the arduous process all over again. Hopefully you caught some of these classic movies and not their remakes which weren’t as good.