Things That Annoy Me: People Who Complain About the 21st Century

We’ve all met those people. Heck, I’m pretty sure I’ve been one of those people before, on one or more occasions. But lately, they have really been irritating me.* You may know what I’m talking about. Those people (usually teenage girls) who complain about how much they hate living in the 21st century, and how they wish they could go back to the 1950’s, or 30’s, or (heaven forbid) the 1800’s, and enjoy some kind of joyful, fun-filled life straight out of a historical fiction novel.

I don’t think historical fiction does much to help dispel this way of thinking. We all tend to have this sort of nostalgia for the past. I know more than anyone how appealing the ideals and culture of the early 20th century can sound. Drive-in movies, jukeboxes, crinolines that make skirts stick out a good foot-and-a-half. All that sounds fantastic. BUT, I would never want to trade my life in 2012 for a life in 1952.

There are about a million reasons for this. I will list ten.

  1. No computers

That right there is enough for me. Because, even though I’m sure if I’d never used a computer before, I could function without one, it is too late for me. If you whipped me out of this day and age and stuck me in a little house in the 1950’s with no computers or laptops, I would die. It would be a slow, painful, untechnological death. I need computers. I have the worst handwriting ever. I would flunk every school assignment, lose track of all of my finances, and give up one chapter into a novel.

Also, let’s not forget how awful life would be with…

     2. No internet

Without the world-wide web, passing middle school would be pretty much impossible. At least for those of us who live fifteen miles away from a library and didn’t learn how to ride a bike until we were fourteen. (Okay, a small majority, I admit, but I would be in trouble)

     3. No modern painkillers at the dentist

I would die. I would die, I would die, I would die. Or, worse yet, I would never go to the dentist. So I would die ugly, with awful rotten teeth.

     4. The scary fact that doctors seemed keen on ripping out your tonsils all the time

I’ve seen the movies. I know how awful getting your tonsils removed must be. And let’s not forget that the majority of children in the US had their tonsils removed in the 1950’s. You get a slight throat ache and forget it. Those tonsils are coming out. Doctors had no mercy.

     5. Not being able to skip tracks on an LP record

You know how every cd has at least one song that you totally hate and always skip? You can’t do that on a record player. I know. I have a record player, believe it or not, and I have to suffer through those three-minute torture sessions. Talk about a first world problem.

     6. No hot running water

I just know that if I was transported back to the 1950’s, I would be stuck in one of those houses with no running water and an outhouse out back. There were still thousands of them around in the mid-20th century, believe it or not. I would be bathing in a little metal tub and sneaking outside in the dark to use the restroom. My hair would be permanently frizzy. Which brings me to…

     7. No hair conditioner

I can’t even bear to talk about this one. I would never be able to get married. All single men would take one look at my unconditioned hair and run in the opposite direction.

     8. No dvds and no movie rentals

If I wanted to memorize all the words to my favorite movies, I would have to pay ten times to see it in the movie theater, rather than just check it out at the Redbox for a dollar and obsessively watch it multiple times in a row. It would be so much harder to remember great quotes to quip out in awkward social situations.

     9. No Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp brings a great deal of joy to the lives of everyone. Imagine a world with no Captain Jack Sparrow. Are you feeling sad now?

     10. No blue jeans

Well, I guess the 50’s did have blue jeans, but they weren’t as culturally accepted as they are now. I would feel like a freak if I ran to the grocery store in a pair of jeans back in 1952. And no matter how much I love my poofy skirts and be-bowed dresses, I need jeans. I need to know that I can throw on a pair of jeans and run out the door without being labeled a slob. You take that away from me, and you’re stealing a piece of my dignity as a human. Just saying.

At the end of the day, I love the 1950’s as much as any other geeky homeschool girl. And obviously there would be perks to living in the mid-20th century. I like the way guys dressed back then a lot better, for examples. Bow ties and sweaters would rock my world. And I can’t express how cool it would be to cruise around in a ’52 Cadillac.

BUT, for now, I will keep my life of 21st century modern conveniences. I will watch James Dean movies on my sleek black laptop, peruse Audrey Hepburn photos on my internet browser, and buy my poofy skirts on eBay.

But that’s just me, I guess.


*This entire post was written by someone with a sarcastic point of view. Please take no offense.


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  1. * Skye says:

    That was beautiful. 😉 All of these reason are enough for me to want to stay right here, but no Jack Sparrow wow that really did it for me.
    By the way I just finished you book, well done.
    Allie is a very complex and difficult character, but you made me love her.
    Sam’s awesome who doesn’t love a persistent guy.
    Charlie was hilarious, love her name.
    Anyway I really enjoyed your novel can’t wait for the next one.


    | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
  2. * Jordanna says:

    Oh man, I’d never thought of the record thing! That’d be unbearably awful. Worse than life without internet or texting (which you forgot to mention).

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
  3. * Gracie says:

    Haha Rachel, I’m sorry to say that I’ve been one of those girls! 🙂 But your reasons are true, and I think I’ve reached a happy medium. Dress a little retro, write about life in the 50s, dream about owning a mustard yellow Morris Minor, and then occasionally you can pretend that you live in the age of soda shops and bell skirts. (Whilst typing on your laptop of course.) 🙂

    (My biggest regret about not living in the 50s? The men in bow ties and sweaters. Where did that fashion sense disappear to?) 😉

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
  4. * Cassondra Freeman says:

    Hilarious!!!! Absolutely hilarious!!!!! I agree with you one hundred percent on every single fact that you made! I love the 1850s, but I wouldn’t really want to live in the 1850s.

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
  5. * jdanryan says:

    I liked the piece, and could see your point on most of these.

    However, as someone old enough to be from the age of the LP, I have to disagree with point #5. Most turntables had a device at the base of the arm that allowed you to lift the stylus off the disc, allowing you to position the needle the next track over. The only way a record could not be skipped is if you had something keeping the arm in place, like a badly designed turntable or the need to weigh down the arm because all the skips in your record needed to be plowed through.

    Case in point: I had a badly damaged copy of TOMMY that skipped a few times on Side 4 that no amount of cleaning could take whatever schmutz was stuck in the grooves. So, in order to be able to play that side, I put three pennies on the head of the arm to allow it to play all the way through. It became a problem when I finally got sick of “Tommy’s Holiday Camp,” and let’s be honest, fandom will only allow *so* much, at which point I employed that arm retract device for some time.

    Was it a pain to have an album back in the day with bad songs you wanted to avoid? Hells yeah! Were you able to avoid those tracks? Not as easily as today, but it was far more doable than you might think.

    Of course, if you were lucky and got an album without any bad tracks, say, BOSTON, then there, problem solved…

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
    • * RachelC says:

      Thanks for commenting. 🙂 Wow, I had no idea that you could do that. Well, the only problem is… BOSTON wasn’t around in the 50’s. 😉

      | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
      • * jdanryan says:

        Yeah, that could be an issue, having to wait about 20 years for that one to be pressed.

        Still, you did have Miles Davis’ BIRTH OF THE COOL, the Art Blakey Quintet’s A NIGHT AT BIRDLAND, and Billie Holiday’s LADY IN SATIN to help pass a few of those years, so, hey, there’s something…

        Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
  6. * Alicia says:

    Haha you are too funny Rachel! We just have to embrace the time frame God has put us in.


    | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago

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