Things were better back in the day


I’m going to date myself and throw out three pet peeves of mine that were processed far differently back in the day. That’s correct, back in the day! What is “back in the day” you ask? For me it’s the period growing up and passing through my teens, 20s and 30s.

To add perspective, I graduated from Redondo High in 1967, joined the Army in 1968 and spent 22 months in Vietnam. Like most of you, my core beliefs and ideas have been formed through my life experiences. As Rod Serling so often cogently said as he introduced another episode of “The Twilight Zone”: ‘submitted for your approval.’

For starters, I truly believe society in general (individually and collectively) has become softer, wimpier and flat-out increasingly more spineless. If you tend to immerse yourself in political correctness, are easily offended, or love to blame everyone else for your shortcomings, you just might want to stop reading now to save yourself unnecessary, avoidable aggravation and anguish. I hold these truths to be self-evident that most men and women were tougher (mentally and physically), smarter and well-adjusted back in the day.

As my first example, and one that bugs the snot out of me, let’s deal with the act of being offended. The proper response to someone who informs you that they were offended by what you said is “who gives a crap!” (Or if you want to be polite, “thanks for sharing.”)

I can honestly say I’ve never been offended in my life. I’ve been pissed-off, angry, annoyed, dumbfounded, baffled and irritated; however, never offended. I can’t even recall when we, as a society began giving so much credence to those who are too often and easily offended. If it were up to me, I’d have the word banned from the English language. Offended yet? Keep reading.

Do you believe as I do that there has been a feminization of men over the past 20 or so years? John Wayne, Steve McQueen, James Dean and Marlon Brando are turning over in their graves—daily. As Brando said to a sniveling Johnny Fontane after he slapped him in The Godfather, “you can act like a man!” Do you women really find the squishy, soft, spongy modern male attractive? I’m not sayin’ you have to be a tough guy, but come on, show some stones, dudes!

Quit behaving like some wimpy character from a sappy romantic comedy. Young males today need to act a little more like Clint Eastwood and a little less like Pee Wee Herman. Sound off ladies, don’t be afraid. This weekend put your foot down and demand that your guy lose his man-purse. Put that crap in your pockets, stud.

Back in the day one of the rights of passage was to spend your teens busing tables at a crappy, greasy spoon restaurant, or busting your butt in some dark, dank, dusty warehouse while an obese slob with a 5th-grade education smoked a cigar and hollered obscenities at you. Working in a dead-end job provided the desire and motivation to improve yourself.

Today spoiled young adults would rather live at home sponging off their parents than take a low-paying, menial job. Here’s a little advice for those 20-something parasites draining mom and dad’s life savings?get off your ever-widening rump and go mow a lawn.

Turn off Storage Wars, Pawn Stars or The Real Housewives of Orange County and attempt to make a few bucks the old fashioned way—earn it! And when you get that first paycheck, small as it may be, hustle to the bank, cash the thing and run home and hand it over to mommy and daddy.

Next, sincerely thank them for putting up with your BS all these years, then get out in the world and search for a better paying job. That’s how it’s done, you mooching goofball. Whew, I need a breath. It just galls me to see a healthy young adult sponging off hard working decent folks who clawed their way up the ladder in pursuit of the American Dream.

Now, when they return from the daily grind, what’s the first thing they see coming through the front door—an unappreciative, pudgy freeloader (their child) dropping Cheese Whiz and Doritos on the sofa while chugging a cold Corona.

You get the point. We’ve lost certain positive attributes from those bygone days, as well as worthy values that were admirable and defined the “character” of an individual. So the next time you hear some seasoned citizen use the phrase, “back in the day,” listen closely to what they have to say. You might accidently learn something. Maybe even wipe the Cheese Doodle dust off your face and ask them a serious question or two.


Tags: Get a job or get outta the house: Longing for back in the day: Loose the man-purse wimp: When I was your age…