10 Things From 10 Years Ago I’ll Never Get Back

Are we any better off now than we were 10 years ago? Ok, just had to ask that because it seems like the thing to do. I know that for a lot of people the answer is a definite “no”. As for me, I’m infinitely better off than I was then. The last decade has been one of tremendous technological advancement, but there’s plenty to lament. Here’s my list of 10 things I had 10 years ago that I’ll probably never have access to again.

  1. The ability to remember phone numbers. I still remember both of my grandmothers’ phone numbers from when I was a kid, but thanks to these fancy schmancy mobile devices, I can only remember a handful now. And if I met you in the last 10 years, you’re lucky if I can even guess your area code.
  2. Mix tapes. Yeah, we could burn CDs for some of the 90s, but what the hell were you supposed to listen to in the car? Because chances are you were driving a car made in the early 90s at the latest, and it didn’t have a CD player in it.
  3. My knees. This one is obvious. There’s nothing worse than tackling a young guy, hearing the breath leave his lungs as his back slams into the pitch, then watching from the ground as he trots away on his springy legs. The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that he’s going to get old too and probably won’t fare as well as I have.
  4. Bill Clinton as President. As much as it pains me to type it, I’d prefer any Clinton (Bill, Hillary, Chelsey, George, any of them) to what we have now. Sure, it’s not the optimal situation, but beggars can’t be choosers.
  5. My Thursday afternoon job bottling beer. One of the best jobs I ever had was helping the guys at New Knoxville Brewing Company bottle beer on Thursdays. There was no money involved, but I was promised I’d achieve total inebriation on my death bed. So I got that going for me, which is good. Fortunately, that’s yet to come to fruition, but we were allowed to carry out a couple of cases of “shorties” (bottles that weren’t completely filled and weren’t worth a label) every day. Good times.
  6. Waylon Mothergrabbin’ Jennings
  7. Tables. Back in the 90s, you could load a website down with embedded table after embedded table, then fill those tables with sliced images that the browser magically placed back together and no one thought a thing about it. Put just one table into a site now and you are getting beat with a USB cable.
  8. When a girl could still cook, and still would. I had to throw that in there for Merle Haggard, but actually, this one happens to be the opposite for me. I don’t think I knew a girl in the 90s who could really cook. Not so now. I’m very well fed, and I look the part. But my girl couldn’t cook back in the 90s–this is a newly acquired skill. So if I could go back to the 90s version of her (the one that was over 18), I’d probably be much thinner. That’s logical, right?
  9. New episodes of Seinfeld. I have some of the seasons on DVD. It’s not the same. Scott is gettin’ angry.
  10. Free international travel. During the 90s I got to go to Europe and Asia to work on projects for weeks, which meant weekends on vacation in Europe and Asia. Even better–the companies I was working for footed the bill and provided per diems for expenses. Damn you Webex and remote login. Damn you straight to hell. Just kidding…except for the travel thing, Webex and remote login have made my life better in more ways than I can count.

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