Old School Rules

While cool kids strive towards ever more advanced, portable and tiny phones, I just bought the most gigantic, tethered landline I could find.

That’s right, we’re talking to you corded.

Call it kitschy, retro or ridiculous, but I love my new wall phone, just like the one we had in our kitchen growing up (except my rotary dial is faux).   When it rings, I don’t have to dive under couch cushions to find it.  I don’t have to recharge it or replace its parts, and I’ll never have to upgrade it to, say, the iWall 5S.

My fantasy is that Viv will learn some old school phone etiquette by using it: “Good morning, this is Viv.  Who’s calling please?”  Plus I’ll be able to play gatekeeper and really freak out her friends with my whole June Cleaver act.

I don’t fetishize the past, but there are a few things I refuse to leave behind.  As Viv grows up, she will be required to experience the following:


I’m not a stickler for vinyl, but I believe there are some albums that must be listened to all the way through, from beginning to end.  We may be in the digital age, but just because you CAN shuffle, doesn’t mean you should.  Fans of Dark Side of the Moon, Sticky Fingers, Doolittle, Purple Rain and A Chorus Line would surely agree.

I find that when we do use our phonograph instead of “the compooter,” we have much better dance parties and singalongs because we’re not constantly DJ’ing. Plus it goes great with the new landline.

Typing Lessons

Traditional typing skills aren’t needed for texting, but I’m a writer, so my kid’s gonna learn how to type properly with two hands.  Watching her hunt and peck through a term paper would make me insane.   And how else will she learn that the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog?


What’s nicer than going to the mailbox and finding a personal card hand-addressed to you, a little jewel amongst the crap catalogues, junk mail and bills?  Same goes for handwritten thank you notes.  They’re just better.   As long as the post office is in business, so at least another 3-5 years, I’ll be teaching Viv the joys of snail mail.

Special Occasion Movies

When I was a very little girl, there were no VCR’s and only 7 television channels (CBS, NBC, ABC, WNEW, WOR, PIX, PBS – What up New York Metro Area!!).  Every Spring, CBS would pre-empt The Waltons to bring us a very special presentation of The Wizard of Oz.   We’d make popcorn and even though we’re Jewish, my Grandma would show up with a giant Easter basket of candy and it was a monumental event that I looked forward to ALL YEAR.  I know this is an incredibly unrealistic idea in this day and age, and as a preschooler Viv will go through a phase where she needs to watch The Little Mermaid 18 times in one day, but when she’s old enough to understand about traditions, I’m hoping to institute some special occasion movies of our own.

What old school rules do you have for your kids?

This entry was posted in My Family and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Epstein's Mother
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget “home movie night”. 2 Thumbs Up, Amy. I guess I am too old to remember ” “Pruple Rain.”


    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Every day around here is home movie night thanke to the Flip Cam/computer. I miss that old projector!

  2. Mailisha Chesney
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Great article/topic! I love going old-school. I also have been secretly wanting to get a corded wall phone, just like my Nana used to have. I loved the ring on that old thing! Too bad we can’t get the REAL rotary, though. I so miss that feeling on my finger tips, going ’round and ’round.

    Funny this topic today. My older daughter (who is 4.25yrs old, as she will tell you) and I came home this afternoon and had a movie “night” treat for the first time. I popped some pop corn (also a first -with her) and we watched Mary Poppins. Such fun!

    Part of the reason I decided to do the movie thing today was pure exhaustion on my part. Our “baby” has suddenly and inexplicably dropped her naps. And what we were hoping might just be a little hiccup, or short phase, is looking scarily permanent. Yikes! Ellie and I cuddled on the couch watching the movie while baby Charlie ran around the house playing and talking crazy, on any number of bizarre topics. O.M.G.

    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      I hope the naps come back! That would kill me and I only have one.

  3. Fen
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Love that you linked to The Sure Thing, Amy. What could be more old school than John Cusack coming-of-age movies?

    We are teaching our kids the necessity of writing old-fashioned thank-you letters, the kind that require pen to paper and a stamp. They insist we are cruel because of this but I’m sure they will thank us later. (Right?)

    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Maybe the kids can be pen-pals some day? Or is that pushing it?

  4. Posted January 17, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know. When I was in high school we had a corded phone with a super long cord. I once pissed off my sister while she was talking to a friend. She got so mad at me that she threw the earpiece at me across the kitchen. The cord stretched and stretched and that hard plastic earpiece stopped just inches shy of smacking me right between my eyes. She threw it so hard that it ricocheted back at her and hit the wall. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.
    Kristine Castagnaro recently posted..My Kids are Gross…They DisagreeMy Profile

    • Posted January 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      If we have another kid, I’m going to reevaluate the phone, or at least it’s proximity to fighting kids. Oy.

  5. Posted January 18, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    We have a cordy phone for when the power goes out. It’s that old school green mint color and I love it, too!
    Christa the BabbyMam recently posted..Vegan Double Chocolate Cupcakes That’ll Knock Your Socks OffMy Profile

    • Posted January 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Love it!

      • Posted January 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Amy, save yourself the trouble. You are going to raise smart, innovative and clever children. They’ll be able to make any common household object into a weapon.
        Kristine recently posted..My Kids are Gross…They DisagreeMy Profile

        • Posted January 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          Ugh. I can only imagine what the ER docs have seen over the years.