50 Things Only People Over 50 Understand

50 Things Only People Over 50 Understand
241/265 Elly learning to dial a rotary phone at a museum today.
241/265 Elly learning to dial a rotary phone at a museum today.

Generational conflicts are nothing new. Many baby boomers think millennials are lazy and self-absorbed, and many millennials think boomers are close-minded and rigid. But generations can't -- and shouldn't -- be generalized.

Even so, one thing's for sure. The era in which we grow up shapes us forever. Technology is second nature to most young people, while many older people were raised to expect a certain progression in life -- engagement, marriage, home ownership, children.

Just for fun, we asked our Facebook fans about the things only people ages 50 or older would understand. We received dozens of responses -- here are 50 of them. Have your own ideas? Let us know in comments.

1) "Having one phone, connected to a wall, located in the hall of a 1,300-square-foot house with two parents and two children. And one TV in the living room. The great room and entertainment room was the backyard!" said Julie Moore.

2) "Green Stamps," said Valier Barricklow.

3) "Schools that would have drills when we were little. Whether it was for tornadoes or nuclear bombs, the drill was the same. You'd be safe under your desk! LOL!" said Susan Foster Beste.

4) "Parents disciplining their children and not being their 'friend'," said Donna C. White.

5) "How special Mr. Green Jeans was," said Sandy Clutter.


6) "The national anthem on TV at 1 a.m.," said Cheryl De Primio.

7) "A milk man driving the milk truck around delivering glass bottles of milk to your doorstep," said Tina Benefield.

9) "5 1/2-day workweeks," said John Pierse.

10) "What it is like to go to a drive-in movie!! and walk to the snack bar! and make out with your boyfriend in the back seat!!" said Sherrill Cochran.


11) "Odd and even days to get gas during the OPEC oil embargo," said Deborah Gallant.

12) "Nurses/Nursing Assistants only able to wear white dress/white stockings/white shoes," said Mary Campbell.

14) "A typewriter," said Debbi Miller.

15) "Howdy Doody," said Jazzy Be.

howdy doody

16) "Watching your favorite TV shows at the exact time they were on. Especially 'Ed Sullivan' and the 'Wizard Of Oz' once a year. You had to be home to watch your favorites," said Kristy Hoyt Metcalf.

17) "Water from the faucet! Paying for water would have insane!!!" said Mary Hummel.

20) "Gathering at that lucky neighbor's house on Sunday nights to watch 'Bonanza' on their color TV!" said Pam Baker.

bonanza tv show

21) "The assassination of JFK!" said George Costalas.

23) "No answering machines, beepers or cell phones. How did we survive? LOL!" said Ronnie Kaminski Latimer.

24) "Fibber McGee's closet," said Pam Baker.

25) "Mimeograph machine," said Susan Dimmick Harrison.

mimeograph machine

26) "Good customer service," said Sallie Arnoult.

27) "K-tel," said Debb Lemke.

28) "Party lines," said Diane Kohne Bellard.

29) "Burma Shave signs," said Alexandra Jackiw.

rotary dial phone

31) "Life before calculators," said Patty Wilkins Gabso.

32) "L S M F T I remember hearing that slogan when I was little. Can you Baby Boomers guess it? Hint Tobacco -- I don't smoke, but all the movies made in the 50s showed people smoking," said Jane Thompson.

33) "Mr. Magoo," said Jim Britt.

35) "The Miracle on Ice," said Peggy Bell Nolan.

the miracle on ice

36) "Carbon paper," said Susan Hagadorn.

37) "Air raid drills in NJ, during the 1950s -- having to get under your desk in school or behind a sofa at home with all the shades and curtains pulled, no lights on. Then you'd hear an airplane fly overhead and be terrified it was a bomber," said June Smith.

38) "Phone numbers that began with a word... (example: BUtterfield 8-2345)," said John Pierse.

39) "Watching the launches of the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo rockets on television in school or at home every time there was one, and then watching them splash down on return. Also, the whole world watching and praying for the Apollo 13 astronauts," said Debi Swanson Groenendyk.

40) "On a lighter note, the ladies always dressed up to go shopping, dresses or skirts/blouses/sweaters, heels with seamed nylons, hats/gloves. Men wore ties and jackets," said June Smith.

well dressed shoppers in the 1960s

41) "Skate key," said Lynda Pomeroy.

42) "Not being allowed to wear pants to school -- how very dated!" said Kathy J. Vanest.

43) "An ice box, not a refrigerator!" said Kirsten Hines.

44) "Being able to play outside all day without having to check in with a cell phone -- and your parents aren't the least bit worried about it. The world was a safer, nicer place," said Melanie Springer.

45) "I remember a time when there was no swearing on TV shows or in movies. Today every other word is f$$k, so distasteful," said Lynn Weber.

brady bunch

46) "Title IX -- effective June 23, 1972," said Kathy J. Vanest.

47) "Hospital wards run by a Matron where everything was done & run like clockwork -- cleaners arrived at 7 and had to be out before doctors started their rounds at 10 sharp. Nurses were caring and did what they were trained for," said Janet Loveandlight Gibson.

48) "A percolator to make coffee," said John Smith.

49) "'Walking Tall' film," said Lynda Stone Zimmerman.

50) "Secret Sam, six finger (toy) and -- remember when they promoted her this way? -- Bendable Barbie," said Laura Reid,

bendable barbie

Before You Go

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