Tabletop Clock

I had trouble telling time when I was a kid. The whole short-hand/long-hand, numbers-in-a-circle system struck me as prohibitively complicated. I knew you were supposed to glance at your wristwatch or a wall clock and instantly recognize that it was 3:47 or whatever, but it always took me a few too many ticks of the […]

Silverware

The knife is the king, and the big fork is the queen. Each spouse has a sidekick—the spoon (a duke) for the king, the salad fork (a lady-in-waiting) for the queen. Those are the roles I assigned the flatware whenever I’d find myself at a restaurant as a child. I would put the royal quartet […]

Sticker Album

When I was a kid, the big trend in stickers was scratch-and-sniff technology—yet another miracle of the modern age we now take for granted.  My circa 1985 sticker album—a colorful spiral notebook with 16 cardboard pages on which blank spaces for stickers are surrounded by jolly cartoon animals, foods, hearts, stars, and other illustrations—devotes an […]

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds

When I was a kid, my favorite breakfast cereal was Lucky Charms, a blend of sugar-coated oats, marshmallows, and Irish stereotypes.  The cereal’s corporate mascot is a leprechaun named Lucky. In 1980s TV commercials, cartoon children were always in pursuit of the small, green-suited figure so that they might capture his “magically delicious” marshmallow charms: […]

TV

I come from an era before parents limited screen time. In fact, “screen time” wasn’t even a term anybody used when I was a kid, seeing as how smartphones and the internet weren’t around yet. Television, for its part, was widely regarded as garbage yet voraciously consumed. Much like White Claw Hard Seltzer today. Although […]