Things We Take For Granted

By Jabo
@jaboUK (56222)
United Kingdom
March 13, 2019 2:01pm CST
We take toilet paper for granted nowadays, but it was very different when I was a child. Any kind of paper was scarce in the 1940s due to WW2, so we didn't have the luxury of proper toilet paper. Instead we used newspaper cut into squares. These were hung on a hook in the outside toilet ( we didn't have an inside one). We didn't know any different so didn't feel deprived, though the newsprint sometimes left marks on our bottoms! Is there anything from your childhood that you took as the 'norm', but would be horrified if you had to use/eat now? Picture is the kind of outside toilet we used to have.
60 people like this
60 responses
@noni1959 (4689)
• United States
13 Mar
I can't think of anything but my grandma used to tell us about using the Sear's catalogs in the outhouses.
7 people like this
@GardenGerty (108996)
• United States
13 Mar
We did that at the grandparents.
4 people like this
@noni1959 (4689)
• United States
13 Mar
@GardenGerty I can't imagine using them and they working well.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
Sears catalogues would be one step up from newspapers
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (48763)
• Germany
13 Mar
Here is my profound reflection on the topic:
I've just read a discussion by @cindiowens on the disappearance of coloured toilet paper. I was surprised that she put this 'in the past'. Well, of course,...
5 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
Thanks Malu, you article is far more informative than my own.
4 people like this
@MALUSE (48763)
• Germany
13 Mar
@jaboUK Ta muchly! (I learnt this expression on a British site I was on some years ago. Does anyone use it at all?)
4 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
@MALUSE I have heard it on odd occasions, but it's not a usual saying.
3 people like this
• Lenox, Georgia
13 Mar
Well, not really. I have had a harder life in my adulthood than I ever had as a child. But I definitely appreciate my washing machine and dryer since I used to wash laundry in a bath tub and blow them all dry with a blow dryer! It was a lot of work for 7 people.
5 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar
Oh my, that would be really hard work. We never had a washiing machine in my childhood home, but I got one soon after I was married.
2 people like this
@vandana7 (69966)
• India
14 Mar
Me too. Not only washing machine but also refrigerator, fans, air conditioners, cars.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar
@vandana7 All those things you were mention were in short supply when I was a child.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (78635)
• India
14 Mar
There is a huge huge difference between my life as a child and now. In every sphere food, clothing, entertainment...........the works We walked miles and miles to go anywhere. But I was a happy child.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar
I was happy too - we made our own fun, didn't we?
3 people like this
@allknowing (78635)
• India
14 Mar
@jaboUK We would play in the field close by which was empty in summer............I could go on and on The bat was improvised from a coconut frond (lol)
3 people like this
@ptrikha_2 (12677)
• India
15 Mar
@allknowing you liked batting or bowling when playing cricket.
1 person likes this
@RasmaSandra (24205)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
14 Mar
I have used outdoor toilets and always hated them. I cannot think of anything particularly since my childhood was in the 1960s.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar
Outside toilets are no fun
3 people like this
@florelway (3508)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
15 Mar
@jaboUK These are still found in my country. Some areas here do not even have toilets.
1 person likes this
@RasmaSandra (24205)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
16 Mar
@jaboUK things took a while to change when I first went to Latvia in the 1990s and there were outside toilets with holes in the ground you had to stand over. I usually avoided them like the plague and went outside in the bushes.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (15716)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
Fortunately we never had such a thing and we always had nice soft toilet paper although I dare say you remember Izal toilet paper they used in schools. Gosh that was awful stuff. Supposed to be antiseptic too with a shiny side and a dull side...Pretty vile wasn't it!
4 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
Oh yes, I remember Izal. Looking back it was awful, but a definite step up from newspaper!
3 people like this
@Fleura (8788)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar
@garymarsh6 @jaboUK I remember the Izal too - it was in all public toilets such as in schools and department stores, I never worked out the point because it was essentially waterproof. We had some at home which we used as tracing paper!
3 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar
@Fleura Lol - that was a better use for it
3 people like this
@1hopefulman (38544)
• Canada
13 Mar
I did not have a toilet, either inside or outside till I came to Canada when I was 10 yrs old.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
My goodness - what did you do? Squat by the hedge??. What country did you come from?
2 people like this
@1hopefulman (38544)
• Canada
14 Mar
@jaboUK Somehow we managed! I came from a small village in Italy.
2 people like this
• San Jose, California
15 Mar
@1hopefulman What is the village called?is it still there?
1 person likes this
@DianneN (108801)
• United States
13 Mar
Thank goodness we had indoor plumbing. I would be horrified to find linoleum and formica in my house now.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
Oh linoleum was considered a luxury when I was growing up
4 people like this
@DianneN (108801)
• United States
13 Mar
@jaboUK My parents had it put in their kitchen and bathrooms the second my father finished building the house. At least they had the good sense to put hardwood flooring everywhere else.
3 people like this
@ptrikha_2 (12677)
• India
15 Mar
@DianneN we have marble flooring in our house.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (69966)
• India
14 Mar
I surely love washing machine. I remember washing clothes and it was no fun. We had few fans when I was young, so our idea to keep cool was buy ice from a vendor on the street, place old towels on it, and when it was cool enough use it on fan guard. In nights, we carried our mattresses upstairs and made beds to sleep. Believe me that in itself was a luxury many did not enjoy.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar
Yes, hand washing clothes was a real chore. In our climate we didn't need fans but I can understand how hard it was to not have them in India, We always had a mattress of sorts, but nothing like those of today.
2 people like this
@vandana7 (69966)
• India
15 Mar
@jaboUK I meant having a terrace where we would have natural breeze. Inside the house, it would be unbearably hot for sleeping. In your parts of the world, you all do not have flat roofs, right? :)
@GardenGerty (108996)
• United States
13 Mar
I used one like that a number of times. That and a chamber pot in the middle of the night or if the weather was bad.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
Oh yes, chamber pots were normal in those days.
3 people like this
@acelawrites (15005)
• Philippines
13 Mar
We had that long, long ago and we do not have an indoor toilet. It was located some 10 meters away from our house so I was horrified going there at night, thinking of the snakes or other horrible creatures watching while am there! But we took with us a dipper with water for cleaning.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
Oh at least we didn't have to contend with snakes! That must have been awful.
3 people like this
@acelawrites (15005)
• Philippines
13 Mar
@jaboUK but that's only in my imagination! Am so afraid of snakes that I always think there could be one lurking in there!
2 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
@acelawrites Oh right - I thought that was for real!
2 people like this
@rebelann (46579)
• El Paso, Texas
13 Mar
I don't remember too much from my really early days but I can remember when we first moved here (I was just about to turn 10) and dad got us some cots and wool blankets. I am allergic to wool so was dad so mom would put extra sheets under them so we wouldn't break out. I'm so grateful for my comfy bed even though I tend to complain about it now and then.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
Oh yes, a comfy bed is a must nowadays. We didn't have proper mattresses when I was a child either.
2 people like this
@rebelann (46579)
• El Paso, Texas
13 Mar
It seems we've all become somewhat spoiled @jaboUK
2 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
@rebelann Yup, sure have.
3 people like this
• United States
13 Mar
Aside from the plumbing and the toilet paper, there's a lot to be said for simpler times.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
There is indeed, we children were free to roam at will.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Mar
@jaboUK and we weren't spending all our time focusing on electronic gadgets.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
@SophiaMorros So true - we must have been pretty healthy as we played outside all day. Interacting face-to-face with friends too, we learnt social skills.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (134152)
• United States
13 Mar
It was the norm for most houses in middle-class neighborhoods to have only one bathroom. Our family of 5 shared one bathroom when I was growing up. That was the only house I have lived in over the years that had only 1 bathroom.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
I have NEVER lived in a house with two bathrooms. We didn't even have one at all until I was 11. We had a tin bath in front of the fire till then. Now we have a downstairs cloakroom, but it doesn't have a bath or shower.
3 people like this
• San Jose, California
15 Mar
@jaboUK A bathroom is called a cloakroom there?
2 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar
@Aquitaine24 No, a cloakroom usually just has a toilet and wash basin. A bathroom has a bath or shower. Of course a public cloakroom is where you leave your coats.
1 person likes this
@much2say (42612)
• United States
13 Mar
Newspaper squares - oh my ! Well, my mom used to put tons of salt in her cooking (I remember her using the salt shaker - shake shake shake into the pot) . . . but on top of that she also used a shaker of this white stuff called ajinomoto - a kind of sweet salt - which was used for a lot of Japanese cooking. Down the line, we found out this stuff was NOT healthy at all . . .in fact now we know it as MSG. This would explain a lot of the big headaches that I had as a child . . . I don't dare use this in my cooking and avoid it as much as possible .
3 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
How interesting - your mom would have no idea that stuff was so bad for you.
1 person likes this
@amadeo (87174)
• United States
13 Mar
I really do not remember what we had.Could not be much in those awful depression years
3 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
Not many had flushing toilets back then, did they Alfredo? At least not poor people like me.
2 people like this
@Elizaby (4669)
• Pensacola, Florida
13 Mar
I remember using the outhouse back in the 1960s when we visited my aunt's farm in the summer and even taking baths in the creek
3 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
Oh yes, we used to use the local brook to have a bath sometimes. We didn't have a proper bath or bathroom till I was 11.
2 people like this
@LeaPea2417 (24176)
• Toccoa, Georgia
14 Mar
I was a baby right before disposable diapers became popular. My Mom told me stories of how she would wash and dry my sister's and my cloth diapers and hang them out to dry since she didn't have a dryer. She said in Winter, she would hang them up on a line in her attic to dry.
2 people like this
@Fleura (8788)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar
Cloth nappies are making a come-back, I used them for both my girls. They are a bit more trendy than the old ones though and far more variety available.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar
I'm not sure what my mother used for me, but I did the same as your mother for my own children
2 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar
@Fleura Really? I didn;t know that.
2 people like this
@WorDazza (11748)
• Manchester, England
13 Mar
There is a right of way across the gardens of the row of 4 houses ours is on. This dates back to when the toilets for all 4 houses were located at the bottom of the garden of one of the end houses. I remember our first house phone being a party line we shared with one of our neighbours up the street. We just accepted the fact that sometimes when we picked up the phone to make a call our neighbour could well be having a conversation with someone on their phone.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
13 Mar
Were the toilets separate, one for each house? Or were they communal? I remember those party lines too.
2 people like this
@WorDazza (11748)
• Manchester, England
14 Mar
@jaboUK I think they were communal. The original toilet building isn't there anymore so I can't even exercise my right of way to investigate!!
2 people like this
@Shiva49 (15399)
• Singapore
14 Mar
The one thing that comes readily to my mind is I used to walk without footwear till I was about ten years old! Toilets were also not inside the homes when I was young. I may add I am used to using water than toilet paper. I had a British colleague in Indonesia who had worked in Nigeria, Iran, and Greece. I was surprised when he said he used water to clean up. I recall his words when I looked surprised "that is cleaner and more hygienic". I agree in colder climate toilet paper is handy - siva
2 people like this
@jaboUK (56222)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar
No footwear when you were small? - I suppose your feet would really become hardened. At least I had shoes, though they were hand-me-downs from my older sisters. I suppose using water is more hygienic when you think about it.
1 person likes this