Things We Take For Granted
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.
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Here is my profound reflection on the topic:
• Lenox, Georgia
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.
• Daytona Beach, Florida
@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.
• United Kingdom
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!
• United Kingdom
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.
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.
• El Paso, Texas
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.
• United States
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.
• United States
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 .
• Toccoa, Georgia
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.
• Manchester, England
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.
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