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Sat Mar 30, 2019, 07:02 PM

What really stunned you as a kid? I'll start with 2 things

* I was in grade school in the 40s. One day our homeroom teacher asked us if we had seen the flags flying at half-mast. It was because the owner of the world had died.

I just sat there stunned, thinking that I didn't know anyone owned the world. Then she said the owner of 1 of the 2 major newspapers in town--the World--had died.

I'll never forget how I felt when she so calmly informed us that the owner of the world had died.

* In the early 50s I was reading the magazine Look in the living-room. Suddenly I came across an article about the Dionne quintuplets. I sat there in angry disbelief. Then I said to my Mom, why didn't anybody ever tell me that women could have 5 babies at once!? I felt betrayed, feeling that this had been kept from me. I was maybe 10 or 11 and was in that period when a kid is learning about the world. 5 babies at once!?!

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply What really stunned you as a kid? I'll start with 2 things (Original post)
bobbieinok Mar 2019 OP
3catwoman3 Mar 2019 #1
safeinOhio Mar 2019 #2
JohnnyLib2 Mar 2019 #3
skypilot Mar 2019 #4
Beringia Mar 2019 #10
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2019 #5
eppur_se_muova Mar 2019 #6
First Speaker Mar 2019 #7
CanonRay Mar 2019 #8
TexasBushwhacker Mar 2019 #9
Beringia Mar 2019 #11
UpInArms Mar 2019 #12
FakeNoose Mar 2019 #15
Leith Mar 2019 #13
Laffy Kat Mar 2019 #14
Harker Mar 2019 #16
sinkingfeeling Mar 2019 #17
hunter Mar 2019 #18
Submariner Mar 2019 #19
surrealAmerican Mar 2019 #20
Corgigal Mar 2019 #21
MicaelS Mar 2019 #22
Talitha Mar 2019 #23

Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 07:17 PM

1. Learning, after hearing my parent talk about the water bill, that...

...people had to pay for something as essential as water. I was probably 9 or 10.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 07:48 PM

2. I was 12 years old and playing in a tent and girl

farted. Never had a sister so didnít know much about girls. I never knew they farted too.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 08:05 PM

3. At a picnic, overheard that my favorite cousin was adopted.


The chatting adults were horrified. The cousin wasn't told for another 10 years.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 08:15 PM

4. Reading the novel Jaws and...

...coming across the word lesbian. Looked the word up in the dictionary and read that it meant a female homosexual. Looked up homosexual and realized OH MY GOD, THAT'S ME!! I was ten.

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Response to skypilot (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 09:21 PM

10. Ha

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 08:22 PM

5. When I was about five or six I was told that my parents weren't related to each other.

I was confused because I thought if you were part of a family you were related.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 08:36 PM

6. Learning that people's employers paid for their health insurance.

That immediately struck me as crazy. What if you lose your job ? I was hoping grownups had worked that one out.

The big one, though, was religion. We had sat through a sermon in which the preacher had described people in a foreign country who believed in a different god (clearly, they were wrong to do so!). Horrified, I asked my mom how they could do such a thing. She made some remark like "I guess they were taught that way by their parents" rather than something like {reverb_effect}"Satan had hidden The Truth from them"{/reverb_effect}. I immediately realized that we believed our religion because we were taught that way by our parents, and they believed it because ... etc. etc. It was an epiphanic moment for me, and I could never take religion seriously after that.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 08:40 PM

7. I remember when a Howard Johnson's restaurant folded...

...and how shocked I felt. I thought that somehow it was against the law for a major retail store, especially a restaurant, to go out of business...

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 08:48 PM

8. I found a cache of hidden firearms in our attic

I was with my friend, we found a canvas tarp that hadn't been there before. Of course we unrolled it. Inside were dozen of guns; revolvers, semi- automatics, rifles, shotguns, and a couple military style weapons. We called them machine guns...not sure what. I knew by then, she 11 or 12, not to ask questions.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 08:54 PM

9. Saw JFK the day before he died

I was 6 and in first grade. My mom took me to see the motorcade in Houston. He was the first person I "knew" who died.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 09:23 PM

11. Not stunned me

But I remember as a young person, thinking that there is one soulmate for every person and then I wondered if they were on my block or not, and just how big is the world.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 10:38 PM

12. A blind man drives this car

Took me forever to understand ... he wasnít blind ... he sold blinds (for windows)

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Response to UpInArms (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 02:02 PM

15. "I see" said the blind man

... who picked up his hammer and saw.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 10:47 PM

13. A couple things to feed my fears to this day

I learned that escalators could grab shoes - and not stop until somebody else hit the emergency button. One in Monkey Ward grabbed my sister's boot, but she was able to slip her foot out and she didn't get hurt.

Also that elevators could drop to the bottom of the shaft (now there are safety features that prevent that).

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 10:56 PM

14. Learning that some people frown on keeping alcohol in their homes.

Not sure how old I was, under 10, though. My parents were social drinkers, as were our neighbors, so I was confused when I spent the night with a girlfriend from school and she mentioned her parents didn't allow alcohol in the house. They were observant Nazarenes. It was when I first realized we didn't all have the same lifestyles. She, on the other hand, was rather scandalized when she was over my house and saw my parents drinking in front of us and smoking cigarettes.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 02:34 PM

16. Pubic hair and the Rocky Mountains. n/t

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 02:46 PM

17. Found some pornography in my grandmother's attic. A deck of cards

with men and women doing sex things. The one that stunned me was of a pregnant woman performing oral sex on a man. For about a minute I thought that was how one got pregnant.

Then being a farm kid, I said, "No, it has to be the same as with hogs and cows."

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 03:33 PM

18. When I was a kid I thought I could know everything.

I was an early reader. I don't really remember not knowing how to read.

By the time I was seven I'd read the entire Childcraft encyclopedia, and was working on the Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia my parents had acquired as a grocery store promotion. When I was twelve I figured I was getting pretty close to knowing everything, I especially remember the moment I finally understood telephone networks.

Then in middle school everything started turning to shit. By the time I was sixteen I was a psychotic mess who quit high school. It was nearly a decade before I achieved any sort of stability in my head. I was "asked" to take time outs from college twice, under threat of permanent expulsion. People frequently assumed I was high on illegal drugs even though I was scared to death of them, or that I was drunk. Nope, I was crazy without any chemical assistance. Something in my developing brain had gone sideways in adolescence.

As a kid, the bizarre behavior of adults frequently stunned me. I had three grandparents who were dysfunctional outside of their careers. Their personal lives were always a mess. The remaining grandparent had a severe anxiety disorder. I regularly encountered adults whose behavior I regarded as utterly illogical.

At 12 years old I was a little Spock.

Surviving my own storms of adolescence and young adulthood I became more forgiving of adult irrationality.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 03:45 PM

19. I was taught that all non-catholics would burn in the flames of hell for eternity

I was a 3rd grader and was all upset that my friends who were protestants were going to hell. That was a real head trip at that age.

She was a nun from the Daughters of Charity. The next year they transferred out and were replaced with Sisters of St Joseph. They revised that burn in hell teaching to say that if the protestant really believed their religion, and did no harm to others, they would only go to purgatory (hell-lite), and not be subject to the pain of burning for eternity.

As dumb as that sounds, that was a big relief to me as a little kid that my friends were not doomed from the start for just being a non-catholic.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 03:56 PM

20. That oaths and pledges have no effect on people's behavior.

People are perfectly happy to recite in unison without any thought to what they're saying.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 04:03 PM

21. I was about 15 years old,

and made most of my spending income babysitting. My stepfather told me that the mortgage was 400 dollars a month. I could never imagine how I could ever afford a home.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 07:13 PM

22. The first time I had an orgasm

As a boy I got frequently aroused and erect, but didn't understand the part about ejaculationuntil it actually happened.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 11:29 PM

23. Seeing the world after getting my first pair of glasses at age 10

I honestly did not know that you should be able to see individual blades of grass when you were standing up, looking down at the lawn. I'd seen the individual blades while playing and rolling around in the grass, but they blurred into a green carpet when I stood up. Same thing with leaves on a tree. While up in the tree I could see the leaves, but looking up from the ground they were all blurred into one shape.

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