Writer’s Workshop: 6 Things We Forgot How To Do

8 things you think people forgot how to do.

As our society continues to progress, it’s clear we’re losing touch with some of the wonderful things that made us special back in the old days. Here are 6 things we forgot how to do…even though the prompt asks for 8…maybe I should add “follow directions” to my list:

1. Read A Map
A map? Do I look like an early pioneer? Dora the Explorer? Remember back in the day when you would pull the old Thomas Guide from the trunk of your car, find your location and destination and actually write out directions for yourself? Me either, because my Mom always did it for me. Turns out I’ve never actually been able to read a map. Technology got GPS systems oh. so. right.

2. Talk On The Phone
The computer has made it too easy to communicate without ever opening your mouth. I actually really like talking on the phone…if I like you. If I have news to share you can bet I’m going down my list of people to call to share it with and if I don’t call you and we’re friends, it’s because you’ve expressed your hatred for phone talking to me and I’m afraid of you now. Hating the phone because you don’t have time to chat is different than hating the phone because talking to people gives you hives. Remember when we used to talk on the phone until 1am with the blankets pulled over our heads so that our moms wouldn’t open the door and see us still awake on the phone?

3. Bake From Scratch
My Mom says she baked cookies for us every week until we began sticking our noses up at them for the almighty Oreo. Why would she continue baking if store bought cookies made us so happy? What a time saver! Not to mention she headed back to work and didn’t exactly have time to whip up cookies all the time. And the trend continued. Nowadays they come in a bag, they come as a mix in a box, or as dough from a tube…but rarely will you find any of us measuring out flour and baking from scratch. I’m trying to get better at this!

4. Ask Your Neighbor
I don’t know my neighbors. I haven’t wanted to really, but when I was growing up I knew every neighbor on the block. We played in their yards, we knocked on their doors, we picked apples from their trees, and when we were short an egg gosh darnit we went over and asked for one. The neighbors happily hand over the egg, pat you on the head, and we would return their kindness later that day with a fresh plate of peanut butter cookies.

5. Chinese jump rope
Whatever happened to this game? I don’t know who taught us the rules, but we used to play this game everyday at recess when I was in grade school. We were jumping wizards! In and out, back and forth, on and off the rope…I couldn’t even tell you where to find a Chinese jump rope today, but someone needs to bring them back!

6. Bathe
Remember when we use to shower? Our mom would fill up the bathtub and have our sisters and brothers bathe in it before it was our turn? And instead of filling the tub with new water we just added a little more warm water to the dirty water left behind by our siblings? Only to find out as adults that our siblings used to also pee in that water? As adults we just stopped bathing altogether because of some kind of weird post traumatic stress situation caused by all the pee and dirt we used to bathe in as children. Why can’t we get back to bathing??

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) Find a photo of yourself taken 10 years ago and display it on your blog along with a current photo. How have you changed since the day that photo was taken?
2.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: dog house.
3.) List 8 things you think people forgot how to do.
4.) A childhood toy you once loved.
5.) Show us what winter looks like in your neck of the woods!


  1. says

    I’ve started baking cookies lately! I’m trying really hard to get away from store-bought cookies and bread and (mostly) succeeding.

    Like you, I don’t really know my neighbors either. It’s kind of sad. I remember those teenage phone calls; with texting, my kids will never have that. Again, kind of sad….

  2. says

    How about wait in line? No one can wait anywhere for more than 5 seconds without pulling out their phones. Stop lights, checkout lines… it’s all phone time. I do it too, I just can’t bear to wait and do (gasp!) nothing!

    • says

      I hate talking on the phone, because I like to see a person’s face when we are talking. But I remember spending hours on the phone when I was younger, and it was fun!

  3. says

    I never heard of Chinese jump rope and never liked baths! Baths never made any sense to me, sitting in your dirty water and not being able to rinse it off, how yucky! I remember pooping in the tub once, those little balls and fishing them out and flushing them down the toilet so no one would know. Oops, the secret is out now! I am definitely a shower person!

  4. says

    Oh my! I had completely forgotten that Chinese jump rope was ever in my life. What DID happen to that, anyway?

  5. says

    If I had a nice bathtub, maybe I would take baths again! I used to take a bath with my sister…my parents were all about conserving water!

  6. says

    I loved this list!! Haha! I almost did this prompt but I got stuck on number 1 so…kudos to you for coming up with 6! And thank the good Lord above and the geniuses at Apple for giving us Siri without whom, I’d never be able to get anywhere! By the way…what the heck is a map??

  7. says

    The Chinese jumprope was the coolest thing ever in 2nd grade. I remember playing that during indoor recess when it was too cold to go outside. I also remember falling and smacking into a desk b/c we were doing “knees-ies” and I was the shortest girl in the class so my friends putting the jumprope up at their knees was like at my waist, I think.

  8. says

    How about ‘tell time on a watch with hands”? I work with middle schoolers and if time isn’t displayed on a phone screen, forget it.

  9. says

    And no one remembers how to write a real letter or thank you card. That one makes me a little sad. I miss actual written correspondence.

  10. says

    These are all spot on. And the talking on the phone and communicating with neighbors . . . I know my neighbors fairly well, but we never see each other. Especially this time of year. I tweet or text rather than face to face across the fence.

  11. says

    I used to love talking on the phone as a kid / teenager but I’ll confess, I really don’t enjoy it anymore. I’m not sure what changed but I’m guessing it’s the four year old next to me asking to “be with me” :O)

  12. says

    I would like to add, forgot how to let kids have some freedom! That is something that is still bugging me because it is in stark contrast to my own childhood.

  13. says

    lol I learned from my dad how to read a map. Usually if I go someplace once I can get back again on my own the next time. I taught my oldest about reading maps when she learned how to drive. Needless to say, she’s driven the wrong way down one-way Minneapolis roads more than once. Oy I enjoy talking on the phone with friends who are far away as well as my daughter who’s in college! I love to bake from scratch and need to do it waaaay more often! I knew my neighbors in our old neighborhood, but now we’re on a really busy street and I never see the people next door to us. We’re in a really strange area. I haven’t done Chinese jump rope since I was little, but it was one of my fave things to do. I still love soaking in the tub, but don’t actually “bathe” in it. I do like my showers!

  14. says

    I’m guilty of not wanting to talk on the phone. I’ll do it, but I’m much better at communicating in writing. At least that’s what I tell myself. And I’d like to add proper protocol for entering and exiting elevators to the list. The people waiting to get on need to let the people off first, not shove their way in. Maybe that’s my own pet peeve.

  15. says

    I never learned to cook so I never really forgot. My mom taught me that mashed potatoes came out of a box. Luckily, I discovered they can also come frozen. :P

  16. says

    Talking on the phone isn’t my most favorite pastime, but I don’t hate it either. I don’t know what happened to people since the era of email and texting. Were they living in torture all those years of communicating by talking?

  17. says

    Map skills are a lost art – and it’s sad, really.

    I remember talking on the phone for hours when I was in middle school and high school. Actually, the BFF and I can still do it. But we often find ourselves staying off the phone for just that reason or lots of things wouldn’t get done. But would that be such a bad thing?

    Chinese jump rope! Now that’s a real blast from the past! I can’t even think where you would buy one today – I’ve never seen one in a toy store and that’s about the only place I can guess would carry such a thing.

  18. says

    I JUST wrote a post about how people have forgotten, or were never taught, how to have a proper phone conversation. It drives me nuts when someone calls me and doesn’t know how to move the conversation forward.

    Also, I don’t know my neighbors either. Mostly because I don’t want to talk to them. Or remember their names.

  19. says

    Love this post! I do the from scratch and the bath thing still. And we know our neighbors and one neighbor I could totally hit up for a cup of sugar for the baking from scratch lol. But that is unusual….not many people I know talk to their neighbors aside from a polite hi.

    I don’t talk enough on the phone….and I totally agree with the map thing. I loathe the GPS. I think I will stay away from Chinese jump rope….I would break something but I agree…..bring it back!!!!