I am not ashamed of the woman I became as a result of the practices my parents chose to implement while raising me and my brothers.
Hell, they're the reason I haven’t gone off the deep end as a young adult.
However, it is imperative I fully convey the extent of the “social stress” I, as well as other sheltered Millennials, endured in school and in other social settings due to these deprivations.
Looking back, a few things from which we were sheltered seemed appropriate.
For example, I can understand the logic of forbidding me from playing video games with guns because I guess I might grow up and shoot someone. (You still didn’t have to confiscate all the gun-toting Nintendo 64 games, Mum and Dad).
But, if you ask me, some of these restrictions were just a smidge over-the-top. Not that I’m bitter or anything, but my life could have been a little different socially:
1. Lucky Charms, Cap’n Crunch and Pop-Tarts
I was fortunate enough to have my mum cook my breakfast every morning before school.
Yes, we had the fluffy pancakes, the highlighter yellow scrambled eggs and crispy turkey bacon. But, there was just one thing missing: The processed, sugary goodness of Lucky Charms, Cap’n Crunch and Pop-Tarts.
Apparently, my parents didn’t want me strung out on high fructose corn syrup, so I was very much turned down in class while my sugar-indulging classmates were always turned up. This is also probably why I’m a grandma on the weekends.
In the '90s, the Rabbit Ears Era was still very prevalent. Cable wasn’t a rarity, but it was certainly a treat to have friends who did have cable because I didn't. "Rugrats?" "Ed, Edd n Eddy?" "Rocket Power?"
Yeah, I’d heard of them, but the only time I was able to bask in their glory was if I just happened to be spending the night at a friend’s house. So, I definitely had nothing cool to talk about with my friends.
3. Secular Music
Britney Spears, The Spice Girls, TLC and 'N SYNC were all music that practically every child born in the 90s had on rotation in their parents’ cars on the way to school. Every child except us sheltered Millennials, that is.
I might have been 15 years old before I heard “No Scrubs” for the first time.
Those lyrics could have been of great service to me when my first (secret) high school boyfriend was trying to court me.
4. Secular Movies
I remember the day I revealed to my newly-formed group of college friends that not only had I never seen the movie, "Friday," but that I had also never heard of it.
The frigid stares of disbelief etched on their faces could have out frozen Ice Cube. I couldn’t help that my movie going experiences were heavily monitored, so I never developed a “well-rounded” cinema palate.
I knew all the speaking parts of "The Aristocats," though.
5. Harry Potter Books
Books overflowed a plenty in the childhood homes of sheltered Millennials, save for one: "Harry Potter."
To this day, I still don’t know who Dumbledore is or what was the purpose of the Dementors.
Just imagine the looks of pity and utter confusion when I explained to my classmates I had never read "Harry Potter" because my parents didn’t want me getting ahold of some body-morphing spells to turn my brothers into my mice slaves.
6. Fast Food
McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A were big parts of my childhood. Not because I ate it often, but because I passed the establishments wishing my mom would get me some McNuggets.
The “Mom, can we get McDonald’s?” plead was always met with “Do you have McDonald’s money?”
Of course I didn’t have the money!
7. Internet Access
By the grace of God, I was able to have a screen name. Of course, this privilege came with strict supervision.
My parents knew the password to my account and knew the people I interacted with. This wasn’t necessarily a bother.
It just involved the periodic computer screen check to make sure I wasn’t trying to purchase and ship a year's worth of Pop-Tarts to our house.
I wasn’t allowed to date. Period. That didn’t stop me from acquiring a secret boyfriend I only saw at school, only talked to at school (aside from the brief phone calls we shared on my prepaid cell phone) and only went on two whole, secret dates with.
Eh, I guess I should thank the parentals for this restriction. I haven’t had to endure much heartbreak yet in my adult life.