1. Your parents didn’t understand why you would possibly need more than four channels.
2. Which left you clueless when your friends would talk about their favorite Nickelodeon shows.
3. And even though you never watched them, you still owned every piece of merchandise.
4. You were acutely aware of the existence of a Cable Caste System.
You were better than the kids with no TV at all, but a step down from the kids with cable. And the kids with satellite dish? They were kings and queens.
5. You woke up at ungodly hours to watch Sailor Moon in syndication.
So obviously you could never wake up in time for school.
6. You also became a Jerry Springer aficionado since there was nothing else to watch.
7. And you savored anything you could find, even though the grown-up jokes went completely over your head.
9. So your entire childhood depended on two very meticulously and creatively positioned metal rods.
10. Plan B was asking your cable buddies to “hang out” after school.
But we all knew what your real motives were.
11. And when your family went on vacation and you discovered cable in your hotel room, that’s when the real vacation started.
Disney World can wait, the Grand Canyon can wait, and Mall of America can definitely wait.
12. When you discovered you could check out movies from the library, it felt like Christmas.
13. You were frustrated when your friends were too entranced by TV to chat.
14. But when you found someone who knew your struggle, it was a special type of bond.
15. You had a creative edge over your classmates.
16. Because you turned to books for entertainment.
Luckily, lots of the shows you missed were books first.
17. TV Guide was completely irrelevant.
Except for its masterful cover art, as displayed above.
18. You were forced to be a kid and play outside and engage with the real world and stuff.
But you’re grateful because you know you had a real childhood.
19. But when Saturday mornings came around, you and television were not to be disturbed from 8 a.m. to noon.
20. You never understood the pure joy of mindlessly surfing through channels.
21. You did learn a lot about the law with Judge Judy, though.
22. And you learned all your science stuff from Bill Nye the Science Guy.
23. And Bob Ross taught you to believe in yourself.
24. Luckily, PBS Kids had Arthur, The Magic School Bus, and Reading Rainbow, which united everyone.
(Except the kids without TVs.)