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jonsblond's avatar

What luxuries were you allowed to have in your bedroom when you were a teenager?

Asked by jonsblond (37849 points ) September 30th, 2012

Please tell me what decade you were when you were a teenager.

I was lucky to have a waterbed and tv in my bedroom when I turned 16 in the mid to late 80s. Before that it was plenty of stuffed animals, but that was about it.

Luxuries, not necessities. thankyouverymuch.

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58 Answers

Symbeline's avatar

Living with my dad, I had a TV in my room, and eventually a TurboGrafx 16. (video game console) The TV was black and white, so eventually we moved the game system in the living room so I could play games in color. It wasn’t so much as what I was allowed to have, rather than what my dad was able to afford for me when it came to entertainment lol. This was in the early nineties, when I was 11/12. Later in my life I had a color TV in my room with a Super Nintendo and PlayStation.
I lived in group homes too, which was a different story. No way you’d have a TV in your room then haha.

harple's avatar

No tv, though obviously a radio. I was allowed an extension of the landline phone in my room though when I turned 16. I wasn’t allowed to use it without permission (it was just an extension of the household landline, not my own private line) but when I was allowed to use the phone, I had the privacy of my own room to do it in. I was a teenager in the nineties.

jonsblond's avatar

@harple A phone in your room. You were so lucky. :)

harple's avatar

@jonsblond and yet so many youngsters these days have their own cell-phones… it’s a different world!

augustlan's avatar

It’s weird… my mother and I were quite poor, but my step-dad (who was only married to her from the time I was 4 until I was 8, and who I still call dad) wasn’t so bad off. He basically spoiled me for my birthday and Christmas, both while they were married and after. I got my own TV when I was about 7. My own phone (not my own phone line) when I was about 11. It was the coolest phone ever, too. One of those ‘circle phones’, bright yellow. I got my mom’s hand-me-down stereo, complete with a record player and eight track tape player (which was already waaay out of date by then). When I was about 15, I bought myself a king size mattress set with my own money. I then convinced my mother to let me have the master bedroom, because I had so much furniture and stuff, and she had far less. My room had all of that along with my big long dresser, my old twin sized bed (now used as a couch/daybed), a full length mirror, 2 closets (one a walk-in) and a beautiful antique chair.

So, all the while we’re having our electricity turned off for not paying the bill, and I’m wearing hand-me-down clothes, getting my shoes & gloves from the lost and found at school… my bedroom was a fucking oasis.

Oh, I forgot to say this was all late 70s to mid 80s.

Nullo's avatar

I was a teenager through most of the Aughts. I got a stereo one year for Christmas. I had received a Sega Genesis Nomad when I was about 10 (I still have it), I guess that might also count.
Aside from my books (my many, many books) the rest of the room held things like closets and dressers -not terribly exciting.

Lightlyseared's avatar

An Amiga and a modem. I’m not sure my parents knew the power they had given me.

YARNLADY's avatar

books, a flashlight and a portable radio – late 1950’s. I shared a room with my sister most of my life at home, and there wasn’t room for much.

augustlan's avatar

Oh, I think I had one of the early Nintendo game systems, too. Also, I just spent way too much time looking for an image of the yellow phone I had. God I loved that thing.

flutherother's avatar

A desk, an electric heater, a red transistor radio and some books. This was in the 1960’s.

rooeytoo's avatar

I was in high school in the early 60’s. I had a crystal radio hooked up to my bed springs. But I lived in a small town with only 1 radio station that went off the air at midnight. That was it for me. When I went away to college, one of my room mates had a stereo, that was fantastic! No television, phone etc. in my room until I had my own place and bought my own. My brother’s children were in their teens in the late 70’s, they had stereos in their rooms but no television or phone. My great niece just turned 16. She has a laptop, iPhone and stereo in her room. I don’t know about a television. It’s a different world and people keep telling me how much better, safer, etc. it is, but I still wonder??????

JLeslie's avatar

I had a TV. I think I got it when I was around 10 maybe? I’m not sure. My sister would watch TV with me in my room and sleep there too. It was black and white. We had purchased a color one for the living room, and the black and white was put in my room.

But, as a teen, probably around age 15, the really big luxury was I was given a phone in my room! I still find it shocking my parents did that.

I guess also what might count was I was allowed to pick out a new bedroom set when I was around the age of 14. I had a queen platform bed (which was too big for my room really) modern furniture, and changed the color scheme of my room to white with just slightly darker hue than pastel throw pillows in purple, blue and pink. I really liked my white comforter and furniture, I kept that basic theme until I got married. Interesting, I have not really thought about that before. I wouldn’t want the white furniture again I don’t think, but I really liked white sheets and white comforter.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Teenage years: Late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Books and posters were about it. I don’t recall even having a clock. When an older sister went off to college and her best friend left her record collection with us, I brought the plastic portable record player up to the bedroom. Hours were then spent listening to them. I found marijuana seeds in the crease of one of the album covers.

chyna's avatar

I had a TV and a stereo system. I think they wanted me to hang out in my bedroom instead of being a sulky teenager around them.~ Teenager in the mid 70’s.

blueiiznh's avatar

@chyna I read that as sultry

Luxuries is a relative term. To some a bed may have been a luxury.

My own music system was always allowed no matter what age. A phone, TV, desk.. This was in the “Me decade”.

The biggest luxury to me was a bedroom window location that allowed me to sneak in and out of the house.

cookieman's avatar

Like you, I was a teen in the 80s.

There were no luxuries in my bedroom. bed, dresser, desk, shelves… That’s it.

laurenkem's avatar

No TV, but I did have a stereo. I was also allowed to have my own phone, provided I paid the bill out of my income which was earned at the local FotoMat kiosk in the middle of the mall’s parking lot! (Remember those?)

Oh, and like @blueiiznh I was lucky enough to have the perfect “sneaking in and out” window!

blueiiznh's avatar

@laurenkem FotoMat. OMG I nearly forgot about those. I always feared that some blue hair would run into them.

filmfann's avatar

I had a my extension on the house phone (I installed it myself). I bought a stereo and a turntable when I was 16. When I was 18 I got an old black and white TV.
This was all early 70’s.

janbb's avatar

A bed. This was in the 60s.

glacial's avatar

Probably the only “luxury” was a radio that also played CDs. But the best thing about my room was that it had a closing door. I couldn’t stand my parents when I was a teenager. It was such a relief to have private space.

Kayak8's avatar

Bed with TWO pillows, a portable record player when I was 10 and 2 albums to play on it, a desk, books, and flashlight. At one time I did have a transistor radio (in the same yellow as @augustlan‘s treasured phone). I also had a guitar from age 11 on and it got all my attention (except for the books). This was the 60s and early 70s.

gailcalled's avatar

1950’s. I didn’t even get to choose the wall art or bed coverings.

Twin beds (one for friend on a sleep-over), AC, desk, chair, bureau, bookcases, portable record player that turned into a large suitcase for schlepping, lots of vinyl records, radio, flashlight, alarm clock and a door that shut (thereby keeping my mother at bay most of the time).

Until well after I left for college in 1954, we had a black bakelite dial phone in the downstairs front hall. That was it. I was in a continuous fight with my parents over my marathon phone calls. My father used to be furious when he tried to call my mother from his work and the line was busy for a long time.

Big excitement when the family got an extension phone for my parents’ bedroom. When my much-younger sister turned 16 in 1962, she got her own line.

We had a black and white console TV (very large console and very small screen) in the LR for special occasions. We usually watched programs on Sunday night as a family.

JLeslie's avatar

I forgot to say I was a teen in the ‘80’s.

Mariah's avatar

Teen in the naughts, I was allowed a laptop in my room after I bought it with my own money. I am very thankful my parents allowed this (I know many wouldn’t). Wanting privacy on the internet doesn’t always mean you’re up to no good. For example, I keep Fluther secret from people who know me IRL, mainly because I wouldn’t be comfortable being so open on here about so many things if I knew they would be reading it. As a teen I wrote stories and things on my computer and shared them online, but never would have wanted them seen by people I know (they weren’t inappropriate or anything, I was just too self-conscious). In that way, privacy really helped foster creativity.

muppetish's avatar

I was a teenagers in the 2000s and shared (with my siblings), a television, VCR (didn’t inherit a DVD player until later), a variety of video game consoles (Wii, XBox, Playstation, N64, Super Nintendo, and NES) as well as a handheld consoles (DS, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Colour, and a thrifted Game Boy), a PC, an MP3 player (later an iPod shuffle my dad won), and more books than I was able to read (though I had to share a book shelf).. I think that about covers it.

Now, I never asked for any of these things. They were Christmas presents my parents scraped money together in order to afford. I felt both guilty and lucky.

gailcalled's avatar

@muppetish: As a child of (and a parent of) the pre-internet age, I find your list overwhelming (except for the books).

Was there too much stuff or did you and your sibs use everything?

DominicX's avatar

I was a teenager in the 2000s. I got a TV in my room with a VCR when I was 11. I got my first laptop (no internet access) when I was 11 as well. I didn’t get a laptop with internet until I was 13, and for my middle school “graduation present”, I received a stereo system and a new DVD player to accompany the TV. I never had a video game console, but I did have a Yamaha electric keyboard.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Growing up I had a tv and video games and a stereo. I think when I was 12–13ish I saved up enough money and built my own computer so that was in my room. And then whenever I got punished I would lose everything lol.

I was a 90’s kid btw

ucme's avatar

I was an eighties teen & I had lots & lots of wank mags, a snooker table, a tv & a whole thing of tissues in my bedroom.

hearkat's avatar

I turned 13 in 1979, and I think it was that Christmas that I was given my own phone and phone line. I had a combo record-player AM/FM Hi-Fi system that was a hand-me-down. I was on the phone listening to WNEW 102.7 FM out of New York City the following December when John Lennon was shot. Around 1983, I got a boom box with a cassette player that I had for about a decade.

I didn’t have a TV in my room. In fact, my mom splurged for our first color TV for the family in 1980 or ‘81 when cable TV first came to our suburbs. When I went away to college at age 18, I got a little B&W TV with a single telescoping antenna.

Another luxury item was having my own roller skates and membership to the local rink.

My older brothers bought the first Atari and the first Macintosh computer when they came out, so I had access to technology, but it wasn’t mine.

•••• I became a mom in 1991, days before my 25th birthday…

My son got his first cell phone at 12, because I hated not being able to reach him when he went to his friends’ houses because someone was using the computer (most people still had dial-up then). He would only have it outside of school, and at bedtime, it went on the charger that I kept in my bedroom.

I refused to let him have a TV in his room until he was 13, and even then I would not buy it for him. So he spent his birthday money on that. I ran the cable TV from a splitter in my room, and would disconnect it at bedtime or when he was in trouble.

I gave him my old computer when I upgraded when he was 10, but he had no Internet in his room then. My next upgrade was 5 years later, and he was in High School, so I did allow Internet then. I always had Parental Controls on the computers, so he couldn’t access much.

I think we put the Dreamcast in his room when the PS2 came out. Then we put the PS2 in his room when he was around 15 because no one else really used it.

The first iPhone came out shortly after his 16th birthday, so I paid for half of that as his birthday gift, and he paid the other half. I bought him the 3Gs two years later as a combo 18th birthday and HS graduation present. He bought the 4s with his own money.

I needed a new car when he was 15, so I decided that rather than getting a really nice car then is getting him a clunker when he got his license at 17, that I woul buy a decent, affordable, safe car to drive and for him to learn to drive in, then give that to him after he became licensed and once it was paid-off, and then buy myself my own nice car. So in 2008 he got a 2007 Jeep Compass with 45,000 miles on it, and I had some peace of mind knowing that the vehicle he was driving was well-maintained and had good safety features. He got $6000 for it when he traded it in to buy his own car last year – with no co-signer and his own insurance.

Considering that I was a single mom who had gone through bankruptcy, he was pretty spoiled; but he was always involved in the decision making and understood the sacrifices and compromises that were being made. He’s good with his money as a result, and he takes pretty good care of his stuff.

gailcalled's avatar

@hearkaL That is a heartwarming story. Hat’s off to you as a parent.

hearkat's avatar

@laurenkem: I worked in FotoMat, too, while attending community college. It was a great job for that, because I listened to music and studied most of the time, and once in a while a car would pull up. There was no one staring over your shoulder so you’d have to “look busy”.

@gailcalled: Thanks. I went into details because it’s tough being a parent these days, when so many kids are placated with material things to keep them quiet, and your own kid wants to have what everyone else has. But that’s the difference between owning things and being spoiled – the whiny sense of entitlement. Setting limits, including them in decisions, and making them responsible for their own things allows the kids to learn from the experience. My son was given a GameBoy color as gift from a family friend when he was younger, and out of frustration with a game, he threw it and it broke. No one bought him a replacement, as much as he fussed and called me mean. It helped that we lived in a working-class neighborhood, so he was able to go out and rake leaves, wash cars, shovel snow, etc. to earn spending money. Similarly, I would babysit as a teen to make money. We appreciate money and the things it buys even more when we work for it ourselves.

Dutchess_III's avatar

A bed and a stereo system.

muppetish's avatar

@gailcalled My dad was really into technology, so he bought the first-generation gaming consoles for himself as well as our first PC and big screen television set (which was in the living room.) So it never felt overwhelming for us to have so many sensory items to choose from. I mostly listened to music when we were in transit (long car rides, flights, etc.), my siblings and I alternated the consoles, the television was constantly on because my younger brother is a addicted (not fond of that aspect), and the books and Internet were my regular territories.

We were pretty much a household that was always connected to something and used it as a way to access a variety of arts. It may sound like too much, but everything was used at least.

Shippy's avatar

I was about 16 in the late 70’s and really loved my bedroom. I could choose the paint colors which were beige and brown, I had a Hi-Fi, yes turntable and all, a cool duvet and my artworks all over. I loved it. Thanks for a reminder of a very happy cool time.

Jeruba's avatar

Having my own bedroom was a luxury. I got to pick the wallpaper, curtains, and bedspread, and that made me feel like a princess.

No phone, no record player. There was one TV in the house, and it was well away from the first-floor living area. I had my own radio. This was the sixties. No electronic devices of any kind.

Having a desk and chair and bookcase in my room was worth more to me than a phone. Besides, the phone in the hall had a very long cord.

FutureMemory's avatar

I was a teenager still living at home from ‘86 to ‘90.

I had the master bedroom (we moved into that house when I was 13, no clue why my mom let me have the best bedroom, other than I asked for it and she couldn’t bare to say no to me).

In my room I had a $1000 stereo, a TV set with basic cable, a VCR, and a desk. This was the mid to late 80’s, before every single person aged 12 and over owned a PC.

I had a mini-fridge in my room for cold drinks, also.

I had my room hooked up pretty well, I guess. :D

AshLeigh's avatar

Still a teenager.
I have my laptop, and that is all. Never really wanted anything else.

Bellatrix's avatar

1970s. I had a ‘record player’ and a transistor radio.

Nullo's avatar

@Bellatrix You wacky Aussies and your pretend data storage! You must mean CDs.~

Kardamom's avatar

Mid to late 70’s. I had a black and white TV. And when I turned 13 I got a coveted victorian style telephone kind of like This (not my own line, but then nobody I knew had their own line). They let me paint the walls pink and when I was about 15 they let me hang posters of The Bay City Rollers on my walls.

Bellatrix's avatar

I wish I meant CDs @Nullo. Sadly no, my luxury items were round things made of vinyl that you needed a turntable and a stylus to listen to… I still have them but unfortunately no turntable to listen to them on.

By the way I am a Brit who has absconded to Australia.

woodcutter's avatar

The ‘70’s. I had a Radio Shack stereo,a CB radio, and a washer and drier right in the room. Doing laundry was effortless.

jonsblond's avatar

I’ve really enjoyed reading all of your answers. Thank you! Some of you reminded me about the record player I had in my bedroom when I was 13. My favorite album at the time was the Grease soundtrack. I used my hairbrush as an imaginary microphone and sang along to all the songs. I wonder if I drove my mom nuts by playing the same songs over and over again? I’m sure I did. teehee

wundayatta's avatar

TV? Are you kidding? No TV. But then we didn’t have a TV in the house. No record player. This was the early 70s. Not even a radio.

What did I have? I had an alarm clock. And books.

momster's avatar

I was a teen in the late 80’s, early 90’s. I had my own room decorated to my own tastes with two closets and a big bay window. I did have a small black and white TV but it only got 4 channels because we lived in a rural area without cable and for a while we didn’t have a satellite. When we did get a dish my parents only connected it to the TV in the living room and the TV in their bedroom.

I had a nice stereo system that played records and cassette tapes. When CD’s became more popular, I had a boom box type stereo. I wasn’t interested in video games and didn’t have my own computer until I went to college so I had none of those in my room but didn’t care.

I had my own phone but not my own phone line.

My younger brother had it better than me. By the time he was a teen he’d moved his bedroom to the finished walk out basement. He could sneak in and out easily, had a huge TV hooked up to whatever the latest game console was, a big stereo, and even a couple of his own guns. Plus there was a full bathroom in the basement so he didn’t have to share. Of course, that meant I had the upstairs bathroom all to myself so I guess I can give myself that perk too.

My kids don’t have their own TVs, video games, computers in their rooms. They have CD players and the cheapest versions of iPods. The oldest has a cell phone but she’s embarassed to use it in front of people because it’s my old flip phone. She’ll probably be upgrade to a smart phone for her 14th birthday, only several years behind most of the kids she knows poor thing.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I was a teen in the late 60’s, early 70’s. Neither I nor any of my friends had a phone in our room, or a TV. In fact, it was normal for there to be one phone in the whole house, and one TV that everyone had to share.

Being the youngest, when my two older sisters moved out, I got the whole room to myself, and all the closet space. I brought in an antique rocking chair, a bookshelf and an antique round-top wooden radio that was really cool, all from my grandmother’s basement. My dad put in an aquarium, so I was really stylin’.

downtide's avatar

My parents were (and still are) poor, so there were no luxuries anywhere in the house, let alone in my bedroom. They did get me a second hand stereo system when I was 14 (in 1981), which was old but I thought it was awesome.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I kind of miss hearing the ONE phone ring and the dialogue
that can follow: “Can someone get the phone? I’m in the bathroom!”
“Mark! It’s for you! It’s Lisa! Should I tell her you’re not here??”
O..and being locked out of the house and hearing the phone ring but you can’t get to it. THAT was torture.

Argonon's avatar

I was a teen in the 2000’s..
I had a fancy gaming computer and a nice record player.
I had plenty of books as well.

flutherother's avatar

We didn’t have phone when I was a kid. Who were we going to call? Nobody had a phone. We had a phone box at the foot of the road.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Dutchess_III Ha-ha! Love it! And I do miss those days.

augustlan's avatar

I remember when we just had one phone, on the wall in the kitchen. I made my mom buy a really long cord for it, so it could reach the bathroom, where I’d have my conversations with some level of privacy. I was ecstatic when I got my own phone and could talk from the comfort of my bed instead of the toilet seat!

Bellatrix's avatar

My step-mother used to put a lock on our rotary dial phone. We only had one in the house. I don’t think any of my friends had a phone in their room. What my step-mother didn’t know was if you clicked the prongs the phone sat on in the cradle, you could still dial out. So if you needed a 0, you pressed the prongs 10 times, 3, press three times. There is now a website that tells you how to do this. My step-mother had NO idea I did this. Teenagers can be very creative and sneaky.

gailcalled's avatar

@augustlan: The cord on the only phone in our house (in the front hall) stretched just far enough for me to squash myself into an airless and small coat closet.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@augustlan Yes, I remember the cord to the wall being long, as well as the cord from the receiver to the phone base, so there was all kinds of wires to trip on and get tangled up in.

We acturally had two phones in our house – wow! A desk phone in the dining room just off the kitchen, and a wall phone at the foot of the stairs going down to the garage. I liked the wall phone. That way I could sprawl on the stairs and landing while I gabbed.

Ela's avatar

Teenager in the mid to late 80’s.
All my life I shared a bedroom with my sister and never had my own until she moved away my senior year.
When I was young, we lived in a beautiful, huge white house just on the edge of town. There was a kitchen fire so we had to move into a tiny grey house where all six of us children shared a loft bedroom. Then my father left my mom alone with all six of us kids and never paid a dime in child support. He had a pregnant girlfriend and an entirely new family to support. We lived in that tiny house for about a year then moved into a larger, older, very run down one. We were definitely below poverty level. You can’t imagine what that house was like or how it was for my family growing up in it. Clean clothes, socks to wear to bed, an extra blanket, heat during the winter and so many other things a lot of people consider necessities, were luxuries.
I was youngest and I never really saw things as luxuries or necessities at the time. Things were just the way they were, ya know.

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