Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Simpler Time

I have been thinking quite a bit of what it was like when I was younger and didn't have to worry about adult responsibilities. When the biggest decision was whether to play Chinese jump-rope or hopscotch. Should we make chalk drawings or go on a walk to the "Grove", our local shopping locale.  What memories. Special, care- free days. Sundays spent with family not surfing unless you lived in California. Nothing was open on those Sunday afternoons; just Sunday School and dinner at 3 and then Lassie and Wonderful World of Disney. Safe sex was when you didn't get caught by your parents. Nobody came out of the closet unless they were searching for a lost shoe. No MasterCard or Visa, but my mom had a charge-a-plate. Discover was reserved for the Scouts and 4H clubs.

I miss those days. I see my grand-kids on crazy, dizzying schedules. How do we tell them to slow down, watch that sunrise/sunset. Yes, stop and smell the flowers and look for ladybugs. Spend a pleasant afternoon lying on your back and imagine the shapes the clouds are making and collect the lightening bugs on a summer night. What happened to Red Rover, Kick the Can, Freeze or Flashlight Tag  and Red Light/ Green Light? These are not replaced by Wii or Xbox. I have come to enjoy hearing the basketballs pounding the pavement and even the occasional wiffle hitting the siding.

I hope I never really grow up inside, my inner child. I want to remember all the great theme songs to those TV shows we knew by heart: Gilligan's Island, the Partridge Family, The Monkees. Black and white and only 4 channels to choose from. No remote control, that is what we kids were there for, to turn the huge knob and try to fine tune with the larger plastic wheel behind it. Remember the small dot left behind when it turned off? And how many out there stayed to watch how long it took to disappear? 

I will take my magic mirror now and look for my friends out there...I see Kathy and Nancy and Sandy and Karen and Marge and Chris and Cindy. And so many more who shared these great moments with me. Cherish these memories and pass them along to your kids and grand-kids when they come along. See you out on the lawn on our backs looking at the clouds. I think I see a camel, no its an elephant, nope, a dragon. Well, you get the idea!

A very good friend of mine sent me the following email:
Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan, or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,

For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.

We learned to gut a muffler, we washed our hair at dawn,
We spread our crinolines to dry in circles on the lawn..

We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince,
And Eddie Fisher married Liz , and no one's seen him since.

We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee'
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.

Only girls wore earrings then, and 3 was one too many,
And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.

And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see
A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice..

We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me.

Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.

We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn't talk yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.

For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson , and Zeppelins were not Led.

And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees,
Madonna was Mary in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they were not grown in jars.

And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant fancy-free,
And dorms were never co-ed in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.

And hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me.

Buicks came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.

And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee,
And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me.

We had no Crest with fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,
We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for those dysfunctions in the Land That Made Me, Me.

There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill..

And middle-aged was 35 and old was fifty-three,
And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me.

But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A.
They send us invitations to join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.

So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines..
And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.

If you didn't grow up in the fifties,
you missed the greatest time in history. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! When I started to read this post, I thought about lying on my back in the grass and looking up at the clouds and trying to find fun shapes, then a second later I read that you did that too! I love it! I'm with you, that kids these days are way too technology driven. I feel blessed that our grandchildren have very limited time with TV and computers. They love the outdoors. But the days of riding off on your bike for the entire day only to be home before the street lights came on, is a bygone era. It's a scary world these days and I would never let them out of my sight for a minute. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Have a great day!