Sunday, November 16, 2003


I went to high school in the early seventies. I keep thinking it was maybe the best time in the last forty years to be a teen-ager. It’s not that we didn’t have angst, and certainly not that we didn’t suffer from raging hormones. But we were the tail-end of the "Love" generation. It was COOL to appreciate other people…and decidedly UN-cool to be judgmental or unaccepting of anyone. The drugged-out potheads…they were cool. The over-achieving college bounders…they were cool. It was the days of "Do your own thing" and "Whatever makes your boat float." Society as a whole, and therefore, those of us incarcerated in society’s high schools, were into the mind-expanding exercise of looking at other people, trying to understand "where they were coming from", and letting them go ahead and COME from there.

I was a "conservative" hippie in high school. A walking contradiction in terms. I dressed like a hippie, embraced liberal politics, but didn’t (and still don’t) smoke pot or use any kind of drugs. People didn’t GET me, but they let me be. I was standing at the mirror one day after gym class, applying my face. A girl I hardly knew came up to me and said, "You wear the cutest clothes…" I remember blushing purple, stammering, "Thank you," and being jazzed that someone had complimented my wardrobe. And that was it. How would this episode play out today? What kind of serious acceptance/rejection drama would be going on? That kind of stuff—what you wear, and what other people think about it---seems to have TONS more weight than it ever did when I was young. To say nothing of where you live, who your friends are, what kind of music you listen to, what kind of video games you play...  It's all so much a matter of HAVING to have and do all the right things, or being completely ostracized.  I'm glad things weren't like that for me...I was nuts enough without all that going on!

1 comment:

  1. Well, I didn't start kindergarten until about 1977, so I must have missed out on some of that. But, I do remember the late 70's. I guess each decade has positive things to remember, even this one. :-)