November 13, 2008

My Weekly Writing Assignment

Time for my homework!

This week's prompts:

1.) Write a haiku about what you see out the window. (if you don't know what a haiku is click here.)

2.) Begin with "I thought I saw..."

3.) If I could live in any era of history, what would it be -- list 10 reasons why.

4.) Write a light hearted piece on how to get along with an enemy.

5.) The first time you...



I'd give my left pinky toe to have been born circa 1940, slightly pre-baby boom. How amazing it would have been to realize all the optimism of the post-war era versus the stagnancy of the new millenium.

Here are my 10 reasons (wow, I'm kind of a Top Ten whore these days, aren't I?):

10. The Music I know it's not for everybody, but I simply adore the music from the 1950s and 1960s. I also love music from the late '60s up through today, but the music from my mom's heyday (she graduated in the class of '56) is innocent, pure and had a really good beat. That's my seque into #9...

9. The Dancing People actually danced in the '50s. I mean, a boy and girl stood facing each other, assumed the dancers position and danced as a pair, and no groin areas ever really touched, and if they did it wasn't intentional or sexual. Dancing wasn't equivalent to dry-humping. I, to quote Denise, "super puffy heart" dancing and wish I could convince my husband to take dance lessons with me. I want to learn the jitterbug, swing, waltz, two-step, cha-cha, and even line dancing. I dance daily around our place. I don't need music, I just dance. My husband, unfortunately for me, thinks dancing is for girls and refuses. *sigh*

8. The Clothes They were pretty uniform and back then, girls didn't strive to wear as small a size as possible. Curvy was considered attractive. I'll grant you, I'm a bit more than just curvy, but still. Clothes were forgiving and brand names weren't really an issue then. Hell, it was still fashionable to sew your own clothes. And if anyone's interested, I found a really good site for Marilyn Monroe pictures. It's in Russian, but the pictures are awesome.

7. The Cars You can't beat the cars from that era. Cars built up through the early 1980s were built to last, bodies made out of steel, not plastic. The cars were roomy and designed to be aesthetically pleasing, not necessarily compact and efficient. They were showy. People took pride in their cars, washed them every weekend, serviced them regularly. They didn't cover them in bumper stickers, ignore the much-needed oil change, or allow Cheerios to be eternally lost to the backseat.

6. The Furniture Their furniture was...well...interesting. Odd colors, not that comfortable, but it belongs solely to that generation and they own it. I'd love to decorate a room with their furniture, namely my kitchen. It'd be themed a la the Prime Time Cafe at Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. We ate there during my and my mom's 1997 trip to Florida, it was awesome.

5. The Way They Reared Children It was a no-bullshit mentality. Kids did what they were told, there was no room for negotiation, and if you didn't do it, you were punished. I'm sorry if I offend anyone here, but in my opinion there are far too many parents out there who want the kid to make all their own decisions, have their own way, and by the time the kid is 16, they're a spoiled little brat who's never been told no and who will whine, cry, and lay down on the floor kicking and screaming until someone bends to their will. It annoys the everlovin' hell out of me! Kids NEED discipline and structure! They want boundaries! They need parents who say, "NO!" Bah.

4. A Handshake Really Meant Something My mom has a waterbed (purchased circa 1983, yeah, it's that old) with the drawers underneath it. In them, she stores old things: pictures, my drawings and stories from the first grade, my baby blankets, and most importantly, my grandmother's jewelry box. I sifted through it once. Mostly costume jewelry. But among all the big necklaces and clip-on earrings, I found my grandfather's credit card for Montgomery Ward.

Credit wasn't always so complicated. "Credit" meant you could go to a store, get what you needed and they'd keep track of what you owed them. If you didn't pay, it didn't turn into a dozen phone calls a day, credit scores tanking, and thousands of dollars in debt. If you didn't pay, your creditor (Montgomery Ward, Sears, the car dealership, etc.) showed up and took back what you couldn't pay for. Your word and your handshake were all that mattered. It's just not that simple anymore.

3. The Novelty of Technology Television. Your own private phone number at home instead of party lines. Electric kitchen appliances. We take it all for granted now but I'd have loved to see it all when it was shiny and new, making life easier for us. We get some of that feeling now, but it's more improvements on current technology than something actually new. We're a lackluster generation: nothing surprises us and we're always wanting the next best thing.

2. No Convenience Foods People were expected to prepare every meal from scratch. There weren't any individually wrapped granola bars, snack-sized bags of chips, big-as-a-Buick Costco-sized containers of pretzels. There were candy shops and TV dinners, but much like the cars I mentioned above, meal preparation was something women took pride in. Of course, they also used a TON of butter and even lard (EW.)

1. The Optimism Everyone was so damn happy! Happy to be alive, happy to have won the war, happy to get married and raise their families. People had dinner parties, they dressed nicely every day, they were proud of what they had and aspired to do more. The American Dream was alive and well in our little chunk of earth and I feel like it's all gotten lost amid politics, the rising cost of living, and a lack of hope. People are too willing to sit on their backsides and wait for life to happen to them - or the government to provide them a better life, but that's a story for another blog - and in the meantime, they're wasting precious time. You only get one ride around this sphere, make the most of it!

This is at a rest stop on our journey out west. We planned this adventure in a matter of about two months.

Rob and a brand-new Bubba

Beth and Me, summer of 2007


Minxy Mimi said...

You make it sound so cool!
I agree with the dancing for sure... I love dancing! Check mine out... I mentioned the waltz! LOL

Princesspeaches said...

I always liked this era too! However, how could you give up the neon colors, spandex, cans of hairspray, and the smurfs of our '80's childhood?

Mama Kat said...

The cars would be fun!! I'd buy a bunch and wait for the future when I could re sell them for trillions of dollars.

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