Vintage Blogging, 1970s Style

If you’re going to get an annual update from a family, it usually comes in the form of a Christmas newsletter. Well, in 1974 my liberated mother decided to get her Erma Bombeck on and send out the update in the form of four-page article called “Dear Diary, or How I Spent My 35th Birthday.” If you’ve ever wondered how a blog-post would have read in 1974 (although, that’s something fairly specific to wonder, so likely, no one has), here’s your answer. Apparently, my mom had the makings of a blogger, long before the concept existed. She was, and still is, a woman truly ahead of her time.

And now, without further ado, I give you February 1974 and my mother’s 35th birthday …


My Actual Family, 1974-ish

“Happy birthday,” he said, as I gagged on the overpowering smell of his hairspray.

Where does it say that a wife should have to endure the noxious fumes of a man’s vanity? Where does it say that the husband has first crack at the hairdryer in the morning? I say, beware, girls, of the nice guy who fits in perfectly with your dreams of the ideal man and father for your children! I am convinced that these so-called “nice guys” are the ruination of the truly liberated woman. I’m so liberated that I find myself in a kind of oppressed liberation. With him sitting on the sidelines, full of self-satisfaction, watching my every move and thinking to himself, “You got yourself into this mess, Anita, and you can get yourself out of it.”

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My Mother, My Killer

Whether it’s tNitaUpLakehe way it really happened or simply the way it’s been remembered, I can’t say for sure. But family history has it that my mother was so enamored and protective of me that she didn’t let anyone — including my father and grandparents — hold me for the first six weeks of my life. So it’s not surprising that at an age when other babies were being potty-trained and learning to walk, I was perfecting my ability to manipulate my mom in order to get anything my devious little heart desired. Continue reading →

Senior Girl Scout Bust Strip

Little Oliver Cleone

Little Oliver develops his fear of boneless animals …

I’ve noticed that from time to time bloggers will invite other writers, or non-writers, to present their take on an incident or event. It seems like a clever idea, the readers get a view from angle by which they perhaps hadn’t yet examined the subject at hand, the writer gets to connect with a new and different audience and, probably most important of all, the blog owner gets a mini-vacay. Continue reading →

Harvesting The Sticks

Is there anything worse than being unable to turn on the TV without having to endure some story or sound bite featuring Kim Davis or Donald Trump? Of course there is! There are literally thousands of things that are worse than idiots yammering away on the magic picture box. But, as my fellow entitled American friends can attest, any awareness of situations taking place beyond our immediate vicinity or circumstance is typically minimized or ignored altogether when we’re consumed with the myriad of catastrophic minor annoyances we face on a regular basis. Continue reading →

Adulthood: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

When you’re a kid you can’t wait to be an adult so you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, no matter what anyone else says. Through a child’s eyes, adulthood looks like a magical world of freedoms, the likes of which they can only dream … drinking milk straight from the carton, bringing a jacket when it is cold and not because it might get cold and the end of being dragged to places and events when you’d rather be just about anywhere else.
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And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

I love television. I always have and I suspect I always will. I saw the first episode of Sesame Street, tuned in for MTV‘s first day on the air and generally fell asleep trying to stay up and watch Saturday Night Live during its early seasons. Television has been my companion, my babysitter and my teacher. I can walk into my kitchen and instantly forget what I went in there for, but I can remember theme songs and commercial jingles from better than forty years ago.
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Slumber Parties and Delusions of Grandeur

0056 - homesick picGrowing up, I never went to a slumber party or even spent the night at a friend’s house. I wanted to, and I tried. Quite a few times. I’d be fine while playing, having dinner or watching TV. But the minute it was time for bed, everything changed and I needed to go home. Now!
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The WCOID – Day 20, On Licorice Pizza and Death By Pop Rocks

0048 - number 20The Writing Challenge of Indeterminate Duration – Day 20
No prompts, I’m free-wheeling!

I was waxing nostalgic with my dad not long ago because listening to him talk about his childhood makes me feel somewhat less ancient by comparison. It also got me thinking about what had changed, aside from clothes, hair styles and music, since I was younger. I think most of what I miss, and what makes feel bad that today’s kids won’t have, are experiences or feelings rather that things. That is, I don’t think it’s sad that taking music “to go” no longer requires a fanny-pack full of cassette tapes and extra batteries. But it’s a bit of a shame that they won’t feel the joy of going to Licorice Pizza and finding that elusive album they’d been searching for. It’s also a little sad to realize that many have no idea why it was even called Licorice Pizza. Continue reading →

The WCOID – Day 19, On Toast and Memories

The WCOID – Day 19, On Toast and Memories
What would you run out of the house with if your home caught on fire

Yesterday my parents0047 day 19 celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary. And when I say “celebrated,”I mean my dad watched Law & Order reruns in the living room, while my mom watched her Korean Dramas in the bedroom … so pretty much the same thing they do everyday. But that’s not unusual or a red flag that the honeymoon is suddenly over after only 53 years. It’s just how they are and how they’ve always been.
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The WCOID – Day 9, On Broken Dishes

0038 Day 9, DishesThe Writing Challenge Of Indeterminate Duration – Day 9
Start a story with the line “My mother broke every plate in the house that day.”

My mother broke every plate in the house that day. I wasn’t surprised that she was frustrated and angry, but she had always been a yeller, never a thrower or breaker. This was something new.

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