Do you remember the days when all men were clean-shaven? It was kind of big thing for my dad to grow a mustache in the 70s. It was really red, and I thought it was unnecessary, or sometimes I thought that it was like having cup but no saucer from a set of china. I wasn’t too fussed about it since it was his face, but I was started wishing men would just stick with the standard bare face that I was used to.
It was a loopy time for men from my perspective. I mean really – leisure suits? Dad had one in powder blue polyester. I liked the way the suit made his eyes blue and at least he didn’t get his hair done in a permanent. That had to be clearly the stupidest style I’ve ever seen. I’m all for curls when they happen in a regular way, but perfect rows of chemically-induced curls isn’t manly, I don’t care what they said about it at the time.
I was observing men going wild with a suspicious and mistrustful eye. Dad bought a red motorcycle. I was happy when he and Mom went away for weekend camping with other misbehaving adults, but as a child of the 60s I wasn’t all that far from white gloves at church. It was all well and good for college kids to smoke pot and go to Grateful Dead concerts and protest wars, but I was in the first generation of kids to watch so many parents divorce and I didn’t approve – it was the destabilization of the world as I knew it.
While my parents stayed married, divorce was going on all around me. My friends’ worlds crumbled, and nobody knew we were supposed to say stuff like “it’s not your fault”. I said stupid stuff like “isn’t it better that your mom moved out because now there’s less yelling?” I don’t suppose I racked up any points for appropriate sympathy.
I think it’s pretty safe to blame facial hair for all of it. After all, look at those hippies and all the chaos they created. It was only a matter of time before parents started copying the very people they criticized for sloppiness. Women had the pill and didn’t have to have endless babies. They could get out and party. If their husbands didn’t want to play, then they could go out without them. Women could work too, and with their own money, did they even need a husband?
Then again, the husbands were thinking that a lot of their wives weren’t any fun to go home to. They needed male bonding at the bars, and if there were willing females there, so much the better.
I’m currently older than my dad ever was in this lifetime. Sometimes that surprises me because how can we ever get older than a parent? My perspective of Dad is child to adult, not adult to adult, or even older adult to younger adult. If years create wisdom, I’m wiser now than he ever got to be, but I don't know if I feel all that wise.
AND, I'm not smart enough to figure out why comments are disappearing with Blogger lately. Does anybody know how to fix this? You can write me here if you've got answers. Thanks!