Every now and then I get an email from a Boomer waxing rhapsodic about the good old days and lamenting the disappearance of nickel candy and the ability of kids to play outside without being kidnapped.
These emails can only have been composed by men, because here’s what I remember:
*Sanitary belts that slipped around and chaffed your behind (because they hadn’t invented that post-it note adhesive yet)
*Garter belts, because pantyhose hadn’t been invented yet
*Girdles were required, because a decent woman didn’t jiggle unless she was in a Dean Martin movie.
*White-out and carbon paper.
*Men were bosses and women were grateful (the series Mad Men is not exaggerated)
*Women weren’t welcome as police or firefighters, astronauts, or commercial pilots (but we were welcome to work as a “stewardess” if we were pretty, single, and didn’t go over a maximum age or weight limit, in which case we were fired.)
*Using the designation “Ms.” often earned you a sneer, because it was clear evidence you were one a them bra-burners.
*Sports were for guys, cheerleading was for girls
*We didn’t go to the gym. We watched Jack LaLanne on TV, except for a privileged few women who could afford to go to Venus deMilo women’s exercise salons.
And my personal favorite: at my job in a public school district, the union contract permitted new fathers to take three days’ paid Paternity Leave but new mothers received no equivalent (when I pointed out the unfairness of this, my fellow administrators teased me. Then they got annoyed.)
Next time I get one of those geezer emails I think I’m going to send them my list. You can add to it. What do you remember about the Bad Old Good Old Days?