By The Woman's Editor
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to be free. Give me your soccer moms and
secretaries -- your CEO's and CPA's.-- potmakers and
pot smokers -- clothing, furniture, home and software
designers. Step right up all you educators and
educatees -- athletic trainers and exhausted travelers.
Actresses are welcome here as are models -- who are
as welcome as nurses.
Find a chair - there's a few in the front, right here.
Make yourselves at home. You don't need to leave
your egos at the door. Just don't make any assumptions
or judgments about the person sitting next to you. Feel like
you can say whatever is on your mind. Here, I'll go first.
Square in the middle.
I was born in the middle of the Boomer age-arc - too late
for Uncle Miltie, just in time for Laugh-In. I had a Twiggy doll.
My mother bought me mod plastic dresses with love beads
sewn onto them. My go-go boots came from J.C.Penny's.
I watched Woodstock on the news and asked my father
why all those teenagers would go to such trouble to listen
to a bunch of bands nobody ever heard of. "Hippies will
do anything," he said. When the Manson family was
arrested for killing Sharon Tate, I was afraid Charles
Manson would come to our house and kill us, too. I asked
my father if that were possible. Same answer..
Careening through the 70's.
Hair-care products and shoes were both very - very big.
Rebellion became respected and expected. Being part of
any corporation was a sign of greed and moral weakness.
The only honest work was done with your hands. Plumbers
were revered as artists.
I went to high school in the '70's. I hit it exactly right. Unlike
previous and future generations, my individuality wasn't
broken on the wheel of mandatory scholastic requirements.
I was encouraged to make up my own curriculum and as a
result graduated without having taken a single math or
science class. It was like winning the lazy student lottery.
Hitting black ice in the 80's.
Greed was good if you were greedy - but my '60's roots
kept me from acquiring that trait. Sprouting like mushrooms
overnight were very young executives carrying very new
briefcases and taking themselves very, very seriously. I
wondered why these mushrooms couldn't see that what
they were contributing was evil and corrupt. Didn't they
know they were destroying the planet by becoming
accountants at Merrill Lynch instead of focusing on re-
cycling? How could they sleep nights? And how would
their 300-thread count sheets feel against my skin?
Pulling up, pulling in.
I entered the 90's shaken but unstirred. After a decade of
gauging what I wanted versus what others had - I still didn't
know. The '60's had promised that less was more - but that
didn't happen. The 70's had sworn that sex was the same
as a handshake. Not true. The 80's, at least, didn't pretend to
be about anything but greed and self-interest. Had I mis-
understood the information I'd been given at the start -
in the middle -or at the end? None of the above. Turns out
every decade is about the same things: truth, lies, half-truths
and hoping for something better. Nothing changes, we just
live our lives looking at it from a different angle each time.
Speeding past. Slowing down. Paying more attention some
times than thers. Seeing life out of the corner of our eye more
times than we'd care to admit.
Now it's your turn. Your story.
Let's talk about how you got here, and where you're going.
And let's figure out who's driving this damn bus.
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