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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


In South Carolina last week, seven people were arrested after cheering for friends or family members at high school graduations. Arrested, like by the police. And you know who wasn't arrested? This lady, an Aiken County Magistrate whose granddaughter accidentally shot herself in the chest when she pulled her grandmother's handgun out of her purse in Sam's Club. She wasn't arrested because she had a license to carry the gun. Although she must have taken some sort of required safety class, I guess they didn't mention the rule about not letting a four year old hold your purse with the gun in it while you peruse industrial sized jars of pickles. So...where I's okay to let a four year old play with a gun, but if said four year old makes it to high school graduation in spite of your pathetic lack of supervision and judgment, you can't even clap.

Parenting is so hard now. The rules just aren't clear. In the seventies, things were different. These are some neat things Seventies Mom could do with little to no guilt:

  • Ignore the kids at the pool while she talked to her friends. I wasn't allowed within ten feet of my mom if her friends were around. My mother didn't give a rat's a** about my self esteem and I turned out fine. Right? I mean, don't you think I turned out fine? I just want you to like me. Do you? Are you mad at me? I have a tummy ache.

  • Feed the kids non-organic food. There weren't as many scary foods back then, so organic was just extra credit.

  • Breastfeed. Or not, without discussing it with anyone.

  • Tan, on purpose.

  • Drop the kids off at Bible School all over town, not volunteering to help with a single one.

  • Smoke. In fact, smoking was essential, because if some kid got stung by a bee at the pool, all the moms would reach for their cigarette packs, so someone could cover the sting in wet tobacco. I guess the nicotine numbed it. So what if it did go right into the kid's bloodstream?

  • Lie to the kids. "We can't go to the pool today. It closed early because someone went to the bathroom in it yesterday. You don't know who that was, do you?"

  • Hang out at the pool all day without accomplishing anything.

  • Let the kids hang out at the pool all day, neglecting to sign them up for a single educational camp. In fact, those camps weren't essential to a mother's sanity like they are now, because Seventies Mom could just...

  • Drop the kids off at the pool as soon as it opened and leave them there for hours, marginally supervised by teen-aged life guards and other parents.

  • Cram all the kids that got left at the pool when it closed into the car, seat belts be damned, and drive them home without even asking their parents. Seventies Mom couldn't get permission, because she didn't have a cell phone.

  • Wear whatever kind of bathing suit she liked without getting a boob job, tummy tuck or bikini wax. To be honest, having spent my childhood eye level with the result of Seventies Mom's lack of attention to waxing, I'm kind of in favor of the bikini wax.

  • Drink during the day, as long as it was in a cup.

  • Have her friends in for Bridge Club, where everyone was allowed to smoke, drink and cuss in the house because the children weren't allowed downstairs.

  • Cheer wildly at graduation, because it was one step closer to an empty nest.
I'll admit to indulging in some of the above, but not without a certain amount of guilt. At least I can still carry a loaded gun in my purse...

Namasté, y'all!


kristy said...

This is crazy - I can't wait for the guilt.

Su said...

Seventies Mom could also blast the AC in the front seat while the kids sang out the open windows in the back seat saving? Environment?

And birthday parties for the Seventies Mom were nice and out Putt Putt, Red Wing Rollerway, or McD's for like $30, send out their preprinted invitations, and it's a party!

Blog O' Beth said...

First of all, I laughed my ass off. Second, those were the days. Heck, I blog about my kids liking Teletubbies and people react like I'm feeding my kids crack cocaine. Holy Cow people! You drink a Diet Coke while pregnant and you'd think you'd just shoved a needle of heroin into your child. People need to chill out!!

Anonymous said...

This is "FUN LADY"!!! Thanks for the shout and by the way, I think I just MAY be a seventies mom!! WHOO!!!

Anonymous said...

OMG! Best daily yet! All so true and I long for those days! However, I am from Aiken, SC and anyone who knows me knows I firmly believe AIKEN IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE STATE AND MOST OF THE WORLD. I have a beach house and STILL THINK AIKEN IS THE BEST PLACE IN SC. My point? Don't mess with God's Country. Gun be damned.
Melissa Westerdahl Blanchard

Anonymous said...

MY mom told me she put wet tobacco on the stings to draw out the venom. So, that wasn't a gun in her pocket, she was just happy to de-bee me.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I would add is the following: wearing the curlers to the grocery store or in the carpool line "discretely" covered with a head scarf.

Anonymous said...

Ah, or the carpool with the raincoat (trench style) over the pj's with bedroom slippers as shoes.

Kathy said...

but the most important for the sanity of 70's mom was, "get out, right now, you kids and don't come back til DINNER TIME". And you did.