Things were good when we were young….weren’t they?

Posted on August 24, 2011 by


I don’t think of myself as ancient,  exactly, but certainly older than most if not all of the participants in the New Traditionalist wave in this part of the ‘sphere.   Somewhere between the feminist culture of the educational system and popular culture in general, most women my age who were not academically minded or immediately marriageable  became party inclined.  We were young , unattached (not always by choice, often the desired MRS eluded during the college years) professionals, responsible for elevating shopping and jello shots and frozen cocktails to art forms, and bringing happy hour out of the dark smoky recesses of stale nacho buffets, formerly the exclusive territory of barflies and travelling salesmen, and transforming them into vegetarian Southwest/Asian fusion gourmet tastings in settings suitable for our Kay Arthur Bible studies, occasionally followed by  making out with whichever tie-loosened MBA or JD we’d set our sites on.  We were not as old or jaded or chronically hooked-up as the Sex In the City type, rather,  it was our very romanticism that we used to justify our bad behavior – we were the new Working Girl. Or, at least we wanted to be.  We expected to be.

The late 1980’s and early ‘90’s were the heyday of the Me Generation.  Fun was had, yes, but it was angst-ridden.  Judgment prone comparison ruled the day – married friends cast dispersion in the same sentence they claimed envy, all while complaining their beautiful new babies were too smart and cute.

(and making us dress like this at their weddings)

There was always another group with more money having more fun, making it look easier or more desirable.  It was entertaining, but it was dangerous, because we were still somewhat sheltered.  No condoms, eww!   No one we knew had AIDS – the other consequences were  gross, but it was a matter of antibiotics, not life or death.   No one we knew had gotten pregnant, unless she’d wanted to.    No one had gotten raped – being advantageously taken advantage of was a goal rather than a problem.

But there was a dark side. There was a lot of sadness,  romantic entanglements that lead nowhere, often ending in financial and emotional disaster because cohabitation was the norm.  If one of the partners bowed out, the other couldn’t always afford to leave immediately, even if that meant listening to the love of her life turned roommate pounding it out in the other room – her other room, the one with the Bible and the Kay Arthur study guide on the dresser –  with a new squeeze.  Worse still, certain things were overlooked for too long, the antibiotics taken too late, or babies never born because, well, nothing that wasn’t fun would happen to girls like us.   In the end, what man would desire a woman who had exercised poor judgment on so many levels – sex on demand without benefit of marriage,  playing wife without securing  a contract,  fertility and good health possibly forfeited?

We know the answer – they don’t.

Choices  must be made in life.  It’s best to make good choices on the early side, because fun can be had in conjunction with those, at any age.   It displays more wisdom than hoping to have the same options open to us, when we are no longer young, when it is no longer fun.

Posted in: Relationships