My husband and I often have brunch on Sunday mornings at a college hangout, so we are able to observe current fads and fashions. Some we like—skinny pants, boots, short skirts, mini dresses. And we’re seeing fewer tattoos. But it’s the nose piercings that leave us puzzled. Why would a pretty girl –or any man or woman– want something like a bull ring between their nostrils? I dunno. When we were in college I recall we did a lot of kissing. Seems like a long smooch would be uncomfortable if you’re having a piece of metal pressed against your lips. Not to mention that it might be gooey if it got infected or you had a runny nose. The allergy season could be problematic.
On the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, I thought back to the time I first saw a segregated bathroom. I came of age in the State of Indiana, moved to Chicago, and had no idea there was such a thing.
While growing up on the wrong side of town, most of my neighbors didn’t go anywhere special for summer vacations. State parks, maybe. Later, in college, I knew lots of kids who could afford to go to Florida for spring break, but not one of them ever reported having to watch where they went to pee. I had never traveled south to Florida until I was married at age twenty four.
In 1960, my then husband decided to return to college for a degree from the University of Miami. After about a month of staying with in-laws, we rented a small apartment near the University. I didn’t know a soul, was bored to death, and worried about money. Two blocks away was a Sears Department Store. I knew my college degree wouldn’t mean much to them, but I had worked my way through school as a secretary, so figured that might qualify me for a job in the office at Sears.
I put on my best dress, a pair of high heels, walked in 90 degree heat to the store, and asked for directions to the Personnel Office. (They didn’t call it Human Resources then.) After climbing the stairs to the second floor, I thought I’d better stop in the restroom to wipe the sweat off my face and comb my hair. I asked someone where the Ladies Room was, and a bored clerk pointed her finger. Without paying much attention, I entered the restroom, surprised that it was dingy and smelly.
After I’d checked my appearance, I walked back into the store, and noticed all the white salespeople staring at me. I wondered if I was trailing toilet paper. Alarmed, I turned around, and realized that I had made what appeared to be a serious mistake. A large sign said LADIES ROOM. I hadn’t noticed the two smaller signs underneath, above two doors. One restroom was for COLORED, and the other WHITE. I had gone in the wrong door!
I was so shocked that when I finally sat down for an interview, I was shaking. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. I suppose I was rejected for one of two reasons: they thought I was either a nervous wreck or colored. Maybe both.
Apparently, she was going for the tailored look, but this photo- shopped picture of Stormy in her heyday is the only one I could find on the internet that wouldn’t get me kicked off Blogger. And if you look for too tight blouse pictures, you will find they are for adults only. Honestly, why would anyone take Stormy Daniels seriously? (Except a male judge, maybe) Meow, meow.
Remember the time–just a couple of years ago–when you thought you knew what a Service Animal was? You believed it was a dog trained to perform specific tasks for their physically or mentally impaired handlers. That’s all changed of late. For $75, you can go online and register your pet as an Emotional Support Animal. The benefit being that you can take it on a plane, into a restaurant, or into a no-pets rental unit.
But hang on there. It’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a little caveat to buying that certificate. If you really want to force someone to accommodate such an animal, the registration must be accompanied by a letter from a doctor–and in some states–a psychiatrist, if you’re planning to take your case to court. In my state of Indiana, owners of public accommodations are not required to allow Emotional Support Animals, only Service Animals.
People didn’t used to advertise their emotional problems. If you were depressed, you saw a doctor or shared it with family and close friends. You didn’t think it was anybody’s business but your own. But now, you can proudly walk into an airport or restaurant with a cat or a pig and everyone will know you might be on Prozac, and can’t get through a day without this animal to prop up your mood. Never mind if someone nearby is wildly allergic to cats. Allergies are no defense against Emotional Support Animals.
It might be a good idea to bring along a box of Kleenex the next time you take a trip or go out to dinner.
We of the Silent Generation retired years ago. And, believe it or not, there are a few codgers still left from the Greatest Generation. None of us had ever heard of a computer or a cellphone when we were teenagers. Television was in it’s infancy. One of the most popular ways of passing time for young people was playing cards. College students hung out in student union buildings playing bridge. Other popular card games were pitch, euchre, poker and hearts. Card games required you to interact face to face with live human beings. A lot of conversation and bantering took place while you were waiting for someone to decide which card to play.
One of the things retirees miss most is seeing people every day. For older retirees, card playing is a bridge over those troubled waters. Some men and women in their eighties play cards five times a week. It keeps their mind active, but more importantly, they can make new friends and interact with real, live people on a regular basis. Playing cards keeps loneliness at bay .
What will Millennials do when they retire? Will they sit back in their rockers and play games on their smart phones or computers all day? And will social media prove an adequate replacement for the friendly–and sometimes not so friendly–work relationships they took for granted? There’s always television, of course, but anyone who’s been bedridden for a week or so knows how boring and unfulfilling that can be.
Perhaps they think they will play endless rounds of golf or tennis. What they can’t foresee is whether their knees will hold out that long, or if cardiovascular problems will rule out any type of physical activity. Hobbyists will enjoy their crafts, and gardeners will plant more bulbs. But at the end of the day, it’s nice to hang out with friends in a good game of cards.