When I was a kid, we often heard things like: “You’ll get nothing and you’ll like it.” This wasn’t just in my family. Frankly it was how pretty much how everyone I knew was being raised. The expression wasn’t harsh— like it is interpreted today. It was fact. It was almost a joke because it was such a fact! More so, most everyone I knew in the late 1960s and 1970s was growing up in families that all had just enough yet were managing to make it work.
When I look back — or share that with our children — they often think I’m exaggerating about what we didn’t have, what we shared, what we didn’t get, hand-me-downs, hand-sewn school clothes and prom dresses…and that a small chicken along with some mashed potatoes and a can of corn fed not only my two parents, but 5 siblings and a grandmother, as well!
The interesting thing was that we all appreciated what we had. Of course we wanted more. Yes we knew who had a Cadillac vs. a used Chevy. But I recall feeling admiration more than envy. And I never wanted a car with electric windows after my first ride in a fancy car at 5 years old when I managed to get my arm stuck in the rising window! I was so fascinated with the motion — it never occurred to me that my fingers were about to get crushed!
Some days I really miss those simpler times. I think it’s what I’m now craving. Yes, I love things (especially old rusty things!) but I also love simplicity.
What do you think? How do you recall life in your youth? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this Thanks-giving eve.
PS: I licensed this photo on line — but it looks exactly like the car my parents drove between the time I was born until High School. And yes, my Mom managed that stick shift on the column like James Dean!