Wednesday, January 5, 2011


There's no such thing as normal. I just had this profound thought. What I'm searching for no longer exists. It was replaced a long time ago by ideals, expectations, desire for more instead of less and going along with the flow of things. I was listening to a radio station that described the video games we used to play when we were know, the handheld type that came charged only with a D battery. I also thought about how a transistor radio was the greatest gift I received, once more, the D battery fueled it.

Board games were "in". Having people come over just for dinner and drinks was a treat. It was called "having company" when I was little. Coloring books and paper dolls and puzzles and pick up stixs were fun on a rainy day. When the sun was shining, there was no need to be indoors unless there was a particular show that came on after school called, "The After School Special". Other than that, tv was reserved most of the time to watch as a family. We watched the Flip Wilson show, Truth or Consequences, Hee Haw (don't laugh, some Black people did watch stuff like that), Roller Derby, Partridge Family, Brady Bunch and of course, Saturday cartoons.

When it came to the size you were, I remember my mom dieting but there was never this constant drive to be skinny. In fact, skinny was often frowned upon. My sister and I were called many names because of how thin we were. Exercise was fun along with Jack LaLanne. (I remember being in kindergarten and exercising with my mom before school started.) Sewing your clothes was just as fashionable and acceptable as buying them. Shoes were bought for kids not necessarily because they "looked good" but because they lasted longer AND they were made well, like Stride-Rites and Buster Browns. Dress shoes were worn only on special occasions, like church or something special.

Food even tasted different back then. No matter how much I hated liver and onions and beets, what my mom prepared for us had to be eaten. It was normal to hear, "I'm not running a restaurant. Eat your food." There were no arguements either. We used manners all the time...opening doors for others, sitting with our hands in our laps, crossing our legs, asking to be excused from the table, chewing with our mouths closed, and not interrupting. Heck, we weren't even allowed to say shut up to one another and to say, "I hate you" was a grounds for a butt whoopin'.

Parents were strict and when they said no. No meant no. If you talked back, you were considered sassy and a smart mouth. Now, sassy means something totally different.

We drank Kool-aid, bathed in Mr. Bubble, soaked in Palmolive, dippity dooed our hair for bouncy curls, wore stockings when we were finally "grown up and not one minute before, looked forward to taking Flinstones vitamins, ate spinach only because we wanted to be big and strong....

What happened? When did normal become so different? I hate that people are so stuck on size, color and shapes. I hate that labels are the first things that are noticed before the outfit is considered acceptable. I hate that plastic surgery is now the "in thing" and acceptance of ones looks are no longer a given. I hate that families no longer eat at the table together but in front of the television where conversation is seldom shared. I hate that for some kids, (some) books are considered boring which means the library is a place they don't have no desire to be. I hate music videos that exploit women that are barely wearing anything at all. I hate that crime overshadows the good news on most networks, including the computer. I hate that a knock knock joke is considered corny to a kid but a dirty one usually captures their attention faster. I hate that cartoons now have suggestions that go way over kids heads but are put in just because. I hate that a birthday gift means something big - no longer a new jump rope and or some Big Dad's bubble gum.

Please tell me I'm not living in a bubble. I really miss normal. I wish so much that 2011 meant a chance to find normal again.


Reyna said...

You are the new/old normal!

You had me back to my childhood.
I totally agree with this post.

It is humorous, honest and right on the money.

If there were more "normal" people practicing your values, there might not be the pursuit of happiness in all the wrong places.
Thank You!

Mari said...

I loved this! Your normal was my normal. I was agreeing with every sentence. I want the old normal too.

Nezzy said...

Oh baby, there is hope for the world. One of my grandsons wanted a yo~yo for Christmas. Was that cool or what. He got a whole dang set!!!

You had me back in my childhood sweetie. I remember one year my Grandma Dow bought all of us grandkiddos transistor radios. I hear on that very same radio that Marylin Monroe had passed and that Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated.

God bless ya and have a glorious day sweetie!!!

Brian Miller said...

no this is what normal once was...but someone moved it...

Ina in Alaska said...

So much truth in this post. In fact much of your post reminded me of my own childhood. Except we watched Disney's Wonderful World of Color, Star Trek (the original), and Laugh-in (Also Flip Wilson, he was so funny)

I remember getting "special" Easter shoes, along with a dress and hat. I always enjoyed perusing the Fall JC Penney catalog for upcoming school year clothes.

I loved Mouse Trap, Candy Land and Life and those Venus Color-by-Number (colored pencils) sets.

Ah memories. Thanks for bringing some of them back to mind.

And although this has nothing to do with this post or memories, I would like to give a nod to the late, great Bernie Mac, who had one of the funniest TV shows ever. RIP Bernie. xoxo

Jill said...

I pray every day that my girls will never fall into those categories. I am very anti t.v. especially at the dinner table. That is our time to share our day. I miss things from my childhood too and it is very scary the route this world is heading. It seems many are becoming desensitized to the things that really matter. Very thought provoking post! :-)
Have a great day!

blueviolet said...

I'm from the same normal you're from and I miss it too!

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

Girl you took me back!!! lol I loved Pick Up Sticks and Hee Haw. I do miss those simpler times.

Joanna Jenkins said...

We both lived in Normal-ville. I wish I knew what happened to it and how I could have missed the major switch so I could have held on to it a little tighter.

xo jj

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I miss it too. Parents actually text their children to come to dinner. OMG!!! It's very sad.

Lilly said...

What a truly wonderful post. I toll digressed to my childhood reading this. Things were far more simpler and there were far more boundaries then. I think what we had was normal.

Veronica Lee said...

I miss 'normal' too. I think baby-boomers like us all share the same normal.

I hate the music videos and movies that are on TV these days.

Happy Friday, Simone!

Deidra said...

You wrote my childhood here. Dippity Do! Loved that stuff! I could never figure out why there were different colors, but pink was my favorite.

I think we can still have our own normal. Kinda like being the change we want to see in the world.

Danica said...

What you defined as normal was also normal in our household growing up and is what we try to define as normal in our house.

When we have Kassidy or Lauren is home, we eat at the dinner table together. We play board games and laugh. LW has taught the girls to act with respect...yes mam no mam kind of thing. It's sad that when they aren't with us though that those types of things are not done with their moms. Truly sad.

Kathy said...

Being a baby boomer, I loved your "normal" because it was mine too. There are still pieces of it if you look for it. It's not taken for granted now. It's precious. One of my daughters started dating a new guy about 3 months ago. She called, thrilled to tell me "He has manners Mom!" When was that not just expected?

Debra said...

Your normal was much like my normal. I stand with you in looking for "normal" in 2011.


PS: I love your writing.


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