Wednesday, March 11, 2015

     Part of the fun and frustration of aging is looking at how things have changed over the years, and how we change or don’t with the trends. A much younger friend said to me yesterday, “You are young thinking, and you act young.” I feel that way, and it was nice to have that validation. As I got to thinking about my own friends, parents and grandparents compared to my generation and that of my children (40-somethings), I mused at what was acceptable 50 years ago and how I perceive what has changed.

     For example, the following would absolutely not be acceptable to my mother:

  1. Public nudity or nudity on television or in film
  2. “Dirty” language in public other than damn or hell
  3. Discussion of private parts with anyone other than a medical professional(and he would have to be old and ugly)
    4. Discussion of sex with anyone other than one’s conscience.

    5. Discussion of daily biological function.
    6. Any underwear showing.
    7. Any cracks showing.
    8. Discussion of personal problems other than with a bff
    9. Children should be seen and not heard (and seldom seen)
   10. Pets should be kept in the house or in a fenced yard
   11. People who don’t follow rules should pay the price

     For most in my generation, we would agree on the following:

  1. Nudity on the street or in front of children is inappropriate
  2. All swear words are fine except the “c” word (except in front of children)
  3. Potty talk belongs in the potty 
  4. No personal discussion of sex except with one’s spouse or significant other
  5. Underwear should not show 
  6. The only cracks we want to see are in the murder case we are reading or viewing
  7. Personal problems are reserved for bffs, spouses and shrinks
  8. Children should display manners and should not attend adult parties
  9. There should be rules, and rules should be followed.

      In my daughter’s generation, it is my understanding that:

  1. Nudity is fine in the appropriate venue (film, bedroom, sorority house, spa)
  2. There is no dirty or clean language--it depends on the context and the speaker
  3. Body parts are called by their specific names, and people are much more comfortable talking about such things.
  4. Sex talk is for intimate relationships
  5. Bodily functions are discussed only when the topic is children
  6. Underwear is just another piece of clothing--it doesn’t matter if it shows
  7. Personal problems are personal only to be shared with good friends and strangers  on airplanes
  8. Children should be seen and heard anytime, anywhere
  9. Everyone should have a pet, and it should never leave your side
  10. Career changes are commonplace. Rarely does anyone stay in one career a whole lifetime
  11. Rules are to be followed when it’s convenient.

What may be different 50 years from now?

     People will walk down the streets naked with their pets and cussing children. They will swear loudly and talk about sex with their neighbors and Homeowner president. They will discuss their personal problems with the mail person and the fertilizer guy, and their children will use daily biological functions as their show and tell. Oh my.