Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie noted that “part of growing up is finding you own way of self-expression.” To that end, she asks us to talk about “Transitions and Modifications.”
Here are Maggie’s questions.
1) Think about your first haircut. Were you the kid that cut your own hair? Did you go to a salon or did your parents cut your hair? Did your parents save a lock of your hair?
My mother probably cut my hair when I was still a baby. But after I grew up a bit, maybe old enough to start school, my parents took me to a barbershop for haircuts.
2) How about shaving? Fathers often teach their sons to shave. Most girls I know, decided for themselves when to shave their legs and their underarms. Some cultures do not shave at all.
My father taught me how to use an electric razor when my facial hair started to sprout at around fourteen. But at one point, probably when I was a freshman in college, I switched to shaving with a Gillette safety razor with double-edge “blue blades” after a girl told me my stubble, even after using my electric razor, irritated her skin.
After I switched to the Gillette razor, she said my face was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Booyah!
3) Did you alter your clothes? Cut jeans into cut-offs? Cut the sleeves off t-shirts? Wear graphic tees? Tie-dyes? Sew patches on your jeans?
No, at least not as a young child.
4) Was there a time you remember challenging the authority in your household. Do you remember the first time you found your voice?
I probably went through the typical teenage rebellion phase, but I can’t recall a specific incident. Sorry.
5) What about piercings? Girls getting their ears pierced was a rite of passage for girls. Then boys started getting one ear pierced. As time passed, piercings became more mainstream and accepted.
To this day, and I’m in my 70s, I’ve never had either any piercings or any tattoos.
6) Did you walk on the wild side? Smoking? Drinking? Did your parents know?
I took up smoking cigarettes in high school and, yes, I did keep my cigarettes hidden when I still lived with my parents. I would also drink beer when I crossed over into the District of Columbia from my neighborhood in the Maryland suburbs because the drinking age in DC was 18, versus 21 in Maryland.
7) What about tattoos? Did you get a tattoo while still living at home? Did your parents approve?
As I said in my response to number 5, to this day, I’ve never had a tattoo. Why would I want to deface this bodacious body?
8) What about language? Was swearing allowed in your family? Did you use the same language around your friends as you did at home with your family?
Certain “swear” words, like damn and shit, were “tolerated” in our household. But most of George Carlin’s seven words you can’t say on TV were forbidden in our house, as well. However, with my friends, nothing was off the table.
9) Think back to high school. Girls, did you iron your hair? Did you color your hair? (using Sun-in counts!) Guys, did you grow a beard or moustache? Did you grow your hair long? Feel free to share a photo of yourself back in the day.
I grew my hair long in college. I grew a beard and mustache after I was discharged from the Army. I still have a beard and mustache, but my long, flowing hair abandoned me long ago.
10) Many people think our authentic self is the person we were as young children. Are you still inherently the same person you were as a child or have you changed your personality and demeanor along the way?
I would say I am not anything like I was as a young child. I was naïve and trusting without an ounce of guile. Not I’m a jaded, cynical, skeptic.