Monday, January 4, 2010

What were you learning in the 1970's?


(Secluded Falls - Kauai)


I had so much fun reading your comments from my last post, I thought we would move on to the 70's.

Now this decade turned out to be full of life lessons for me. I think everyone has a time in their lives where their decisions and lifestyle choices may not be conducive to a life well-lived. Well the swinging 70's were mine.

So what was I up to?

Well I was married right out of high school, because that's what you did in the summer of 1971 if you were not off to college, and you've split from your high school sweetheart. Nothing like getting married on the rebound, especially since your father has already nixed the idea of ever "living with someone." I believe his words were something to the effect that "he would never darken my doorstep..." How dramatic was that? But throughly believable at the time. Of course that flew out the window when my brother lived with his girlfriend a few years later. Obviously different sets of rules for boys and girls in my father's mind. (He certainly darkened their doorstep!) Not that he wanted me to get married - no, he did his level best to change my mind, right up to the last minute. But to be perfectly honest - I had nothing better to do - and my husband to be was one of my best friends. How bad could living with your best friend be? At any rate, it lasted five years, and without children to share, it was an equitable and friendly split.

Off to turning up the spigot on life lessons. Bad relationships, too much partying, and jobs that were not career opportunities. A limbo of sorts. But an important period it turns out. Because without seeing what life is when you are not focused on what's is really important - it sways and rocks - you'll never know what you don't want for the rest of your life. Now don't get me wrong - I had a ball - and I certainly made up for all those years of being married and not wreaking havoc on some college campus somewhere.

The high point, and the end of the decade, was spent working at a Club Med in Hawaii. Now before you start thinking you know what goes on at Club Mediterranee, let me assure you - Hawaii is not the Caribbean. So forget sex on the beach stories - Hawaii was plenty fun, but there were rules there that were not the same as in some of the other clubs during the 1970's. But I had been offered a job, all expenses paid - including airfare to and from when I was ready to leave - so I figured why not? My father was not happy, to say the least, especially since 60 Minutes did a story about some of the more racy clubs, and he assumed they were all the same. But I was already there and all he could do was hope I'd come home soon.

Six months later, and a wonderful time sailing through the Hawaiian islands with friends, I was ready to come home. But not for long. My plan was to put some things in order and return to Honolulu to share an apartment with one of my fellow GO's who was from there. We both had tired of the constant party - and believe me, when you work for a company that is selling fun - you are always working. Even when you are off work you are still representing vacations - no down time allowed. Not to mention a lack of newspapers and television. You literally have no idea what's going on in the outside world. Not that I cared much. But still. One can only live that lifestyle for a while before one becomes like one of those other GO's who spent too much time smoking pocololo and playing golf, or whatever they were teaching, and were burn-outs. So I left the beautiful island of Kauai behind, expecting to return to Oahu in record speed.

But that was not to be...

What about you? What were you doing in the 1970's? Were you learning life lessons as well?

44 comments:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Oh, I'm envious! You lived in Hawaii! I like that your posts on these decades is part bio, too, Nancy! 70s: hmm, grad school unemployment, social work, librarian in a prison, Spanish teacher, English teacher, writing 5 novels that never saw the light of day. Didn't meet Rob till 1981.

lakeviewer said...

In the seventies I was married, with two children, and both hubby and I were in graduate school, living in a graduate students' housing.

Lessons learned? You can live cheaply if all your friends have the same problem. We were sharing home cooked meals and playing charades and skinny dipping every chance we had. It was grand.

Cloudia said...

Ah! You were here in the 70s - so cool!

My 70s were mind expansion and holy hedonism.

Dancing every night- before Saturday Night Fever.

Music! Drugs! Sex! Social Upheaval! Feminism!
Good times...

Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

ellen abbott said...

The 70s were all about sex. In the 70s I learned the fun of unattached sex and the value of fidelity.

And, oh yeah, I found my life's work.

Nancy said...

Trish - But you were so productive! I - not so much...

lakeviewer - Love the skinny dipping! Living cheaply is fun when everyone is in the same boat, for sure.

Cloudia - It sounds as if all the islands were rocking out! We were dancing every night to Saturday Night Fever in the "disco", which started at midnight.

ellen - Beautifully put - "the fun of unattached sex, and the value of fidelity" - the 70's were all about sex, for sure.

JC said...

I went to High School & College in the 70's. I learned to love rock n roll. I partied with the best of them. Studied forever. Kissed lots of frogs ... ok, not really but if I'd had a glass ball ... along the way. Met my h but didn't date him til the 80's. Drank a lot of beer.

Learned ~ that it doesn't matter how hard you work .. it's all chance. I learned that I was ok. I learned to survive on absolutely nothing ... money was a real problem in the 70's. I learned that you can have your heart broken and it can actually make you a better person in the long run.

Nancy said...

JC - All good lessons. I learned a few of them as well.

Butternut Squash said...

While you were out having an adventure, I was still a kid in the 70's. Every day after school I listened to 4 hours of Soap Opera in the background and 2 hours of real life family drama in the foreground while I plotted my escape from our small town in the midwest. (The small town looks very different from this perspective. My childish loathing seems to have dimminished greatly.)

Lori ann said...

I did the same thing as you Nancy, after graduation (highschool) i moved to hawaii, i was in heaven, i had the perfect job for me, a nanny to two adorable keikis, with free room and board at a house on the beach on the north shore (oahu). it was days filled with fun, surf and my adopted family. At the end of the 70's i returned to California, met my husband and we immediatly married and moved back to the islands, where his family lived. Then babies started appearing and life changed in a million ways. it's fun to remember isn't it?

kenju said...

My husband was offered a job in Honolulu in 1964 (we were just married) and I wanted him to take it, but he wouldn't, because he had just started a job in VA and he didn't want to go that far away from his family. After going to Hawaii, Oahu and Kauai in the 80's and again in 2001 - I think he decided that he was crazy not to have taken that job.

Nancy said...

Butternut - Planning your escape in the 70's? Hindsight always looks different, doesn't it?

Lori - You have a definite tie to the islands. Does you husband's family still live there? It was a wonderful time, wasn't it? The islands were/are heavenly.

kenju - My husband was the same way - never interested in taking a job there - until he visited last year. Now he knows why I was so in love with a place.

Lori ann said...

it was my former husband and yes, although my ties are now with my sons girlfriend, my daughter~in~love. she is from waialua and they met while my son was at University of Hawaii. i love love love the islands. my husband Chuck knew this and took me to the big island to propose! so romantic sigh...

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Hello, Nancy!!! So great to have you back and posting again!!! Did you have a fabulous Christmas?? I think I missed the first post in this series...will have to go back because I think this is a fantastic idea!! Loved hearing all about your life in the 70s...so many memories...and it is very late here so no time to expound...but you have lived a fascinating life!!! What an adventurer you have been!!! And I might add, continue to be!!! Loved this! No wonder you have such depth...with your varied life experience, you have gained so much wisdom! Love you! Janine XO

Natalie said...

I was a little girl in the 70's. That is all.

M2Marathon said...

I was but a twinkle in my parents' eyes for the majority of the 70's. But from 77-80 I was learning just small things like how to eat, walk, talk...you know, the basic life skills! Ah, those were three great years...;-)

Brian Miller said...

now you are into my life nancy...smiles. i learned that farm boys can make a difference against the evil empire. that life is an adventure, you just gotta chase it. sometimes you'll get bruises. oh, and i was potty trained, critically important. lol.

Expat From Hell said...

What a thoughtful and creative idea, Nancy! Unfortunately, even though I lived through the entire decade, I can't seem to remember....Hmmmmm. EFH

DJan said...

I started the decade in Sacramento after shedding the last of three husbands, became a nomadic hippie and ended the decade at the job in Boulder, Colorado that I would retire from in thirty years! Very much a transformative decade for me.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

What a great way to document your life! I'll have to go back and read the other decades.

I graduated from high school in 1974 and because my dad insisted, I went to junior college. He wouldn't allow me to go to a full 4-year school because then I wouldn't be home to cook and clean for the family. Ah yes... domestic bliss but it was anything but.

In 1976 I decided I was going to join the Air Force but, once again, my dad had other ideas. He talked me into joining a bowling league, where I met my 1st husband. As we're walking down the aisly, my dad tried to change my mind but I was not going to go running from the church.

Silly girl... would not have been that bad of an idea. I did get two great kids out of the mix, though. We divorced in January 1983 after having been separated about six months.

Wenny Yap said...

Oh, you remind me so much of my dear sister. I guess both of you must be of the same age since she too got married about the same time as you.

As for me, I just entered my first year in school as a 7-year-old. One thing I remembered most of the 70's was listening to loads of ABBA ... Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, Money Money Money ...

Nancy said...

Lori - It sounds like you will always have a reason to return to the islands.

Sniffles - Well the 70's were the end of the adventure - the next decades were very different! :-)

Natalie - Well we hope to hear more about your life in the coming decades :-)

M2 - LOL! Yes, those skills are important.

Brian - You learned many useful things in the 70's!

Expat - Maybe you were havng to much fun? Or maybe your life lessons came in another decade?

DJ - That was a very transformational decade for you! Sounds like you went looking, and found DJan.

Teresa - My dad wanted me to go to college - but I was much too smart :-) Not! I think it's funny that both of our fathers tried to talk us out of getting married. In my case, I think he knew it was a rebound issue and probably wouldn't work - not to mention how young I was! All because of the "no living together before marriage" clause. Which, come to find out, a fully 25% of marriages fail if the people lived together first...

Nancy said...

Wenny - The music was incredible! There was an explosion of talent during that decade. I had music on all of the time - my favs were The Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Ricki Lee Jones, Linda Ronstadt, I could go on and on.

The Good Cook said...

Ah... the 70's. Graduated from HS. Had a baby (single mom), went to college.

Suffered, learned, grew, partied, parented, studied, survived on beans and rice, listened to the most amazing music ever made. Met my best girl friend. Graduated. Worked. Grew. Matured. Smiled. Laughed. Cried. Learned some more.

I wouldn't change a thing, even the hard lessons and slim times. Those years made me into the person I am today. And I like the person I am today.

Thanks for the trip down 70's lane...

Nancy said...

Good Cook - It sounds like you had a learning experience for that decade as well. It's good to learn the hard way sometimes. The lessons are understood a bit better. I need to remember that with my children. :-)

Deboshree said...

Nancy!
First of all, Happy new year!
I haven't much regular, have I?

You sure had an eventful life! I would love to do what you did. Live life to the most. Amazing!

Well, 1970s..Since I was born in 1990, I assume I was living another life, where again presumably, I was a wanderer who travelled the world and carried all its secrets in her heart. Yes, I must have been a she.

Good to read your posts again.

Much love
Deboshree

Nancy said...

Deboshree - Born in the 90's? Wow you will have big tales to tell in a few decades. Things seem to be changing rapidly in your lifetime. Someday you will write about blogging -

GYPSYWOMAN said...

hmmmm....70's for me probably one of happiest times in my life - totally - a single parent with 5 children by then - graduated with associate degree in business - then on my 32nd birthday i pierced my ears, applied for undergrad admission full time [criminal justice and sociology] and burned my bra [literally] - went to school full time, was on the dean's list every semester, only undergrad to receive funding for nationwide project examining doctor-patient relationships, attended professional sociology conferences presenting papers - had one full time job and one part time job and raised my children alone - FABULOUS time for us all! politically active with protests, demonstrations, walkouts - the works - got back into my creative art and writing work again - had a little short story published in a lit mag - bought my first new car as a single adult - had marvelous romantic relationships - marvelous other relationships - cut off my jeans and wore halter tops everywhere - took my kids with me to rock concerts etc - oh, god, THOSE WERE THE DAYS!!!!!

kelly the nut said...

Um... don't hate me, but I was learning to crawl and talk. I think I'm still in my "learning" phase!

Nancy said...

Gypsy - Obviously you were productive, as well as, free-spirited. Not an easy task with five children! I bow to you... :-)

Kelly - We look forward to your trip down the memory lane of the 90's? 2000s?

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh this is quite fun. Well, graduated high school in 1974 and was well on my way to working at the Humpty Dumpty store or Ben Franklin. Met The Hubby in 1975 and my life took a complete turnaround. We married in Jan'74 (34 years this month). Of course the 70' was the birth of disco and we embraced it fully hitting the discos. By the end of the decade, 1979 we had our first child, quit my job, quit his job and began our company that just celebrated 30 years in business. I think the 70's were a good time for me!

ρομπερτ said...

Apart from learning how to walk, remember still how I managed to whistle, visiting Kindergarten as well and pre-school too.

Am still able to walk, to whistle and my son will soon visit his Kindergarten as well, seems as if times does curves indeed.

Kathryn said...

Born in 1960, I didn't answer the 60's post since I wasn't really aware of all that decade had to offer .
But, the 70's, well....I learned a lot. From age 10 to 20 a lot happens! Most of my elementary education, all of my high school, and a couple of years of university. I learned to apply makeup, flirt, shave my legs, and, er, a few other things. First bank account, first credit card, first boyfriend, first job, first paycheque - a lot of firsts and the whole coming of age thing. what an intense decade!
Kathryn ; )

~JarieLyn~ said...

I was experiencing childhood in the 1970's. Started kindergarden in 1969. I recall being very afraid of the people who kidnapped Patty Hearst. I thought they would come after me. I led a pretty sheltered life until I started high school. Then I became a wild child and hung out with stoners and got lost for awhile. But I suppose most kids go through that.

Your story is quite interesting.

Nancy said...

Jill - Wasn't disco fun? That's how I was offered the job at Club Med - the Chef d' Village (head honcho) saw me dancing at the disco while on vacation and offered me a job on the spot! Why? I have no idea.

Robert - Sooner or later we'll get to a decade that you can remember being something other than an adorable little boy. Ha.

Kathryn - The 70's were all firsts for you! Many firsts for me as well.

Jarie - Patty Hearst was such a shock! I mean the whole SLA, and her joing them? Totally weird. No wonder it scared you. When I was little I was afraid of nucear bombs - they were always telling us to get under our desks. As if that would help us in a nuclear attack??

Ruth said...

I got married young too, at 21 in 1978. The 70s were wonderful for me, though not a bit wild - I was a preacher's kid who behaved, utterly. For a long time I regretted that - my one shot. Friends have helped me be grateful for it now.

My son is doing a cruise ship gig with his band, currently in Hawaii. He's having the time of his life, and I mean that in a good way. Parties yes, but also zip lines, volcano visits, wine tours in Mexico (they have to do one international stop to be able to hire non-Americans), shooting movies and entering them in film festivals. I wonder if he'll ever settle down!

Shrinky said...

I was 11 in 1970, I have to say that was a very difficult decade for me, but happily the eighties proved to be a much, much happier one.

I left home at 15, at 17 I was singlehandedly raising my 7yr old sister - tough times! I missed out on boyfriends and parties, I was too busy keeping a roof over our heads. It did teach me a healthy work ethic (which I later utilised in the eighties to build up a business, payrolling over 500 staff). Guess I was kinda' driven (smile).

Oh, my lil' sis? She went on to graduate, and is now a teacher, as well as a lay preacher (see my proud smile?).

Rain said...

Pocololo, lol...oh you crazy kid! I was in grade school in the 70's and my best memory was spending Saturdays at the local roller rink, while the disco played, the colourful lights decorated the dance floors and the satin blinded you! :) My first single (that's pre-cd and mp3 to those who are too young) was Copacabana, I still love that song! :)

Nancy said...

Ruth - It is so much fun for awhile. Then you start to crave the "real world". However, with the economy being what it is, maybe this is a good place for him to stay for the time being. Not much in the outside world, right now.

Shrinky - Wow, raising a sister when you were only 17 - that's admirable! It sounds like the 70's were one of those tough decades. Many of us have had them.

Rain - I can see you skating to Copacabana! Big mirrored ball and all! I loved roller rinks, too. But that was the 60's for me.

Land of shimp said...

It sounds like you had some fun adventures, made a few mistakes as you grew (as we all do) and ended the decade wiser, and more experienced than you had begun it. A good decade, to be sure.

Me? Oh let's see, at the start of the decade I had likely just conquered being potty trained, and by the end of it, I was launched into the ever so fun world of puberty.

Some where in there Jimmy Carter was president. If only we had listened to that forward thinking man on more than we did.

Reya Mellicker said...

I might have learned some life lessons but I was so stoned throughout the 70's that honestly I hardly remember!

My best friend's mother died on my birthday in 1971. That wasn't fun. Had a terrible affair with a painting professor, then his wife died of brain cancer, blaming me. Again: not too memorable, except in a horrible way.

Moved around. Did drugs. Drank. Had sex.

On February 1, 1979 I was hit by a freight train so again ... not such a great decade for me.

Did I learn from those experiences? I may never know!!

xx

Sapphire said...

In the 70's I learned how to be really quiet and really small on the outside - and how to live big dreams on the inside.

Nancy said...

Land - I did learn some lessons, and most of them were the hard way. Jimmy Carter is indeed a good and kind man.

Reya - I think you must have - look at who you are now. Sometimes the dark ushers in the light. It did for me, but not until the next decade. I'm a slow learner. BTW - I love your honesty!

Sapphire - You must have had some bad energy to make you have to be small. I'm sorry for that. I hope those dreams come true for you. I do believe our dreams eventually manifest, just not always the way we planned, but sometimes better.

SquirrelQueen said...

College, backpacking and just having fun. The decade ended with me directing a Girl Scout camp and plotting my escape from GA to the last frontier of Alaska.

Nancy said...

Squirrel - Wow! That's adventure!