The first rock concert I ever went to was Billy Squire. What ever happened to Billy Squire? Weeks before the concert, my friend Kim and I greeted each other in the halls at school shouting, Yeah, Everybody Wants You! Thinking back on that for some reason this morning made me laugh. I knew it all and I knew nothing. How nice it is to remember those days and laugh at myself for the unbridled emotion in that time of my life.
Everyone’s life I suppose.
In those days, I was hungry. That fact alone is more responsible for who I am today than anything else. I wanted more. I wanted the promise of America. I wanted to get out onto that even playing field in the land of the free and leave it all on the field. Equal rights. Equal opportunity. I believed it. All of it. I believed it while at the same time seeing commercials extolling the virtues of a woman who keeps a clean house and keeps her hands “touchably soft.” A woman who could eradicate ring around the collar, raise her children, and never let her man forget he’s a man could bring home the bacon, but should look good doing it.
Just in case.
It’s comical now. The statement “Nobody’s gonna tell me what to do. I’m joining the military.” Yes, I said it and I meant it with all my heart. I was a real life rebel without a clue and as Desert Shield became Desert Storm, the storm that would blow into the next two decades, (renamed and repurposed for the sake of sustainability, of course) I found myself doing all of the things I swore no one was going to “make” me do. I became a wife and mother. I became a single mother working right alongside men. Some treated me with respect. Some treated me like crap. That’s the way it was. That’s the way it is.
My formative years were influenced by myths of the happy days of the 1950’s, hippie holdouts from the 60’s, and rebel cries in the 70’s. Blue Suede Shoes and Moody Blues floated above the Copacabana among 99 Red Balloons and came down in a Purple Rain. What is today considered classic rock was then the soundtrack to the unceasing world-wide battle royale for the hearts and minds of every person on the planet.
Coca-Cola’s kumbaya campaign to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony suddenly erupted into cola wars. The 80’s, the decade of big hair, Flash Dance and Top Gun, for me were infused with Archie Bunker and The Dukes of Hazard. Sick, I know, but the mixed messages somehow got sorted out. I dealt with the realities of being a woman in the real world and by the end of the 90’s I was going through the motions like everyone else. Life as we knew it was going to change in ways no one predicted. Except, it seems it should have been very predictable.
Some say women are emotional creatures. Men are more equal to us than they think.