The Goose and I went away this weekend to do pre-spring cleaning at the lake. Spring cleaning, for me, is a deep and labor-intensive operation, involving turning the entire house inside out and washing it. It involves heavy duty laundromats, construction trailers, muriatic acid and bodily injuries. It feels fantastic.
Usually, I spend a week, a glorious week, alone, cleaning from dawn until dusk, taking long runs, eating only what I want, whenever I want, directly from the container and then sleeping in the middle of the bed.
Cleaning with The Goose, aka Edward Scissorhands, is much less intensive and usually involves washing one load of towels and him trimming down one of my plants that should not be trimmed, causing me to cry.
This is really neither here nor there for my subject. I’m just warming up. On the way home, we like to meander through winding roads and rumble through thrift stores and flea markets. We are single handedly trying to bring back the 70s and recreate our childhoods. For instance, I love Hull china. I get that it’s atrociously ugly. It really is. So much so that my mother threw all ours away when I was little, declaring it trashy. My dad had bought it and he used it for our dinner every Wednesday night, when Mom was at choir practice. It’s a great memory. So, I snap up odd, ugly pieces at flea markets and I order it off Ebay. I ordered so much one month that Cricket called it the “Hull of the Day” every time UPS came. Same with anything plaid. Thermoses, lunch boxes, bowling bags. The Goose loves anything that reminds him of his Mamaw. He recently bought tiny little snuff glasses like his grandmother would dole out thin, pulpless orange juice by the ounce in. He likes pictures of Jesus holding sheep, collies howling at baby lambs and the Last Supper depicted in ceramic. He likes the jelly jars she would give him to hold the snakes he caught. We have to be careful or we could actually veer into tacky…
All this reminiscing got us talking about our childhoods today. Somehow, I brought up the delicious memory of the Willy Wonka Super Scrunch candy bar. I can taste it right now, plucked from the racks of the Majic Market in Tucker. I was never a candy kid and still don’t crave sweets often, but that candy bar was da bomb. He remembered Gold Rush gum, in it’s great little bag. Also, Gator Gum, that tasted like Gatorade. How ‘bout that gum with the liquid center? It came in a blue that exactly matched my turquoise Gloria Vanderbilt pants AND shirt. I chewed it every time I wore them, just for the matching sensation.
We talked about how great it was that there were, seemingly, no rules. Kids today never get a chance to try anything without getting in serious trouble. A kid in my day could do literally anything and never get more than a stern talking to. I once knew a girl that confiscated and consumed the entire wheel of her mother’s birth control pills in the Plantation Skating Rink bathroom, for what reason we could never discern, and got nothing but a swat on the tee-hiney and a night in her room, without her 8 track. No trip to the hospital, no DFCS investigation, no psych stay. Life was just simpler. She grew up fine and, I hear, had no reproductive problems later in life.
No bike helmets, no seat belts. My mother actually told me that if the car caught on fire and I was wearing a seat belt, I might not be able to get out, so probably safer to just not wear one. My dad used to let me ride, on top of 235 bales of pine straw, going 82 miles an hour, around 285 in the back of his truck. I think the basic rules of gravity and centrifugal force might just have been different then.
In these politically upsetting times, it’s just too bad that things can’t be cleared up in an hour by Keith Partridge and his manager. (I know, ladies, just take a minute and look at him.) I feel sure the Monkees would have a better take on war and foreign policy and I know Ponch and John wouldn’t be so hard on kids today, just trying to have fun and grow up. I, for one know that if I could, again, eat my lunch from an I Dream of Jeanie lunchbox, everyday would be just a little bit better. I suggest everyone slip on their mood rings and call their senator, their congressmen, their principal, for goodness sake, and propose a bill to just stop and turn things back a little, just to the 70s.