Sunday, 25 November 2007

Sunday Scribblings #86 - "Misspent Youth"

Sunday Scribblings #86 "Misspent Youth" -
Did you "mis-spend" your youth? What kind of kid were you? Worrisome to your folks? Mature beyond your years? Wild? Shy? How did you spend you time? Out of curiosity, how many of you knew "what you wanted to be when you grew up" and accomplished it? How many times did you change your mind? Do you think your kid self would approve of you now?

I’ll do as asked and answer the prompt questions ...

Yes probably my youth was ‘misspent’ as was so many in the 50s, especially compared to today! No vocational guidance, limited life opportunities. Girls weren't encouraged to continue on to tertiary studies, why bother, why waste the money when all they would do was meet a boy, get married and have babies, was the parental attitude. The school curriculum choice’s for girls was ‘Domestic Science’ preparation for marriage, wifely duties and motherhood or “Shorthand and Typing", three years of high school to work in an office. We left school at fifteen, went to work and waited to be old enough ...

Only girls from wealthy families or the few who won a scholarship went to University. The rest of us had the choices of nurse, hairdresser, shop assistant, work in a bank or hope that a date on Saturday night would eventually lead to a ring on your finger, a white dress, a picket fence and babies.

We worked in boring jobs and husband hunted. We farewelled one of us, gasping in awe at her fashionable Kangaroo skin coat as she boarded a Qantas flight to London to pursue a modelling career as we, by this time, were pushing prams and watching "Days of out Lives."

I was worrisome to my folks from day one – unwanted, unplanned and not a boy! Tradition deemed a boy should be the first child to “carry on the family name."

I
was a quiet, unhappy, ugly kid that never did anything right.

I spent my time avoiding or recovering from “the whacking stick”.

I had no idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up, my future was to do as I was told and "be seen and not heard."


My mind was changed a zillion times depending on who was in charge.

My kid self would approve and love me now. I vaguely recall sitting at the kitchen tables of other kids mother's or women neighbour's, especially at those where I was forbidden, forever seeking love and safety … those women taught me well.

9 Comments:

Karen Travels said...

Very interesting read. I would have suffered living in those times!!

Jo said...

This is so sad in so many ways. But look how damn fine you turned out!

Herb Urban said...

Fascinating insights of how the times have changed.

tumblewords said...

I was there, too, in those times and remember...a scholarship won and the warning that I should leave it for a boy to use... Amazing thing is that we survived and turned out to be pretty fine folk!

Robin said...

You've come so very far... I think you'd enjoy Judy Small's song Mothers, Daughters, Wives. I couldn't find a link to listen to it, but the lyrics are
here.

My mother, who was lucky enough to be able to go to college and wound up many years later becoming a nurse practicioner, has said that one of her big regrets was not being able to go to medical school "because women didn't do that".

We younger women don't often appreciate the path that was paved for us.

Patois said...

What a beautifully told tale of yourself! Thank you.

paisley said...

this was really very open hinest and personal.. i enjoyed it thoroughly... i was not raised in the era in which you were,, but i as raised with a mother who was,, and just knew that was the only way to raise her three girls... today all the tattooed three of us... beg to differ.....

Secret Agent Mama said...

Very real, raw, and interesting scribble.

Just Jen said...

It's pretty impressive on what you've overcome! I 'heard' of life being that way back in the day but only through documentaries and silly black and white commercials of woman trying to get supper on with their heals. I didn't realize how real it was! You have overcome!

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