In Case you Didn’t Know, We Baby Boomer’s Invented Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll
When I said that to my college class, they applauded. I know I invented the first two.
I could roll a joint with my toes when I was 16. I perfected the art of sex with my first husband in his mother’s basement. Although he got carded when he bought condoms, we managed to make a love nest in an old coal bin. We bought a kerosene heater for the cold winters and of course, a cot. Little did we know that the fumes went upstairs and his mother ended up calling the fire department who busted through the tiny window above our heads—finding us naked under a moth-eaten army blanket. I was grounded for a year and sent to a shrink.
It didn’t stop me from growing pot, a need that grew from my grounding and the weirdo I was forced to meet with once a week. So, in between my mother’s tomatoes the tall plants thrived. After I ripped out all the males (you can tell them by their tiny balls at the crotch of a stem) I harvested the five pounds of heavenly weed, with Krissy, my best friend. We hung the plants in my basement, in the closet that my mother’s wedding gown and honeymoon ensemble were in. They never smelled the same again. Krissy ended up getting busted at a concert when Stewie Savolinsky narc-ed her out. I buried my stash in my grandmother’s yard and then I drove to the jail with her father and we bailed her out. In the car she pointed to the tiny vest pocket where she revealed a rolled joint. It’s amazing how clever we were.
Do any of you have those memories?
We were the Woodstock generation, primed by the mantra “if it feels good do it.” We protested and rocked. We made love and fought to end the war that took our young men to Vietnam, battled to end segregation and spread the seeds of tolerance for gay rights. I even stopped shaving my legs—for about three years, then I burned my bra in Philadelphia with a woman who wrote Sisterhood is Powerful. I’ve often wondered where she is now. However, I can hardly think of another generation that did as much. Tell me if I’m wrong.
Of course if you’re younger you might not believe your parents did these things. Perhaps they weren’t as wild as I was but the air of the era was contagious. If they had a Bob Marley album in their vinyl collection, or if they know who he is, they rocked. But time rolled on and most of us left those lives behind when we faced babies, mortgages and car payments. I shaved my legs, bought a support bra when I saw what my grandmother (who never wore one) looked like in the nude.
I never told my own children what we did—at least not until they got through all their adolescent temptations. I stopped the smoking—you can hardly get a PhD being stoned all the time. My attitudes towards sex have changed too—we are having way too much with too many people and for all the wrong reasons. Who ever thought you would be able to flip a switch on the computer and have streaming porn. In our time my bothers thought the Sears catalogue was the deal. After it arrived, the bra ads would be missing. They swore they could see though the fabric.
I live in Woodstock now, a community with one of the largest aging in place boomers. My kids are grown and I find my life in a sort of pleasant retrograde. I’m having fun. I’m not the only one. Our generation is not taking to retiring in a rocker. We’re beginning our second act; new careers, new lifestyles and breaking the rules—again.