Things are a little different now, but in my youth it was a different story. Don’t get me wrong, we had fun because we didn’t know that life could be any different than it was. We lived 8 miles from my school; the bus picked us up after a mile hike. As the “young ladies” that we were, we were not allowed to wear slacks in school, ever! Arriving to a locked building we stomped our feet trying to keep warm in the 30 below weather until the school was finally opened. Later, the school agreed that us “ladies” would be allowed to wear jeans to school under out skirts, but we needed to remove them while in school. We accepted it because, that’s the way it was.
My big plan after high school was to go to college, so when the came to take the test for scholarships, I paid and took the test. We were to be given our scores when we had a meeting with our “guidance councilor.” I was stoked when it was my turn. He told me I was only qualified to get married and have kids. Nice. I was crushed, but that’s the way it was.
Looking for my first job was another enlightenment. The local paper “help wanted” section was divided into two parts; help wanted male and help wanted female. I was hired as a keypunch operator, which was a thrilling mental challenge! Not! I punched holes in the cards that the guys working on the other side of the row of file cabinets used on the computer that only male hands and brains were capable of understanding. That’s the way it was.
I was driving a stick shift truck from an early age, just not on main roads. When I was old enough I applied for a license and scheduled a driving test. The “man” that administered the test was a real peach. In Maine in the winter the roads are almost never totally clear of ice and or snow. He had me park facing uphill and had to put on my emergency brake then start of without spinning the wheels once. I was able to start and didn’t roll back, but spun the wheels a little. I failed my test. I thought it was interesting that a young man that took the test before me lost control and wiped out a ladies garden. He got his license! But, that was the way it was. Just for clarification, I never went back to try to get my license again until I was 25. Why bother?
Another rule was nonsensical that my brothers were allowed to hitchhike, but I wasn’t. We moved to a new town 6 or 8 miles away and was dropped off by the bus at the edge of town and walked home. The boys got home and were out playing. You are asking why I wasn’t picked up? Only one car and it was used for Dad to go to work. Sometime Mom would walk part way and walk me home. That was the way it was.
There are more, but I appear to be brain dead this morning. Later I will remember more of them an post. However, is you remember some of yours, feel free to comment.