More dating in the 80s and beyond

Pat and I got along quite well until we allowed another girl to room with us until she found other accommodations or got married, whichever came first.  She was a little strange, well, a lot strange, and a large framed blonde, blue-eyed woman and meticulous about her appearance.  We had only 2 bedrooms, and I think she slept on the couch and was with us for several looong months. 

One of her many strange habits was her choice of girdles!  They looked like rubber, and one was drying on the bathtub all the time.  I think her idea of washing was more like rinsing, if you get my drift.  Our bathroom smelled like sweat most of the time.  If I wanted a bath, I had to remove them, which meant I had to touch them.  Help, mama, come get your baby girl!

We had no choice but to marry her off!  Every weekend, we made dinners for her and her boyfriend and left them alone to let nature take its course.  And sure enough, she got pregnant, and they got married.  Yay! I know what you are thinking, and you would be right, but we had to hold our noses when we had to go in the bathroom.  Besides, she was happy and so were we! 

I started dating a nice guy that worked on the other side of the file cabinets.  He was a sweet guy and incredibly thin.  We were going to the beach one day, and he begged me not to laugh when he came out with his bathing suit on.  I have to admit, it took all my strength, not to at least giggle.

I may have told of “hazing” of all 8th graders entering High School; repeating the story will make the next paragraph make more sense. The hazing ceremony took place in the Town Hall in front of nearly everyone in town.  We each were given some silly thing to do.  I had just had all my front teeth pulled and bone surgery to eliminate an overbite.  I was given a song to sing.  “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!” I was scared out of my mind but hammed it up.  My partial plate, now 4 years old, caused sores; my dentist recommended pulling the rest of my teeth and making a full set of dentures.  I had to allow my mouth to heal before I could have dentures made.  For several months I didn’t talk much at work or anyplace else. Remember, I had a steady boyfriend!  He was invited to a wedding and, of course, so was I!  I bought a large-brimmed hat and just smiled at everyone and didn’t talk. 

Now here is the revenge part with the nasty city girls! My Boss was impressed that I showed up every day.  One day one of the city girls showed up with an ulcerated tooth and wanted several days off because she looked like a chipmunk with her huge swollen cheek.  Nope! The boss said if I could go several months without any teeth, a few days with a swollen face wouldn’t hurt her.  The poor girl was miserable, and I think the boss enjoyed making her stay at work.

We damned near got fired when we decided to go home for Christmas. It was a culture shock when we learned you don’t just get time off when you want it.  I think we called in sick and took off for Maine.  I guess we didn’t think anyone would figure out that roommates calling in sick the same days would not be a red flag.   Of course, we didn’t answer the phones. Remember, cell phones hadn’t been invented. Fortunately, they only docked our pay.  We didn’t care; we got home for Christmas! Another culture shock was when we realized we didn’t get the summer off, either!  How come nobody told us about these things?

The time came when Pat and her guy were planning to tie the knot.  I would lose my roommate, and I couldn’t afford the rent alone.  I didn’t want to break in a new one, and I could see the handwriting on the wall; the job wasn’t going anywhere.  All the “girls” were called in for a talk from the Big Boss.  I was nervous, but my Mom said to picture him in his underwear.  He talked a lot, then said that our work was not “up to snuff,” we weren’t going to get a raise, but to keep up the good work! I nearly laughed out loud, picturing that balding man with a big belly in his boxers with his skinny legs standing there in his black socks and black shoes.   I raised my hand and said, “But Mrs. Bill has said I had a lot of Perfect batches, and I think I deserve a raise.” That went over like a lead balloon.  The other girls said the company did the same thing to everyone.  No one EVER got a raise, and no one ever said anything to the old fart, either.  Bet the “men” on the other side of the file cabinets got a nice one.  The 80s wasn’t a good time to be female.  

I had planned to be part of Pat’s wedding, but it wasn’t possible because I didn’t convert to Catholicism; I was left out. It was funny that most of my relatives ignored me until they thought I might convert!  I heard from everyone about how it would be a sin for me to convert.  Hell, I wasn’t going to convert; I just wanted to know what it was all about, but it was good to find out I had relatives. Besides, the priest was a hot young man and great eye candy.

I forgot to mention that the apartment was almost across the street from the Catholic Church and the Mohican Market, which was the store my husband managed until he was drafted.  I used to shop in that market; of course, we missed each other by a couple of years.  That probably is a good thing because he was married to someone else.

I decided to move on; I packed my bag and headed to my Aunt Irene’s house outside of Boston to stay until I found a roommate and a small apartment.  She helped me get a job at Raytheon as a mail-girl.  Not a big stepping stone up the ladder of success, but a paycheck.  My immediate boss was a dick, but I had a blast delivering mail to the various buildings.  I loved delivering mail to one of the labs where they were testing rocket engines.  I had a bunch of mail for that building, and as soon as I set it down, one of the guys said, “Quick, come with me, I will show you something terrific!” He was about 6 ft 6 and had bright red messy hair with big blue eyes and was skinny as a rail.  I think he wanted to date me but was too shy.  I watched them firing the prototype of the rocket NASA would use in the space ships.  It was the coolest thing ever!  I watched it several times.  He never did ask me out.  Too bad, because I would have loved to listen to him talk about rockets.

I never found that wonderful job that I could envision a career and eventually decided to go back home. 

I will circle around in a few days, and we will tell you more about the job that was more satisfying than all the others!  If you are looking for something to read, try my book, “Immortal Enemies.”  Aliens are living among us!  This is a “who is fooling who” book with enough twists and turns to make you dizzy.  Click on the cover to learn more about it.

Click on the cover and you will be taken to Amazon where you can read a chapter by clicking on the upper right corner of the book. You can purchase it as an eBook or a Paperback. Please leave a review.

BTW you should come back to this page by exiting Amazon.

Thank you!

Published by Time Traveler of Life

Biography Creating worlds, characters, and wielding power like a madwoman, making my characters happy, sad, angry, and some of them with no redeeming qualities. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I sometimes laugh out loud when I am writing a scene, and I have been known to cry when one of my favorites has to die. I am a left-handed Gemini, what do you expect? Reading bedtime stories to my two children until they fell asleep or until they just told me to go away, was fun. Making up wild stories for my grandchild, and creating Halloween costumes from Cowboys to a Dragon, was another favorite thing to do. I missed that so much when they were grown, that I started writing. My yearly newsletters frequently were drafted third-person by my Love Birds, Miranda our motorhome, and by Sir Fit the White Knight, our faithful Honda. Throughout the years, some of my creative talents centered around writing letters of complaint expressing my displeasure with services or products. One crucial, at least to my Son, was a note to our local school bus driver petitioning her to allow him back on the bus. He was kicked off for making an obscene gesture at his buddy. I reminded her that it was not directed at her, and that “obscenity can be in the eye of the beholder,” kids use that gesture as a greeting. He rode the bus until he graduated. I loved driving my English teacher crazy. Leaving a “continued next week” at the end of my five handwritten pages required each week. He was one of many people that suggested I “do something about my writing.” I graduated from the School of Hard Knocks at the top of my class. After 30 years, in the trenches as a Real Estate Professional, I have found that truth is stranger than fiction. My books are filled with characters I met in that profession. Their names were changed to protect the guilty. Others were from people we met traveling around the country in Miranda, our Motorhome. I am married nearly 60 years to the love of my life, Shirl, and partner-produced two exceptionally talented children, and one grandchild who is our pride and joy.

12 thoughts on “More dating in the 80s and beyond

  1. I started my first proper job at the end of 1980, straight out of high school. I stayed there for 7 years and it was great fun. But I remember too well how the boys were given opportunities that the girls never got. I also remember Ellen, she was the first married woman that the company had re-employed in the 70s. She had to resign back in the 60s because she got married, and the company didn’t employ married women. I remember people smoking in the office – and some great April Fool’s pranks with water in the ash trays – and the uproar when anti-smoking (in the workplace) laws came in. I remember the creepy old man Murray in his pale blue safari suit, who always said dirty things (but with two meanings) and when you call him out he said it was only dirty because of your dirty mind. I remember end-of-month sundowners – drinks on the 14th floor with food and music and dancing. I met my future husband at that first job.

  2. I met a lot of those characters mentioned above, but I refuse to accept limiting conditions. I left as soon as I did not get what I wanted, risky at times when the market was flat, but very profitable in boom times. I kept climbing until I had reached the corrupting levels of corporatism; got a nervous breakdown, realised the con, choose freedom and the life on the edge instead.
    I worked in many places where the question of equal pay was no issue; it was the early 1970th in West Berlin. The 1968 revolution had left decisive marks. But when I moved to Australia I got a taste of the 19-century system capitalist still in full swing. When I protested about the inequality in pay between the sexes, it was the female faction in the office who told me to shut up, fearing for their job security.
    Well thinks have changed to the better!
    Sharing houses I thing is a right of passage every young person has to go through, realising other people have different way of interpreting reality was an eye opener (shock really) after having departed from the caring cosiness of home.

  3. I met that “fear of keeping your job” face to face. Some of the women that worked in the Shoe shop with me really needed that job to survive, and at my young age, I didn’t really understand their plight. I hasn’t gone away, but just more discrete. The discrimination is alive and well.

  4. I am glad you enjoyed it somewhat, and the dirty old man was just mouthing off and not actually touching. How neat to meet your hubby on the job. I also remember the smoking in the workplace and when it stopped. I am working on the return to the shoe shop blog. Thanks for commenting.

  5. This was a great read, giving me (a 90’s kid) a glimpse of the work scene of the 80’s ….your clever idea to get rid of your roomie was just hilarious…good thinking 😄😄

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