If I had my druthers and a time machine, I’d go back.
And although the underskirts and delicate undergarments of the 1800’s are appealing (I was born to be a member of the landed gentry), and the Gatsby-esque flapper era of which my great great aunt was an integral part (an original 1920’s Ziegfeld Folly girl) seems a perfect fit for the likes of a party girl like myself, I’ve made up my mind. It won’t be the 20’s or 1800’s, or even the Early Modern 1600’s in London. Nope. When I hop aboard the time machine, there’s one decade on the top of my list: the 1970’s.
Because, you see, there are two people I’d like to have met back then. They would have been in their 20’s. They would both have long ponytails – one blonde, one brown. They would probably be wearing bell bottoms and other cool vintage threads (much of it hand embroidered by the blondie). They would be traveling through South America, learning to can tomatoes, making applesauce, gallivanting with friends, laughing, breathing deep, having adventures and (most important of all) always having fun.
My parents. The two people who I spend the most time with now. Because they are so damn cool.
They are the 1970’s ponytailed people I would most like to go back in time to be friends with.
Strange? Yes. Cool? Absolutely.
Take this weekend, for example. We are totally dirty and exhausted from moving over 6,000 lbs of dirt. We are hungry. We have a free Friday night.
Nick: What do you want to do tonight?
Me: Take a shower.
Nick: We could grill afterwards. Should we invite anyone over?
Me: I don’t know. Who would you want to invite over?
Nick: Your parents?
The boys pretend to be pirates and drink too much rum. They talk about sprinklers, mustaches, baseball, and cute girls at the park. Mom and I talk about growing veggies, fashion, thrift shopping, and of course chardonnay. My dad makes me laugh until I almost pee my pants. They tease the shit out of me, just like when I was a little girl.
They think we are funny and cool. And it’s not just because they are my parents.
They look up at the sky and notice the size of the moon. The marvel at the stars. They sit in our zero gravity chaise lounge chairs below our new pergola and laugh about the neon palm tree.
They like us the way we are. And we like them.
They stay up until 1 am playing cornhole in the backyard. They trade stories with us. They care about our landscaping projects.
They live less than a mile from us. On the same street. They bring chilled wine, fresh radishes from the garden, or warm chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven. Sometimes they bring their portable radio (tuned to KUVO jazz, of course) so they can have tunes during the walk.
They are cool. So cool. Definitely cooler than us.
Now, I know this is an anomaly. And sometimes it makes me feel old. When our 28-year old friends call and want to know if we can come out and the answer is that we are hanging with my parents it’s, well, weird. I sometimes have a moment of panic (am I so socially inept that my parents are my only friends!?). But I know it’s not social awkwardness or convention or family commitment that brings the four of us together.
It’s a spirit. A spirity of gaiety. An essence of carefree-ness. A certain attitude that my parents have been cultivating for nearly forty years together as a couple.
They are in it to win it. They are productive, fun-loving, open-minded people. They love freely. They seize the moment.
And they have taught me to be the same way. At least I aspire to be like them.
And I have sought out a mate with the same values, who happens to get on great with my folks. So yes. Of course it makes sense that we all think each other are hilarious and can’t get enough hanging out. Of course we stay up until 1 am playing cornhole and make and share meals as if we belonged to a neighborhood commune. We genuinely enjoy each others’ company.
All of which brings me to the premise of this post. Can you imagine? The four of us? All in our late twenties? In the 1970’s? We would have tore it up. We would have painted the town red. We would have laughed until we peed our pants. No doubt about that.
in the meantime,
without a time machine,
this (now, tomorrow, last night, next week, down the street) is the closest we’ll ever get to all being together,
in the 1970’s,
with ponytails and afros,
listening to records and living it up.
Never afraid to fly my freak flag.
Or hop into a time machine if it means hanging out with my parents.