What Happened to the Last Forty Years?

The strangest thing has happened to me in the last few months.  I feel as if the seventies are the present.  Perhaps it is because of all of the historical things that happened during that decade; perhaps because  of all of the personal things that happened to me.  Nevertheless, this strange phenomenon was exacerbated when I picked up a novel entitled The Wednesday Sisters.  While reading the first few chapters, I became more and more annoyed at the conversations among a group of then young mothers who met on a playground and became friends while watching their under five children play.  There are few curse words and no torrid love scenes in the book.  Essentially, it chronicles the lives of these women threw a decade that helped each to find her voice.  The book was on the National Best Sellers list.  I skimmed it.  To me, the whole concept of women becoming friends and helping each other grow, etc. was trite.  Women throughout history and through out all cultures have been helping each other. I guess the story is a kind of retrospective/personalization of the Women’s Movement in America – boring.  Strange, for a woman who still thinks that see is living in the seventies.

The next novel that I picked up annoyed me just as much.  Buffalo Lockjaw is told by a child of the nineties with all of the blame-it-on-the-parents self-centeredness that began to assert itself during the seventies.  Ahh!  That must be it – recognizing the natural transition from the “we” generation to the”me” generation.  I could not identify with the protagonist, but I have known many, especially male, persons very much like him.  Whinny, misunderstood, alcohol saturated, drug delusional, hardly able to sustain themselves, let along contribute to society persons who think that they are the only ones sensitive enough to suffer, “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”  I skimmed that one too, although I did notice that the main characters were three dimensional.  What has all of this got to do with feeling as if I am living in the seventies?

The answer lies in the fact that my personal life, which continues to grow, got a big impetus during that decade.  Changing, yet being comfortable with who I am and with who I was and with whom I will become began, for me, back then.  Hopefully, someone some day will chronicle these last forty years with the sensitivity of Jane Austin and the literary breath of William Shakespeare.


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