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remember when

February 13th, 2012 at 10:28 pm

My oldest niece is going for a double major - psychology and anthropology. She's been discovering how all these other cultures that she thinks are so much better than American don't treat women very well as a whole. Often women are second, third or fourth class citizens - many times after farm animals. I remind her of how fortunate we are as women to be born in American in this time. It would be so easy to lose many of the things her generation takes for granted and that were new when I was her age.

I've been remembering how it was in the late 70's, early 80's. I remember when women were just given the right to get a mortgage or own a credit card in their own name, without having to get a father, husband or other male relative to co-sign for it.

I remember getting my first credit card. It was a Discover card because they were a new company and were taking almost everyone to get clients. I didn't get a MasterCard or Visa for years after that.

I remember how my parents forced me to take typing and shorthand in school because those were women's skills and with those skills I could always get a job as a secretary. The 3 main job positions for women then were secretary, teacher or nurse. I did not want to take anything that was considered a woman's skill. I'll admit the typing came in handy later on in life, but I've never used the shorthand.

I remember how almost none of my classmates went to college right after high school. I expect most of them went later on in life like I did. I did go for a year right after high school, my parents thought it was a waste of time for a woman to do that, and in my case at that time, they were right. I was too unfocused and didn't know what I wanted to do in life. So the year was basically wasted.

I remember how one of my girlfriends in school was taking a computer class and I thought that was the stupidest thing I ever heard. Shows how stupid I was Smile I wonder if she pursued it, if so, she got in on the first wave of the computer business.

I remember getting my first job at 16 and getting paid $1.65/hr. That was a fortune to me. I worked for a lady who made ribbons for State Fairs and rodeos from her house.

I remember when I started driving at 16 gas was .35c/gal and how when I came home from college in 1980 it was .79c/gal and how outrageous we all thought that was.

I remember going to the movies almost every week in the summer and an evening movie was $1. I saw Grease 9 times one summer. I saw Smokey and the Bandit at least 3 times. I remember seeing the first Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I remember my first R rated movie was Saturday Night Fever.

I remember when my dad would give me a $1 to go out with the teens after church on Sundays to get a coke or ice cream or something and that was more than enough.

I remember when mortgages charged 21% interest. I can't imagine how anyone paid that off. I remember when CDs paid 14% interest and you got a free crock-pot or toaster with the purchase. My first checking account paid 5 1/4% interest. I remember getting raises twice a year because of inflation.

Most of these rememberances have nothing to do with women's rights it's just thinking back to that time made me remember the other stuff.

Ah well, back to the present. My niece will learn all the things she needs to as she lives thru it and at some point she will learn to appreciate how well women have it in America vs other countries. I think as a whole we are taught to complain too much about how things aren't perfect in life instead of appreciating what we have. It's part of the ad culture we live in. Ads have to convince us there is something wrong with what we are doing now so we will buying whatever it is we are selling, so eventually we are disatisfied with everything in life, because we are constantly bomarded with negative messages.

End of lecture Smile

This morning I went to Walgreens and got 2 jars of Jif creamy peanut butter for $2/each. I will put them aside for the next time I see my niece. They are on sale with their in-ad coupon at 2/$5 and in the Walgreens February coupon book their is a coupon for $1/2 making them $2/each. A very good price for name brand peanut butter right now. I paid using RRs from last week, so no out of pocket.

I finished reading my book Master of Dragons by Angela Knight. Paranormal - ok.

9 Responses to “remember when”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    I've worked with some amazing women. A female CPA in her 70s, the first woman partners at the last firm I worked for, etc. A receptionist at some point told me she always wanted to be a CPA but her dad laughed at her. I don't think she had a degree of any kind. I think they have felt it important over the years to make sure us younger ladies know they paved the way for us.

    My boss's wife and dh's aunt were both the first/only female computer programmers where they worked. I can not imagine! My field has always been so heavy in women. I frankly have never worked with many men in the first place.

    I think many people are surprised to find my own mom was a stay-home mom that pretty much never worked. BUT, her mom always worked, stressed the importance of education, and my mom does have a degree. She watched all of my dad's uneducated sisters get left on by their husbands and go on welfare with several mouths to feed. IT was always clear to me that "relying on a man" was *not* an option. The women in my family were taught to take care of themselves.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Great post!

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    This is an awesome post. As for the 21% interest on a mortgage, I think it was a lot more manageable when houses only cost $10,000 to $20,000. My parents bought their house in 1974 for $17,000 at a high rate of interest, but every bonus, tax return and vacation money for years was thrown against that amount. My dad would get meal tickets at work that could be cashed in instead and that would go on the mortgage and he would brown bag it. People managed.

    Also thanks for the info on Jif peanut butter. I have been having a really hard time finding it for a decent price since Costco switched to Skippy and it is one of the few my son can eat with his food allergies to certain additives.

  4. Big saver! Says:

    Wish her the best...that may be a difficult degree plan to find work with! On another note, I do remember gas being 88 cents in the late 90's at this one gas station so I figured I may as well pull over and fill up. I think that is the cheapest I've ever paid for a gallon of gas! Wink

  5. My English Castle Says:

    My mom sold real estate in the 1960s and 1970s because she was the one in charge of her hours--and to some extent, her salary. She'd been a waitress, managed restaurants,and done clerical work, but real estate enabled her to make more money than my dad, pay off their house early, and have a much cushier retirement than they'd otherwise have. Been in those early years, women couldn't get an FHA mortgage unless they were employed as a nurse or a teacher. Not so good old days, eh?

  6. baselle Says:

    It will be interesting to read what your niece will reminisce about 30 years from now. To her these are the good old days.

  7. Ima saver Says:

    Oh, I am really dating myself. I can remember when gas was just 18 cents a gallon. I bought my first new house in 1966. It cost $13,000 brand new. I use to go to the movies 3 times a week, every time the movie changed. It cost 14 cents to get in.
    I got my first job in a dress shop at age 12. I made $3 a day or 33 cents an hour.
    Within a year, I did all the bookkeeping, cause I was so good with money and figures.

    In the late 70's, I worked for a savings and loan. We had savings account, C.D.'s and mortgages. The interest on the mortgages was 9% back then. We paid 6% on savings and 8% on C.D. There was a year or two when mortgages went up to 18%, but to be truthful, hardly any body took out a mortgage then. We had to pay 16% on C.D.'s. People with money loved that!

  8. Nika Says:

    "I think as a whole we are taught to complain too much about how things aren't perfect in life instead of appreciating what we have. "

    "My niece will learn all the things she needs to as she lives thru it and at some point she will learn to appreciate how well women have it in America vs other countries."

    To argue this point: if those women "just appreciated what they had" because "it was better than many other countries" than nobody would challenge the status quo and things would not have changed.

    We should not look to who has it worse and comfort themselves we are not them. I'm not going to be happy with toxic waste being dumped into the river near me even if I'm told that a similar river in China gets 5 times the tonnage of such waste.

    We strive, and we grow, and we accomplish new things because we want things to be better. It is not a negative thing.

  9. Jerry Says:

    I had a class this week (qualitative research in health - fascinating) with a health anthropologist, and it was really interesting to see her experiences as a woman in different cultures. Where we are born and grow up really does dramatically change the ways we see ourselves, and we have no insurance of fully understanding someone else's vantage point unless we can grasp their life experience... and even then, it's probably not fully possible. Great post, very interesting!
    Jerry

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