The middle to late 1960s was an exciting time for almost all who lived in the Western World. There were little pockets in the Middle East and the Far East too, but not at the magnitude that it was seen in Europe and the countries of North America, and in particular, the United States.
I can’t remember for sure if it was when I was ten or eleven that I first found out about The Beatles. Before that time, I don’t think I ever even heard Rock and Roll music. I remember someone telling me that my cousin Vickie could ‘shimmy’. I didn’t know what that meant until I saw her do it at our grandpa’s birthday party that my uncle and aunt always held.
Before I knew who The Beatles were, the only popular music I heard was sung by Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, Doris Day and others singing similar songs. Oh yes, I did know who Elvis was, but I wasn’t impressed and didn’t understand why anyone would be.
By the time I was twelve and in my first year (7th grade) of junior high school, I knew about more Rock bands than anyone that I associated with, even my cousin, Vickie. Of course, as the years passed, more and more of my friends were catching up with me in this department and some were going beyond what I knew.
The Vietnamese War was in full swing, although at that time, it was still being called a ‘Police Action’. (A police action my a**.) Even at that tender age of twelve, I didn’t like the thought of our military being forced to fight for someone else’s country. The phrase ‘fighting for Democracy’ sounded like a bunch of bull to me. Obviously, most of the US was in agreement with me despite my age because by the time I was a junior in high school, both young and old were giving their ‘two cents’ on the matter. Even my mom and grandma were getting boisterous about the situation over in Vietnam.
Shorter dresses and skirts were just becoming acceptable as well as popular. Mom wasn’t happy with it and put limits on how short I could wear my dresses and skirts. “No, Glynis. The limit is two inches about the knee. That’s it,” she’d state when I’d try to con her into shortening a dress just a smidgen more. I just wanted to fit in better. According to Mom though, I’d only be popular the way I wanted if I was ‘kind, clean, and friendly’. It wasn’t until I was almost seventeen that I finally figured out that her advice was working for me.
Because the family budget was so sparse, Mom was making most of my clothes. She didn’t mind me picking out my own material and I did have a say on the patterns although she had the final verdict on that matter. I had the big flower prints, the wide stripes, the orange, spring green, and psychedelic pink. I have no idea as to whether I looked okay or not. I just loved wearing all of it.
When I was thirteen, Mom let me get my ears pierced. I knew at the time that she probably wouldn’t be happy with me wearing the long dangly earrings, but I figured that over time I could soften her up. I just didn’t mention the long dangly earrings when I asked for permission to get the piercing. Even so, she did have stipulations. I had to use my own money and the piercing had to be done by my doctor. I just babysat Courtney’s boys a couple more times to get the money. As for the doctor, I was in transition, going from a pediatrician to a general practitioner. Mom had scheduled my first appointment with the general practitioner, but I didn’t know him from Adam yet. I opted for my pediatrician, Dr. Johnson. I knew him and I could walk to where his clinic was. Yes, I did feel odd going into see a children’s doctor at the age of thirteen but I got the job done.
Long hair for both boys and girls had come into style. However, my fine, thin, stringy hair looked God awful worn long. I knew it. Mom knew it. Even my brother was chiming in saying I looked stupid with my hair long. I ended up settling for what was called a ‘short bob’. My face was still quite round then and the ‘short bob’ wasn’t making it look any longer. By the time summer hit after the 8th grade, I went back to getting a ‘pixie’, asking the stylist to make it a little longer. When I looked in the mirror after the cutting, I was rather pleased with what I saw.
Fads come and go just as they did back then. They mark the time of eras that will never be forgotten by the people who lived through them.
What fads do you remember?