Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A brief list of things I was not allowed to do when I was growing up ...

I sometimes complain about the "Dukes of Hazard"-sized chasm in my 80s pop culture knowledge. We were not allowed to watch this show because my dad did not want us associating policemen with weaselly idiots who should be thwarted for sport. Occasionally we would sneak in a bit of an episode. I remember little more than the spandex jeans of the Duke boys.

I find myself saying "We weren't allowed to [fill in the blank]" under odd circumstances. Most recently, "We weren't allowed to have a basketball hoop that was not regulation height." If you had asked me at age 10 to tell you about my parents, I would have said they were strict.

A brief list of things we were not allowed to do when we were growing up"
1. Watch "Dukes of Hazard."
2. Have a basketball hoop that wasn't regulation height.
3. Watch MTV.
4. Hang out behind gas stations, elementary schools, or at the mall. The phrase "hang out" was pretty much a deal breaker. "Why are you going to the mall?" "To shop," was fine. "To hang out" was a no-go.
5. Wear Vans.
6. Be a Punk Rocker for Halloween
7. Wear dangle earrings.
8. Wear dark nail polish.
9. Own "Like a Virgin" or "Purple Rain."
10. Eat sugar cereals.
11. To have a pen pal who was a stranger, or otherwise give out our address and/or phone number.
12. Miss an incredibly stifling curfew by even more than 30 seconds.
13. See R-rated movies.
14. Say the word "sucks."

At the time, I thought the whole thing was pretty abusive.

11 comments:

chuck said...

Your list of things you couldn't do pretty much describes how I spent every day of my early adolescence.

Alexandra said...

That post is a good reminder of parental rules from childhood. I could never accept any of them, when I believed they weren't grounded. When I now look back, I was quite right most of the time.

good reading blog btw, I think I have to follow you, haha:-)

Alexandra said...

But I can't find the follow thing on your blog?

CDP said...

Ha! Your parents sound like they shared my parents' philosophy. We did eat sugary cereal, but we weren't allowed to have any soda, except at the holidays. To this day, I associate the taste of ginger ale with Christmas. We weren't allowed to watch "Welcome Back, Kotter" or "Three's Company". At the time, I thought that EVERYONE in my 6th grade class was allowed to watch "Three's Company". In hindsight, I realize that it was highly unlikely that anyone in my Catholic school class was allowed to watch that show.

cmacc said...

I think we had the same parents.

Redneck Princess said...

Did we grow up in the same house and not even know it? We weren't allowed to use the word "fart" either. We were forced to use "toot" -- you only had to taste soap once to learn this was not a mistake you made. Gawd, I'm such a cool mom!

Kristabella said...

How funny! I was a punk rocker EVERY Halloween because it was easy, spray some colored shit into your hair, tease it and Voila! Punk rocker! Now give me my candy!

beret said...

We could watch The Dukes of Hazzard, Threes Company, The Guiding Light, and even Dallas, could eat sugar cereals, go anywhere relatively local to "hang out" (exceptions were "Faces" the teen nightclub, The Last Place on Earth, and the Hardees parking lot). We drank "Elf" soda (generic) like it was going out of style and pretty much stayed out biking around Duluth without any supervision from sunup to sundown.

But we weren't allowed to use the words "shut up" at home EVER, slam a door in anger, be even 1 second past curfew, or say "butt" (had to be "bum").

Go figure.

Meg Kathleen said...

I think our parents would have gotten along. The thing that drove me nuts most was not being allowed to watch MTV.

tamg said...

I could watch "Dukes of Hazzard" but not "Simpsons". But I couldn't go to the basketball game one night of the week and expect to go to a movie a different night. I was not allowed to "do laps" around town with the rest of the teenagers. At my senior banquet, I won the "strictest parents" award, then got a 2 a.m. curfew for my senior prom because I wouldn't show said parents that piece of paper in my hand when I got home.

Kara said...

You are missing the prohibition on black nylons (once old enough to wear any color nylons). According to the wisdom of some parents, "Black pantyhose are for sluts." "Slut" also belongs on the list of banned words - along with "sucks" and "shut-up."