Editor’s note: Inspired by this blog post that recently went viral, I’ve decided to give both mommy blogging and aging Generation Xer nostalgia a shot!
1) LET THEM WATCH TV!!
Plenty of it – but only the TV Land channel! I want my kids to watch The Love Boat, The Carol Burnett Show, The Jeffersons, Charlie’s Angels, My Three Sons, The Bionic Man, $100,000 Pyramid, and my favorite, All in the Family! Seriously, what little girl in the late 70s didn’t want to be a bigoted old blue collar man who has to confront and grapple with his casual prejudice toward those who aren’t like him on a weekly basis?
2) EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT!!
There will be no more pantries full of organic vegetable chips and non-GMO graham crackers. No more refrigerators full of anti-pesticide fruit, free range eggs, and cold pressed juice. This will be the summer of Frito-Lay and red dye #5, cool summer evenings with an even colder pitcher of sugary red Kool Aid, fried bologna sandwiches, lighting up a Newport Full Flavor over the kitchen sink while the kids are eating breakfast, five pound bricks of solid MSG for dinner every night, Bicentennial commemorative tumblers full of melted down lard, and long thick rows of cocaine on a glass coffee table cut with a Diners Club card and – OMG – inhaled through a $2 bill!!
3) SMUTTY ALBUM COVERS FOR DAYS!!
To heck with CDs and MP3s – I’m talking about a big crate full of LPs next to the TURNTABLE, stocked with hits like Abraxas, Live at the Sex Machine, and - naturally - Whipped Cream and Other Delights! And then I’m going to leave my son alone in the house for a couple hours while I run to the liquor store. If that doesn’t make him a music lover by the end of the summer, I don’t know what will. ;-)
4) LONG BEAUTIFUL HAIR!!
This summer, everybody in this house is letting their hair (yes, ALL OF IT ;-D) grow long, free and TOTALLY UNTAMED!! I’m taking all the razors, scissors, clippers, and shears and replacing them with hair picks, mustache combs, and hairspray so flammable and laden with toxic chemicals that I had to buy it out of some guy’s van in a parking lot after dark!
5) WHAT THE HELL IS RECYCLING!!
Put your shoes on, everybody! I’m going to gather up all our carefully separated cardboard, waste paper, plastic, yard debris and compost and dump it with the rest of our trash into some big black non-biodegradable plastic garbage bags. Then we’re getting into our two and a half ton wood paneled AMC station wagon, waiting in line for an hour to fill it up with heavily-leaded gas, and driving down the Interstate to dump our garbage at the feet of the first crying Indian we see!
6) SEND THEM STREAKING!!
What’s that? You’re hot and sweaty under all that polyester I’m forcing you to wear? Fine, you can take it off – but you have to take EVERYTHING off. And then you have to run through that neighborhood council meeting as fast as you can! I’ll be waiting around the block with the car. If you get picked up by the fuzz, though, you’re on your own – don’t you dare narc on mommy or I’ll throw your lava lamp and pet rock on the bonfire with the rest of my bras!
7) I AM NOT A CROOK!!
Yeah, you heard that right, kiddos – I’m officially resigning from being your Mom. Sorry, but this is just the best thing for America. What’s that? You’re confused? Hurt? Scared? Betrayed? Doubting an institution you once thought was infallible? Well, I guess you’re going to have to spend the rest of the summer on a long and painful healing process! Oh, if you get hungry there’s a cheese log in the refrigerator – BECAUSE CHEESE LOGS WERE A POPULAR SNACK IN THE 70S!!!
8) THROW A KEY PARTY!!
Have fun at your sleepovers, kids! Mommy and Daddy are gonna have six other couples over tonight, put all of our car keys in a bowl, then crack open a case of Billy Beer and just see where the evening takes us! No, we’re not going to talk about it in the morning. No, nobody has to kiss on the mouth. Yes, I CAN tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue! ;-P
9) DON’T WORRY, IT’S JUST A POLICE ACTION!!
Okay, here’s the deal: Each of you gets a card. There’s a number written on that card. And every night we’re going to sit by the radio – that’s right, the RADIO – and if you hear somebody read the number on your card, you have to go to Vietnam! I don’t care how hot it is. I don’t care that you want to play Mine Crafts. I don’t care that it’s a bloody, pointless, unwinnable war. Experiment with psychedelic drugs! Listen to some Creedence! Keep your rifle with you all the time because Charlie’s fuckin’ everywhere, man!
10) GO FOR A BIKE RIDE!!
Yeah, the front wheel is considerably larger than the rear wheel – DEAL. WITH. IT!!! All the cool European urban elites rode penny-farthings back in the 1870s and they survived, so you will too! You don’t have to put on sunscreen. You don’t have to call home. Just GO! Ride down to the town square to hear the latest reports from the Franco-Prussian War or hit the museum to make fun of the Impressionists! Just try not to get polio – after all, not everything from the past was all fun and games. ;-(
Truman Capps can only imagine what parents of the 2050s will do to give their kids an honest to goodness 2010s summer.