The Facts of Life. The Real Ones.

Mamacita says: Not all facts of life are about sex. The sex facts, kids believe. (They have a hard time believing WE had sex, but the facts? They’re okay with those.) It’s these other facts of life they think we’re pulling their legs about.

I know my parents never had sex.  The whole concept of that is ridiculous.

When I look at my high school yearbook, it’s like a panorama of horrible hair and worse fashions. Cat’s eye glasses didn’t flatter anybody. The sideburns on the guys, and the mini-skirts on girls that barely covered the subject . . .Bangs that almost covered our eyes.  Turtlenecks on guys.

But when I look at my mother’s yearbook, everybody looks pretty good. I don’t remember them looking good at all when I was a kid, looking at mom’s youth. Those old pictures seemed silly then.  But now, those forties hairstyles and clothes look a lot like the hairstyles and clothes the kids are sporting in my classes, today.

Stick a cell phone in my 17-year-old mother’s hand, and she’s ready to rumble with the kids of today.

Stick a cell phone in my own hand, at 17, and you’ve got a serious warp in the space-time continuum.

I’m not going to tell anybody how old I was when I finally stopped dotting my i’s with a little circle instead of a dot. I’m not embarrassed about it, though, because it used to be cool to do that.

Really, it did.

It also used to be cool to spray my hair into a rock-hard sculpture that could withstand a windstorm. And to get out Mom’s sewing machine and ‘peg’ my pants till they were so tight I had to lie down flat to get them fastened. Picture Mary Tyler Moore, with the eye in the back of her head. “I seeeeeeee you!”

The long garters that held up my hose were cool, too.  I hope the guy who invented pantyhose is a millionaire now.  Miniskirts and garters were a difficult combination.

Then again, who wears pantyhose any more?

Jeans? I didn’t own jeans till I was in college, unless you count the Polly Crocket pants Santa brought me that time.  Other kids were wearing them, but Mom didn’t believe in jeans.  On my third day at college, I bought jeans.  Stylish jeans – hip huggers, that barely covered my rear.  Huge bell-bottoms.  I was so with it.  I hope those never come back.

Thinking back over my first few years of teaching, I don’t think parachute pants are coming back any time soon, either. But at the time, weren’t they COOL? Weren’t they? Well, they were, weren’t they? Tee hee.

phyllis byers


Mom’s yearbook pictures became cool again.  I don’t think mine ever will.  I kind of hope not, too.

Yeah, just wait till your kids start looking at YOUR yearbook photos.

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