That ’70’s theme

Morgan with Mark & Delilah Marvelle

My business partner Morgan celebrated a milestone birthday and her friends decided her party needed a ’70’s theme. For me, it wasn’t that big a stretch to arrive in a 1970’s costume; jeans, a loose and colorful shirt, like the peasant blouses I wore in college and still do, and dangling earrings.

Morgan went all out with the biggest Afro I’ve seen in decades and a boldly patterned double-knit dress. Delilah Marvelle, as one of the party planners, is all about the 1870’s and she and her husband were a dashing couple!

There were a lot of delights at the party and great food. But there was also some poignant discontents. This is what I have labeled my personal feeling of a story or truth that’s just out of reach. Fortunately one was solved when  I saw this post by my friend Su Lute that explores the concept:

If I was a twenty-something in today’s world, what would I look like? What story would I be telling?

This generated a thought provoking comment by Maggie Jaimeson:

In some ways, I think who we are in High School (or want to be) is our true self. It is the time that you separate from parents and make a determination of what your independent identity is or will be. That identity is formed from passion and belief (at least in my case) that you can do anything if you only care enough and invest enough time and energy in it. That identity is formed before we fully become adults and begin that long process of giving up parts of ourselves in order to fit in, get a job, maintain a marriage, or just get along more effectively in a social or political environment.

The synchronicity for me is that I recently wrote a scene in my current work-in-process where the characters discuss this high school identity as being the foundation of who they aspire to be, and assess how true to that identity they have remained ten years later.

My high school and college years were during the 1970’s and a lot of my energy  was focused on singing, dancing, and musical theater productions. Whenever I crank the music up and dance I feel recharged, even if it’s alone at home or sitting in the audience instead of on stage.

While I’m not nostalgic for those days, I do love remembering them. This means it’s time to take the Celtic Harpestry collection out of my CD player and crank up the BeeGee’s. We should be dancin’ – man…

About Terri Patrick
Writer of Romance and Memoir. Life is an adventure, take that journey.

8 Responses to That ’70’s theme

  1. Maggie Jaimeson’s comment is interesting. I often think of 15 and 16 being my true self, but is this simply because of all of the new experiences that happen when we are young and are therefore more powerful. It’s a time when even a new record release would be memorable. I’ve still got some old 45s from back then and each disc seems to have a story and feelings attached to it.

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    • terripatrick says:

      The teen years fascinate me in my characterization charts because the high drama revolves around the passion the teen has to develop a personal identity and is also when they start creating the strongest shields to protect themselves as they make choices to fit into society and follow the rules, or not.

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  2. Something about Maggie Jaimeson’s comment really made me take a step back from reading the blog. Last week I was talking about my high school life, and I have never thought of the fun I had. I associate high school with death and depression. So last week, I had to pull up all the things I loved about high school. I had friends that looked up to me, I was motivated to be the best in the class, and I also loved to make new friends.

    I know I will always have to be a leader or a mentor to be happy. I think that if it wasn’t for the whole “trying to fit in” part of my life after high school, I would have stayed on track in college, but I know there is a reason for everything.

    Thank you for posting this, I hope that soon I find out what my release is, and hopefully it will get me through the work needed to be in the job field I want!

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    • terripatrick says:

      Maybe the “trying to fit in” was what gave you the distraction you needed.

      As a mom, I did my best to protect my girls during cycles of loss, grief, and my own battles with depression. I needed the distraction of promoting their fun activities even when it took me to noisy and dirty motocross events, or when they almost destroyed my car when they went snowboarding.

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  3. Rose L says:

    In high school I was extremely shy. If I was with my friends Sue, Maria and Joanie (none of us popular in school) I was the quiet one and they stood out. I wished I could be as funny and outgoing as Joanie, wished I were a little more aggressive and sensual like Maria, and wished I could laugh out loud and be carefree like Sue. It is funny because I found out many years later that they all wished they could be skinny like me (I felt like a skeleton!). Guess everyone wants to be different. I would be teased for blushing so much and for being so thin and for my lack of breasts. I never felt pretty. Now my friends then all say I was pretty and sometimes, if I squint I think I was, a little. Personality wise–I am more outgoing now. But I am not aggressive. I feel my heart break when someone else is in pain or suffering in any way and even worse if that may have accidentally been caused by something I said or did. Now I am a little shy but can carry on conversations and laugh out loud and joke around and even flirt (but rarely do that!). I did get influenced by friends, in a good way. I am not like I was in high school. I like to think I am better.

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    • terripatrick says:

      Thanks for this comment, Rose. I was a tomboy who had no sense of style (and my girls will say, I still don’t) but I wasn’t shy and never understood why some of my friends were shy.

      The main thing I had going for me in high school was my voice. My choral teacher explained my mouth was deformed and always placed me in the back of the group because I was loud, with too much vibrato but that would keep the rest of the choir on key.

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  4. Trish says:

    High school has a whole different set of memories than college. Both were fun, filled with various kinds of life lessons.

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  5. I’m so sorry I missed the bash! Too far away and three days from deadline — aack!

    In high school I always wanted to be one of the “cool kids” but couldn’t pull it off — that hasn’t changed! LOL.

    Great post, Terri.

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