As I write this post on the occasion of my 47th birthday, I can honestly say that I don't mind getting older. Given that the alternative is death, I say "Keep those birthdays coming!" Most days I can laugh off the graying pubes and sagging boobs. What does get my panties in a knot (and for the record, I DO NOT and WILL NOT wear granny panties no matter what my age!) is when I am reminded that as I get older, there will be fewer people who can relate to my reminiscences.
This phenomenon was painfully and vividly illustrated the other day with my 14 year-old daughter. We were looking through a book I had bought for a friend in my reading group called Dick and Jane and Vampires. It's a wonderfully subversive parody of the old reading series that was used in schools from the 1930s to the early to mid 1970s. Remember "See Dick. See Dick run. Run Dick run,"? Remember the soothing, soft watercolor images of the bland siblings Sally, Dick, and
Jane? Remember their non-dysfunctional family, their dog Spot, and their cat Puff? My daughter
didn't! Although she thought the "Vampire" Dick and Jane was funny, she didn't know that it was a parody! She didn't recognize the Dick and Jane characters at all! Now I realize that she had not been instructed with these books, but I have friends who are a decade younger than I am who never used the Dick and Jane books at school but still "get" the reference and recognize the characters. When did people forget Dick and Jane? (Poor Sally was never as memorable; you gotta feel for the third child.) This is quite disturbing to me. It makes me feel like I should be saying "icebox" instead of "refrigerator" or something!
And while we're getting all nostalgic, why can't anyone remember all those bizarre Public Service Announcements of my childhood? When I talk about PSAs now, people think I'm referring to a prostate test! No and yuck. I'm talking about those ads that used to be on TV in the 60s and 70s that dealt with all kinds of social issues that parents today would flip out if their kids heard about during their nightly dose of child porn on Toddlers and Tiaras. Remember the ones for VD? They were the best! They used funky tunes and hip people to increase awareness of venereal disease. Two of my favs were "VD Gets Around," which featured a cool woman singing about young love and "VD Is For Everybody," which if you didn't know better, could very well have been promoting VD with its lovely images of happy, friendly looking folks and a sing-songy tune. PSAs today just aren't nearly as creative or fun. What a shame. What will today's kids remember? "This is your brain on drugs?" Yawn.
As my birthday gift to myself and to you all, I'm posting the VD PSAs that I remember and love so well. Enjoy! Happy Birthday, Lolamouse, and remember, "VD is for everybody..."