Past Times

College library

College library (Photo credit: Paul Stainthorp)

I never followed TV shows after about 1970, so I never saw Seinfeld until I ran across an episode on one of those cable channels that show old reruns all day. I read Seinfeld was about nothing, and I have decided my blog is about nothing.

Thus, when someone says, why do you blog, I say, who knows?

Perhaps it’s because I like to remind myself I can still type?? I never took typing classes in high school, although after I married, my first husband shipped out to Japan and I moved home with my parents. My Dad who probably wanted a second income, decided to send me to a local business college where I learned to type. I told people I wanted to be a secretary, but couldn’t pass the Civil Service typing test…or the shorthand test either. In those days, if you wanted to become a secretary, ala Anne Southern, you had to take dication and type at least 40 wpm. 

If you were a woman, about the only white-collar work you could get involved a typewriter or keeping books.  I excelled at the latter, but today could not get a job in that field unless I worked for a small company again. I love small companies. I made the least money and had the best time working for small companies or in the library at my undergraduate college where I shelved thousands of books.

 My rudimentary typing and shorthand skills served me well when I went to college which I began at age 28 with 3 kids in tow. I was a single parent by then and my 12-year old daughter had a paper route that took her past one of my classrooms.  One day, I was hanging out the window with several other girls and she walked by and yelled ‘Hello Mom.’ My cover blown, after that, the other girls knew I was ten years older. An old woman in their book.

But that made me the same age as one of my sociology professors who also overheard my daughter. He, a twenty-something Catholic Italian boy from New York, was a head shorter than me, had nicotine stained teeth, and had just finished his PhD.  This was his first year teaching and he made the mistake of telling me I was the brightest girl he had ever known. Having received little praise in those days, I developed what I thought was a crush on him.

These feeling mortified me, an old married woman with three kids. Looking back I realize they were probably maternal feelings. The oldest child and a tall person, I frequently have maternal feelings for people who are younger and shorter than me, which means most of the female population and half of the male population. I made the mistake of mentioning my inchoate feelings to my husband at the time (now EX) who had been carrying on an affair with a former neighbor for several years.

My revelation led to his revelation and from one thing to another. Soon I was single again. Perhaps this goes to show that honesty in marriage does not always pay, but after I left the EX, I was happy to discover I could work with debits and credits even if I couldn’t type. Thus began my life long search for good solid paid employment which led me through many jobs the last being a statistician.

Supposedly, John Lennon told his son, ‘Life is what happens when you are making other plans.’ I think he was right.  




8 thoughts on “Past Times

  1. Can’t believe that we were same age when we started college, I did try in Md. but got an incomplete as ex didn’t come home to babysit and I missed my final exam. My cover was blown early on as I had to take all three with me several times when they were out of school and I wasn’t. They told me years later that they often enjoyed the classes they sat in on.


  2. Great post. You are quite an accomplished woman and most of it in the face of adversity. However, you really dated me with the Ann Southern reference, as we never missed her show.. Please don’t do that again.


  3. Ultimately, you have done well for yourself. It isn’t easy being a single mother especially if you have no skills to market. Kudos to your ability to do statistics.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s