Talkin”Bout My Generation

(My newspaper column from The Beach Reporter 8/17/89.)

It’s only natural. We’ve had our fill of ‘50s nostalgia, and now it’s time to move on to the ‘60s. Those of you who saved your peace-sign necklaces, fringed suede vests, platform shoes, Nehru jackets, tie-dyed granny gowns, and hip-hugging bell bottom jeans are in luck.

Of course the ‘60s and early ‘70s weren’t just about fashion and men having long hair and women not wearing bras. Our outward appearance merely reflected what was happening in the real world. It was a time of great political and social upheaval. In one decade, we had the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Beatles, President Johnson’s Great Society, Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique, Woodstock, the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Kent State, the Students for a Democratic Society, and the war in Vietnam.

This was a frightening time to be a parent. Either your child was experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs, protesting the war in Vietnam, in Vietnam, or all three. It was the time that the terms “generation gap” and “the establishment” came into usage. The youth of America took a serious look at the way things were and came together in a massive upheaval, the likes of which our country had never seen. Continue reading

With Heartfelt Apologies to Tina Fey

(Remember Sarah Palin? In October, 2008 I published this essay “in Sarah’s own voice” in Main Line Life newspaper. Like yesterday’s posted essay, this one still seems oddly current. And who knows, maybe Sarah is still waiting in the wings…)

Alrighty, folks… We have just a couple a short weeks ‘til Election Day. That greatest of American traditions in this great country of ours that I so love. The country of which I so want to be your President-in-waiting. So, so much do I want that.

And from my mouth to God’s ear, I would not want such a terrible occurrence to occur, but if the terrible thing did happen (wink, wink) and I was called up by a higher power to be your Commander-in-Chief, I want to tell you that I am ready. I am more than ready. I’m chompin’ at the bit. I am hotter for attention than a tick on a moose. Oh, gosh, you know what I mean. Don’tcha?

Well, as Todd and I always say, “God is not only great, but He has a sense of humor.” Cuz look at us! Just a couple a months ago I was at a PTA meeting, or maybe it was a soccer game, somethin’ for Trick or Track or one of the others, I know that much. And I said to Todd, “Doggone it, 1st Dude, honey, I wish there was a way to bring our small town core values to the rest of our Great Country.” 1st Dude is my nickname for him, ya know. Cuz we are just down-to-earth folks like you all. With nicknames and such, like small town people do. Cuz we are so more real with real values.

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Election Overload

(This essay, published in Main Line Life on 9/18/08 is still surprisingly applicable to today’s climate…)

I recently had the opportunity to go on a short trip to a place where I would not have access to a television for several days. After I leaned over and hyperventilated into a paper bag for a few moments, I thought Yes, I can do this. It’s not even that I am that big of a TV watcher in my normal life. Normal life, that is, before this primary and election season. (Was there such a time? Truly?) Even though I have my office in my home I have never once turned on The View or The Today Show. I have never seen a soap opera in my entire life, and I don’t even know what time Oprah is on.

However, I do love politics. And, as much as I love knowing everything about the candidates and want to make an informed decision, right now I am on Election Overload. I never thought I would say this, but I’ve just about had enough of all of them – the candidates, the pundits, the spinners, the handlers, the talking heads, the anchors, the special commentators, the candidates’ families, jilted candidates from years past, jilted ex-wives, outright kooks, former Army buddies/college roommates, Hollywood activists, and the pollsters. Especially the pollsters.

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Casinos’ Treatment of Female Staff Uniformly Demeaning

(This essay originally appeared on http://www.newsworks.org, the online news source for WHYY – NPR in Philadelphia, on June 17, 2011. Read below or follow link to website.)

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/essay-works/item/21690-casinos-treatment-of-staff-uniformly-demeaning

The recent firing of eight middle-aged cocktail waitresses from their jobs at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City pretty much lays out the way society as a whole views older women. And it ain’t pretty.

I don’t know if you have been to Atlantic City lately, but I’m here to tell you that most people who are gambling there really don’t care if they are being served their alcohol by Snooki’s hot young sistah, or by a smiling white-haired grandma in a toga. Have you see the people on the slot machines? Most of them have absolutely no right to demand hotness in anyone else. Look in the mirror, people.

Okay, so maybe management has the idea that if they hire sexy young thangs, that will pump up business. And, maybe that hiring strategy works, although I haven’t seen any scientific studies of this. (Perhaps Wharton Business School should get on this – a recent study by a finance student at Holy Family University did reveal that blonde waitresses got better tips than brunettes.) But have any of us stopped flying now that flight attendants are no longer Playboy Bunny caliber?
Speaking of Playboy Bunnies. Never mind. Continue reading