Friday, September 21, 2012

The Date in Decades

Sometimes I look at the calendar and I try to recall what I might have been doing on specific dates.

There is no real reason for this; it's just a mental game.

But 40 years ago (damn, I am old), on Thursday, September 21 1972, I would have been 9 years old.

That means that most likely I was in school, in the fourth grade at Breckinridge Elementary. Classes would have been in session for only a few weeks, because back then we started school the day after Labor Day. Mrs. Lanning was my teacher. She had a reputation for being a hard task master but I loved her.

In this month and year, the TV show MASH started this year. It ran for 11 years (the final show would air in 1983, the night my future husband's grandfather died). The Waltons also began its 10-year run on TV. Bob Barker began doing the first showcase showdowns on The Price is Right. Richard Nixon was president, and Watergate was underway, but I was too young to pay much attention to that.

Thirty years ago, on Tuesday, September 21, 1982, I would have been out of high school. I had not yet met my husband. I would be enrolled at Virginia Western taking ... something ... and I would be employed at a machine shop, where I was the parts manager. It was a job I disliked and would leave within the next six months. I wasn't dating anyone.

Ronald Reagan was president. Apparently not much was happening, because there is little of note about this date online. The TV shows Family Ties, Cheers, and Knight Rider began.

Twenty years ago, on Monday, September 21, 1992, I was employed at a local law firm. I was also attending school at Hollins College, working on my bachelors degree.

I was married and working on year 9 of that institution. By this time we'd built the house we live in now. We were on year five of trying to have children and we were on the cusp of realizing it was something that wasn't going to happen.

We did not yet have Internet service or cell phones.

In the world, George H. W. Bush was president (and would soon lose to Bill Clinton). Gas cost about $1.05. Hurricane Andrew had come through about a month prior to this September date.

Ten years ago, on Saturday, September 21, 2002, I would have been at home. Probably cleaning my house, if routine serves as memory. My mother would have passed away in August 2000, and I would be moving on with my life after that event.

I would have been on the Internet for a number of years. I had a cell phone. For employment, I was a freelance writer with a steady contract with local newspapers. I loved the work.

In the world, George W. Bush was president. We would have had a one-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S. The drumbeats for war on Iraq would have been banging full force. Gas cost about $1.62.

On TV, Firefly would make its debut (it crashed and burned quickly).
I would be anxiously awaiting the December release of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, at the theater.

Which brings me to today, Friday, September 21, 2012.

Here I am, a middle-aged woman, looking for work and still trying to figure out what I'm going to do when I grow up. I had thought I would have had that sorted out by now, but I guess not.

I will spend my day today keeping a couple of appointments, shopping at Kroger, working on a project, and fixing dinner. I also plan to hit the treadmill as soon as I hit the publish button on this blog entry.

And that's my life by the decades.


  1. You're dong much better than I am in remembering a specific date throughout the decades. If it's not a milestone type day I don't remember it at all... always better to think about tomorrow I guess.

  2. I also don't know what I want to be when I grow up. But I am too tired to look very hard. I am an older person in real life than I am in my head. I see something and I think, maybe I could do THAT. But I can't. So maybe I'll start a B&B instead.

  3. Anita, just to recall everything in these decades is quite an accomplishment and a game I would not win even though being the central player. Rather than figure out what we want to be when grown up, why not decide not to grow up? Yes, I do realize that's really not an option, but my mental daydreaming.

  4. I could never skip back to the start and be able sight a happening for every ten years up to present!!
    Agreeing with Beatrice, I'd say that you did well. Some of the things you mentioned are familiar to me, of course, but lining them up?...couldn't do it. Just makes me think I'd better start living my dreams or I may miss life altogether!
    Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading your post!


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