The things that used to seem normal

I was sitting watching Ordinary People (at minute 1:53 is what inspired this post) a few weekends ago and I was just floored when Judd Hirsch, who played a psychiatrist, sat in his office WITH HIS patient smoking one cigarette after another. It shouldn’t have shocked me. I lived in that time. I smoked in the hospital IN THE ROOM when I had both my boys. Still, it really shocked me that a doctor would do it.

Then later on we were watching Family. Anyone remember that show? I bought the first 3 seasons of it and Paul and I watch it at night if nothing is on after the news. Well, Kate, the “mom” on the show had jury duty and some of the jurors were smoking as well as one of the “lawyers.” They even had those built-in ashtrays on the sides of the jurors chairs like what used to be in the movie theaters.

Later on in another episode they showed a young couple in a hippie van holding their baby. No car seats! Then there was a scene in a drugstore, remember old-fashioned drug stores???? Anyway, in the drugstore there were pay phones right inside the door. How many of those do we see anymore?

It strikes me as odd to see this stuff now but I lived this. So many things in life have changed. I didn’t bring either one of my kids home from the hospital in a car seat and I smoked right in the room in the hospital. It seems so bad now.

What do you see from past shows, sitcoms or movies that must make you sit back and say WOW?? And all you young people, what do you think when you see someone in a  hospital smoking in a movie or old TV show? Fred Flintstone smoked. Did you all know that? Or kids riding in the front seat of a car with no seat belt or car seat in sight? Can you even imagine not having a cell phone?

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11 Responses to The things that used to seem normal

  1. SKL says:

    Ha, I’m an old person at heart, so I remember “those days” rather often. But now that I’m a mom, I notice it more, because I think my kids would take note of it. The old cop / mystery shows/movies where the way they smoked was almost part of the plot. The way they looked at women, too – the way women who worked in offices acted (like objects, mostly). These were things we just took for granted – would you even think “he’s a smoker”?

    What about the horrible hairdos and glasses of the 60s/70s? It’s hard to take a show from that period seriously.

    But another thing was how people respected their parents, teachers, and bosses. It would have been very unusual / shocking to see the kinds of attitudes that are regularly displayed in family shows / movies nowadays. And vice versa, I guess.

    Kids running barefoot, including to school. Kids playing hooky. Kids getting swatted by just about any adult who got ticked off at them. Families going to church every Sunday. When was the last time you saw a movie or show (not black & white) where the family attended church routinely?

    Dancing. Everyone used to know how to dance, or so it seemed. And not just hopping around to a beat. Also, all women knew how to cook and sew. If any of these three were required now, I’d be in trouble.

    • Laura says:

      I can name a show, not black and white, where the family regularly goes to church: The Simpsons! Marge ALWAYS makes sure her kids go, at least. Sometimes Homer ends up at home on the couch.

  2. Laura says:

    The big show I remember this kind of stuff in was “Andy Griffith”. Especially when he was sitting on the porch with whomever, he was smoking.

    The most sexist show I can remember was “Bewitched”. I used to watch it like crazy, ’cause I loved that Samantha could do magic, but I HATED Darrin. (and it didn’t matter which one), because why the heck would you marry a woman who was a witch, then forbid her to use magic? Idiot. But she was always, “oh, yes, he’s my husband, he’s SO right.” HAH. Twitch him into a frog and put him in a terrarium.

    I was just watching something the other day… what was it…. oh, yeah – Fantasia! And realized, “this would NEVER make it on TV/Movies today,” because many of the female characters – centaurs, in particular – were nude up top. They weren’t sexual, but they were without clothing. And during “Night on Bald Mountain”, at least one of the demons was female, naked, and *gasp* had nipples!! I suspect the entire thing would be pulled for PC reasons.

  3. Joy says:

    I think something else that’s really changed for the worse are places adults used to go on dates. Restaurants. Nightclubs. I can remember my dad always getting on a really nice suit. He might have gone to the barber. My mom would put on a really pretty dress and sometimes she even wore a corsage. Restaurants used to be big cozy booths with material on them with china and crystal and cloth napkins and candles and it was so much darker and a lot more flamboyant if you will. I have a picture of my grandparents sitting in a nightclub where there was an orchestra and people would dance in the center of the room and boy, those people sure dressed up. There’s nowhere to go like that anymore. Now things are so darn bright and everything is throw away and nothing is glamorous. People just put on jeans and a sweater and go out to eat like they’d go grocery shopping. I think that’s really sad. I’m not saying it’s wrong, I do it too but again, just very different.

    • SKL says:

      Ah Joy, that’s what old movies are good for. I love to see that, but I do NOT want to live it, LOL. I hate having to dress up. I know I’m weird, but I’m kinda glad that the world accommodates me there.

  4. Nikki says:

    Obviously I’m too young to know any of this first hand. 😉 But, when I see it on older movies, I can’t help but think about how “care free” life was back then. People pretty much did what they wanted, not so many regulations. I’m not saying the regulations set now are a bad thing, I do not want to be stuck in an airplane for 3 hours with people smoking freely. And I rather enjoy coming home from a night out at a bar (when that ever happens!) and not smelling like an ashtray. I know smokers hate that, and some non-smokers even hate that, but I can’t say I do.

    Times are definitely different, for better or worse? I don’t know. I think that can go both ways. The car seat/seat belt thing, I can’t imagine not having Bailey in a car seat or seat belt. But it just wasn’t what people did back then. Laws are much stricter.

    I remember when I’d stay at my grandma’s and she’d go out on a date . She’d put her prettiest dress on, and I’d help her pick out her jewelery. She had one of those old perfume sprayers and she’d spray herself than give me a spray. Talk about great memories, I had the best with her. Okay, back to the subject. It was a big thing going out. Now, I just throw on a cute pair of jeans and a nice top or sweater and head out the door.

  5. Phyllis says:

    I lived those days. I am a product of that much simpler and often nicer time. My granddaughters find it hard to believe that when I was growing up all the moms wore “housedresses” like they see on the “Honeymooners.” The dress code at a public school, for girls, was dresses or a skirt and good blouse, regular shoes and socks (either knee socks or anklets). The boys wore dress pants with belts (at their waists, no less, imagine that), nice shirts, nice shoes and generally dress socks. Yep, it was REQUIRED…. and if we weren’t dressed appropriately we got sent home and had to come back. Walking both ways because usually the dads had the car at work.

    Have you ever seen the variety shows from back then, like Red Skelton or Dean Martin. Or how about Alfred Hitchcock or Twilight Zone? Everybody smoked. Dean Martin was never without a glass that supposed held booze. I read later that he didn’t really drink much, and it was another type of drink. True? Who knows. I don’t remember Fred Flintstone smoking though.

    As for car seats, we had one for my daughter when she was old enough to sit up, and she always rode in back. It was NOTHING like the ones used now though. No reclining, front facing, neck braces etc., just an upright seat held in place with the car seat belt.

    Boy, how times have changed, huh? Some things for the better, some not so much. 🙂

    • Joy says:

      Check this out Phyllis.

      • Phyllis says:

        Oh my gosh! That’s shameless! I can’t believe they actually used the Flintstones (kid programming) to sell cigarettes. And to think it must have been so common place that it’s not even in my memory bank. Wow….. just unbelievable. 😦

    • Laura says:

      I remember my carseat from when i was little. I used to bang the armrest – padded, went all the way around in front of me – up and down. It was a game. It NEVER would have held me down in a wreck. Heck, it probably would have cut me in half! But at least the seat sat me up so I could see out the window.

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