The Things We Ate, 70′s Style : Dinner’s Ready!

The late 1970’s had its’ fair share of interesting food offerings. Due to increased food prices (AKA, inflation) and the increased demand for cheap, easy and convenient meals, the likes of Swanson TV Dinners, Chef Boy-ar-dee and moms’ Mac-n-Cheese were popular table choices.

At my suburban household we had certain nights dedicated to all-american food staples – taco night (my favorite!), pizza night, meat loaf night, fried chicken night, pot roast night (my dads’ favorite!). And all the food fare was pretty standard for the time – Velveeta, Crisco, Wonder Bread. In fact, Velveeta was so prevalent in our house that I was unaware that there were any other cheeses available until I went to collage! And although I now indulge in a multitude of amazing cheeses today, I still occasionally get that craving for the creamy yummy-ness of a grilled cheese sandwich made with Velveeta!

70’s Hair Gone Wild

The up do, the down do, the Farrah do. When you think of 70’s hairstyles, the Farrah “flip” is probably the first style that comes to mind. And with good reason; the Farrah Flip was a cultural phenomenon that promoted itself weekly on our ‘boob-tubes’, thanks to a certain TV show. Even if you didn’t watch Charlie’s Angels, you knew about the Farrah Flip.
But with all the feathered hype, a very 70’s hairstyle was quickly forgotten – the “Dorothy Hamill”.

Yup, before Farrah there was Dorothy Hamill, complete with a supremely cute, subtle ‘feather’ cut. Short, sassy, easily maintained, the Dorothy Hamil was a precursor to the extreme feather Jill Munroe sported on Charlie’s Angels. Of course, now we call Dorothy’s cut a ‘wedge’ cut, but let’s be honest here – it WAS feathered. In fact, I do believe that most 8th grade boys sported this look in the 70’s. Shaun Cassidy comes to mind, and even better, his brother. Nothing to be ashamed of boys – Dorothy Hamill DID win a gold medal at the Olympics, after all.

What was Once

What was once . . .

Our current age of instant digital information has proven easy access to not-so-important knowledge. We now have unending accesses to most media, access to more gossip avenues, and exposure to way too much useless information. All of this instant access makes history a bit more accountable – or maybe it’s lost in the shuffle? Which is why history through TV seems so precious; it’s a time capsule of what was once simple. Mork and Mindy, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat  – simple. Raise your hand if you miss SIMPLE.

This current information overload seriously has me waxing nostalgic for the days when we only had three main TV networks, “instant” Polaroid cameras, and Pong was the only game that interfaced with your TV. What was once simple has become overly complicated. I hate complicated.

I Loved Chuck

Ever wonder what young, bored in suburbia girls REALLY did in class? They might have looked like they were dutifully taking notes on the days topics, but what they were earnestly concentrating on was writing the name of their one and only true love, over & over & over & over . . .you get the idea.

And in this case of MY one and only true love, it was Chuck, as you can see by my binder ramblings. I actually have at least three pages of the same thing, “I Love Chuck” written so many times I HAD to have run out of ink at some point. Funny thing about Chuck – he was one of three, a triplet. Yup, there were three Chucks, so to speak. Why all the girls seemed to fall for only him, way back when we were all 13, I can’t explain. But damn, did he have it good! I think we all loved Chuck.

TV and its impact 70’S style, Part II – KICK ASS, CRIME FIGHTIN’, LIBERATED WOMEN RULE!

Whether it was a result of women’s lib or the feminist movement, no one can deny that 1970s TV had an abundance of kick-ass women on the tube. Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, Police Woman, Charlie’s Angels – badass babes taking out the bad guys and making the world a safer place for you and me. Oh, yes, these crime fightin’ foxes could take on you, me and all the fumbling villains that crossed their paths. Girl Power!

And then there were the smart, hard working, fast talking, take-no-shit women of prime time – Maude, Alice, Ann Romano of One Day at a Time, Rhoda, Phyllis. Most of these characters were women trying to make their way and find their own voice in a new world – a world where economic times were hard and being an independent woman was, at the very least, a challenge. These characters inevitably showed girls and women throughout the USofA that we really could make it on our own – complete with sassy dialogue.

As a testament to the draw of girl power on TV, three of the top five TV shows during the 1975-76 season were The Bionic Woman, Maude, and Laverne and Shirley.

Given, there was a lot of T&A involved in the success of some of these shows. But inevitably, for a young girl like myself, watching these empowered women kick butt and make it on their own gave me the notion that I too could take on the world – maybe not in the same manner as The Bionic Woman – but none-the-less, I believe ultimately they were positive roll models.

Feathered Hair

 

Wrangler Jeans and feathered hair. Serious situations that describe my not-so-serious life, back in the late 1970’s. Oh, yes, the feathered hair meant so much back then. My hair, the boys’ hair. Feathered. If the boy could flip that feathered hair, even better. Seriously – I think the boys had the better feather! Us girls would spend WAY too much time getting that flip just right; boys seemed to just have it without trying. Did they use gel? Did they use mouse? Hey, guys, we HATED you for that!!! Case in point: my saidies date has THE BEST FEATHER EVER, and I spent at least 45 minutes trying to get my feather oh-so-perfect, his looks so natural. Then again, I have no way of knowing how long my date actually spent getting that flip. Hey, John, how long DID it take you to get that perfect flip?

TV and it’s Impact – 70′s Style

‘Way back’ in the 1970′s we had Archie Bunker, the Fonz, Maude, Laverne and Shirley, Mary Tyler Moore (a hold over from the 60′s – yikes!) and absolutely NO whiff of ‘Political Correctness’. White girls working the line at a Milwalkee plant, white  men who used to work the line at Ford or GM, trying to find their voice in a new world. A new “1970′s” world.

Economic times were BAD here in the U S of A, and TV gave us a glimpse into the America that exposed bigorty, lying politicians, class wars and an unrealistic ideal of life that never really existed. Were we dupped?! My family was. “Buy American!”. So we did. “Support your local union!” And we did. But to what end? Well, by the end of the 1970′s we had unprecedented levels of unemployment, jobs lost due to cheaper goods produced outside the US of A. Are we better now? What would Archie say?

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