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I remember it as almost being depressing.
We didn't have a lot of money.
My my dad was recently back from from the service and starting his own business.
Um, it seems like they were trying to trying to make make ends meet, and I was the oldest, and I think my dad wanted a boy because it's, uh it's a spare bit.
I remember as soon as I was old enough practically to walk, he wanted he would let me stay up at night to watch the boxing matches with him.
And as soon as I could fit my hand into a glove, he bought me a pair of boxing gloves and taught me gave me boxing lessons.
Um, my brothers came along, and, um, and he used to, uh he thought this was this was great sport.
And he trained me better than the boys so that I could I could beat the boys up.
They were younger, but But I could, um I was supposed to be a lady.
Um, I can remember having black patent shoes and little white socks, and I had to wear white gloves.
Um, we went to church every Sunday, and I had to wear dresses and and gloves later.
When I when I went to school, was Catholic school, and I was taught that, um, a lady is is always a lady and that I was always to be a lady.
And that meant, um no, not to, um, play with horseplay.
Um, I wanted to be a tomboy.
I wanted to go out and climb trees and and hike in the woods and do the things that the boys did.
But, um, but I was I was somewhat limited and being able to do that, I went to Catholic school with all girls, and I was I was isolated from the boys, and, um, we had we had long, strenuous discipline.
Ah, regiments almost to teach us patience.
Um, how just how to be a lady and and how to be feminine.
Waiting in lines, No talking and lines, um, prayer vigils, things like that.
Um, and of course, you always had to wear a hat in church.
A lot of a lot of things were off limits.
Um, like I said, playing, playing with the boys was off limits.
Um, I remember I I wanted a pair of high heels, sneakers.
They're back in style now, But at that time, there only and stop for boys.
And, um, and girls.
Little girls just just didn't wear things like that.
They, um they had to be feminine.
And, um and, you know, do the things that girls D'oh!
Um, where my brothers were out playing ball.
I couldn't do that.
But it was fine for me to play house with the girls.
Remember, we would we would build what we thought were pretty major del houses in our basements and play dolls.
And that was fine.
Um, we weren't We weren't allowed to go out and do the fun things that the boys were doing.
We we're expected to stay around the home.
Um, learn how to do the things around the home.
Learn, learn how to do the baking, Um, the cookies, the bread, the pies, all of it.
And I, By the way, I do not cook it all now.
Um, but those were the things that we were expected to do, and it was fine to play with the dolls, but we always had two.
It always had to be known where we were.
We couldn't be be off where it was unknown because there is.
There was a lot more supervision for girls at that time.
Um, I resented it.
I I wanted the freedom, the freedom that that my brothers had.
Even though my brothers were younger, they definitely had more freedom.
And, um and I I didn't have it.
And I used to make me angry.
I had four choices of things that I could be when I grew up.
I could be a teacher, a nurse, a stewardess or a secretary.
Um, I couldn't go into things that dealt with medicine.
I couldn't go into law.
I couldn't go into the real professions.
Um, it was it was extremely limiting.
And, of course, the overall goal was to find a husband, um, get married, have Children and live with a white picket fits.
It was extremely limited.
And if that was that was very, very frustrating.
Um, I didn't I didn't really like those options, but girls didn't didn't do other things.
Of course, I could have been a nun, but that, to me wasn't wasn't an option either.
One thing.
One thing I remember feeling iss some why Why do well in school.
You know, it doesn't It doesn't really matter, because school is something that I have to endure for 12 years.
Um, college was it was an option if I wanted it.
Not something that my parents were pushing because they fully expected that after high school, I would get married and, um, and have Children.
And I almost did that.
I came very, very close to marrying my high school sweetheart and living in in that type of situation.
But, um, somehow I was able to break break away from that.
It made me feel very limited.
And I guess almost frustrated, because to me, this was it was not acceptable.
These options were, um, clearly female dominated professions and just not acceptable to me at the time, it made me almost angry.
And then I wanted to to break out out of that mold, and I didn't know how to do it was frustrating.
I didn't have any any way to go about doing that that I knew of at that time.
Um, my family didn't understand these frustrations.
Um, and probably in part because I I didn't voice wth, um it was not something that a little girl did little girls and and I heard this If I heard it once, I heard it 100 times.
Little girls are to be seen and not heard.
And it was, um it was not something that a little girl did to go around complaining and say, I don't like this.
I don't want to do this because this was my lot in life having being born a girl, Um, at that time and it was just what what was expected, and I should accept it and be quiet about it.
I think being a teenage girl that time was painful and that, um, is all teenagers do.
You're trying to break out out of the role model, and at that time, there really weren't any role models that you could look to for how to do that.
So you had to to do it in in your own way, whatever.
That Woz And I guess some dating boys was one way that I could do it.
I I started dating at 11 Um, much to my mother's dismay and really I mean, she was pretty horrified about that, but, um, there were a lot of restrictions put on it.
There were a lot of restrictions put on it, but, um, she did allow me to to date someone at 11.
And that was one way that I could break away.
Um, another way that I that I used with some I found that.
And by this time, my my family was making pretty good money.
I found that I could take Daddy's shopping, uh, cards and I could charge things, and, um and I could spend money without without really having anybody there.
So is a teenager.
Uh, I used to.
I used to use that.
And the only thing he ever he ever said to me was You have to stop spending so much money and I'd say fine and go out and do it, and he would pay the pills.
I remember the dating experience at that time being frustrating.
The girl could not call the boy.
I used to do it anyway, um, whenever I could find a phone where there was no adults around, I had another girlfriend, and she and I used to get together for the purpose of calling boys.
And, um and it was totally something that was taboo at that time.
Um, but, you know, sometimes if you didn't do that, then you know, you just you wouldn't wouldn't be noticed.
Um, the rules for dating at that time were extremely limited.
Um, I had to be picked up by the boy and one of his parents, and the parent would have to call my parents beforehand and say that they were, in fact, going to come and pick us up.
They would pick us up.
The boy would come into the house, meet my mother.
My dad usually wasn't home at that time, and I would have to let them know exactly where I was going, what time the dance started, what time the dance ended and I would have to be home immediately after after the dance ended.
If it was a private party, my mother would want the name of the person giving the party so that she could in fact call and, uh, and make sure that everything was okay and that we were being properly chaperoned.
Joys play by the rules.
Absolutely not.
Um, I I can remember one time, especially not playing by the rules.
Ah, I was about 16 years old.
I guess and I had a steady boyfriend and we had made the mistake.
I had a very strict curfew.
I had to be home at 12.
30 on the weekends, and I could only go out one weekend night anyway, and not at all in school nights.
But we had come home at one o'clock and that was absolutely terrible.
The most awful thing that could have done.
My parents were both waiting for us.
Um, they told me that I was grounded for three years.
I could never see this particular boy again.
And that he was he had to leave right now.
Well, that was not satisfactory with with either me or or the boyfriend's.
So, um, we told his parents, who were a lot more liberal than mine, what had happened.
And they thought it was a little extreme also.
So his parents agreed to loan him the other car, the other family car, which my parents had not seen, and he also borrowed his dad's hat.
At that time, Man always were top hats, and my boyfriend began picking me up and the other car with this hand on, and I had a lot of baby sitting jobs, and, uh, they never caught on.
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Hear Why This 1950s Catholic Girl Rebelled

20 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on March 28, 2020
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