We Did Everything We Were Told To Do


We were born right after the end of the WWII baby boom. Going to school, Baby Boomers were about half of our teachers, so from birth all outside influences told us to be the way we were. We were good kids, slightly rambunctious, we ran in packs around the neighborhood. Everyone ran in packs around every neighborhood. Every house had a TV that ran all evening. The parents stayed inside & watched; the kids stayed outside & played until dark in the summer.

You have your whole life to get serious, we were told. Of course, these were the Baby Boomers telling us that while they were all snorting Coke & popping Quaaludes. Disco. Need I say more? It was huge & the clubs were packed. Cute girls were never ID’d. Never. At the time though, it was legal to drink low point beer at age 18, so there were a ton of beer bars. They didn’t ID either.

I sailed through high school without cracking a book or attending class. Funny thing was that to skip out of school, you would actually have to get there early to find a partner in crime. We never got in trouble for skipping out of school. You got 3 unexcused “lates” each quarter & I was a master at an excuse. I told a great story & could always get my group out of trouble. It was always a group – packed as tightly into that Delta 88/Vistacruiser/Cutlass as possible, running around town all day.

I worked for three years after high school at the coolest job in the world: I processed seismic trace data using FORTRAN. There might have been some BASIC & COBOL thrown in there somewhere (everything was capitalized back then). I played ADVENT & Dungeon & the early Zorks. Then the oil industry collapsed & off to college I went. Did I major in computers? No, I was an idiot!

This is what you did, you goofed off because you have your entire life to grow up & get serious. This is what the finally-serious Baby Boomers told us in school, just out of school, on TV, in every popular book, in every song on the radio. Find yourself! Find your passion! Of course while telling us this, the Boomers themselves were getting serious & starting to rake in the dough.

I met my husband in the very early eighties; he ran in the same group as my boyfriend at the time & had the same major as I did: Geology. I cut his hair – I cut everyone’s hair – I wasn’t very good at it, but I was cheap, lol! My boyfriend dumped me 2 years later & my husband & I started hanging out. We were best friends for about 4 months before we realized we were dating. It took us a month after that to kiss & my sister kissed him first (under the mistletoe). Bitch 🙂

We just kind of hung out in the college town for a few years; it was cheap & we had fun jobs, then we decided it was a good idea to move to a big city – it took us 2 years to get the hell out of there & back to our home town. We were coming up on our 30s. We were still just fooling around like we were supposed to. We had our entire lives to get serious! In the early 1990s the economy was really bad, so it wasn’t as if there was going to be anything resembling a career anyway.

Thing is that there were all these abandoned houses sitting around. You could get one for a few thousand dollars, so we did & we fixed it up. The neighborhood was terrible; it hasn’t improved much! We now live next door. It was cheap to live & we got whatever jobs & life passed. It was fun! We partied our lives away! Holy cow, we should have bought a handful of those houses; we could have done it no problem.

We discussed having kids in our mid 30s, but neither of us was very enthusiastic. We decided that if it were a priority, we would have had them a decade before. We didn’t know anyone our age with kids; our siblings weren’t having kids. It was very unpopular & you were looked upon as sort of boring & giving up on life. That was the message in the day, at least the message we got.

I’m not saying that I would do any different today, but looking back with red pill knowledge, damn we were ignorant! I mean, it’s nice to float on the surface of life, but we should have kicked at least a little ass, right? I mean we did lots of fun things & opened a fun business & lived fun lives, but maybe we should have grown up at some point in time. The only thing we did do was take advantage of the Boomer’s leavings & we lived frugally. Also my husband has always been really good at investments.

We are still floating on the surface of life – we are old, everything’s paid for, no one is relying on us & we are practically almost retired(ish). We never did grow up & become adults, & frankly, don’t see much reason to do so now, except that our bodies don’t heal as quickly as they used to. Crazy thing is that barring a horrific accident or illness, we still have half of our lives left. What the hell are we going to do with them?

I was lead to believe that amazing & wonderful things were in store for me. I was sold a bill of goods – I was a special snowflake just like everyone else! What I didn’t realize until recently is that throughout time, 99% of all people just lived their lives as best they could. Very few people had amazing & wonderful lives, but I was told my entire life to expect amazing & wonderfulness to happen. All the commercials on TV were amazing & wonderful! Buy this tampon & have romantic horseback rides on the beach!

I guess what I’m most thankful for is that I got to spend most of my life so far with my husband. We goofed off & had fun, but we did it together. Yes we completely bought the blue pill, but we bought it together. Once I found the red pill, we took it together. We are wasting our lives, but we are wasting them together. We are getting old, but we are getting old together. So, I guess our lives really haven’t been wasted at all 🙂


19 thoughts on “We Did Everything We Were Told To Do

  1. Sis

    We used to run in packs during the summertimes too, just had to be home before dark which was 10:30. My bike got lots of mileage when I was a kid.

  2. TempestTcup Post author

    It was so much fun & yeah, everyone rode bikes in packs, too. I don’t really see it much anymore until the kids get a little bit older. We were really young maybe 6 or 8 but there were older siblings.

  3. ladysadie1

    “I was lead to believe that amazing & wonderful things were in store for me. I was sold a bill of goods – I was a special snowflake just like everyone else! What I didn’t realize until recently is that throughout time, 99% of all people just lived their lives as best they could. Very few people had amazing & wonderful lives, but I was told my entire life to expect amazing & wonderfulness to happen. All the commercials on TV were amazing & wonderful! Buy this tampon & have romantic horseback rides on the beach!”

    Amazing description of most people’s lives vs. what they think their lives will be.

  4. TempestTcup Post author


    I mean, you should encourage kids, but don’t outright fill their heads with loads of sparkly fluff. And no one ever said, “Well, if you work really, really hard for years & years you will win the prize.” Even back then it was a “gold star for everyone!”

  5. AverageMarriedDad

    I like your style. My wife and I both met in Geology in college as well (same major). I still feel like we’re floating through life, doing our best, with kids in tow. They like what we like (healthy eating, exercise, sunshine, pixar films, poop and fart jokes) and for the most part life is pretty sweet… being red pill is like a life hack/cheat code in some ways. Enjoy the moments, since they seem to pass in an instant.

  6. TempestTcup Post author

    Absolutely! So far this year has zipped by, it’s crazy! And I agree about the red pill being a cheat. I used to let people & things kind of get me down, but now I recognize peoples’ behaviors & it has really helped.

    Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  7. LostSailor

    Ah, a trip through nostalgia…

    Actually, I have fond memories of coke and Quaaludes. And I didn’t have to worry about being ID’d, because I was working at the best bars at 17 (never a disco, though; I have standards, as flimsy as they are).

    I sailed in high school, but I did crack books and go to class, but skipping was pretty easy; I used to be the guy people went to for forging parents signatures on excuse notes.

    I worked at at least a paying something since I was 12, but took even uncool jobs and made my own spending money from 15 on. I played with (very rudimentary) computers in junior high school, but missed the whole majoring in computer science (though I was friends with those guys–and they were almost always guys–and picked up a lot). I rode dirt-bikes without a helmet and later motorcycles with one.

    In the early 80s, I went to Europe for vacation and ended up living in Greece for 3 years.Came back to the U.S. and started a career. Got married in my early 30s.

    And the vaguely Red Pill part of my life began it’s decline. I unknowingly swallowed the Blue Pill. After years of a good marriage, though no kids, things slowly fell apart and it was over.

    Then, Red Pill rediscovered. I never bought into the “wonderful life” fantasy, thankfully. But I have a plan. Fortunately, I learned to sail very young (part of the joke of my ID), and have intermittently kept it up. So the future involves living frugally, investing smartly, a boat, and an ocean of water that spans the world.

    No, your lives, nor my life has been wasted. Do I sometimes wish I’d not swallowed the Blue Pill? Yes, of course. But I’m not moping over it. There were many good times. And there are good times now, even in the midst of bad times. And there will be many better times to come.

    Good on you guys. I’ll be sure to remember to send you an invitation to come sailing when the time comes…

  8. LostSailor

    I don’t agree that the Red Pill is a cheat (and I’m not sure you really mean that), though I do agree it’s a type of life hack. Red Pill for me is a rediscovery, a scales-falling-from eyes thing. And it’s definitely wrought real changes in my life, all for the better.

  9. LostSailor

    I used to ride frickin’ everywhere on my bike up until I got my driver’s license (when I used my own money to buy a beater car). During the summer, we were pretty much kicked out of the house and told not to return till dinner, and then let loose again. It’s actually amazing that I wasn’t arrested in later years, but the cops were actually more forgiving back then. Even as a teen, I never really had a curfew (maybe a guy thing). Though at once trying to sneak in at 5am, I was greeted at the top of the stairs by Mom, arms crossed and pissed off expression. Still she never actually mentioned it again, and I didn’t do it again.

    When I was 16, Dad had a 3 1/2 week business trip to Asia and Mom went along. They left me alone at home with cars, gas credit cards (remember those?), and enough cash for food. I know they were half expecting me to throw wild parties, but I didn’t. They did later allow me to host an HS graduation party for 200 with lots of rock music and several kegs. The folks stayed in the living room, but my friends were all pretty cool and made sure to go in there to say hello before proceeding to the party. Ah, those were the days…

  10. TempestTcup Post author

    You are right, but it’s like getting a peek at the Teacher’s Edition or something; we are working off of information that other people don’t & most likely never will have. It has both helped & hindered my relationships with other people because now I can girl-game the guys in the office (machine shop, so they can be pretty crusty) yet I don’t put up with any kind of shit from anyone anymore, which makes some people avoid me – so that’s nice!

  11. TempestTcup Post author

    Keg parties! We used to have huge keg parties at the Beef Arena at the fairgrounds in HS – like 30 kegs. Huge parties! Those were the days.

    My best friend had a certain gas station where her parents had an account & she could fill up. I remember one day her mother was complaining that she had to fill her own car but her daughter’s fuel was always full service! The guy that pumped the gas would sometimes palm her a joint, lol.

  12. TempestTcup Post author

    Crap yeah, I would love to go sailing! It’s funny because just the other day my husband was showing me cute little catamarans on Craigslist & talking about how we should get a lot on a lake with mobile hookups. In almost 3 decades I’ve never known him to want to be on the water, but sure, I’m game. We need some sort of adventure.

    He is working on getting back into flying – it’s expensive & he was hesitant to spend the money, but seriously we can give up other things to free up some cash. Besides, if you actually lay out the bucks for a cute little Piper Cub or teeny Cessna, it becomes less expensive & you end up with an investment that increases in value.

    And I’ve always had a job, from mowing lawns as a kid to my mom forging my birth date on a birth certificate so I could get a job at 14 with my sister who was 16. She is 16 months older, so the math actually worked out to me being almost 9 months older than her. She wasn’t very happy about me being older!

  13. LostSailor

    Yes, keg parties. In high school my best friend and I used to organize rather large multi-keg gatherings in remote locations–fallow corn fields in fall, abandoned (but not flooded) quarries, etc. Far from complaining neighbors and police. We’d collect money during the week from attendees and arrange for the kegs, and usually turn a small profit. A friend with a van with large speakers provided the music. In retrospect, probably not the safest idea, but they were fun times and I don’t recall any fatalities…

  14. TempestTcup Post author

    I was friends with the guys organizing the parties & yeah, I think they made a good profit. They always put me to work at the tap – not sure why anyone needed their beer poured for them, but whatever 🙂

  15. LostSailor

    Ha. Sailing–at least the type of sailing I’ve done and want to do again–and flying can both get expensive. A little catamaran on the lake can be a lot of fun, but I’m talking about coastal and blue-water sailing, which is a completely different animal. The boats are bigger, the loads on the rig are bigger (and more dangerous) and the boat is essentially your home. Hoping to do a bareboat charter in the Caribbean in the fall.

    And job…started out with a paper route (yes, that old) and sold things like greeting cards door-to-door when I was 12 (which you won’t find kids allowed to do these days), did lawn-mowing, house painting, snow-shoveling. My folks signed working-papers for me so I could get a job at the new mall (and malls were all new back then) when I was 15. Started working in bars (busboy) at 17 and moved up to waiter and bartender when I turned 18. In college worked in a ball-bearing factory (machinist), book-bindery, office-furniture installer (thing cube farms), and in restaurant kitchen. Paid for a lot of college.

    Kids these days…

  16. TempestTcup Post author

    Oh yeah, I totally got that you were looking to being ocean going – that would be so cool. I’m not quite ready for that much adventure yet, as far as me being ocean going for any length of time. I’ll work on smaller local adventures right now & when I get bored with those, I’ll do something big. Not sure what yet. Something though.

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