Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Behind the Curve

Source: Google Images

I read a piece by Rosie the other night, and a rabbit hole appeared. She wrote

I am just old enough to have been pervaded with and forever infected by hippiedom – with that far out philosophy, with those general interests, with that taste for eccentric, narrow-hipped, wild-haired men – but not quite old enough to have really been a part of it. Also, not American. That would have helped. There were so many cool things hippies could do that I, somehow, couldn’t. The zeitgeist caught me, briefly, in its vapour trail as it swept on and on, and out of sight.

Out of sight, man…

Ah, the 60’s. The dawning of the Age of flower power and peace/love, man.

And that, is the sum total of my experience of growing up in the time of the hippies. Of course, the culture permeated and prevailed, but I wasn’t a hippie. Heck, I only started to say, “Cool” in the last decade or so. As usual, I am behind the cultural curve. I’ll probably start saying things like “Dude! That bed pan is freezing!” when I’m in the geriatric ward.

Like Rosie, I was surrounded by the hippy movement, but I participated only in tokens. That’s “token” as in I paid homage in small ways. Not “tokin.’” That I didn’t do until decades later when I hooked up with a hippie who never let go of the 60’s. See? Behind the curve, again.

Sure, in the 60’s and 70’s I grew my hair long, I wore love beads.  And hip-hugger jeans! I had a pair of pink denim, with bell bottoms. I loved them. Until the first wash when, for some stupid reason I poured bleach into the machine. The jeans were ruined. As I write this post now, I suppose I could have tie-dyed the jeans to cover the mistake, but it never occurred to me, then.

But the hard-core hippie stuff? Living off the land, in communes? Resisting and rebelling? Sit-ins and fighting The Man? Pfft. As if! I was still in high school, studying like the good student that I was. I was attending confirmation classes at church – three years, every Monday evening, like the good Lutheran that I was.

All I knew of LSD and drug overdoses was from the occasional dire warning from teachers. “Tripping” was such a foreign concept to me. Their cautionary tales felt more like Aesop’s Fables – a fiction that happened to other people in far away lands, a long time ago.

My parents didn’t say much, but I was aware of an apprehension, an uneasiness with the state of the world. They worried, I assume, about all that free love, all of those swamis and gurus, all of that long hair and all of those naked body parts.

Interesting to note: they didn’t stop me from attending an assembly to hear one of those gurus. I was swept up in the rapture, the adulation. I loved the message. I was ready to follow him as his disciple. Until, that is, I got home and re-read the pamphlet, and considered the consequences. Who, me? Leave home? Be out there, in the world? You can bet your sweet bippy I had second thoughts. Within 24 hours, I declared the whole thing a sham. Not necessarily because I knew better. But because I was a candy-ass.

These days, I am mostly oblivious to trends. I’ll never be a trendsetter and I’m comfortable with the notion that I’ll be forever behind the curve.

The curves of my behind, on the other hand… that, of course, makes me a hippy of another sort.

***   ***   ***

A short while ago, Carol  introduced me to Rosie and I have been enchanted ever since. I love stumbling upon writing and writers that defy description but that leave me feeling like I have found a secret garden. I’ll leave it at that.  I don’t want to taint or otherwise bias your expectations. I suppose the best I can do is invite you to pop on over to La Tour Abolie  and try for yourself!


Categories: Blog Blog Blog, Personal Growth

Tags: ,

43 replies

  1. Dude! I think you’re pretty darn cool, Maggie. Peace out and have a good one, man.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I enjoyed this read. I was behind the curve as well. All I could add to the above is not jeans (unless one counts the two pairs I made into a maxi skirt, worn with a cape — dear God, I was a walking tent!), but often a long flowing blue tie-dye dress worn with the cork clogs and always, always a pink carnation in my hair; wrists and neck dabbed with raspberry essential oil.. oh, and big white hoop earrings. There was no way to leave home; I was a mom of two, lol. I think, though, that you and I and Rosie were a bit too straight arrow to be love children. I regretted it then, but not anymore. Finally, Rosie and a few of you others provide the lub some days, to my dub — really, nothing less than that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL. I think you and I were the same kind of hippies — selective.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I failed at the hippie world thing too. I was married – had a real hippie living right across the street from me, but was far too straight and narrow to fall into that. “Straight and narrow” possibly being interpreted into up tight. But, that’s me – and that’s fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post Maggie. This brought back memories of my own time along the fringes of hippiedom. I was a child of the 70’s all the way, but I will always feel the need to thank everyone who came before me for their introduction to rebellion, counterculture, and some amazing music.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The millennials have their own version of hippydom. They go to the festivals all throughout the summer. The good news is, there’s limited authority, everyone sleeps in the rough in tents (although the kids said this one fella at a festival created kind of a web-hammock to sleep in), and share out communal foodstuffs/booze/and/or hallucinogenics.

    The bad news is…they usually bring in open-air stages, live music, and/or flow artists, for which the ‘fest-ees’ have to pay admission.

    Soooo – hippy as long as you’ve got money to get in the gate.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am also a behind-the-curve person. I was also a candy ass about moving far from home. I recall applying and wanting a job in the Pacific Northwest, until I actually got offered the job. Then I was all, “Well that’s just farrrrr…” lol
    This was very well-written and I am sad about your pants.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Maggie and thank you for the mention(s). It’s a new and magical thing (trippy, man!) to be thought of as enchanting and a secret garden, though I suspect ‘beyond description’ would ring a bell or two amongst my many previous employers.

    Your story of the pink denim bell bottoms reminded me of an embarrassing experience with a pair of pink denim dungarees, slightly later, in the eighties. Ex and I went to the pub, as we often did (together, but drinking to forget one another) and at some point in the evening I had to visit the loo, which was a spider-infested rat-trap of a place on the far side of the pub’s rear courtyard. The Ladies and the Gents shared a lightbulb (special hole knocked in the wall to allow its dim light to permeate both) so I couldn’t really see what I was doing and the dungarees would have been a challenge even before three glasses of cider.

    When I came back I discovered that my long pink braces were sopping wet having… dangled in the bowl.

    Never told that story before. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You and I are about the same age and had similar experiences with hippiedom: intrigued, but not persuaded. By the time I was old enough to actually pick that lifestyle, it was pretty much over. Oh well, I probably saved a lot of brain cells by not dropping out, tuning in, and turning on. Btw, I do have a t-shirt that says “The hippies were right” that I exercise in… it gets a lot of comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The dropping/tuning/turning thing… bugged me then, and it still rankles. It truly is a hot-button issue for me, and certainly bears further examination as to why.

      There does seem to be a re-dawning of the age, especially concerning environment and social justice. I’m all for that, for sure. I haven’t encountered your T-shirt slogan. Here I go, a-googling! Thanks Janis!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah Maggie, this is another one of your posts that feels like a chapter out of my own youth. I was the furthest thing away from cool. I was old even as a teenager. In fact, I’m younger now than I was back in the 70s.
    Holy Crap! I might be Benjamina Buttons!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very nice read, Maggie. You may not be a trendsetter, but your pretty cool in my book.


  12. I guess there are many of us like this


  13. Ahhhh….I was 10 in 1966. I remember some of the 60s but didn’t partake either. Still….it was an interesting era…and one that certainly left a mark on a lot of people. Enjoyed your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Far out, man! You, like, used the words, like, you were on the bus, man. Trippy.


  15. Same here! I never went for the whole hippy thing, but I did wear some of the odd clothes of the time. And I came along on the tail end of the hippy trend, so that helped. My cousin, now, went whole hog, and even lived for a while in a commune. I remember being impressed by him!


Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s