When I was young, lots of hippies were on the loose. I was at university (oh, how British!) a million years ago in a classroom full of students waiting for the teacher.
Finally, in walked a young-ish man with long-ish hair, wearing hippie-ish clothes.
I immediately dismissed him as just another student, when of course, he was the professor. I harrumphed, (in my mind) pulled my mini-skirt down a little-ish, which is all the little it would go, and thought about appearances.
Not really; it would be many years, a gradual change of character, and a love of wearing big, bleach-splattered tee shirts most of the time, for me to stop being Ms. Judgy Judgerson. (I like the Ms. added to the name. Ms. JJ is very hip, and came of age during the Seventies.)
Actually, I continue to unabashedly judge everyone by everything they own, and whether that trash in their yard has been picked up in a week. I overlook my own frailties, which is as it should be. If I was perfect, there would be nothing left for Heaven to do.
Or, I’d have died thirty years ago, because we know OTGDY. (Only the good die young.) So, it’s okay to judge the elderly based solely upon their number of years among us.
By that yardstick, you can already guess I’m not a saint.
I’ve been thinking about becoming a hippie in my twilight years, only not one of those internet memes of an eighty year-old hippie chick standing nude at a festival, knocking over fried tofu vendor stands with her arm flaps.
We have some friends who were hippies back in the day, and are now staunch Republicans. What the heck happened there? They named their first son, Free. He grew up and had a son, FatFree, who in turn had a son, GlutenFree, which brings us to the twenty first century.
I’m trying to imagine how it felt to grow up in the Eighties with a name like that, walk into a convenience store and stick it to the Man by pocketing a few Slim Jims and an energy drink. Afterward, you will have to explain to the cops why you’re named Free. I am indeed, trying to imagine how it feels to be forty-something with that name.
(Yes, yes, I know my name is Gigi. That’s a little different from being named Free.)
Watching heartwarming commercials about Woodstock accompanied by classic rock music, has made me wish and yearn for days I never embraced when I had the chance at nineteen. I pondered, in a New Age meditative way, are there good reasons to become a hippie at my time of life?
Yes! And they’re all groovy!
1) Hippies wore cool clothes.
Hippies wore the coolest clothes, sometimes deliberately, sometimes not. I liked green Army jackets long before they were the height of hippie fashion. And who doesn’t want to look like Audrey Hepburn in ‘Daddy Long Legs’ with her black turtleneck and ballet shoes?
That was beatnik, but they were the predecessors of the hippie.
Hippies could wear ragged jeans, and comfy sandals, lots of fringe, and tie-dyed everything, and it was all good.
2) Hippies had pretty good drugs, at least what I can remember of them.
I think that’s pretty funny; I never did any drugs except those over the counter weight loss ones. They gave you great energy, and then the FDA took them away, to give to their own families and friends.
There was the question of LSD, and stories of people frying their eyeballs staring at the big yellow ball in the sky, or jumping out windows, but those may have been scare tactics. They worked; I never tried it. Now, I might be convinced to give it a go, and see what working out in the pool feels like when every ripple looks like a tsunami.
Grab your boogie board, and let’s go surfin’ now!
(Let me just put my dog Sugar, in the other bedroom, in case she starts to look like a bear.)
3) Hippies believed in ‘Live and Let Live’.
Everybody was supposed to do their own ‘thang’. What’s better than that? Just do what comes naturally, even if it means being a corporate raider.
4) Hippies needed less to get by.
They could pack their UN flags, a bong, an extra pair of ragged jeans, a set of beaded curtains in their duffel bag, and hit the road with their thumb out, in two minutes flat.
I’m still trying to decide what to do with a box of odds and ends from thirty years ago.
5) Hippies indulged in free love.
I wonder how Free feels about this?
6) Hippies had great music.
I still listen to this music, and still wonder why my parents didn’t like it. My taste ran more to bubble gum pop, but still. I hear lyrics now, that I don’t remember thinking twice about when I heard them the first hundred times a hundred years ago.
Like, ‘Hey, 98.6, it’s good to have you back again…’ etc, and then, ‘Her lovin’ is the medicine that saved me, Oh, I love my baby!’
This girl had finally boinked her guy, bringing down his unbridled flush of lust. My mom may not have listened closely enough to have figured this out, but she was suspicious of all lyrics that were written after ‘How much is that doggy in the window?’
The adults also objected to the singers long-ish hair, and hippie-ish clothes. Now, they look like crew cut astronauts.
7) Hippies got to go naked.
It was usually laundry day when they did this, and they only had the one pair of jeans. And the drugs were plentiful. Otherwise, they may have put on something to wear.
I’ve been doing this since I was six. I did wear a pair of underpants when I went running around the neighborhood, but I remember being very comfortable with my body, and lack of modesty.
Being a hippie means being very comfortable. That’s my thang.
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