Shall we give a hearty hello to a Slow Sunday? Traffic here is always at a minimum on the Day of Rest. Yep, that's what today is supposed to be, a day of rest; no work schedule to adhere to or chores to be done. Growing up, Sundays were for quietude. Twisted religiosity ruled in odd ways, like we could watch TV, but weren't allowed to go the movies. It was okay to pay for cable, but not okay to sit in a movie theater. I could never understand the logic that certain types of entertainment were bad for your soul. I wonder if this is what people mean when they talk about traditional family values? no movies on Sundays.
Once again here in Central Pa, the skies are overcast and there is a chance of rain. I'm not scheduled to work until Thursday. There was a time when I would call that a vacation, especially since it covers most of the week ahead. Vacations are another part of our lives where traditions have changed. Growing up, a summer vacation meant a visit to my grandparents who had moved to Allentown, PA for a week. That week also included day trips to New York City. It wasn't until I was in my mid-teens that my parents actually began planning and taking family vacations. Time wise, this was in the mid-60s. However, when I turned 16 those trips stopped because I could get a job without needing to get working papers. Working papers, you may ask, what are they? Well, they permitted an underage individual to get a job and earn money. I got my first job when I was 14. No allowance for me. Nope. I had to work and earn my spending money. These were the traditional family values I grew up with.
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Why am I writing about my past? Because I truly get fed up with Conservatives shrieking about Traditional Family Values. For those who haven't realized this yet, traditional family values are an ideal that conservatives subscribe to, an ideal they alone define as one which reinforces the family with certain values. Most of us grew up with variations on what traditionalists fantasize about. For example, we did gather around the kitchen table for dinner. That gathering usually lasted 10 minutes. There was no conversation about good or bad, just bits and pieces of neighborhood gossip. This doesn't mean that my parents didn't try and model our family behavior after a scripted TV show, but none of us were actors, so none of us knew how to play the parts. Families make their own traditions. They do not follow a precise pattern or fit into a specific mold, and everybody creates their own values. Children whose parents divorce have different values than those whose parents stay together; that's just one example. The traditional family values ideal was broken long ago. Conservatives will never understand that.