Generation-X

Dating, Then & Now

Recently, I found a Meatloaf CD (Bat Out of Hell) in a drawer I was cleaning out. Ever since then the fabled song Paradise by the Dashboard Lights has been flirting with me.

Dating, Then & Now

Since finding the CD, I’ve listened to it in my car (when not listening to Dean Martin) and of course the song is legendary. For those of you not familiar with the song, and I’ve found quite a few of you out there who have not heard of it (the horror!), allow me to briefly give you the details.

The song is about a young couple, presumably high school seniors or college-aged, who are “parking” and of course the guy is trying to talk the girl into going all the way. A fun little baseball commentary is thrown in to let you know how far the young male is getting with his girl. But, the girl stops him just in time to ask him if he will love her forever if they go all the way.

Well, the song is classic. See for yourself. But please, be patient and watch it all the way through to the end if you are new to the song.

But as I have been listening to this song as of late, reminiscing about my younger days, it dawned on me that kids these days no longer partake in this activity. Not like we did. Now they have group dates and kids just hang out with each other. I don’t think they date anymore. They certainly don’t park anymore.

And why not? What is wrong with parking I ask you? We did it. Our parents did it. I think it teaches us social skills. Let’s think about this for a minute.

Parking teaches us (the girls) how to generally say No to someone. It teaches us to respect and stand up for ourselves. It may teach the young men to accept rejection while still building confidence. It may even teach them how to treat a lady properly. Then again, if we are being real and honest, it was just good fun.

And let me be clear, parking does not mean going all the way or having sex. It was simply innocent necking and/or making out, at least to me that is what it meant. I am a GenXer though, we skirted that boundary quite often. I think we probably went a little further than our Baby Boomer parents. Still, I’m here to tell you that I turned out okay and nothing bad happened to me.

Parking

I’m not advocating that kids should go out and park. Today is a lot different. And I’m also not talking about young teens either, I’m not referring to 14, 15, 16 year-olds. I’m speaking of seniors in high school or better yet, college-age youngins.

Being a teenager back in my day is way different than being a teen today. We were handed a lot more freedom and responsibility when I was a young adult. We did not have helicopter parents who shuffled us from one activity to another. It was up to us to get our butts home. It was up to us to get ourselves to work and home after school. It was up to us to do our own school work and pay the consequences when we did not. No one was home waiting for us with baked cookies when we got home from school.

I don’t say all of that to get pity. The contrary. I loved it and I wouldn’t want it any other way. My parents and grandparents did a great job raising me. I LOVED IT. It certainly gave me some coping and social skills that I still use today. They raised me to be independent, free-thinker, and to have faith and friends.

And dating, I didn’t do a whole lot of dating back then. I was shy and bashful. But I do know that dating back then is different from dating today. I’m not saying it is better or worse. It’s just different.

What were some of your best moves back in the day?

Thanks for reading and show me Your Moxie!

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