It's a good thing that old peace medallion necklace is still in the bottom of my jewelry box somewhere. I might want it any day now.
This past week I had one of "those" birthdays. As one of my sisters delicately phrased it, "one that ends with a zero." There's nothing wrong with the zero—it's that six in front of it that's the problem.
At least it was until a couple days ago, when I was hiking with a couple of my grandkids and had a life-transforming revelation along the trail to Harney Peak. I realized I've been given a unique opportunity. I have a second chance to experience the 60's.
There's the joke about, "If you can remember the 60's, you didn't fully experience them." That would be me. I lived through that decade with modesty, sobriety, restraint, and high grades. I didn't ingest or smoke any strange substances. I went to class regularly. The only time I attended a campus protest, I wandered in by accident. I didn't burn any bras (not that anyone would have noticed) and never even ironed my hair.
Now, I get to do the 60's over again. It's the perfect opportunity to try some of the things I missed the first time.
Like drugs. Well, maybe not so much. By the time I take my daily multi-vitamin, calcium, vitamin D, fish oil, and estrogen, the last thing I'm interested in is another pill to pop. I suppose I could try smoking my new hemp Tilley hat, but after that whole skin cancer on the nose experience last year, I need the sun protection more than the high.
Peace? I'm all for it. Just give me a universal jamming device to shut down all those obnoxious television sets in waiting rooms, bass-thumping speakers that damage the eardrums of people three cars over, and cell phones being shouted into by anyone in a public place. I'd be glad to give that kind of peace a chance.
Fashion? This one is too easy. The 60's are so In right now, in a retro sort of way. Never mind that anyone old enough to remember a fashion from its first incarnation shouldn't wear it the second time around. Bellbottoms? Absolutely. So what if the bell is a little rounder and swings a little lower than it used to. Love beads? Well, maybe; are love handles close enough? Long, beautiful hair? Never mind; I don't even want to talk about it.
Sit-ins? Tell me where and when, and I'll be there. I am an expert sitter. I'm willing to sit anywhere, anytime, for hours. Just as long as I have an ebook reader, an Internet connection, and a nice comfortable chair.
Free love? Absolutely. The more the merrier. I'll bring all my friends. Maybe the grandkids, too. What? Oh, wait. I thought you said "free lunch." Never mind.
Questioning authority? Challenging the establishment? Back then, I was too busy being well-behaved to get involved with any of that hippie change-the-world idealism. Now? I've learned just how important that idealism can be—especially when it's combined with some life experience. This time through, no more little miss nice girl. I am grandma; hear me roar.
A 60's do-over. I can't wait.
But in case anyone cares, let me add just one reassuring note. I promise I will never "let it all hang out."