MANY activities you do now would have made you a social pariah in your parents’ day, especially in middle-age. So cherish your freedom to do these pretty mundane things.
Watching superhero films
These days there’s nothing abnormal about two 45-year-old men earnestly discussing the latest Ant-Man film. Back in the 80s, your dad’s blokey colleagues would have mocked such childish fare, preferring grown-up films of the time like Deathwish 3, an incredibly realistic movie in which a wheezy senior man mows down scores of ‘street punks’ by carrying around a Browning heavy machine gun.
If a 40+ man wants to moisturise, it’s no problem. In fact you’ll receive high praise for such enlightened behaviour, especially from women. If your dad had let on that he moisturised he would instantly have been called a ‘poof’ and his nickname at work until he retired would have been ‘Liberace’.
Not being married
This sounds ridiculous now, but not in your mum’s day, when being unmarried even in your early 20s meant a race against time to not be ‘left on the shelf’. Society’s solution was to put so much pressure on women that they married the first bloke who wasn’t noticeably deformed and had a job, regardless of attraction or his personality. Come to think of it, your dad is a bit of a tedious twat, so that must be how your parents met.
Playing computer games
If your dad had gone in to work on a Monday and announced he’d spent the weekend being an elven wizard looking for magic artefacts, the next one might have been spent in a padded cell. These days, of course, your colleagues would just rightly assume you’d been playing Zelda, Skyrim or some other fantasy RPG. Of course if someone had played 1970s computer games all weekend they’d probably have brain damage from 32 hours of Pong.
In a way it’s odd to wear highly engineered, near-professional-standard sporting footwear to mooch around Tesco, but in your parents’ day you could forget about such super-comfy shoes. If for some reason you had worn trainer-type footwear, people would have assumed you were a sports teacher, and, thinking back to the PE teachers at your own school, you’d prefer not to be known as a definite paedo.
Not believing in God
As late as the 80s people put up a vague pretence of believing in God, and it was quite unusual to say you didn’t believe at all. This resulted in going to Sunday school and the occasional brain and arse-numbing family trip to church. If God exists it’s unlikely he was impressed, and probably wished all you hypocrites would f**k off back to your weekend DIY and telly and stop murdering hymns.
Talking about sex
In 2023 you can bang on about sex until everyone’s sick to death of your clitoris. Not in the 1950s. If a woman even used the word ‘sex’ the room would have gone silent. Older females would quickly have deduced you were a prostitute, and all men present would have assumed you were gagging for it in the nearest Ford Anglia. They were more wholesome, innocent times.