Confession #1: I was born on January 13, 1963 – 50 years ago for those reading this blog too tired to do the math. So, for the first time in my life I can be absolutely certain that I have lived more years than I will live – and, truth be told, I have finally reached that dreaded age Confession #2: I first remember thinking my parents were “getting on in years”, and Confession #3: were totally un-cool and sort of a drag.
While I am grasping for resolve and positive thoughts as I approach this momentous occasion, I find solace in the knowledge that Confession #4: the imaginary love of my life Johnny Depp, shares my birth year.
The year of my birth 1963 was a year like all years, good, bad, ugly, happy, sad, outrageous, tumultuous, momentous, and at times even inconsequential. My birth being only momentous to my 24 year old parents birthing their first child – Confession #5: an 8 pound 13 ounce black haired baby girl for whom they were absolutely clueless how to care and only slightly confident they would figure it out before she turned 18.
So not that I need any reminders that I now stand on that dreaded or revered (depending upon what side of 50 you stand) age, I thought it would be fun to remember what the world was like when I was born.
The average household income was about $5,800, the average cost of a house was $12,500, gas was 29 cents per gallon, a new car a mere $3,223, and a loaf of bread 22 cents.
Now if that doesn’t make me feel old, how about these factoids, 1963 brought us the implementation of the zip code; the lava lamp Confession #6: I was once known as the neighborhood lava lamp hoarder; Dick Van Dyke, Andy Griffith and Lassie; and beehives were in Confession #7: my grandmother’s 8year old birthday present to me was a mortifying beehive hair-do I had to pretend to like for an entire 3 hour dinner at Howard Johnsons.
On the tragic side was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, deadly racial tensions, and the Vietnam War. And on the “who really cares except Bev side” – Alcatraz was closed, the oral polio vaccination was used nationwide for the first time and Beatlemania was in full swing.
And finally, most relevant to this blog, TheEqual Pay Act of 1963, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex was signed into law on June 10, 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. In passing the bill, Congress presumably denounced sex discrimination and it became illegal for an employer to pay someone less money based on their sex. In 1963, women made 58.9 cents to every dollar earned by a man. In 2010, that number is 77 cents – a mere 1 penny per year that the law has been enacted.
I sincerely hope that it doesn’t take 23 more years until men and women earn the same amount of money for the same work.
Confession #7: I’m out of true confessions.