Time to spill more family secrets.  This time it is my wife’s family.  The topic of this post was kind of suggested by her.  I thought her and her family might be off-limits (click here to see why) but apparently not.

This is not some Queerbait¹ story about a family being on hard times and having to delay christmas so they could scavenge the dumpsters of local apartment complexes after christmas to check for other people castoffs until some guardian angel brings them presents.  My wife’s family was not Low Rent or Creekers.

Anyway – The first time I met my wife was the day after Christmas in 1978.  I had been working at the clothing store “Chess King” at the mall, I wasn’t cool enough or a hot female so I couldn’t get a job at  “Merry Go Round” and had just gotten off work and picked up a friend to go out to “the beach” (future blog post) to hang out and take part in underage drinking and other Dazed and Confused type activities.

My friend and I were parked hanging out and this COOL ’73 Firebird Formula pulled up alongside us in the adjacent parking spot. I was told “That’s Ross’s girlfriend, let’s go hang out in her car”.  Ross (fake name) had been my best friend since 7th grade but for some reason we weren’t hanging out together much at that time so I had never met his girlfriend.  I think he might have dropped out of school at the time and been working wierd hours or something.

We get in the car and first thing I am told is “I just got my ears pierced” by my future wife.  Which was a coincidence since she had just had it done at the “Merle Norman” at the mall just across from where I was working at “Chess King”.  She explained that her mother was old-fashioned and she had to wait until she was 18 to get it done because her mother felt “ONLY WHORES HAVE PIERCED EARS”.  This was one of those items that later became known as a “Francisism”  which was crazy things my mother in- law named Francis said. If you are doing math – yes I was underage, she was 18, so my wife is older than me.

We then reviewed what everyone had gotten for Christmas.  Her haul included – A new 8-track stereo for her car including Jensen Tri-Axial Speakers with a Power Booster.  That Stereo could be CRANKED UP.  Very cool in 1978.  We chatted a few minutes but then she had to leave because she had to get home to have CHRISTMAS DINNER.  This was at 10:30 at night on 12/26!! – Her excuse was “My father is a Sergent for the  airport police and he had to work Christmas and won’t be home tonight until 11:00”. 

It turns out, that was true but not the real reason Christmas Dinner was being served a day late and at 11:00 at night. 

 It would take a while for the REAL story to come to light.  

TO BE CONTINUED

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc

cs

¹ – Queerbait is used here as it was often in the 1970’s as a synonym for lame, stupid, boring or nerdy.  Not as the derogatory term for gays or effeminate men.  I am being 70’s style Politically Incorrect, not hateful. 

70's Creeker Fashion

Growing up in the 70’s the ultimate insult in my neighborhood was not somebody saying “your momma” which was when “your momma” first became fashionable as a putdown and became part of a joke as in “your momma is so fat that she…” (this of course evolved in to “yo Mama” jokes).  No the ultimate insult in my neighborhood was if someone called you a – 

CREEKER

In general, the term “creeker” was a term thrown around like we would use “low rent” today.  It referred to a lower socioeconomic section in our part of town along a waterway called Rocky Creek.  The “creekers” did little to enhance their reputation – as I remember one boy claimed in the 6th grade that when the creek flooded, their house floated off its foundation and they had to pick it up out of the street and put it back up on the concrete blocks.  Looking back, that story is a little suspect.  These houses had indoor plumbing (we lived in suburban Florida not rural Appalachia) these houses had to be attached by water, sewer and electrical lines which would have limited their movement during what were not major floods but basically the creek rising a few feet above its banks.  Being identified as a “creeker” had implications even with our parents.  My wife’s mother got enraged when at Christmas time charities would call them offering to deliver food and presents.  They had the same last name as a “creeker” family and lived on the same street but at the opposite end in their palatial 1500 s.f suburban tract home.  My Mother In Law wanted to make sure these charities knew – THEY WERE NOT A “CREEKER” FAMILY! 

The biggest reason that someone would be called a “creeker”  in my neighborhood was not to indicate you were poor.  It was to insinuate or point out that you had committed the ultimate fashion sin you could commit in the 1970’s. 

YOU WERE WEARING HIGH WATER PANTS!!!!

Basically pants that showed too much leg.  For the majority of the 70’s LOONG flaired pants were the fashion.  Not Bell Bottoms, that was the early 70’s.  Flaired jeans were the norm and they did look really bad when they were too short. 

Remember this was adolescence so we were going through growth spurts, parents may have been involved in the buying of clothes and bought them too short and made you wear them anyway plus clothes in the 70’s seemed to shrink a lot more than they do today. 

The fear of wearing highwaters and consequently being thought of as a “creeker” haunted me well into the late 90’s.  Part of this was because my true pants length is probably a 31 but try to buy regular men’s clothes in that length.  They are available in 30 or 32.  So I bought 32’s and wore my pants too long, often with frayed cuffs.  But to me frayed cuffs was much better than wearing highwater pants (yes I did sometimes have alterations done but that was a hassle) and even though no one where I then lived knew what the term meant, I of course did not want to be identified as a “creeker”. 

I finally had a breakthrough that solved this problem in the late 90’s – I found Ralph Lauren Polo.  Their 3o inch length pants are the PERFECT length.  Guess what, 90% of my clothes are now that brand because they are the right length.  No more frayed cuffs or alteration hassles.  Yes they cost a little more but they last forever and no one will say or think – “Look at that CREEKER”. 

BTW – I have a Facebook Page also titled I AM DAZED AND CONFUSED  Feel free to join.

or follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/iamdandc

CS

UPDATE – 1/5/09 – SOME PEOPLE ARE ACCUSING ME OF MAKING UP THIS STUFF.  CREEKER IS IN THE URBAN DICTIONARY AS ENTRY #5 – (CLICK HERE TO VIEW).  THERE IS ALSO A GROUP ON FACEBOOK THAT ACKNOWLEDGES IT’S ORIGINS AS DEFINED HERE (CLICK HERE TO VIEW)