Couples: Trying To Understand Coming of Age in the 1960’s

I’ve been reading, of all things, COUPLES by John Updike. In my youth, it was a book I searched for when I was babysitting.(And found, sometimes in an underwear drawer). It was about sex, my teen-aged mind assumed. Now I’m discovering that its sometimes purple sometimes exquisite prose is something that would have been decidedly yucky to my adolescent view–the misery of marriage. Which frankly is somewhat yucky to my more than middle-aged one.
However, I’m an archeologist in my own life, often wondering–just what were my parents thinking? They weren’t WASP-Y swingers, as in COUPLES. Or wildly attractive New Yorkers (MAD MEN). But I was raised in the suburbs in the sixties.
Maybe it is because I recently have been reminiscing about elementary school. Or talking to a friend about whether our teen-age years were uniquely bad–driven by social chaos to a more than usual existential pitch. Maybe I’m just trying to make sense of parts of my past because I’m writing more fiction.
Or maybe, as a male friend said about MAD MEN and our generation, “We are ALL Sally.”


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