Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

1979 and the angst that was

Man, the 70’s were like a Petri dish of bad taste.  Seriously, avocado and marigold yellow were the only acceptable modern color choices for the gigantic appliances that dominated an already vomit-ugly kitchen?  What’s up with that?  Plaid high-water pants were in, as were ugly shoes and Winnie-the-Pooh raincoats.  Well, maybe they weren’t actually “in” but they were cool in my house.  Here, take a look:

This must have been about 1974/1975 or so, which means that I was around six. I did not choose those shoes, by the way.

Anyways.  Here, come on, I’ll take you back with me.

It’s 1979. (in case you are wondering, by this point, I’d have outgrown those plaid pants)

Scene: 11-year-old me is lying on my bedroom floor, which is trendily carpeted wall-to-wall with last year’s second-best green shag carpet.  The lights are out, with the exception of the cluster of Christmas lights I hung from a hook in the ceiling.  A craftier kid probably would have strewn them nicely about the room, like this.

Not me.  I just hung them as a cluster from the hook that previously held an ugly macramé plant-holder-thing my mom made.  Those Christmas lights brought magic to my room.  Really.  Trust me when I say looking up at this shit was pure magic.  I can feel it now, too…

So, the lights are off with the exception of my Christmas-clump.  I’m lying on my kick-ass shag, being, living my  pre-teen Angst.  Age 11 is SO filled with angst. Tragedy,* even. It’s that time in your life when your mom should have already discretely bought you a bra.  Except that you don’t realize it until after all the girls on your soccer team pretend to be giggling at Harriet’s hair on your Harriet shirt.  I cannot provide justice with words or drawing to the awesomeness that my Harriet shirt was, but, to give you an idea, my favorite shirt had cartoon-Harriet on it and Harriet had actual fringe as hair.  So like, you know, my shirt was 3D.  

It finally dawned on me that my soccer pals weren’t actually digging the fact that Harriet’s hair was 3D and that they were instead giggling at the fact that I had braless nub-boobs.  I didn’t know that I was supposed to start wearing a training bra while still almost-flat.  I guess the idea was to use a training bra as a boob coach (“I am here when you’re ready, you stubborn little assholes”).  Obviously, I missed the Popular Memo about it and had the audacity to go to school, and soccer practice, with my itty- bitty, braless little nips.

Once I realized my gigantic social faux-paus, I obviously had to take immediate action. I approached my mom in private, and, as nonchalantly as an 11-year old is capable of being, said “Um, so, yeah, hey, Mom? Um, some of my friends are wearing bras.  The girls in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret are wearing them, too.  I think I need one.” She disagreed but said that we’d go bra shopping that weekend anyway.

Saturday morning rolled around.  We ate pancakes.  Everything about that morning remains clear to me today, 34 years later.  There we were, at the breakfast table.  Dad asked my mom what was planned for the day and in front of my asshole (at the time because now they are really quite nice) little brothers, my mom replied “Kristi and I are shopping for her first bra today!” which immediately led my closest-in-age little brother to begin a chant-song-nah-nah-rant thing “Kristi’s going through puberty!” “Kristi’s going through puberty!”

Which obviously later led to me lying on my bedroom floor, staring up at my Christmas clump, listening to Tragedy, by the Bee Gees. Over and over and over again. To this day, this crap song is on my iPod and my iPhone.  Sometimes, in the car, I skip right over it.  Other days?  I turn up the volume and sing along like it’s 1979.

Because I know you are dying to know how nubbish my little nub-boobs were, here’s a photo.  They were totally visible (ah hem, Mom!).

* foreshadowing

I’m linking up today with my good pal Jen over at My Skewed View (formerly Break the Parenting Mold) for Twisted Mixed Tape Tuesday!

Wanna link up with us?  Enter your post below and happy Tuesday!

DJJENNYtyedye    MCMomee-TuckTuck




  • Michelle Liew - I remember 1979 well too – that was when my brother was born! Thanks for sharing, Kristi!!June 18, 2013 – 10:14 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Lol!!! I think because it was cool to go braless in the 70s under a halter – it wasn’t on our moms radar. My grandmother took me nub shopping when I was going to 3rd grade. Imagine a Walmart like store back in the day where she took the bra from out of its package and put it on me over my shirt. I was horrified. Not so much by the strangers passerbys – I didn’t know them. I just hoped Pop- Pop stayed wherever he was at while she tried bras on my over my shirt nubs.June 18, 2013 – 10:17 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - I barely remember 1979, because honestly I was only two years old, but by 1987, this was so me minus the 70s shag, but still having to ask for a training bra, because other friends already had the chest to fill a training bra and was so dying to be just like the rest of the girls. You really did capture that feeling quite well and was drawn back into that time of my life just by reading your post today. Thanks for sharing Kristi!!June 18, 2013 – 10:19 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - Well, instead of noticing your nub-boobs, the only thing I see in that photo is that adorable dog you are holding! As for bra shopping, that day I went shopping with my mom for my first bra is also clear as day in my mind…I remember being measured by the sales help and thinking nothing was more mortifying to me. Kind of makes me happy I have all boys and don’t have to re-live any of that trauma with them. Oh and I think I may be humming “Tragedy” for the rest of the day now…June 18, 2013 – 10:22 amReplyCancel

  • Lori Lavender Luz - I was hoping someone would invoke the BeeGees! I’m sorry that it was tied to Tragedy for you.

    Tragedy that I quite relate to, btw.June 18, 2013 – 10:28 amReplyCancel

  • Sarah Almond - My mom had Saturday Night Fever on a record, among other Bee Gees music. I hated the Bee Gees for a long time and I’m not sure why. Now I have them on my Ipod in case I want to rock out…June 18, 2013 – 10:40 amReplyCancel

  • Sylvia - Oh, the angst! My sister was 5 yrs older than me. One night when I was about 8 (1967) we were getting ready to get ice cream. I put on my sister’s bra and stuffed it. I couldn’t understand why my parents wouldn’t let me go to Carvel dressed like that! In 1979 I was 20 and had a newborn and a 3 year old, and a nursing bra!!June 18, 2013 – 12:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Dream - I understand the nub-boob first bra embarrassment as well. I got mine as a Christmas present, from my grandmother and unwrapped in front of over 40 family members. She then wanted me to try it on so she could see if it fit. I’m still emotionally scarred.

    I actually like Tragedy, but not the BeeGee’s version. Celldweller (electronic/industrial-rock) did a cover a few years back that was respectable, if you like that genre.June 18, 2013 – 12:41 pmReplyCancel

  • clark - Your Post has caused me to laugh out loud.

    I concur with Emily, (yeah, I know ‘thank god!’…lol)

    I noticed the dog. …and…and! what I notice is that you are quite advanced in your dog relating skills (judging by the flat, 2 dimensional image that I have), in terms of the proper holding of a dog, especially a puppy. This is not that common a skill among adults, never mind tiny children. (Especially liked the support of the hind paws… kids usually try to hold a dog by their ‘arm pits’ which is a pleasant experience for no one.)

    enjoyed your postJune 18, 2013 – 1:32 pmReplyCancel

  • [email protected] - I totally knew that was a plant. 🙂June 18, 2013 – 4:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Kimbra - I remember that first bra, and having the same reactions from both friends and from my bratty little brother… Of course I so hated being a girl and needing a bra that remember literally crying when the first one was purchasedJune 18, 2013 – 5:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Considerer - Oh bless your beestings! I remember having a cami-top in the early 90’s (when I was prepubescent and full of angst) and it had Forever Friends bears on it. I loved it.

    I was also late to get my first bra and remember my ‘friends’ trying to feel through the back of my school shirt whether I’d got one yet or not.

    New research suggests that if you never wear a bra, your chest muscles and tissues retain their elasticity and you end up with better boobs. Where was that knowledge when I was young? Cos apparently if you’ve been wearing a bra for more than 5 years you’ll always need one 🙁June 18, 2013 – 5:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Anita @ Losing Austin - You took me there with you! I’m a few years younger, but not much… and I waited until my mom FINALLY told me it was time for a bra, after I realized I was the only uncool one too. Oh the woes of youth!June 18, 2013 – 5:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - I just heard Tradegy on the radio the other day – and now forever more I will think of you and your little nub-boobs.

    I remember insisting on getting a bra because the boys tried to snap them at recess – no one wanted to have nothing to snap!June 18, 2013 – 6:00 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Michelle,
    It was so much longer ago than it feels like!
    —-
    Kenya,
    OMG I hope Pop-Pop stayed away! Ugh. Bras. The humiliation!

    Janine,
    Yes, it’s so important to fit in with our friends at that age! I can remember it so well!June 18, 2013 – 6:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Emily,
    Ha that you noticed the dog! That was Junior and he was truly awesome. And I know you saw the nub, too. It’s okay that you didn’t want to admit it.

    Lori,
    UGH I think the first bra experience plain old sucked for all of us. Truly.

    Sarah,
    The Bee Gees are awesome! Glad you came around to being able to rock out to them.

    Sylvia,
    HAHAHA to stuffing your sister’s bra and not understanding why your parents wouldn’t take you to Carvel. That’s epically hilarious! Thanks for sharing that!
    June 18, 2013 – 6:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Dream,
    Sounds like a lot of us had humiliating experiences with the first bra and nub-boobies. I can’t believe your Grandma gave you a bra for Christmas. Not only is that a way sucky Christmas gift but having to open it in front of your relatives? YIKES.
    I’ll have to check out the Celldweller cover of Tragedy – I’ve never even heard of them. Thanks so much for the recommendation!
    June 18, 2013 – 6:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Clark,
    I really was a kick-ass dog holder. Still, you can admit that my mother should have noticed first! Ha. And um, yeah, Thank God you concur with Emily!

    Tracy,
    You obviously have a very fine eye for art.

    Kimbra,
    Awww…sorry to hear that buying your first bra made you cry! Being that age is so humiliating anyway. Kudos to online shopping to moms of girls can now try them on at home!
    June 18, 2013 – 7:00 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Considerer,
    Really? That sucks because I’ve now been wearing a bra for like 33 years or something. Bummer to being 28 years too late for ever having a shot at perky again. And aw to Forever Friends Bears!

    Anita,
    Yes, the woes of youth indeed! Glad I wasn’t the only uncool one.

    Dana,
    How lovely that every time you hear Tragedy, you’ll think of my little nub-boobs from now on out. I like being thought of so I’m okay with it being about my buds.
    June 18, 2013 – 7:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Ariana Gruver - Oh how I dreaded my first bra! I really did need to cover the nubs, but my mom didn’t think so, which allowed me to remain in denial…until, yes, I got teased. Totally related to your great post! And those shoes…our school shoes were always something sensible, but never athletic shoes like the other kids wore, oh the humanity…June 18, 2013 – 7:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerri - Only you would put a picture of your nubs! And only I would see how much you look like Tucker if you would only put him in a hideous dress. Tragedy indeed. Oh and how funny that we both blamed the Bee Jees for our poor fashion choicesJune 18, 2013 – 9:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Tatum - Oh, you did NOT! Did NOT. OMG! I am rolling on the floor laughing….no, not ROFL…for real laughing. So loud that Kellen could hear me from the garage. And now he keeps asking me why I was laughing. Shit. How do I respond? That picture! Too much. I can’t even get out a coherent thought to leave a comment. But, thanks for the laugh.June 18, 2013 – 9:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Tatum - PS – at least you figured it out yourself…my BFF had to pull me aside and let me in on the secret that the boys were talking about my nubs. I blame the fact that I was the only girl.June 18, 2013 – 9:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Jak - ACK! Nub nubs?! What are you dong to me? I feel all dirty now lol Now I have to post about my man-boobs to exact revenge! Okay, not really, but still >.> I’d rather see your new 3D shirts kthxbye. 😉

    That had to be a bit embarrassing at the time. It’s a good thing your mother still brought you out to get one, even though she felt you didn’t need one.

    I rocked out to your Bee Gees, and while I never lived in the 60s/70s (so I may wait until the hop hits the 80s), it did give me an idea of what to post today with a musical theme.

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of InkJune 18, 2013 – 9:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Middleage Monologues - I love the Bee Gee’s…I am kind of a disco dork so the Bee Gee’s totally made my list! I have to say that I almost pee’d my pants reading your post I was laughing so hard! Oh BTW…I totally knew that was a plant in your drawing! HAHAHAHAHAAAAA! Great post! 😉June 18, 2013 – 9:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Jen - I’m sorry, personally I can’t get over how FREAKIN cute that puppy is! And you…you little toehead! Who knew? You are so awesome. And here’s something we both havein real common. The Christmas light thing. I did that for years….years…. I still can feel the magic as well. It’s deep inside, those freakin LED Christmas lights are going to ruin my magic man!!!!
    And Tragedy, well that’s a gimme. I sing that all the time, for lot’s of occasions, because it fits. It just fits. You my friend are my funny as heck, eggplant drawing, training bra wearing, christmas light sister of awesomeness. MWAH! TTTx10 !June 18, 2013 – 10:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Mommy, for real. - OMG, you DID have little boob nubs! And yes, 11 is so angsty. I was angsty for years and years, truth be told, but that Judy Blume stage is brutal! Shit, that means I have like five years left, or less, before I go through it vicariously with my daughter. Who, incidentally, asked about the “white thing” hanging down my leg in the shower, and now she knows all about periods. I will tell you more about that hilarious tale when I am not writing “in public.” And I LOVED the Christmas clump! xoxo, friendJune 18, 2013 – 11:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Roy - You were such a cutie! Yeah, it was the decade that good taste forgot. Remember the big glass grapes everybody’s mom had in the living room? The huge wooden fork and spoon on the kitchen wall? We had orange shag. *bristles*. I actually do a mean Bee Gees impression. Yep, I do. And Tragedy is a gas to sing. Aaahhh aaahhh aaaahhhh! Tragedy!June 18, 2013 – 11:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie Chenell DeNeen - OMG. You crack me up with your nub boobs and your cute plaid pants. LOLJune 18, 2013 – 11:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Out One Ear - Your clump of lights sounds awesome. I wish I would have had a clump to brighten my room. And as far as the nubs. Around ten, I was so desperate to get boobies, I borrowed one of my mother’s bras, inserted cut-up egg cartons (you know where the egg sits?) I cut two of those egg holders out of the carton and inserted them in Mom’s bra. Then I paraded around the cul-de-sac until one of the neighbor ladies called my mom to tell her that I had something in my shirt that looked much larger than someone my age should be sporting. Mom ran down the hill, grabbed my arm, drug me up the hill, into our driveway, and through the front door quicker than I’d seen her move in a long time. I didn’t understand why. I wanted boobs and thought I was being incredibly creative with my solution. 🙂 And Harriett’s fringe hair is awesome, too!June 19, 2013 – 1:55 amReplyCancel

  • Out One Ear - Kristi: I added the link to my page then realized this hop was all about music, so I took the link off my page since my blog wasn’t anything at all about 70s music. My bad. Anyway, I thought my link would disappear, but it is still there. Feel free to delete it and I’ll participate in a future blog hop that complies with the rules. 🙁June 19, 2013 – 3:17 amReplyCancel

  • Melissa Flagg - ha ha ha! I honestly can’t remember when I got my first bra. I blocked out most of my childhood lol. I do remember the kitchen appliances, my mom had avocado green and then when I moved into our current home, it had the marigold yellow appliances 30 years later! lol We finally got all new appliances, my mom didn’t replace hers until like the 1990s lol.June 19, 2013 – 3:19 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Ariana,
    Oh no! Sorry you got teased. Such a hard time in a girl’s life (well, probably a boy’s as well). And, yeah, those shoes were awful.

    Kerri,
    The Bee Gees were the cause of much evil in the 70’s – the primary one being fashion!

    Tatum,
    Glad I could provide you with a most excellent laugh. Apparently, I have zero bits of shame. Like, none.

    Jak,
    Sorry. Please do write about your man boobs so that I can be forgotten in this gigantic interwebs place with my nub nubs.

    MM,
    Thanks for letting me know that my plant drawing was very obviously a plant! Glad you came and laughed.

    Jen,
    You are awesome. That is all.

    Stephanie,
    Yikes to five more years until you have to deal with this. And really? She asked about the white thing? OMG, I cannot wait to hear this. Hahah!
    June 19, 2013 – 9:04 amReplyCancel

  • Natalie DeYoung - I missed the seventies, but the eighties were pretty darn bad for fashion, too. I had shorts with neon fish swimming all over them.
    My mom had to take me out bra shopping – I was ten and all of the sudden one morning I woke up with a full on bosom. It seriously was like an overnight phenomena. Thank God my mom knew to get me a bra before the teasing started…June 19, 2013 – 11:51 amReplyCancel

  • Deb @ Urban Moo Cow - Ha! I can so relate to this post. I developed pretty early, so can I say, ugh.

    also, I was thinking about Are You There God It’s Me Margaret the other day for some reason – do girls still read that now? I bet if we read it today we’d be mortified.June 19, 2013 – 1:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Rachel Demas - You were just as beautiful as a kid, Kristi! Were you as funny too? I mean, come one, boob coach! Too much.June 19, 2013 – 5:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Slu - Cute story & cute pics… You are absolutely Rockin’ that bike with the wicker basket and all!!!

    Hey… No Tragedy at all!!! Enjoyed, SluJune 19, 2013 – 7:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - Nub training…bwhaahahah!!!June 20, 2013 – 6:38 amReplyCancel

  • Kim Pugliano - Man, 1979. I remember the nubs and they HURT so bad!! I don’t mean to be a Debbie downer, but my parents separated in 1978 or 1979 and Mom and Beth and I moved into a townhome just down the street from where I’m currently living. I honestly don’t remember much of that year because on August 2 my daddy was killed in the line of duty. My world stopped then and I remember nothing. 20 years later I was induced on August 1 and the whole family held their breath, but Noah wasn’t born until the 4th (two inductions). Kristi, this is not a sad comment. I wouldn’t have my Noah or Hot Joe or my pets. I wouldn’t have my beautiful nephews, one of them special needs and the most amazing child I have ever met. That is all.June 27, 2013 – 5:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Andrea - Sorry to pick up this thread a little late, but the pictures of your bikes and nub boobs got brought back memories of a couple of milestones on the angst that was my journey from being a carefree tomboy to a hormonal teenager in the early 1970’s!

    When I left primary school in the summer of 1971, I was still the flat chested tomboy I had always been for the past 5 or 6 years. I was always happier joining in the boys games, and with my sort hair and preference for jeans and a T shirt, I could quite easily be mistaken for a boy.

    The first stage of my journey was being sent to an all girls secondary school. I would still play with the local boys at weekends, but gradually with not being with them at school, I didn’t quite feel as much of the ‘gang’ as I had previously.

    The next milepost involves the bike. Mum and dad bought me a new bike as a Christmas present. Fine except instead of one with racing handlebars like some of the boys had, they went and bought me a Raleigh Moulton, with small wheels, which they said was more practical. They also said it was advertised as ‘unisex’. Well that might have been, but it certainly didn’t impress the local boys!

    Next, over the winter and early spring months, my chest started to show the first signs of development. At first it wasn’t noticeable under my winter clothes and as long as I remembered to wear a vest under my shirt, it didn’t really draw attention to itself when I was running around in pe.

    Unfortunately mum had noticed and bought me my first bra as a 12th birthday present in early May 1972, saying something like “I thought you might be wanting to wear one soon”. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I tried it on, it felt like an iron band around my ribs and I hated the fact that it emphasised the shape I was trying to disguise! The bra remained unworn in my drawer for the remainder of the school year and into the summer holidays. I was living on borrowed time though; it became more difficult to find clothes that hid my shape and whereas the previous summer changing on the beach was just a question of whipping off my T shirt and putting on my swimming costume, now I always had to make sure my chest remained covered.

    Eventually when it came time for ‘back to school shopping’ mum insisted that I had to have more bras, rather than vests.July 2, 2013 – 1:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Kimberly H. Smith - You took me way back with this, Kristi! Winnie the Pooh raincoat. Wow. I am a child of the 70s too. Loved the BeeGees clip. And my friends and I all read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. There was only 1 copy in our Catholic School Library. We all took turns checking it out. Thanks for sharing this on Throwback Thursday Tell-All Linky Party!October 30, 2014 – 10:51 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - OMG we so had those glass grapes. We had glass pineapples, too. What the —–?? Tragedy is awesome and I bet you do it so much better. June 19, 2013 – 3:27 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Dude, nub-boobs and plaid pants were the RAGE!June 19, 2013 – 3:28 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Hey Linda,
    You, my friend, can link up any post at any time on any subject, if it’s hosted here. Anytime. I can’t wait to read what you linked. June 19, 2013 – 3:29 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - The clump of lights was awesome. It makes me want to put one up right now. Haha to the egg cartons! That’s awesome and inventive and took work, right? Although they were probably flat on the top. I love that your neighbor called your mom. It makes me want neighbors like that. It seems like neighbors today have nothing to say about anything…
    You were SO creative with your solution! I love it. June 19, 2013 – 3:32 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Melissa! You really don’t remember getting your first bra? That’s a good thing because wow, it must have not been traumatic for you which is awesome! And yeah. Blech to marigold yellow and avocado green. WTF. June 19, 2013 – 3:34 amReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - I think it was a ghetto, DIY boobie plan. 🙂June 19, 2013 – 5:11 amReplyCancel

  • Pam Martorano - Had all of that as well! Agree on the colors/styles, etc. but man, do I miss the simplicity of those times!June 19, 2013 – 1:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Roy - Kristi – yeah – just what WAS up with the glass grapes? OH! And do you remember the glass balls that hung from strings that you knocked together? Ours were these groovy purple ones. Sounds really bizarre now that I’m typing this… Gotta love the 70s maaaannnn! And thank you, but no way could I hold a candle to the musical stylings of The Brothers Gibb! AAaaahhhh!!!!June 20, 2013 – 10:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Roy - Me too Pamini! Just toolin’ around the ‘hood on my purple banana bike humming the Starsky & Hutch theme to myself…Good times!June 20, 2013 – 10:14 pmReplyCancel

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