Accidental Feminist Part 2


RECAP I closed out the 1960’s by defying my working class family’s wishes BIG TIME.



While attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha, I impulsively married another student who I hardly knew. It amazes me now to comprehend the uncharacteristic courage I discovered in September 1969. I turned my back on a socialized conformity to launch my adulthood.  A lot of my peers did the same, but I was probably more timid and shy than most.

My birth family really did not preach values to me in any overbearing way. I noticed Patriotism was important to us and we were Protestants. Mother shared some early instruction on how to behave as a  lady.  “Little lady” challenges exist in my earliest memories. As a toddler, and much to Elaine Stewart’s embarrassment, I showed off my ruffly new underpants on a visit to downtown merchants. She had taken such pride in dressing me up, I incorrectly guessed she wanted the folks to see the whole outfit. Mommy was amused, but explained my awkward social transgression. She hoped I would be more demure in the future. I mostly complied and still do for the most part.

Following my hasty marriage to Bruce Arnold, I moved into the basement of my new in-law’s North Omaha home. My trendy bargain basement wardrobe and 30 pairs of shoes were added into my young husband’s closet. Our space was in a cinder block room with temperatures that ranged from cool to cold depending on the season. The bathroom facilities were spartan and icy in Winter. I had some experience with freezing toilet and showers at one of my family’s rental abodes so I knew what to expect.


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