Little Rebellions

My Uncle Wink (his real name is Arthur but he’s an Arthur Junior, so he’s always been known as Wink) is a dentist. As you can imagine, this means that dental health and hygiene was a huge deal in my house when I was growing up.  Brushing, flossing, two check-ups a year – the whole shebang.

And Crest toothpaste was the ONLY toothpaste allowed, decreed by Uncle Wink. And when I was younger, there weren’t any variations… no special flavors, no gels, no nothing.  This wasn’t too big a deal until I was in high school and different kind of toothpaste began to show up on grocery store shelves and the ads for fancy formulas that made your teeth shine and sparkle began to proliferate on tv and in magazines. But it didn’t matter to my Uncle Wink (and therefore to my mother).  Crest was the only sanctified toothpaste for us.

So when I moved into my first apartment in Northfield, one of the first things I bought for myself was a tube of Aquafresh. It came out of the tube in three stripes of white, red and aqua – an unheard of thing back then.  Every night when I brushed my teeth, I felt a little thrill of rebellion run down my spine!


These days I buy toothpaste by price or coupon, but if there isn’t much difference between pricing the day I’m standing in the toothpaste aisle, I always reach for Aquafresh. And I still feel that little thrill each night!

When have you rebelled?

34 thoughts on “Little Rebellions”

  1. I date myself every time I mention this, but my most significant rebellion was movement from pure, bovine trust in US government to fierce opposition to many of its leaders and policies. As a college student I became concerned about the US commitment to nuclear arms and the doctrine of “mutual assured destruction.” Then I became convinced that the Vietnam war was a murderous mistake, and for eleven years I worked to end the war. When it was over, my personal politics were completely and permanently altered.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Previous generations, for the most part I think, considered the government to be on their side. It was a watershed moment for a lot of baby boomers to realize that you could be a citizen and acting with the sincere best intentions and still be considered an enemy of the state.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Not only considered an enemy of the state, but to be worthy of being mowed down by the National Guard on college campuses, despite being unarmed. The reaction of the WWII generation to our generation’s rebellion, was to assume the overwhelming tactics used in that war would be appropriate to managing unarmed citizens. I now wonder if PTSD was a factor in how that generation reacted.

        I remember feeling so confused by their reactions over the years. It just added to my mistrust of authority which lingers to this day–in fact, not only lingers, but is being reinforced daily by the dysfunction in DC that is demonstrated.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Not only that, Bill. I grew up in a time and place that was suspicious of the ethics of other countries but proudly confident that “we” would not do stuff like spying and lying and messing around with other country’s politics.

        My personal collision with reality happened when Russia shot down a U2 spy plane. Dwight Eisenhower officially scoffed at those claims, swearing that the US didn’t spy like that. Then Nikita Krushchev went public with all the photographs and the pilot (Francis Powers) to catch Ike in his big lie. I was 18 at the time, and this rocked my world view.


    2. Daughter was watching an old Don Knotts movie, ‘The Reluctant Astronaut’, which came out in 1968. (it’s pretty bad haha) But the towns people sure did like the government. “Always doing what’s best for us!”. It was a pretty stark reminder of how times (or maybe just “some people”) have changed.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Rise and Rebel, Baboons,

    I really think the list of times I did not question authority and rebel would be shorter than the list of issues I questioned, and still question to this day.

    It was so unsatisfying in Arizona to try to rebel against speed limits. In Phoenix, there really was no speed limit. People would simply go whatever speed they could get away with, unless the people driving were 95 years old in an old red sports car. Then going 35 MPH on the freeway was the thing to do.

    However, if you dared to pick a grapefruit from someone’s tree, all hell would break loose. They have their standards!

    And then there were the golf carts….

    Lou was picked up speeding on a rental motorcycle outside of Globe, AZ. Then the cop discovered the rental agency had not registered the thing. Lou is the only person I know out there who actually got a speeding ticket. Must have been the motorcycle.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. How about right now? I’ve just received an email that I intend to forward to everyone I know, that calls for a 28th Amendment, to end the special privileges bestowed on all our Congresspersons, such that they are exempt from some of the laws they have passed. Their families don’t have to pay back student loans.

    I checked, and it has been around a number for times before, but wouldn’t be wonderful if this time it got legs? Let’s add the part about them having the same health care as everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You rebel VS.

    I quit going to church with Mom and Dad when I was about 18.
    Dads thought was if I wasn’t going to church, I could stay home and clean the barn or something. I think his plan was to have me find church more appealing.
    I still don’t go to church much.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Meh! My whole life. In high school I was certain the nukes were coming, so I campaigned the neighborhood to urge people to construct bomb shelters. The adults laugher at me, so I scared the kids I baby sat to beg their parents to build shelters. Score: 0 bomb shelters; 4 lost baby sitting jobs.

    Then came the civil rights fight. I nearly got myself killed walking the streets of the Northside asking what I could do to help, but wound up organizing projects bringing blacks and whites together and teaching black history. I scoffed at whites marching because that was the time-limited easy thing to do.

    Then came the Viet Nam war fight. The only thing I could think of to do was march.

    Then came several professional fights for justice in my field

    Then came my crazy dancing to soul bands, earning myself the title of the “Dancing Grandma”. The older I get, the more applause is given. I’ve shed all semblance of convention and self consciousness because I’ve become an attention whore. I’m pretty sure that If I were 30 years younger, I’d never get away with this. My age is entirely inappropriate for my behavior, in other words.

    Looking back, it would appear that I’ve always colored outside the lines.


  6. I thought I would come up with lots of examples, but I can’t think of anything.

    Clearly I need some change in my life.


  7. The Danish word for a women’s libber is “rødstrømpe,” it means red stocking. When I was about fourteen I got myself a pair of red tights (and for good measure I also got a pair of yellow ones) and there was no end to the grief I had to take for wearing them. Stuck out like a sore thumb from the other girls who were wearing dark blue ones. At the time I was making a statement, directed mostly to my dad, with the red ones. Why on earth I wore the yellow ones, which even I thought were ugly, I’ll never now.

    Most of my rebellions, however, are small, quiet, internal ones. Usually I’m the only one privy to it going on.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Sock that don’t match are perfectly fine. I own many pairs like that. For me that’s not really a rebellious thing, merely practical. Once or twice I’ve worn shoes to work that didn’t match – but that was by accident.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. OT – Thought this might be of interest to a baboon or two. It’s free.
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  9. Well, I didn’t become a parish worker like my Missouri Synod Uncle thought I should do. My major rebellion is that I kept my name when I married. People here still think it is weird and radical. I had a good excuse,though, just to appease people. I told them my husband was a feminist and he wouldn’t let me change my name. No one caught the irony in that!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Can’t find my spreadsheet of baboon birthdays, but I think it may be BiR’s birthday. If I’m right about that, happy, happy day, BiR. Hope you’re having a grand celebration.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think many of us have sought better alternatives to conventional society. When I was 16 or 17, I read Emerson: “He who is a man must be a non-conformist.”, from “Self-Reliance.” At that, I was free and there was no turning back. I have a complete set of Emerson’s works, and I treasure it.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Many of the little things have been mentioned – rejecting my folks’ religion, being a women’s libber, not changing my name first time around…

    There were a couple of jobs where I tried to change things for, I thought, the better, and then gave up and quit. Not exactly rebellion, but it felt like it at the time. In one instance, I left a bookstore job because they had unfairly fired the manager. And I ultimately rebelled against the teaching profession by leaving it.


  13. At the flower shop where I work, one of the walk-in coolers has heavy flaps over the entrance that allow workers to easily go in and out while keeping most of the cool air in. There is also a heavy sliding door, pushed to one side. It has a big sign on it that says “CLOSE THIS DOOR” in big block letters. The door is always open.

    Also in that cooler is a sign on one of the shelves that says “ABSOLUTELY NO FOOD IN COOLERS.” On the shelf above the sign there can usually be found several containers of yogurt, cottage cheese, some bagged salad, miscellaneous tupperware containers, and the occasional jar of salsa.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Did an early morning unplanned trip. Came home to change out of my sleeping clothes to go back again. Put on jeans instead of sweat pants, a clean t shirt, and changed my short black socks for long white socks. After tying on shoes could not find one of the black docks to put in laundry. Did not worry about it and left.
    So go ahead all you are are smarter than me and still up. Tell me where the black sock was.

    Liked by 1 person

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