Since the pursuit of over- the- counter sleeping pills was feeling more and more devious, I finally called my doctor for some prescription sleeping pills.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“Nothing,” I stammered—not daring to say that I had ventured into alien territory.

Even worse, I was part of the “What me worry?” generation of Alfred E. Newman.  I wasn’t supposed to have anything wrong with me. I wasn’t supposed to worry.  Worry seemed like a sin.

My doctor prescribed some Valium—a brand new drug back then. But every time I asked for a refill, he always asked how I was doing.

And I always tried to dodge the answer.

My worry seems absurd in this day and age when women embark on a variety of careers.

But forty-five years ago, wives and mothers who went back to work were usually returning to a job for which they were already trained.  They already had office experience, teaching certificates or nursing degrees.

Sure, I had a college degree in English—but no work experience other than summer jobs—at Woolworth’s and Penney’s.

But here I was—taking a stab in the dark—by embarking on—on what? What in the world was I doing?



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