21 February 2012

Vintage Puzzle

As soon as I came up with the idea of spending my time recovering at home doing puzzles I thought of this one. My aunt gave it to me for my twelfth birthday and I never did finish it. Probably never even started it, actually. I unwrapped it at my birthday dinner and when my family saw I received a puzzle they made the usual ooh and ahh noises then continued their conversations. I noticed it was black and white and figured it would be difficult to complete so I was inspecting it to see how best to start when I saw that the puzzle was line drawings of people. Naked people. I said something like "they're NAKED!", looked up, and saw my aunt turn every shade of red in embarrassment. The room was quiet for a brief moment before everyone laughed and wanted to see it. My aunt offered to return the puzzle but my parents let me keep it. Interestingly, I remember my aunt buying us clothes for birthdays and Christmases after that. 

I looked at the puzzle enough to see that the people were all different sizes and shapes, both men and women :) I understood that reality was the same - everyone is unique in their genetic makeup - but also saw the 'hot' girls and wanted to be like them, even then. The puzzle then stayed in it's box, got pushed around, crushed, and eventually thrown out.

So, thinking of this puzzle and the annoying bit of my brain that knows it was never assembled, I looked it up on eBay. Obviously I found it :) I paid more than it was worth I'm sure but it was still in the original plastic wrap which helped me justify the price. And now, thirty years later, I have finally completed the puzzle. 

It was difficult, but not too bad. What made it easier was the birds on some people's heads (I have no idea why the artist drew birds resting on some people) and the job titles. It was also amusing to see it again, exactly as I remembered, only now with 30 years later it looks dated. If I were to draw it again I'd have different descriptions written into it. I might avoid the 'dummy' and 'smarty', put 'soldier' on only once instead of three times, and had 'nurse' appear once instead of twice. The imagery also made me think of how politically correct we have become. We don't refer to people as 'businessman' or 'businesswoman'. Instead we use job titles like CEO, Manager, Supervisor, or Public Relations Officer. We don't use terms like 'brain surgeons' anymore, now it's Neurosurgeon.  

A lot of time has passed and a huge amount of history has accumulated in 30 years. I am now at the age that I remember things this generation has not even considered. A 50 yr old coworker and I were talking to a 22 yr old coworker, the younger one was shocked to learn that you could smoke in malls! Imagine - lighting a cigarette in a mall! Or the scratchy sound of records and having to look up books at the library using a card catalog. Oh lordy I'm no longer young :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is THE cutest puzzle. I think I would have to glue and frame it! Well done!