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When I was sitting in the delivery room a few months ago waiting for my latest unwanted miracle, I had time to reflect on how my life went so terribly wrong. In between the screams and the commands to hold this or fetch that, the answer became clear. I was born about 50 years too late.

If you were a man in the fifties, you didn’t have to stand by your wife’s side as she was giving birth. You hung out in the waiting room, and your only job was to give out cigars once your kid was born. After the birth, your only responsibility was to give your new son a hearty handshake before heading out to the bar to celebrate.

If after celebrating you had a few too many drinks and hit the road, there was no need to worry. Virginia had no laws against drunk driving. Amazingly, it wasn’t until 1984 that the Commonwealth decided simply being drunk while driving was a crime, and then you had to blow higher than a 0.15.

After you returned home and slept off your drunk, you didn’t even have to worry about any of those annoying childcare responsibilities. Getting up in the middle of the night was woman’s work, and as the baby was too young for a taste of your belt, your duties to discipline the little tike were still years in the future.

What a great time to be alive.

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