As stated in the comments of the entry titled "(*)Woman Birth (*) Infinity", it is a reference to the opening sequence of the old Ben Casey show from the 60s. Dr. Zorba chalks up the medical symbols as he names them Man. Woman. Birth. Death. Infinity. Then that compelling theme song.
Prepared to be thrilled: click here to see it , hear it, and swoon over it. go ahead, click it - it is important to get into the mood.
I was ten when that show hit the airwaves and honey, I was a goner for that hairy surgeon. Don't forget that I come from a Slavic background, as did 95% of the town I grew up in. No one in my real life had that much hair - not on their head and certainly not on their arms.
Imagine the effect on someone whose hormones were roiling just below the surface! That stern handsome man who played Dr. Casey - so foreign to me, so volatile. He was liable to burst forth with a harsh comment or a flash of bad temper at any moment. The brooding darkness - who could ever get through to a man like that? That is the stuff pre-adolescent girls dream about. Are you with me on this one, ladies?
We spent a good deal of time, my girlfriends and I, drawing those man and woman symbols dangerously overlapping them, trying to get them to fit togehter, almost understanding but not quite on the mark. Sometimes we would silently slip notes to one another behind our 5th grade desks. We'd peek at the cross that represented death (it was cathechism lessons about that time for Confirmation, too) and nod in contemplation of that, at least. The death note required an immediate reply of the infinity symbol to acknowldege your understanding of the deep mysteries that we were almost- almost! - about to be let in on.
Anyway, all the begging for that year's fashion sensation - the Ben Casey shirt - fell on my mother's deaf ears for the entire season. By the time she finally got with it, all the white ones were sold out and I had to get a turquiose one with big mother-of-pearl buttons which were left undone at the collar. Imagine my thrill when the first color photos hit the teen mags and what looked like white on the black-and-white TV show was really blue. Destiny had given us the same shirt color - what else was in store for us?
Us! Mrs. Ben Casey. Suzette Casey. Never Mrs. Vince Edwards - no, the tempermental and tormented doctor personna was part of the allure.
I wore that shirt as often as s I could get away with it. In those days, as soon as the laundry hit the hamper, housewives were duty-bound to get that washer going but even though the shirt always hung pressed and ready, you dared not wear it too often. It was in the same catagory as playing a favorite song over and over and over - not allowed.
I was wearing that shirt on The Day I Became A Woman. After that, it didn't seem so interesting to me.
UPDATE: so many have written to me asking about what the symbols were, that I have decided to post an image of them here.