Yesterday, through the wonders of modern technology, my best friend from second grade and I were able to travel back to 1984. Four years ago I had found an old home movie of us and shared it on her Facebook timeline. Then yesterday, the popular “On This Day” app reminded her of it, and she shared it back.
I was waiting in the car with Teghan when the notification came in, and we watched it together. It wasn’t easy to explain. Did she know what I meant when I said that was me? Is she able to easily put together that I used to be little like her, and that this video was taken many years ago? I’m never sure. Time is one of the most difficult concepts to describe effectively. But she seemed entertained.
In 1984 I was about the same age as my daughter is now. The video shows two friends putting on a show for the camera. We cannot take our eyes off of our own images appearing on the TV, and we are especially thrilled with the novelty of my dad turning the camera to “negative” mode. Continue reading
Small movie theater where I saw all the great movies of my childhood for the very first time. Closed in 1996, but still there.
There are places I’ll remember all my life, though some have changed. -Lennon/McCartney
In My Life has always been one of my favorite songs. John had me at the next line, “some forever, not for better.” I suppose when I was young it didn’t mean much to me other than an example of great lyric writing– simple and perfect. It takes a few years to gain an appreciation for how people and places change in our lifetime. When we are very young, we know that things are going to be different someday, but someday also might as well be an eternity away. We live our childhood lives as though everyone and every place will always be there.
Well, that wasn’t true at all. There is almost nowhere left I can go back to from my childhood. My parents no longer live in the house I grew up in. Other people and their things exist in almost every place I ever found familiar. All the buildings I once frequented have new things in them, or have been torn down. My school looks different, the place where I went for my first date has been demolished, and the theater where I saw almost all of my first movies has been closed for years. I can’t go back, even for a few moments of nostalgia. Continue reading
The other day I decided we were all going to enjoy a marathon viewing of The Wonder Years. It had been a while since I had seen it, and there were many episodes I had not watched since they first aired. I suspect there are several installments Dave has never seen at all, since he grew up in a household without television. And while this meant it wouldn’t trigger any nostalgia for him, everyone enjoys a well-written show that stands the test of time. Except maybe Teghan, who mostly just noticed the music. But I’ll take that.
For me, on the other hand….well, I was surprised at just how nostalgic it was. Not because I remember coming of age in the late sixties– I don’t. But because in 1988, as we watched Kevin Arnold enter the seventh grade, I was also entering the seventh grade. I can still remember watching in the living room with my parents as if it were yesterday. Watching again twenty-four years later reminded me of some great moments in life that I had somehow forgotten. Specifically, junior high romance.
It’s funny how we forget things. For example, I have been lucky in love. I take it for granted most of the time. I have been in love with the same man since I was just eighteen years old, so I don’t really think much about the pursuit of love anymore. But once in a while I remember those days from before.
And not just any days. The love life of our youth is a unique and important part of anyone’s story. It is never completely forgotten. Something about the (slightly) more experienced and painful years of high school love can bury those details of junior high. But that is where it all awkwardly began. Continue reading