You usually have two choices with your past: you can let it either haunt or inform you.
Certainly one choice is likely healthier, perhaps nobler than the other, as we all progress to becoming happy, balanced individuals.
Upon much reflection on the subject of my past, I’ve been examining both angles, worrying on the same regrets I usually gnash my teeth on, as well as tallying and processing the life lessons I’ve accumulated.
I still end up with the same conclusion. I hate nostalgia-themed parties.
Living in Whitehorse, it’s inevitable that some enterprising 20-something asks him/herself: “I wonder if I’ll ever get to fulfill my wish of slow dancing to ‘Til Tuesday’s Voices Carry?”
Suddenly your inbox is filled with invites to the next ’70s/’80s/’90s extravaganza.
Don’t get me wrong, I would never deny someone the opportunity to ironically don a pair of leg warmers. I’m just saying it ain’t for me.
(The parties, that is. I haven’t tried leg warmers, but I’m sure they’re quite cozy.)
Having recently more or less grown into some sort of semblance of maturity, I look back at the past decades with an acceptance and relief that they are exactly that: the past.
I was only around for the latter half of the ’70s, so I can’t say they made much of an impression. Only maybe that now I realize how retro my mom was for having Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park on reel. Try and one-up me now, hipsters!
My ’80s years can be road-mapped with constant moments of awkwardness, and earmarked with countless hours of bad television. The clothes I wore weren’t informed by any sense of irony. I had to wear that crap. Corduroy pants weren’t a fashion statement in them days, lemme tell ya.
The crux of my distaste with the past really revolves around the fact that during the ’80s I was trudging through my scholastic period. These are the sink-or-swim years for most kids, and for me in particular. I could have used a decent set of water wings, if you get my drift.
The ’90s didn’t fare much better for this walking wall of awkward. The high school years. Sigh. My clearest memory of that decade involves a strange bullying incident.
The instigator was a tall, lanky, pale, redheaded feller. What sticks in my mind is that, as he was shoving me over, the only thing I could focus on was his “Kid N’ Play” haircut. Imagine being taunted by a giant freckly ginger, who had actively made a conscious decision to have a bright-red hi-top fade for a hairstyle.
For me (and likely my bullying pal) these were decades of regrettable decisions. Sure, I can feel a pang for Pong. It did start me on my path of nerdocity after all. But it’s not like I have any urges to play the thing again.
I do get it. Nostalgia and kitsch have morphed into a clarion call for the modern reveller.
It’s a do-it-yourself party in a pinch.
I just can’t deal with the flashbacks. And if I have to re-invent myself in the ’80s, I’ll take the 1880s if you please.
Box social anyone?