So I used to visit my Gran a lot in my teen years. She would always begin by offering me a lukewarm, tasteless cup of tea, and I would always humbly accept her generous offer. Did she use a teabag? Once these pleasantries were over, she would retreat to the pale green sofa. There was something iconic about that pale green sofa with the pale green lady sitting on top of it. Like the throne one sits upon when entering the 'final chapter' of existence. She was in that final chapter, and would remind me of this whenever she saw fit. The fables of days gone by would begin. She always told me about the man she met whilst working as a dancing girl on a ship somewhere in some foreign ocean. 'That man could have been my husband' she would say, glancing at my Grandad; numb and just about ready to leave the planet. After these marathons, I would often catch her crying. 'It seems silly to you now, but just you wait, before you know it, you'll be old and crying over better days too!' 'Thanks Gran' I would reply. Little did she or I know, that time would come sooner than expected.
I can't really recall when it started to happen, but somewhere between the age of 18-23 I became very nostalgic. Big deal you might say, and perhaps with good reason. After all, we all get a little nostalgic from time to time right?. This was different though, this was nostalgia to the point of depression. I would start to think about my time as a child, the movies I watched, the Saturday morning cartoons, and before I knew it, I was drenched in tears. I would be walking through the city at night and see an old hang out spot from my teen years, or the spot where I first kissed a girl, or the spot where the funniest thing happened, and wallow in how fast time has moved on. That is how I felt, time and everything around me was moving too fast. I would become obsessed over a some John Hughes film like 'sixteen candles' and just think about it day in, day out. I would talk about that film with whoever would listen but become frustrated that no one cared as much as me. I remember going to my parents house and gathering all the old cassette tapes I used to play. I would listen to these whenever I could and would often find myself crying to the point of exhaustion. During these dark times, I began searching for 80's memorabilia. I would walk into a second hand store, and buy things from the 80's. When I say memorabilia, I don't mean cool and rare things from films or whatever you might be imagining, no, I mean socks that looked 80's, a spoon that looked 80's. I was sick.
I went to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with OCD and depression. On my evaluation he wrote, 'an extreme disconnection with modern society and life post childhood'. That was true but what was I to do about it? I began looking for jobs that reminded me of 80's films. I eventually found a place flipping burgers because it reminded me of John Cusack in 'Better Off Dead'. It was during this period, that I began to take on mannerisms of my favorite 80's and 90's movie stars. I would print out scripts from the internet from films that I loved, and then try as hard as I could to make that script come to life in a real life situation. I tried to get fired by my boss because that's what happened in 'Better Off Dead'. It was my constant aim to get caught pretending that one of the the patties was Frankenstein (Better Off Dead) so my boss would fire me for that reason. My reasoning for this behavior was that if my life became more like an 80's film, then I would become happier and eventually, everyone around me would be part of my own personal 80's film. Yes, yes, I was sick all right. Next came my obsession with finding a girl who looked like Molly Ringwald, I would stalk these poor redhead girls but none of them was ever good enough.
After being fired (yes, that's right, he caught me playing Dr. Frankenstein one too many times) I hit rock bottom. I was kicked out of my unit and began living on the streets, I would make banners which read 'Do you like 80's films? join me in my own personal 80's life' or 'Molly Ringwald, are you out there?' These signs were often met with laughter, the odd beating, or just plain confusion. Then one day, I met someone who turned my life around without even knowing it. A 17 year old kid named Joey came up to me and said 'whats your film called?' 'ummmm, it's not a film, its my life' 'what do you mean?' 'I think the 80's were was the last decade of meaning before everyone got too fast and forgot beauty' 'Oh yeah, the 90's are like that for me' 'Yeah?' 'Oh yeah, like Power Rangers, Mighty Ducks.......'
For the next half an hour, Joey began telling me about all the things he missed as a child. All these things that I thought were irrelevant, destined to end up on the pop-culture junk pile, were everything to this kid. I realized at that very moment, that I was living in someones future nostalgia zone. I realized that all the crap on TV, will one day be missed and longed for and end up on some web-site promoting things from 'better days'. It was at that moment, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and started living for the moment. We are living in classic times, products are updated every 6 months, we are in the last days of physical media. Cherish it, live it, breathe it. Save it all up, because one day, you'll be on that pale green couch, telling some youngster about the films you used to download and watch on your iphone on the way to work.
I live for today, and don't look back to the past. Today is the past that I will long for on that sofa, so why not get the most out of it as I can?
If you like this article, please post it or do whatever you want with it.
If you look on your profile, you'll see an option to "Manage Articles". If you want to have one posted, you should submit it from there. I'd add some pictures to this, then submit it properly, and see if you can get a mod to delete it from the forum.
It'll actually make it onto the Home Page, that way. Just a hint.
Jesus, now this is something I can relate to. I went through a similiar period a few months prior to turning 18. I guess the shock of officially reaching adulthood just hit me all at once and I began to long for the past. I swear, I must have went and downloaded every old school game system emulator in christendom and spent many a night weeping over some 90s cartoon movie.
I'm also a bit OCDish myself and obsess over my age way too much (turning 20 for me was like taking a knife to the chest) it still bothers me that I no longer bear the suffix 'teen' when I tell people my age. So, I just was really, really depressed for a while over getting older and missing the past.
I too eventually got over it though, eventually I just found new things to get into and instead of just reliving old memories went out and made new memories for myself so it's not so bad anymore.
Brutally awesome article! Beautifully written and definitely different from the usual 'top 10 90s video games' or something like that. I'd love to see this posted, you know I'd thumbs up it!
P.S (I have red hair (see my gallery) and if you ever need somebody to play Molly Ringwald for you, hit me up ^_~)