Why I come to Retro Junk.
Recently, I had someone tell me "You spend too much time on that Retro Junk site." And I thought to myself, well yeah I have been on there a lot lately. This is by no means a bad thing, and I honestly never gave it much thought passed there. Then today rolled around, which happened to be a very hard day at work. It was one of those days where no matter what you were doing, it had to go wrong. No matter how simple the task or how quick the chore, it had to break down. Not to mention the laundry list of people who were up my ass all day.
I'm not even supposed to be here today! (And I wasn't!)
Typically speaking, I'm not the type of person who will give up and go home, or at least want to for that matter. Honest to God, all I wanted to do all day was anything but be at work. It was one of those emotionally crippling days where you just feel out of it. You know when you get sick and you get the body aches? Well I had that going on, along with a miserable attitude to boot. Then I logged onto Retro Junk. Now let me say immediately, I didn't come on here thinking that this would be the be all, end all of cures. I just hopped on without even thinking about it. And as I usually do, I read some articles and added some movie quotes, etc.
Next thing I know, over an hour as flown by, and I haven't even thought about all of the problems I had at work. I had slipped away into Retroland and had cleared my head of all of the events of the day. Now don't get me wrong, as nice as it was, my problems were still there waiting for me. But the truth is, just having that little bit of time away from all of it meant the world to me, and I was able to continue my day and press on. In the end, I got through it.
I took the next few minutes and thought about the day that I had. And that's when it hit me that the happiest part of my day was Retro Junk. The scary part is that it was at that moment that I realized that I really had relied on it to get me through the day, despite the fact that it wasn't my motive for logging on. The mind works in interesting ways. The subliminal element of the brain that forces you to act a certain way is really intriguing to me. And I began to wonder why Retro Junk was able to do that for me. And I asked myself why Retro Junk was that security blanket that helps me get through the nonsense of everyday life.
I'll break it down for you, the way that I see it. If I have a bad day, Retro Junk. If I have a good day, Retro Junk. If I fight with my girlfriend, Retro Junk. If I have experience at work, Retro Junk, and so on and so forth. The million dollar question, to me at least, was why? And after all of the pondering and questioning, I really feel that the answer was quite simple. Because this website brings me back to a care free, naive, and happy time in my life- My childhood. I mean really, isn't this the reason why we all come here? But to each person, I think their childhood and their memories all mean different things.
Like I said before, for me, its about a time in my life where I didn't need to worry about the every day grind. I work in the entertainment industry, which can be as fun as you imagined it could be, but it can also be as stressful as any job you ever had. Lets make one thing clear: all jobs are exactly the same, no matter who you are or what you do. We all deal with the same office politics and corporate BS that anyone else has to deal with. Whether your jockeying the register at Best Buy, or organizing cue cards, or making deals on Wall Street, all of us deal with the same crap. Most of us don't make enough money for what we do and it adds unnecessary stress to our everyday life. I can be the first to tell you that money stresses me out all of the time, then I usually end up here.
The point of it is this: I still yearn to be a carefree kid, and I still wish that I was, as do most of you. I miss the days where my mom would make me food and do my laundry. I miss the days of my biggest dilemma being whether I was the Red Ranger at recess or a Ninja Turtle. I miss being excited on my birthday because it meant I was getting new toys and movies. The best part that my birthday fell on Columbus Day weekend every year, so I always had school off the next day. I usually spent that day playing with my toys.
But what are my responsibilities now? Instead of planning a day of fun with my friends, I get to set time aside for cleaning the apartment, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, picking up groceries etc. I understand it comes with the territory of being an adult, but that doesn't mean I have to like it, because really, who like forking away hundreds of very hard earned and underpaid money to someone in the form of rent. There's something I certainly wouldn't miss. It was nice when I didn't know what interest was either, but hey, the credit card companies have to make their money somehow right?
From oil changes to budgeting, I hate nearly every aspect of being a grown up. But unfortunately, I am what I am, and I cant go back to being a kid. However, I can get my daily fix on this website. I can go back a little and find that happy place where McDonaldland is real, and everything will be fine because Inspector Gadget was on the case. I look back and it makes me smile and laugh. I'm sure that all of us enjoy telling stories from our youth, because they are fun and innocent stories. But I think a big part of it comes from knowing that we were experiencing the best years of our lives.
That makes us very happy, and despite all of the wrongs out there in the world and all of the crap we have to deal with, everything here seems to make us happy. There's nothing wrong with making that escape from reality for a while, because inevitably, we all have to go back, and more times than not, I feel that we are fine with that. Honestly, what other choice do we have but to face it and suck it up? Maybe that's why its OK to let go, temporarily that is.
Not every aspect of adulthood is bad. Being in a relationship with someone who cares about you (outside of your parents) is something that is very special, and can only come with growing up. Having the ability to buy what you want, when you want (sometimes), is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Having a place to go is wonderful as well, because lets be real, tree houses and playrooms are great to use as a kid, but if you are looking to be alone for a while and just give yourself some me time, that's not the place to be. In the end, you are always found. Planning your own vacations and driving cars, all of this is wonderful. At the same time, all of it is fun. That's the difference between kid fun and grown up fun: Innocence Vs. Independence. Independence is a pretty damn good thing, which is why things like the American flag make me proud (while I don't always agree with most political parties).
Why do I come to Retro Junk and why is it so important to me? Because I love what it stands for. To me, it stands for never grow up, never forget, and remember when. It stands for a happier time in everyone's life; a simpler time, and an easier time. Those times, for us at least, are over, but the memories don't go away. They stay with us forever, like a tattoo sketched out in our minds and in our hearts. Thanks for spending a little time with me, as usual, I always appreciate all of you guys. I hope this didn't come off too much as a vent session, but it was something that was important to me, and as I usually do when I come here, I thought it would be worth sharing with all of you. But hey, Born In The 80s cant leave you without a question right? What does this place mean to you?
I'm heading home to cook some dinner and watch some TV. The dinner will be KRAFT, and you better believe it when I say I'm watching Boy Meets World, Ducktales, and Ghostbusters tonight.
BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE! AND YOU'LL WANT TO READ THIS!
A few months back, I wrote a Remember When article about Ecto Cooler. In the comments section, stevensampieri
wrote "I loved the drink too...and then I discovered that Juicy Juice Orange Tangerine tastes just like it (to me anyway), so I drink it all the time now. Give it a try!".
I told you all that I'd try it, so I hit the road looking for it. I was disappointed to find that Stop and Shop didn't carry it, so I headed to King Kullen, which is a store I haven't shopped in for like 10 years.
This place is Retro Heaven! First off, the store hasn't been renovated since like 1984, so it feels retro. I was happy to be greeted by Foreigner over the loud speaker, so it sounded retro. Then I wondered down the aisles and found Pepsi Throwback, Vanilla Pepsi and Lime Pepsi (which I didn't think they made anymore), Dunk-a-roos, and then I found the Juicy Juice Orange Tangerine. Now I have just sipped the juice, and you know what, it is pretty damn close! The Juicy Juice formula also has pear, apple, and grape juice in it (don't ask me why), so it changes the taste just a little bit. It isn't a drastic change, but if you drank Ecto Cooler a lot, you can taste the subtle difference. Unfortunately, it is not green. I guess that's the only thing I didn't like about it. But there you are ladies and gents, Ecto Cooler is, to a point, still available in your local stores.
Viva la Cooler!
Until next time, I'm off to have some more Juicy Juice and Pepsi Throwback. Later Retro Junkies.