14 May 2016

It Was the Best of Times. (No, It Wasn’t.) (Seriously.)

Written by sally @ 8:52 pm — Section: sally

I have recently — as in very recently, as in two days ago recently — discovered the age at which one can no longer remember the details of one’s crummy childhood and instead those warm bologna sandwiches that made the roof of your mouth feel furry are swept away and replaced with Good Feelings. The age is 42.

This hasn’t happened to me, of course. Haha, no! The day I start forgetting every detail of everything even remotely annoying that ever happened to me is a dark day indeed (though probably better for me, so maybe I should look into finding a rock and hitting myself in the head with it). The Englightening has happened to my former classmates as displayed by a Facebook post.

Super nice guy I never spoke to in high school, but had a 4-minute conversation with on a shuttle bus in college once, posted that he was planning on putting on his Jordache jeans and hitting the skating rink this weekend, ha ha, those were the days, let him know if you remember those days! They were simpler times! And oh, how the people remembered! They remembered their Jordache and their slightly less cool Gloria Vanderbilt and their Kaepas and the pellet ice and the arcade and that the last song at the skating rink each night was “Thriller.” And it was the best of times, it was the BEST time, it was a simpler time, we wish we could go back.

I was there too in 1985, sans Jordache, and trying to avoid the freak girls with their black concert tshirts and pointy hair and black eyeliner who were intent on beating me up except their attention spans were short, and if a guy walked by they would forget me for awhile. I never did get properly beat up, no fists to face or anything, but in retrospect getting beat up a couple times probably would’ve made them feel better and then the active, daily threat would’ve been eliminated. It was the best of times! Wish we could go back!

I read the comments and felt alien. A girl who was even more unpopular than me was right in there saying how great it was. And I was like, Melody, WHAT are you talking about? These people wouldn’t even talk to you then! but I just read along. It was interesting, but in the same way hearing about someone else’s holiday rituals are interesting — that sounds fun, but you’re doing it wrong. One guy — who in 6th grade rode past my new house on his bike, reported to the school that I had a Holly Hobbie sheet hanging in my window instead of a curtain, and yet was not questioned for knowing which house was mine OR who Holly Hobbie was — said we should have our 25th high school reunion (this year!) at the skating rink, and ok even I thought that sounded fun.

The interesting thing is that I’m still left feeling like I did at the skating rink in 1985! There’s this thing everyone is doing and I’m there, but I’m DEFINITELY not having the same experience as the rest of the crowd.

I do have Warm Feelings about some things in 1985, like the pizza place at the mall. (I have sought to find equivalent crunchy/salty pizza for the past 30 years and have come up empty handed.) It was probably in 1985 that I got locked out of the house while I was at home sick and had to pee in the litter box in the garage. (Yes, “had to” is accurate.) In ballet, I graduated to pointe shoes in 1985. I did a LOT of hilarious prank calling in 1985. (One of my favorites was calling McDonald’s and trying to place an order. Oh, hilarious!) Things happened and I remember them!

I’ve had this same thought, though, with other friends who want to relive the good old days, and what I want to say is: y’all, the good times weren’t that good. But I think I may be wrong, or at least inaccurate. Memory is a faulty, emotional process, so perhaps the nights at Great Skate really WERE as fantastic as this Facebook thread would have me believe (but I doubt it; Great Skate is a Goodwill now).