Sunday, September 15, 2013

Back To The Past By: Karen Pilarski

This past weekend felt like I was back in high school and college. I had vacation hours to burn so I took Friday and Monday off. On Friday my friend and colleague *Maria asked me to go over to our friend and colleague named *Susan's house for happy hour. We sat outside and gossiped and drank beer. Normally I prefer red wine but a cold brewed beer sounded appealing.

I am the one in the green pants.
The iPod blared classic rock tunes. Susan's husband offered to run to the store for snacks for us. Maria asked for puffy Cheetos. He came back with a huge bag. Moistened orange fingers kept reaching into the bag. Snorts of laughter and guzzling down drinks kept us occupied.

Susan mentioned her neighbor who was borderline psychotic. As women over thirty we proceeded to run down the street and making noises and giggling loudly by the neighbor's house. So this wasn't our best hour but it was fun to cut loose and act immature. Later in the evening we ordered Pizza Hut and gossiped some more about work, our husbands and family. On the way out the door I snatched a beer to put in my fridge at home. I laughed that I 'scored' some beer.

It reminded me of spending time with my friend April when we were kids (minus the beer). I would run across the street to her house and we would play with our Jem dolls or dance to records. We made homemade pizza and goofed around with Nintendo. Although I never was into video games. April's dad would rent a VHS for us to watch with them. Embarrassingly I remember working out to Alyssa Milano's exercise tape. We also ordered on Pay Per View. Back in the day we watched New Kids On The Block live in concert on there. We would go outside and taunt the stuck up girl named Julie who lived next door to April.

Saturday I went for a walk with my husband and then went to the mall with my brother. That night I went to my brother's house and had a small family party since it was his birthday weekend. My siblings brought out Super Nintendo and proceeded to play Mario Cart. Screaming and shrieking ensued. It took me back to being kids and being caught up in the thrill of beating each other.

My husband brought up the point how our children won't experience the same things we did. There are events and items from our lifetime that they don't even know existed. When we were younger MTV actually played music videos. Now it is all reality television shows and an occasional throwback cartoon like Beavis and Butthead. Children of today never had to deal with literally waiting by the phone. The phone was secured to the wall and it was unheard of to have a phone in your pocket. They never heard of a floppy disk or a heavy tape recorder. As kids we played outside because being inside was really dull.

In the current youth there are things we never thought would actually exist. Many of us in our thirties and beyond weren't able to comprehend 'twerking' or 'Gangnam Style.' People lose their minds over "Game of Thrones." In the hay day of my youth it was who shot JR on Dallas. As I aged it was about Ross and Rachel on "Friends."

The funny thing about nostalgia is it passed onto the next generation. My stepson still has pillows from when he was a toddler and a VHS of a Disney movie. My stepdaughter keeps her stuffed animals and mementos from when she was a wee baby.

Everyone has traditions that are passed on. My mom put on Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and other holiday staples from her younger years. My stepdaughter and I love watching my dvd of "The Thorn Birds." The kids also get a big kick out of playing trouble the Zolo (my maiden name) way. This means when a peg is jumped, the player gets to chuck it across the room. My stepson was turned on to the Beatles and Weird Al from family members.

While the years and technology speeds along it is reassuring that every so often there is a throw back to the past. It is what keeps us connected to what was and what will be.

Vintage MTV commercial from the 80's.