Normally I would post this on my rambling blog but being the super macho alpha male that I am I’d be mildly embarrassed if my friends saw this. So I’ll hide it here.
I’ve never really understood nostalgia. Whenever someone was pining for our days of youth I thought they were crazy. Generally speaking your life gets better over time. It didn’t track to me why would you look back with fondness. I don’t miss the days when I had a crappy temp job and lots of debt so I lived in a trailer because I couldn’t afford an apartment and ate disgusting generic pizza rolls because I could get a giant bag of them for five bucks.
Sidenote I don’t mean to imply my life was ever really that hard, I was still a white boy in the easiest country to live in in the world, I’m saying that my life is much better now.
But today for the first time I got an inkling of what people mean why they reminisce. I think you don’t really miss your youth, you miss the way your friendship used to be.
Whereas, today I was putting together a new computer desk and I thought about how in the old days one of my friends would have been delighted to take my old one. Now of course no one would touch it with a ten foot clown pole. We’re all adults, if someone wants new furniture they just get it. No one needs (or wants) hand me downs anymore. I mean, also no one would want it anyway because I’m the only person in the world who still has a desktop computer, but that’s beside the point.
In the old days any time anyone got anything it set of a chain reaction. One of my friends got married right after HS so they had TWO incomes and therefore they usually got stuff first. They’d buy a couch and then friend B would get their old couch, and that second couch would go to friend C, and so on. Someone was replacing a couch they found in a ditch by their uncle Skeeter’s out in Minden.
Back then it wasn’t just that we had less responsibility, there was also more of a sense of community in a small scale. We depended on each other. Now if someone moves they just hire movers, which is better, but it’s also kind of a bummer because it’s a signal that we’re all kind of our own entities now. Moving a bunch of shit and bickering with your friend’s GF because she didn’t drain all the water out of the waterbed like he said and those things are GD heavy was kind of a drag but it was also kind of fun. Plus afterwards you’d eat the cheapest pizza in town and play basketball.
Now as adults we don’t need each other like we did then. We still hang out and we’re still friends, but we’re not a team anymore. We’re just people living lives. So I understand missing that a little now. I’m not sure why I never thought about it before.
Last summer here in the Midwest we had an inland hurricane (who knew that was a thing) and many people were without power and had lots of property damage. That was the first time a long time any of us really needed each other. And honestly even that was pretty minor. Because we’re adults now. Even in a crisis most adults handle their own shit. These days if one my friends really needed me it would probably be because something truly horrible was happening.
Anyway, I kind of understand what people mean now when they sigh and talk about old times. They don’t miss their old lives exactly, because our lives our better, they miss the way we were all in the same boat trying to bail out water.
My favorite comedian of all the times, Paul F. Thompkins, has a bit about how you should never talk about your therapy because no one wants to hear it. But I will anyway. Years ago I saw a therapist at work for a while because it was free. I don’t know if I really buy therapy but I was curious. Which I realize now is kind of a dick move, I should have left that free therapy for someone else.
Anyway, one time I told the lady how it bummed me out that I didn’t hang with my friends like in the old days and she said (in a nicer way) “yeah, you’re adults, that’s how it works, grow up buddy”. Which was depressing in and of itself but is true. Things change.