Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One day ...

Just a few hours short of ten years ago, I was sitting in my newly purchased KITT, on the upper level of WEM. I had just come out of a movie and was pondering how the next morning I was going to be 30 years old. I sat and I sat and I thought and I thought, and I just could not summon the angst one sees in all the television shows and movies about my impending age. I had no great ephiphany while sitting there, until boom! It hit me! If I was sitting there, almost 30, that would mean ... one day I'd be almost 40. I drove away, satisfied that I had had some kind of emotional reaction to being 30.

And poof. Like some psychic vision come true, here I am. About a day away from being 40.

And still ... no angst.

I don't even feel any great attachment to the knowledge that this means I will one day be 50. Well, okay, just typing that out right there, there was a twinge. But I don't anticipate it is going to mean a whole lot to me. I've come to terms with the fact that I've been friends for 35 years with the girl who drove out to Toronto with me. And that I am now old enough to be one of my previous coworkers' mothers. That I was caught up in Michael hysteria the first time, but had grown out of such silly adolescent attachment by time New Kids On The Block moved in. I know that I didn't make up the word Kajagoogoo. I know that your friends don't dance and if they don't dance then they're no friends of mine. Heck, I know what happens if you're sleeping and right in the middle of a good dream you wake up from something that keeps knocking at your brain. Like all at once. I learned how to spell Saturday Night before I was really old enough to stay up later than Saturday Early Evening. Tall hair and big cheap earrings were commonplace. As were skinny neon ties and mounds and mounds of lace on your shirt, around your wrists and on your socks. About eight years ago I told someone I never wore a bow in my hair -- and then I saw my eleventh grade picture, and damn if a white bow wasn't mocking me from atop my head! I wore pink eyeshadow with blue eyeshadow. I wore leg warmers. I did draw the line at fingerless gloves, but not because I had taste ... because I didn't have fingerless gloves. My introduction to computers in grade 8 was so not WYSIWYG! If I wanted a picture on my computer screen, I damn well had to know what code would force the computer to draw it for me. Millions of man hours were spent typing in variations of:

10 Print "Help Me I'm stuck in a loop!"
20 Goto 10

(including the memorable time I inserted "F--- You" on line 10 ... but with the requisite letters rather than dashes. When I admitted to Mr. Davidson that I was the one who inputted that program, he reacted like he had just seen the first sign of the apocalypse)

One of the first video games I played was a 2-D rendition of a helicopter flying over a straight line horizon. You land on a 2-D house, and that "releases" 25 hostages. You are supposed to then land on the horizon and let the hostages get into the copter, then fly away from enemy tanks shooting asterisks at you -- but my brother and I soon learned that you can release the hostages from the house, then fly at them just grazing the horizon with the copter's running boards. Each hostage would die with a tiny "ping", and the counter at the top right hand corner of the screen would count down from 25 to 0. The game would end with some snotty type on the screen that read the point of the game was to "save" the hostages ... well, they can play it the way they want to, I'll have my fun my way.

Laser video disks. Eight track tapes. Gouchos. Smurfs. SuperFriends. Wonder Woman. The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman. Peter Puck. Lemon Twist. The Green Machine. HR Puffinstuf (which I actually had thought was a hallucination of mine, until a British friend pointed out she remembered the show too). Quark (with a character I swear was a plant. Not as in someone who didn't belong there -- someone for whom photosynthesis was a way of life. Literally.) Graham's Candy Store across the street from the Fox Theatre in Pincher Creek, where we would buy bags of penny, nickel and dime candy, then go catch a matinee, back in a time when parents opened the front door and pushed you out with a cheery "have fun" and never thought twice about you again unless it was dinnertime and your muddy face wasn't at the kitchen table. The water hole, which was THE place to be on a summer day.

Hey, a girl can be nostalgic without feeling angst!

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