for May 28, 2003
Nostalgia = Death
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman
Take this conversation. For example.
Your favorite auntie who’s not much older than you: I
was telling the kids about my teenage adventures.
You: Remember that time you had a fight with your
boyfriend and jumped out of the car on Commercial
Avenue at like 2 in the morning and you were wearing a
miniskirt and go-go boots and carrying a vacuum
cleaner and you couldn’t get anyone to open the door
and let you use the phone?
Auntie: (nostalgic sigh) Ah... good times...
Oh dear. Or how about this phone chat with your
exceedingly generous sister?
Sis: ...do you want these Fleetwood Mac tickets? You
were the first person I thought of! I knew you were a
big fan ...
You: You did?
Sis: - and they’re only 90 bucks apiece ...
You: They are?
Sis: - and I had a great time at the Billy Joel show ...
You: You could?
Sis: - so I thought you might want to go.
You: I couldn’t possibly, and I mean that, but thank
you for thinking of me.
Bless us, it’s lovely when people try to give us what
they think we want. Thoughtfulness is wonderful, but
nostalgia is poison. Look around: Hall and Oates are
touring, Yoko Ono tops the dance charts, and Debbie
Allen is back on TV in the new, improved Fame. It’s
1980 again, and that means 1980 looks like fun from a
2003 vantage point. Let’s be honest. If we remember
1980 clearly, it was a year we couldn’t wait to put
behind us. Everyone was broke because there was a
recession. Iran held Americans hostage and Ronald
Reagan was elected on the basis of his cowboy attitude
toward foreign policy. Reagan was ... I hate to break it
to you ... a terrible president whose flunkies tried to
have ketchup classified a vegetable so impoverished
schoolchildren’s lunches could be cheaper for the
feds. Here’s another reminder: we were those
schoolchildren who mattered so little. How do you like
On the other sticky hand, living in the past is no
more unproductive than chasing the latest, hottest,
newest thing. Ugh, that’s exhausting! To sleep nights,
one has to strike a balance between being the sum of
one’s experience and being excited about the future.
Jennifer Wiener’s excited because her book Good In Bed
is coming to HBO as a series, and you might find this
interesting because the heroine is very unconventional
for TV. She’s fat, she’s funny, and we can hope this
opens up television executives to hiring actresses
over a size 4.
If you’re looking for a time when the world was full
of possibilities, why not let that be now?
©2003 Robin Pastorio-Newman
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
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