Back to the 90s!


It’s Saturday, I am on Facebook. I have put myself on a strict time limit after I found myself moseying to Facebook anytime my writing got the mildest bit tough or the urge to procrastinate set in. So in order to accomplish things in my life, I only allow myself to Facebook for thirty minutes on Saturday and Sunday. During the week I only post a witticism or a blog, entities without which most of you would quite frankly lose the will to live.

Today as I scan through the pictures and posts of the last week, Burke points out pictures that obviously took place in the 1990s. No doubt the remnants of Throwback Thursday. There are sweatshirts mocking the presidential hopes of (the first) Clinton and tuxedo fashions that won’t be popular again until they appear in vintage shops. There are no mobiles in the photos and not one person is snapping a selfie. The mood is post-pogs and pre-George W. Bush. It is oozing nostalgia for the both of us.

Burke loves all things nineties. Movies (Forest Gump, Cool Runnings), music (Gin Blossoms, Weezer), soundtracks, (Empire Records, Singles), television (Seinfeld, Dawson’s Creek). For her the nineties meant high school, and high school meant a time when she was cool.

“Where are these pictures from?” she asks.

“These are some guys from my high school.”

“Why aren’t you in them?”

I shake my head; I don’t understand the question.

She asks again.

I shrug, physically asking for more input.

These are pictures of the cool kids, an invite list I didn’t exactly make. When it dawns on me that she is under the impression that I was cool in high school, I let out one serious laugh.

One great aspect of Facebook’s Throwback Thursday is that now, 25 years later, I can see what the cool kids were doing on Saturday nights back in high school. My Saturdays were typically spent in my friend Eddie’s basement eating popcorn and watching cable horror flicks or one of those 80s teen comedy flicks. We played a lot of pool and talked about girls as if they were as mysterious and terrifying as the creature stepping out of the black lagoon on the TV.

In the autumn we would walk around the neighborhood and rehash the same conversations and arguments. In the long days of early summer we’d spend the evening playing one-on-one basketball or HORSE on in his backyard court. We’d come up with ghost stories about floating daggers and disappearing sailors that, of course, all somehow featured the woods that the court was nestled in. While the stories were often silly, they did make stomping into the woods to hunt for an errant ball slightly creepier.

Of course I would have preferred in some way to be part of the in-crowd, an exclusion I found mystifying due to my phenomenal personality. As a matter of fact, Eddie seemed to harbor no such desires or concerns. He exhibited a rather Zen-like content about how he spent his time, not seeing us as occupants of a lower stratus rung on the social hierarchy. Nor did he see that he needed to climb that ladder even if it was there. He was enjoying himself and spending time with his best friend.

Despite my ostensible interests, I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. And now, as I scan these pictures, there is no remembered unhappiness or bitterness. The guys in those Throwback pictures were simply friends having their brand of Saturday night fun. No doubt they are looking at those pictures through nostalgia so gooey it could hold together a broken window frame. I look back on my Saturdays and those days in general with happiness and nostalgia as well. There is really no place I’d have rather been than watching goofy films and arguing about Phillies players.

Nowadays, having long stopped worrying about possessing coolness or being part of the in-crowd, spending a Saturday night home is the very idea of perfection. Tonight, It’s chili, a beer, and a movie. Maybe Creature from the Black Lagoon is on.

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