#Throwback Thursday: Growing Up Is Hard

Originally published 9/1/13:

Trying to Escape Adulthood By Reliving My Youth

I have noticed the past 3 years since my mom passed away, I have been extremely nostalgic for my youth. I think looking into the past allows me to bring my mom back and the days where nothing bad ever happened.

I have looked up grade school friends on Facebook, poured over old photos and repeatedly relived memories of growing up. My iPod is purposefully filled with 70s and 80s wonderfulness that Hannah is already over. I’m drowning in Laverne and Shirley, Little House on the Prairie and Mork and Mindy reruns. I have even looked for episodes of Wonder Woman. Contemplated starting wheresourwonderwomanmovie.com.

I’m constantly telling Hannah “when I was younger” stories and watching as she looks at me with confusion when I educate her on record players, telephones with cords and taping songs off of the radio. I’ve shown her my old houses, my old schools and places we used to shop. She even politely humored me as we watched Back to the Future (still good) and Ghostbusters (not so good) together.

During 6th grade, there was a roller skating (not roller blading!) rink my friends and I went to. I remember that rink being dark with bright colored flashing lights. There was a screen at one end where they showed music videos. We would all gather around when Thriller or Girls Just Want to Have Fun would come on. There was a DJ booth where you could request your favorite songs and a snack bar where you could hang out with friends. Our parents would drop us of there on Friday nights and we would be in our own world for a couple of hours.

So a few weeks ago, I went back. It looked some the same, but a lot different. There was a lot of unnecessary junk added—an indoor playground type thing, some games including that ridiculous claw and mini golf course. The DJ booth was closed off, there were no music videos and they didn’t even turn the lights off when we skated.

Surprisingly, I was able to skate, though not with the stealth of my past. After about an hour and one Justin Beiber song too many, I asked the guy at the counter if they could play something 80s like Michael Jackson or Madonna. The guy hesitated. “So I can feel young again,” I joked. He laughed and said ok. I’m super charming when I make fun of my age.

We went back out on the floor as Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” began playing. I noted that this was 90s MJ and NOT 80s MJ. I mean, did that guy not know I meant Billie Jean or Beat It? Gah! Obviously! I kept skating as I tried to construct a Michael Jackson musical timeline in my head.

Not 30 seconds later, some teenager skates into me and I fall straight back onto the much-harder-than-I-remember-it floor. As I’m lying there, seeing stars, I think to myself “It’s true what they say. You really can’t go back”. I got up and we went home.

I know everyone thinks they grew up in a simpler time. A better time. A time where there was less chaos and more security. And that time is called “before we were grown ups”.

Why do we like nostalgia so much? What are some of your memories?

Photo courtesy of epicskate.com.au


9 comments

  1. I’ve never been to a roller skating rink, but in the little town I grew up in they would have skate night at the Rec. Center. they would put the colored and strobe lights in the basketball court and we would skate round and round chasing each other etc. You could buy candy, snacks, and soda from the counter that was typically used by the admin staff that worked at the Rec. Center. There were very few Saturday nights from 7pm to 10pm that I wasn’t there. A couple years into that roller blades came out and I got me a pair. I was pleasantly surprised that I was MUCH better at roller blading that I ever was at roller skating. At that point the real shenanigans ensued, skating my happy butt out of the Rec. center and tearing around town with my friends in the dark (surprised we didn’t get ourselves maimed or killed). We’d always be rushing at the last minute to get back to the Rec. Center before 10pm when our moms would be by to pick us up. Great times.

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      • I guess to each their own eh? I was able to keep my balance MUCH better on the blades than the skates. Also, despite several years of roller skating, I never learned how to stop properly without biffing it. It was much easier with the blades to tip my heel back than the toe like the skate…. I guess it’s just how we’re all different in our brains and with coordination 🙂

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      • Hmm I’m not sure – I’ll be 34 at the end of this month. I just remember roller blades coming out when I was about 11 years old. I would love to be able to still roller blade but I unfortunately have allowed myself to become quite overweight, and I’m a chicken now too because I’ve had to have cervical spine surgery, so I’d be afraid to fall and hurt myself… oi.. lol

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was in my youth we had skating birthday parties at a rink where you could go inside or outside. No videos but they would change each song into a special kind of skate, backwards, girls ask boys, doubles only, crossover, or whatever was popular. They even had hula hoop on skates and would challenge everyone to see who could go the longest. We thought it was so romantic when they turned the lights down for couples skate. It was so much fun and we couldn’t wait for the next birthday!

    Liked by 1 person


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