One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

April 1, 2011

Living In the Past

Last week my office celebrated ‘Flashback Friday’. Boy if you like to dress up you should a) take up belly dance and b) come work at my office.

Anyhow, the terms of ‘Flashback Friday’ weren’t a particular retro era but “dress like you did in high school and we’ll provide a cafeteria style lunch.”

This was one of the dress-up days where I have to say a number of people wienered right out. Wore jeans and a t-shirt and said, “this is what I would have worn in high school.” Okay sure, but I bet you accessorized and did your hair differently. Okay, except for those of you who graduated five years ago. You guys just shut up.

So me, I wore ripped jeans – though they really only had one little knee-rip. That never would have passed when I was in school. And I wore a black tank-top with a giant (men’s XL) plaid shirt. I layered about five necklaces, tucked sunglasses in my shirt neckline, put on a bunch of silver rings and put my hair back in a half-ponytail. I wish I had pictures. It doesn’t sound like much but it was so, so 90s.

I got comments like, “you look badass.” “I think this just needs to be your look now and you’ll bring it back.” “That is one of the most authentic outfits today.”

One of my co-programmers, who didn’t dress up, passed me on the stairs and said, “So how has your day been? Has it been like, so much fun? Because every time I see you I think, ‘that looks like so much fun. I want to relive my youth.'”

When I went to leave the house that morning, I stopped to look in the mirror. I had buttoned up the bottom two buttons of the voluminous plaid, but there was something not quite right about it. I was so proud of myself when I remembered that what I needed was to apply the right so-casual plaid-draping. You know, pinch and lift at the shoulders to slide the whole shirt back about an inch – widening the neck and slouchifying the look.

Following that Friday, my best friend from school was in town. And she had emailed me a couple of weeks back to say that next time she was in town we should make time for a proper visit – stay up late drinking wine and eating great food and talking. In fact, she said, if I wanted I could just come spend the night at her parents with her like I used to when we were kids.

So yeah, I totally followed Flashback Friday with Sleepover Saturday. We went to a yoga class together (not terribly high school) but then we went back to her parent’s place where we ate pad thai sitting on the kitchen floor, drank wine, made a giant gooey brownie sunday and stayed up until 2 talking about boys.

To wrap up the whole weekend of looking back on your youth, I had agreed to participate in someone’s grad studies research on the effects of a loved one’s psychotic break on their romantic partner; to be conducted via a 1.5 hour phone interview primarily covering some of the worst crap of my teen years. I think I was slightly dreading it, and Ian kept saying I shouldn’t feel obligated to do it, but I also felt like it was a very positive and necessary area of research. So there’s that. Anyhow, when I got home from all my weekend running around, I was feeling pretty ill, so I went upstairs and lay down until the phone call. Then I just took the call in the bedroom, wrapped up in my blankets in bed.

She faithfully kept it to the hour and a half she’d estimated, but then as she was wrapping it up, I needed to close with a couple of questions to her about her interest and experience in the subject and so then she told me about her background and we ended up talking another hour – but in a more casual and equal way. Yeah, it’s not maybe the most uplifting way to end all that Blast-from-the-pastiness – but it did feel, overall, positive.

At the end of it, she was effusive in telling me how amazing my story was, how helpful it was to her and how articulate and thoughtful I am and I said, you know, this is a pretty central part of my life, a giant part of who I am and something I think about probably every day, but that’s probably the first time I’ve told the story in that much detail in one sitting. So, maybe there was some therapy in it too.

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  1. I felt the same way!
    I’m glad you talked to her. I should write about this, too.


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