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Twenty somethings unite!

Love Me Some 1995! January 19, 2012


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I have been home sick for the past 2 days.  I have only taken 1 sick day prior to this in 4 years.  That just goes to show you how crummy I feel.  After 24 hours in the house, sitting on the couch, drinking water like it’s going out of style… I found the DVD’s my family gave me for Christmas this year.  They surprised me by putting all of our home movies onto DVD’s so my brother and I could watch them any time we want to.  Not wanting to put my husband through the torture of my awkward years (ages 10-14) I put them in a cabinet under the TV and didn’t think of them for a few weeks… until now!

In hopes of curbing my boredom, I popped disc one into my computer and snuggled in for a trip down memory lane.  Starting in 1995, I watched Christmas’, Easter’s, backyard birthday parties, summer morning T-Ball, soccer games, and lazy days around the house.  I heard my mom cheering me on as I scored a goal at 10 years old, watched my dad wave a flag when the ball went out of bounds, laughed along with my 5th grade friends as we danced around at my birthday party, and saw how truly joyful every moment of my life that was caught on camera truly was.  It was captivating.  I couldn’t stop watching my little brother play in the dirt during his T-ball game at 5 years old.  Man, the 90’s rocked. 

Despite everything, do you know what really caught my attention?  How present and engaged everyone was at each event.  In the 90’s, nobody talked on a cell phone during a choir concert at school, nobody sat in the corner and texted as their child opened birthday gifts, nobody texted during a friend’s party, and nobody missed their child scoring a goal because they were checking Facebook on their phone.  Everyone was present.  Involved.  Together.

I almost long for those years again.  The simplicity of it all.  My parents threw a Halloween party for my friends and I in 5th grade.  Do you know where it was held?  No, not at the Hilton.  I had no celebrity performer and no trapeze performance.  It was in our garage!  Black and orange streamers covered the ceiling, plastic tablecloths with witches covered borrowed picnic tables.  My mom had several party games planned involving toothpicks, lifesavers, toilet paper rolls, and plastic spoons.  My little brother roamed around with us wanting to be a part of the fun and you know what?  We let him!  He danced to the sweet sounds of “The Macerena” with us and even got wrapped up by my friend for the mummy contest!  There was no rivalry, harsh language, slutty costumes, or fighting.  It was just pure joy.

When mom brought my brother and I to the first day of school (he was in 1st grade and I was in 6th) she caught the 90’s in their full glory.  Girls ran around in long jean shorts (OK, maybe a little too long for my taste, but no buttcheeks were hanging out at our elementary school!)  Our hair was done in a simple pony tail with a scrunchy.  We were kids.  Just kids.  Making faces at the camera, smiling from ear to ear, putting our arms around each other with excitement over being the oldest at school this year!  Our only complaint caught on camera? “One recess this year mom, just ONE!”  Nobody complained about a dead cell phone battery, nobody bragged that their cell phone was faster or better than yours, and the girls weren’t concerned about their weight.  We just wanted to have fun!

The 90’s were awesome, I just didn’t realize it until today.  Following hours, literally hours of home video footage from 1995 on (thanks mom and dad!) I can finally see just how good we had it.  I was blissfully unaware of everything around me that made the 90’s so nifty.  My family, my friends, The Macerena, TGIF, and simplicity.  Now, I can only hope to give my own children half of the childhood that my parents gave me in the 90’s.  Hopefully my future children will look back someday and say, “Wow, the 2020’s were the best!”

What year would you like to go back to?  Why do you want to go back?

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Never Buy X-Mas Cards that Require Extra Postage December 21, 2011


So the lady at the post office through my credit card at me with the most pissed off look I have ever seen.  I looked from my credit card back to her in disbelief.  “Oh, so we’re doing this?”  I was ready to fly over the counter and show her the true meaning of Christmas.

OK let me back up a bit here.  You see, last Saturday I made a quick trip to the post office.  We live in a small town and I thought I’d just run in real quick and get some stamps.  Shutterfly gave me 10 free Christmas cards in October, so I picked out the most extravagant (and pricey) cards they had.  Hey, they were free!  The catch was that they were those perfectly squared cards that for some reason require extra postage.   Hence my visit to the post office last Saturday.  Ten 64 cent stamps.  That was my mission.

I walked in, bedhead and all.  There were at least 25 people who turned to look at me who were also making a quick trip to the post office the Saturday before Christmas.  I found my spot in line and listened to two older women in front me talk about what was in their packages.  Gifts for their grandkids… “Teenage boys are so hard to buy for!”  I patiently waited 35 minutes for my turn in line.  The lady in front of me paid just under $22 to ship her gift (Are you kidding me??)  and then I approached the counter.

“Hello!  I’m going to be an easy customer today.  I just need ten stamps for these square cards and I’ll be on my way!”  I was so cheerful and pleasant it was almost sickening.  I figured this poor woman could use a break from crankiness.

“Oh,” she said, “We’re out.”  Scowling.

“Really?  Out?  I know it’s not your fault or anything but… I’ve been here for 35 minutes waiting for these stamps.  Maybe you should put a sign up or something.  Then people will see it and leave if that’s what they came for.”

“Do you want me to make an announcement or something,” she groaned.

“No, just thought a sign might prevent someone from waiting like I did.”

“I can sell you a book of stamps and you can just put 2 on every card,” she suggested.

SIIIIGH “Fine.  I’ve waited this long, might as well get them mailed off.”  I ran my credit card through and she asked to see it.  She tossed it back at me and it landed on the counter.  Wow.  Really?  We’re doing this?  This is happening?  I’m so going to fly over this counter at you cranky post office lady.  I looked up and saw a surveillance camera.  This changed my mind. 

“Sorry,” she said with the same scowl.  I took my stamps, walked over to a different counter and began sticking them on my envelopes.  Suddenly the bright red marker I used to address all of them didn’t seem so cheerful anymore.  As I worked on my cards, the post office lady said in a loud voice to the entire post office….

“IS ANYONE HERE WAITING FOR 64 CENT STAMPS?”  (Crickets…. total silence.)  I glanced around mortified and my face flushed.

“WELL, THIS GAL OVER HERE (points at me) SAYS I SHOULD MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THEM!”

I died a slow death as this woman embarrassed the supreme crap out of me.  Enraged, I turned around.  I waved my arms around and wiggled my hips, “YAH!  BECAUSE THEY’RE OUT!”

I shoved my envelopes into the mailbox, avoided any and all eye contact with the long line of customers and left the post office.  Merry Christmas to you too lady.  Merry Christmas indeed…

I swore that while traipsing across the parking lot I would be ambushed by cameras and people screaming, “You got punked!”  My eyes darted around the lot and saw no cameras.  I got in my car and just started laughing.  The past 40 minutes were something from an SNL skit that could appear on their Christmas special.  I called my mom and together we laughed so hard that I literally cried while describing what had just happened.  It’s times like these, where if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.  And if the story is really good, you’ll do both!