Was I born in the wrong era?

wrong era post
credit: Pharaoh_EZYPT
I have often thought that I have been born in a period of time that I wasn’t meant for. It sounds quite dramatic to put it like that, but I just can’t help but feel that way sometimes.

Last night, I was watching an Adam Sandler film called The Wedding Singer. It’s hilarious, and one of those films I will happily watch over and over. In my opinion, it is as iconic for it’s music as it is for the witty script, classic girl-and-guy-fall-for-each-other story, and – of course – Adam Sandler’s character (he can be very silly in some of his films, but this is one my favourites).

The film opens with Sandler, the ‘wedding singer’ and main character, singing Dead or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me Round (Right Round)’ – which, incidentally, I’ve just started playing on YouTube as I type this up. What a tune. Iconic. I’ve recently been listening to some old stuff at the gym, too, actually…

Anyhow, I can’t help but imagine what it would be like to have gone out to one of those parties in the 1980s, weird costumes and funky hair and all, and just danced the night away. I must go to an 80s theme party at some point. That would be so fun. (Side note: at time of typing, I’m going to a “wig party” on Thursday evening – I’ve ordered this Napoleon Dynamite wig, glasses and ‘Vote For Pedro’ t-shirt, and feeling pretty proud of myself, I must say).

Apparently, a time when people actually spoke to one another, whether they were more direct and honest with romantic intentions, where you had to call someone – at home! And then speak to their mother or father first, in order to then speak to the daughter with whom you were besotted. Ah, I’m such a dreamy romantic.

(Omg, New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ just came on YouTube, and I’m literally dancing my way through typing up this post).

Though this scenario may not have been so good for my social anxiety, I like the idea of this at least. It sure as hell beats today’s minefield of Tinder, social media and digital messaging. Not to mention the whole ‘ghosting’ thing. Everyone these days seems to want different things from a relationship, or no relationship at all and just casual sex and otherwise frolicking about. Where the narrative being pushed is that seen on shows like Jersey Shore, The Bachelor and Love Island (yes, I may have watched my share of sh*tty television in my time). #notforme. But then each to their own, I guess.

A time where no one even says “hi” or makes eye contact when passing in the street, when we are all so individualistic and wrapped up in our own worlds. That’s how it is in London, at least. Back in the day, folks used to actually leave their back doors open (not a euphemism – their actual back doors… behind their houses, what’s wrong with you, you sicko), and let neighbours just wander in and out. Neighbours were actually friends with one another. They spent time with each other. Now that’s what I call community. That just doesn’t seem to happen today.

(Song update – ‘Billie Jean’ – YouTube, you’re on fire today buddy).

My mother has a fondness for all things Pride and Prejudice, and of that general era/genre. She loves Little House on the Prairie, too. I’ve asked her, “Would you like to go back to that time?”

She says, in some ways, but not really – reminding me that they didn’t have electricity, food was in short supply, and all sorts of diseases would be flying around. “You always think the grass is greener” or “You have your head in the clouds, I do worry about you”, she’ll tell me. Thanks, mum. But I suppose in this instance she’s right.

Yet a part of me still longs to live in a simpler time, where the simple things mattered, because there was less other stuff.

PS. Just today, I tweeted about a short radio clip, with Cosmopolitan editor Farrah Storr, talking about her feelings about “having no friends” (the clip may not work if you’re not in the UK, sorry!)

✏ Written: Wednesday, 28th February 2018 @ 9.22am

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What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
What do you reckon? Is anyone with me, or am I just being a ridiculous fantasist here?! #wouldn’tbethefirsttime #notgonnabethelast

28 thoughts on “Was I born in the wrong era?

  1. Definitely not alone in this. I guess we all want to be a part of that era which we absolutely adore. It would be real fun though. To be the laughing stalk when we suddenly decide to dress up like them😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah I’m not sure how brave my costume would’ve been back then – given that I only seem to wear stuff that’s plain blue/black/grey 🤓 Thanks for reading + commenting!

      Like

  2. The funny thing about the song “You Spin Me Right Round” is I don’t know whether to think Flo Rida messed up the old school sentiment of the song with his own version of the tune. I admit Flo Rida’s version is the one I am most familiar with after hearing a cover of the song in the the first Pitch Perfect movie.

    I’m actually a ’90s kid (born in 1989 lol) and my recollection was those years were simple and clean fun, or at least I had that perspective due to ignorance. I loved bubblegum pop music then although now I look back and see the industry was definitely shifting more towards outright sex appeal with the crazy hair and outfits and special effects in music videos. I think the ’90s was the beginning of the end of people simply sitting or walking in a music video and singing the song.

    I was already a shy child but I think I could have benefited from a closer knit neighborhood where I actually knew people and could talk to them. The thing I remember most is how for the longest time I thought I was white because the asians I did see at school were either not in my class or I was just not like them, in the sense I had a preference for English and hardly ever used my native tongue unless I was speaking with my parents. It was a mixed bag for me. Though maybe even if I had the closeness with neighbors, I still would have been avoidant of people. Like, my parents were just about the only asian people on the neighborhood street when they first moved in. I feel they were more ok with being a minority because they had a better opinion of white people than other races, but at the same time, they were not very trusting of people. I hate to make my parents sound like thw typical asian immigrants, but they fit some of the stereotypes that later had a negative impact on how I perceived the world. I got it hammered into me by them all the time to not trust strangers, and I feel the way I had poor socialization skills prior to starting grade school may have played a part in futhering my continued struggles.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for reading + commenting, Nat 🙂 I was born in ’89 too! I’m actually talking about the original version, but that version I like too – it reminds me of ‘The Hangover’ movie, it features in the end credits haha.

      You know what, there were lots of Asians at my school too – though I got on with everyone, I resonated more with the white folks – and non-Indians/Sri Lankans too. Part of me felt that it was because I had a different upbringing, reasonably middle class, which I know not everyone is fortunate to have and makes me sound like a snob.

      “I was already a shy child but I think I could have benefited from a closer knit neighborhood where I actually knew people and could talk to them.” – I’d have loved this. I dream of living in a friendly, loving community of friends one day.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. There’s a lot about my childhood I wish my son could have experienced. A close-knit neighbourhood where all the kids played outside till 9 – 10 in evening every day in summer. The fun experience of calling the boy (girl in his case) you want to ask out and have his crazy father answer the phone with, ‘Public Library.’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, sounds lovely. The world has changed – I feel we just fear things a lot more these days, and I’m not sure the fear is entirely justified! Haha, crazy father sounds interesting!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think a lot of it is because the world has got so much smaller. We never used to hear of all the little tragedies in other countries that make the world seem so much more violent. Now with the internet and social media, we’re instantly aware.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. My thoughts exactly! Fear/horrible goings-on are what sell papers and attract viewers. I remember before I went to Brasil for the World Cup, the papers were making it sound like I needed to watch my step at every turn. The really was…. it was fine.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Great piece! Definitely something I have thought of – a simpler time, where people talk to each other and there are no problems in society… and then I remember the problems that they did have in the 60s and 70s (my dream eras) or even as close to our present as the 80s – how awful life would have been for you if you were anything but a straight white male. And even then, all the men who couldn’t express their emotions or live their real lives through fear of being judged.

    There are so many things I dislike about society today but when I think of how far we’ve come, and that there are problems in every era, I wonder if all the things we dislike are somehow linked to the good? There’s no black and white – it’s far more complex than that! We can do everything online (I’m talking to you from Australia through a keyboard) which is amazing if you want to a be a writer and have social anxiety which prevents you from wanting to speak to people in public, however, it is the technology itself which has made the social structures so hard that people can’t talk to each other and I believe is why anxiety (in all its forms) is on the rise. The flip side again of that is our ability to use technology to find ways to overcome said anxiety and also to form online communities with whom we can feel part of something – I always think of the lonely people out there who don’t fit in to the communities physically around them but have found people with whom they can really connect online and in chat rooms – which in my eyes would be an absolute godsend.

    I also wonder whether people in the 80s wanted to be a part of earlier eras themselves and what they would have considered the scourge of their own time…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello 🙂 I also love reading your insightful comments, so thanks again for this.

      “…how awful life would have been for you if you were anything but a straight white male. And even then, all the men who couldn’t express their emotions or live their real lives through fear of being judged.” – I think you’ve summed it up perfectly, here. I hadn’t even thought about being a brown guy in that era! Just getting carried away with my dreamy thoughts, clearly.

      The link you make between technology making it harder for people to talk to each other, and thus linked to the rising anxiety. I think the constant pinging of phones, and scrolling/comparisons with others on our feeds also doesn’t help us.

      As you say, technology has it’s pros and cons. I always think London would be *such* a lonely place to move to, for someone new. I have a friend who moved here, from Kent, when she was only 18; if it wasn’t for her church community, she’d have struggled, she’s told me.

      You also raise an interesting Q right at the end there… quite possibly!

      Have a lovely week.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. “Apparently, a time when people actually spoke to one another, whether they were more direct and honest with romantic intentions, where you had to call someone – at home! And then speak to their mother or father first, in order to then speak to the daughter with whom you were besotted. Ah, I’m such a dreamy romantic.”

    Yep, that was my youth. No mobile phones and in my house, a phone that was joined to the wall so that all conversations had to be conducted with a parent listening! God it was awful. I remember my bf forcing me to say “I love you” with my mum present (eavesdropping as usual). (Yes I fell in love big time at age 16 – still one of the most significant relationships of my life). So many things you guys would be shocked about – not having, that is. Only TV (no internet, obviously!) and by the time my parents got a video player I’d moved out! And only one TV in the house so if you wanted to watch it, you had to do it with your parents (ie what they wanted to watch) and not lying in your bed like my sons! If you wanted to catch up with friends it was phone call (in aforementioned circumstances) or take the bus and meet up, hang out at their place, walk the streets, go to shopping malls, parks etc. Later my bf got a car at 16 and so did other friends so my life opened up. Music was my record player and tape deck. (I didn’t have a boom box but they existed!). Oh and the radio. I was obsessed with music and lived for my records/tapes and the Sunday night music show (like Top of the Pops). So many memories – however relationships were just as difficult – no texting or what’s app to ease the awkwardness. Clubbing was fabulous but full of smoke (don’t know about the UK but smoking in clubs was banned in the late 90s here) but it was the core of my life during my late adolescence. Of course I had the hair and post-punk/new wave thing going – it has been a major influence all my life. Thanks for taking me back this morning!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, thanks for reading and commenting – I always enjoy reading your comments 🙂

      Thanks for painting more colour and letting me in to your youth, here! Gosh, I don’t like phone calls at the best of times(!), let alone with my parents listening in. That would be horrendous. I remember videos and tapes and Sony Walkmans! I was born in ’89 so internet slowly came in during primary and secondary school, but no way near to the extent which it now permeates life (e.g. social media on phones, etc). Ah, vinyl records can’t be beaten for the audio quality – I understand they’re somewhat making a comeback, with sales increasing year-on-year. My Dad still has a fair few of them, and some classics in there. Top of the Pops! Ah, back in the days when there were just a couple of channels and *everyone* used to tune in. Smoking in public places was also banned here – possibly around that time, though I can’t remember and I’ve never been a smoker.

      Ah, and I’m sure that hair was a spectacle of joy 👌🏽👌🏽

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I feel so old reading this because I WAS a teenager in the 80’s, and did make it to some of these parties. Just picturing my blonde hair teased and glued together with Aqua net hair spray while wearing my neon clothes makes me crack up. The
    80’s were the best ever!
    BTW, Napoleon Dynamite is one of Mr. FE’s favorite movies.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I always thought I should have born in the 60s or 70s lol! I absolutely love old stuff, the way people were more close knitted and not distracted by their smart phones.
    I even buy really old used books sometimes because old things have a story /history of their own and that just fascinates me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I write science fiction, and in the current series in progress, some people in the future live in closed societies that emulate other eras of time. It’s always fan to play with such ideas. You would have fit right into 1980s world.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I belief that we are currently in an era which is sort of stuck in the middle…i mean that we are neither completely dependent on technology nor can live without this technology.I think we are somewhere in the middle where technology is being used as well as discovered …and i guess that’s whats makes people get confused with where exactly should they fit in.Like we can be retro,classy and old fashioned as well as hippie,modern and trendy .The actual choice is upon us to decide because both the sides have their own pros and cons.And then maybe we all of sudden discover what we actually wannabe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mhm, I think a lot of us are getting sicked and tired of this hyper-digitalized world and are going “back to basics” – there balance perhaps involves both, but I think is different for each of us.

      Liked by 1 person

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