Announcement: I am not a tween.

Today I tried to listen to 5 Seconds of Summer. (5SOS, as the kids call them. I know this now! Hashtag relevant!)

…Why?

Because I like to punish myself musically with deliciously bad pop music from time to time? Perhaps.

Because I heard something last week about how this band might be bigger than One Direction, but I had no idea who they are, and this made me feel old and out of touch? More likely.

I say “I tried to” because I didn’t make it past the first song on their Spotify. But that 3:58 of nouveau boybandery did fill me with both nostalgia for my teenage self and definitive satisfaction in my current state of adulthood.

First of all: The album cover. Those jeans are so tight, they make my lower half go numb just looking at them. (In MY day, boy bands’ pants were so baggy you could store provisions in them for the long winter.)

5SOS_album_cover

“We can’t feel our feet, ladies.”

nsync-matching-overalls

“Hey, girl. I got room for you in my pants. I mean, not like that. but. you know. whatever.”

Second of all: The name. Think about it…five seconds. Leave it to teenagers to glorify such a short span of time. You have your whole life ahead of you; you have no idea what it feels like to have a Tuesday in June feel just like a Tuesday in February—in terms of routine, if not weather. (Entirely possible the name has some significance that I’m not grasping, but I don’t care to spend the 5 Seconds of My Life it would take to google it and find out.)

Third of all: The song. (Oh yeah! The music; that’s something.) The top single on Spotify today was “Amnesia” (see above.) And I’m pretty sure IT COULDN’T BE MORE MILLENNIAL IF IT TRIED. Observe:

The pictures that you sent me, they’re still living in my phone.
I’ll admit I like to see them, I’ll admit I feel alone.

OH THE FEELINGS! And OH the…unrelatable technological situations responsible for those feelings. I had a cellphone in high school, but the closest it got me to emotional anguish was bumping into my own tail during particularly tense rounds of Snake.

It’s not an original thought, I recognize, but I’m still ever so grateful that social media and smartphones didn’t exist in my formative years. Girls can be mean. Boys are confusing. Online life makes those realities all the more immediate and unrestricted.

Kids these days, is what I’m saying. Please pass me the clicker and an electric blanket. It’s almost time for “Murder She Wrote,” and I don’t like to miss my stories.

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(Really) Real Estate

In March 2010, when I was 26 years old, I bought a house. It seems like such a bonkers decision to me now, but at the time, it made perfect sense. I wanted to move out of my apartment, and I was pleasantly surprised to find I could afford a house for not much more than my rent. (Oh, Springfield! God bless your reasonable cost of living!) I had a good job that was not far away. I had a serious boyfriend, and we had made plans.

photo (8)A lot of things have changed since then, as they do. I moved into my current place last summer, but I didn’t find any takers for my lovely little house. So here we are four years after I bought it, and I’m more than ready to be rid of the mortgage and memory-baggage associated with 2502 N. Campbell.

Summer’s supposed to be prime house-selling time, so for two more months, I’m trying one final push before I resort to renting.

It really is a great little house.

I could tell you all sorts of things that were wonderful about the time I lived there. Owning a home, MY home, by myself, as a single gal. Nothing like it! It’s the big things like painting the walls or throwing parties, and the small things like the little cat door leading to the laundry room or the left-hand doorknob that turned the wrong way and always, always confused people.

pianoI could tell you about the Ozarks springtime tornado warnings, huddled with my cat in her Pet Taxi, while KY3 newscasters told me what to make of the ever-greening sky. The particular bad-weather nervousness that I only felt inside the home that I owned. 

Or the 30 Rock finale party, where one of my lovely friends actually made Cheesy Blasters (thanks Meat Cat!), following the sing-song instructions: You take a hot dog, stuff it with some jack cheese, fold it in a pizza: And you’ve got Cheesy Blasters! They were wonderful. And awful.

The singularly grown-up thrill of purchasing my own absurdly expensive washer and dryer that looked like outer-space machines.

All that was worthwhile. But there are plenty of memories I’d be content to move away from and permanently close the door. It feels melodramatic but it’s also just true: I can’t help but associate the house with the relationships that ended when I lived there. (Counting only official, capital-R “relationships” that ended: There were three.) R.I.P. R.I.P. R.I.P.

The moments of overwhelming sadness while I was moving (brief, but unpleasant) took me by surprise. While boxing up my life there, I opened up forgotten feelings.

photo (5)Like that first “I love you,” after the first time “we” had people over. Or was it before? Couldn’t tell you for sure. But I could tell you where I was standing (at the sink), what he was wearing (a light blue sweater), how he acted (gravely serious) and how I felt (caught off guard).

Or, with that other person, who expressed his feelings in different, while still meaningful, terms when he told me: “I need you to know I’m about to poop in your house for the first time.” (A significant moment in the life of any couple, we can all agree.)

Or with this other one, as we sat across from each other on my bed, exhausted and numb from one-too-many last straws. When he said, “I just want you to be nice to me.” And I said, and meant, “I don’t want to.” (You’ve seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, yes?)

Criminy.

So you should buy my house, is what I’m saying. You seem like the sort of person who’s ready to make some new memories of your own.

Did I mention the kitchen cabinets?
And the spacious backyard?

All dated up

Found this little postcard treasure in a closet downstairs at work. Just sitting all by its lonesome on top of some old sheets of photo slides. (I find myself doubting whether that’s what you’re even supposed to call those ancient artifacts…slides? That’s right, right?)

Postcards and slides. Like typewriters and cassette tapes, these once everyday objects have become oddities, forgotten completely or elevated as collectibles by weirdos like me who have affection for the past. This shift in value is curious to me. I keep my mom’s 1960s typewriter because I think it looks cool and vintage, but it used to be the thing she’d use to type her homework. Just a utilitarian object, unspecial and easy to ignore.

What are the things that I encounter every day that might someday find themselves on display in a vintage shop or museum? My rainbow of PaperMate felt-tip pens. A printer-slash-scanner-slash-copy machine. Beloved binder clips. Thumbtacks. Which of these will become things that my grandchildren don’t even recognize? (Well, mine would, because I would force them to. “You will sit down next to Grandma and listen to her talk about the good old days, while you watch these Fey-Fallon-era SNL reruns, and you will LIKE IT.”)

Haven't Written Because

So I found this old postcard, and I rescued it from its life of solitude on top of that basement closet filing cabinet, and now it lives on my wall, where it will make this weirdo very happy.

***

Outdated language lesson of the day: “Busted” was old-timey slang for “broke”… so “flat busted” does not mean what you think it means. And I can’t get google to give me a definitive answer for “all dated up,” but it seems to mean something along the lines of, to use modern meme-speak,  “has all the plans!”