Sometimes, You Just Can’t Go Back
It’s funny what you remember. It’s even funnier to remember the things you wanted, the things you thought we so cool when you were young. I just read a piece by Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她) about childhood memories that a person may have missed out on at the time but tried to revive as an adult. Here it is. I encourage you to give it a read, it might make you think like it did me:
What childhood memories did you miss out on that you tried to revive as an adult?
Were you the “hang-out-at-the-mall” generation? Did you get to frolic in nearby creeks and forests and hills…
My youthful unfulfilled memory wasn’t something I sought to revive. It’s more one that sort of revived itself to my utter horror and delight if one can actually experience those emotions simultaneously.
I was a child of the ’70s and 80s and through the mid-80s, the mall was king. It was the veritable mecca for tweens and teens. Everything happened at the mall, shopping, eating, socializing, you name it. Relationships, friendships, alliances of all sorts could be made and broken at the local shopping centre. Anyone who was everyone was there.
On the army base I lived on, my pals and I loved the mall. Granted, it wasn’t much of a mall. It was small and consisted of a grocery store, an A&W, a bookstore, a Canadian Tire, a couple of small shops, a Reitmans and a hallway with hard wooden benches.
The benches were where everything that mattered happened. The benches were where the boys were. Older boys. Handsome boys. Sophisticated boys that smoked cigarettes and drank beer. The boys that chatted up my friends and left me standing there like a bad habit someone wanted to rid themselves of.
The boys didn’t notice the plucky 13-year-old with frizzy hair who was all knees and elbows with precious little in-between. Oh how I longed to be noticed by those boys, especially H. H. was 18 then, tall and absolutely gorgeous, with deep blue eyes, blonde perfectly feathered hair and that irresistible rebellious smirky grin.
Fast forward about 30 years and a visit to my hometown. I happily look around at all the familiar sights and lament the others that had…