Thursday, March 10, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Nostalgia Still Isn't What it is Cracked up to Be

Here is a post from January of 2013.  You'll be seeing a sprinkling of "throwback" posts as I prepare for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April.

My spouse and I exercise walked yesterday, talking about old television ads from our childhood.  We tried to think of how far back we could remember.  It was enjoyable.

Ah, nostalgia. I think it is human nature to engage in it, and I would be willing to guess that all of my readers engage in its practice, too.

I wrote this post three years ago, so reading it again might be a form of nostalgia, too.  

Do you enjoy this type of remembering?

Nostalgia Still Isn't What it is Cracked up to Be

A summer evening in Brooklyn.  I am visiting a childhood friend.  We've known each other for 50 years.  You can't get more nostalgic than that.

A familiar bell rings in the distance.

It's the Mr. Softee truck!

Mr. Softee was one of the staples of growing up in New York City, along with the Good Humor man.   But I hadn't had a Mr. Softee in - oh, 50 years?

I didn't even know they existed any more.

I had to have a Mr. Softee.  My friend's husband bought me my favorite, a soft vanilla cone. No sprinkles, no gunk, just pure vanilla pleasure.

Do you know what happened?  I had already eaten dinner, and I ended up with a stomach ache.

Sometimes, that's what happens when you try to relive your childhood.

No, nostalgia sometimes isn't what it's cracked up to be.

What is nostalgia?  One definition I found (Wikipedia) says:
The term nostalgia describes a sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations
As we age, we find ourselves slipping into nostalgia more and more.  Just today, I was part of a conversation that turned to encyclopedias.  Remember encyclopedias?

As a 20-something participant in the conversation listened in amazement, the others in the conversations (mostly people in their 50's) talked about parents scrimping and saving so we could have a set in our homes.  By the time they were paid off, (even before that!) they were obsolete.  Then, our parents would have to buy yearbook supplements so they would be up to date. Until the next year.

The 20-something mused "And now we have the Internet."

Yes, we do.  We hold the greatest library man ever created in our hands, and on our laps.

I can miss many things about my childhood.  I engage in nostalgic thinking.  But when it comes down to it, the present, in many ways, isn't so bad after all.  The Internet.  Modern medicine (I wouldn't be alive without it.)  Thin and light eyeglasses.  Whole grains, and organic produce, available in the local market.

Would you rather live in the "good old days"?


  1. What? You went and had a Mr. Softee without the chocolate covering? And, you claim you were nostalgic?
    No wonder you got a stomach ache!

  2. Haha! Sometimes, you do get a stomachache when you try to live like in the good old days. ;) Yeah, happened to me too.

    Lovely post! I do miss my childhood days and would want to relive the carefree days again.

  3. What an interesting take on past and present. I do tend to wallow in nostalgia, more than a bit.

  4. No, I would not want to live in the "good old days"! Like you, I probably wouldn't have lived this long in those times. We tend to see the past through rose-colored glasses. I'm always seeing posts from my friends on Facebook - many of whom I grew up with - that rave about how things were so much better in the past when we were children. No, they weren't!

  5. Thank you for this enjoyable post

  6. The "good old days" weren't all that great. I love the internet. It's so great to go to Google and look up that one fact that we're all disputing. I would so miss that.


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