Friday, July 28, 2023

You wake up one day and realize you've been sent back to the what?

I'm a nostalgic guy who looks back fondly on his younger years.

The music to which I listen is one example of this. I have many modern/semi-current tracks in my library, and I try to listen to new stuff all the time, but there's no denying that my tastes lean very heavily toward the 1980s.

For every Harry Styles song I own, you'll find 30 by The Police, 25 by Men at Work, 20 by Duran Duran, and heck, probably five by Kajagoogoo.

I follow quite a few retro 80s accounts on Twitter because I enjoy the cultural memories they feature. One of those accounts recently posted a question that caught my interest: If you woke up one day and realized you had been transported back to the 80s, what would you do?

If you are younger than 33, the first thing you would do is wonder why you had been sent to a time before you were even born.

But if you are 53 like me, this becomes something to ponder. If I was sent back in time 40 years, and if, let's say, I was only allowed to stay there a few hours before returning to the present, what would be my priorities?

Here are the five things I would probably do:

(1) Sit and talk with my mom and dad (and if they happen to be visiting, my sisters and brother): Kids, once your parents are gone, you can't believe the things you would do to see them again. They would wonder why 13-year-old me had suddenly taken such a deep interest in having a protracted conversation with them, but it would be amazing. The first thing I would do is walk into the living room and talk with them.

(2) Head to the arcade: I would have to spend at least a half hour at Galaxy Gardens, our local game room. I expended untold amounts of time and money there and it was wonderful. I could do without people smoking indoors like they used to, but hey, that's the price you pay for the privilege of time travel.

(3) Turn on the TV: It wouldn't take long to cruise through the 36 channels we had from Continental Cablevision, so I would stop at MTV and watch some of those classic music videos when they were still fresh and new.

(4) Round up my friends: This would involve actually going to their houses and/or calling their landlines (gasp!), but any combination of Matt, Kevin, Jason, Mike, Todd, etc. I could rouse would be worth the effort. Even if we just headed down to the railroad tracks and hung out (it was much more fun than it sounds, believe me).

(5) Enjoy the freedom of being without a smartphone: I could easily do this now by simply leaving my phone at home, but it wouldn't be quite the same. There was something appealing about a world in which you were mostly unreachable most of the time and everyone was OK with that. As miraculous as the iPhone is as a technological innovation, it also comes with hidden shackles I wouldn't mind shedding for a few hours.

HONORABLE MENTION: 1983 was three years before I started dating Terry, so I might ride my bike to Robert Street on the other end of Wickliffe and see if I could catch a glimpse of her at home. This sort of stalking was frowned upon even then, however, so it might also lead to me spending a few hours in an early-80s jail cell.


  1. Uh probably buy stock in a few tech companies!

    1. The Biff Tannen strategy from Back to the Future II! Good call.