Single in Sandpoint: Nostalgia

By Scarlette Quille
Reader Columnist

Have you ever wondered what it will be like 60-70 years from now? Will there be a celebration somewhere in America where the whole town is “Lost in the early 2000s?” Will the teenagers that I know now be walking around telling their grandchildren things like: “I used to have to walk two blocks to the nearest Starbucks to access Wifi. My parents were too poor to have cable, WiFi and cell service for all of us. You see back then, there was an actual limit to the amount of data each individual could use when accessing the internet. We didn’t even have Uber in our town. When we snuck out, we had to text a person with their own vehicle to meet us. You kids have it so easy. Times were simpler then.”

I don’t know if Sandpoint will still be holding a ‘50s parade and bacchanalian then, but I’m sure by that point the ‘50s will seem like the caveman era. Unless my predictions are right, and we see the earth becoming a post-apocalyptic wasteland due to the disturbing current societal view that science is fake and global warming is a lie. Our planet’s future could look a lot like the planet we see in the movie “Mad Max.” Except in this version, the “elders” charged with providing guidance will be a bunch of 60-year-olds who have been dependent on YouTube tutorials for all practical learning and communicate solely through text message. Hopefully they have the sense to resurrect the Thunderdome, otherwise what kind of hope will the people have?

Seriously. Think about it.

My 6-year-old recently took up shopping on Amazon, and after filling his cart with toys, he proceeded to check out,  charging the toy binge to his dad’s Amazon Prime account. I have no idea how he did this, and I am struck with both admiration and a since of fear for his future exploits. I remember my sister stealing a mini dictionary from Vanderford’s when she was about six. My mother was horrified, and after explaining to us what my sister’s jail cell was going to look like in Juvenile Hall, she marched my sister into the store, forcing her to return the item with an apology. The Amazon situation had a similar feel, but  the line between right/wrong/ and genius is far more blurred.

However; this isn’t the time of year that we dwell on the future. This is Lost in the ‘50s week and instead we celebrate the long forgotten past. A time when songs where all about  lollipops and rockin robins and the cars guzzled gasoline, and were made of good old American steel. Kids saved their pennies for candy and baseballs and parents didn’t have to worry about their passwords and identity being thieved in the night by their 6-year-olds. We allow ourselves this weekend to examine our past, whilst drinking heavily and roaming the streets. It’s a beautiful thing.

Interestingly, my high school age daughters have been celebrating the ‘50s week at school by participating in decade dress-up days. I thought this would be a fun little exercise. However, my daughter came into the living room wearing overalls with one strap down, and a garish sweat shirt with some sort of head wrap, and asked me, “Mom how do I look?”

I was utterly confused, as I did not understand what era a depraved hillbilly going through a hip-hop phase fit into. I answered after an extended silence: “Um what are you dressing up as?” (You must always answer a teenage girl’s outfit related questions as though you are stepping on an active land mine). She said “The ‘90s, mom,” and then huffed a teenage snort of disapproval at my idiocy.

A wave of painful realization swept through my body. My high school years were now considered an era, the kind of far away nostalgic place that children dress up as for fun. I was the expert in the house hold on this archaic subject matter. I couldn’t get away with saying, “I’m not sure honey, I wasn’t born yet.” I existed in the ‘90s, wore the clothes, listened to the music… I am a relic. I answered, “Add a pair of Doc Martens, flannel and take that thing off your head.  That’s an outfit I would have rocked.” She then asked me what Doc Martens are. I tried to huff as offensively as she had earlier while saying: “Google it, you little twat.”

Just kidding, I didn’t say twat.

So, now I know the reason this town drinks so much on Lost in the ‘50s weekend. It is how we comfort ourselves on becoming old. It’s our allotted weekend to celebrate every passing decade, and our place in the history of pop culture.

Face it, when the high school students are dressing up like you did in high school on dress up day, you are officially an elder.Circle of life folks. You can fight it, or you can do your job and make sure your kid has a periodically correct costume.

Happy ‘50s!

And remember, we don’t speak of what happens during  Lost in the ‘50s after the weekend is over. Those who do will face the Thunderdome.


Scarlette Quille

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