People say college is the best time of your life. But these people are liars. These people are either nerdy high school kids looking for hope in the world, or they are President Brodhead and his poker buddies, trying to justify our tuition. But hey, I love college as much as the next white rapper (are you there, Asher Roth? It’s me… your lackluster direction in life). But I have to vehemently declare that the best time of my life was in the ’90s. A time of denim and floral print. A time of slinkies and Furbies. A time of Kenan and Kel. What’s not to love? Also, childhood was a time where sobriety and sexual inhibition were sort of expected, so I had the opportunity to really thrive. (Oh dear readers … I’ll never stop drilling the explicitly non-explicit details of my life into you!)
I peaked in elementary school. Well… I peaked in kindergarten. After that I just got weird again and did the middle child things I enumerated in my first column. I think it’s because the farther I got from the ’90s, the more life sucked. For instance: Boy bands started replacing actual bands on the radio like Hootie and the Blowfish. And the Air Bud franchise disintegrated until the poor pup was playing something like badminton well into his dog years. I think as an intuitive 5-year-old I could sense that the 2000s would completely blow, so I set off to take full advantage of my youth.
I was (for lack of a stronger term) an Adonis of the playground. I would wear this hot little number that involved blueberry-patterned biking shorts with a matching T-shirt. I’m assuming the associated scrunchie matched as well. And if that’s not hot enough for you, picture this: I would take the bottom of my T-shirt and bring it up to tuck into the top of my T-shirt, creating this alluring triangle bikini effect. All those “explore your developing body” books were really working for me as I played with the idea of being a child streetwalker. And trust me, it worked. Boys were hanging from the monkey bars to get with this. I then proceeded to employ the coy technique I still use today where I either friendzone myself or run away awkwardly. It keeps ‘em coming, ladies!
Reflecting on such zeniths in my life makes me realize that everything I know, I learned before age 10. I learned style from Clarissa Darling, which is probably why I never match. I learned frattiness from her best friend Sam, who spent his adolescence sneaking into chicks’ bedrooms while wearing a backwards hat. I learned sarcasm from my two cartoon idols: Meg from “Hercules” and Daria from “Daria.” I learned the joy of cooking from Lunchable’s pizzas. I learned science from Bill Nye and learned everything else on Ms. Frizzle’s cracked-out magic school bus.
These were truly the glory days. For Lindsay Tomson, for my generation and for the dag nab U. S. of A.
Speaking of “My Generation” … allow me to quote Roger Daltrey when I say “I hope I die before I get old.” Daltrey and The Who boys provide the perfect accompaniment to an immortal anthem’s lyrics. P.S., if Pete Townsend is reading this (I hear he’s a fan of mine), I worship you and maintain you have the sexiest snout among all electric guitar mavens. Despite my praise of you and your mysteriously branded posse, however, I think your song is talking about the wrong generation. I dig the ’60s, man. But if you’d grown up on ’90s Nickelodeon, then you’d know what’s up.
It devastates me that some of you don’t get the majority of these references. It’s because you’re freshmen and you’re too young for my senioritis. But if you were born before 1993 and you don’t get these references, then you can talk to the hand. Or at the very least don’t talk to me because we have nothing in common. You have no excuse for your ignorance.
Excuse my bitterness. But you see, I’m graduating in seven weeks. It’s a realization that instigates panic attacks on the reg. So rather than looking forward, I’m looking back. I’m embracing the nostalgia.
It’s not the best mentality to have for a broad who’s way past her prime. So maybe there’s a lesson in this—a lesson for all the people who claim their best years are behind them (whether those years reside in the 1990s or in the Gothic Wonderland). Don’t look at life through the confines of set stages: childhood, adolescence, high school, college.… Then you just feel the pressure to “make the most of it” while it still lasts. I’ve been looking at senior year through this lens of external expectation and it’s dulled it for me. Rather than having fun, I’m just hoping I look like I’m having fun. So from now on, I’m not taking advantage of college or senior year or what someone else calls the best time of my life. I’m taking advantage of life itself. Every day is a glory day.
Lindsay Tomson is a Trinity senior. Her installation of the weekly Socialites column runs on alternate Wednesdays. Follow Lindsey on Twitter at @elle4tee