Skepticism

Afternoon Inquisition 2.24

A few weeks ago I was stuck in an airport lounge with an endless repeating loop of “Let’s Hear it for the Boy” on the loudspeakers. I don’t know why it did that, I just know it made me want to die as it’s chipper lyric bled through the heavy metal in my earbuds.

I Twittered about it, and an old friend of my emailed me to remind me that was the chosen song for one of the high school dances I either didn’t attend or don’t remember.  The old friend did remember, with much fondness. For many paragraphs. About unremarkable stuff that happened 20 years ago.

I don’t share the fondness for the “glory days.”  I’m glad to be who I am today, perfectly happy to be an imperfect adult instead of the impetuous teen.  I’m an onward and upward sort of gal, I guess.  I still cherish the 10 friends I made at 16, that’s true, but I don’t want to go back to when we met.  I’m all good right here, thanks.

Not counting these days,  what are your “glory days”?  Do you remember them fondly?  Long for their return?

a.real.girl

A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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48 Comments

  1. High school wasn’t great for me, but going to college in San Jose was a blast! I know you said your glory days can’t be now, but the last two years of exploring skepticism, embracing reason and finding myself have rocked! Loving science was geeky in high school but now I can’t get enough. The internet has made me an information junkie and I’m happier than ever. Go figure.

  2. Right on! I am SO not nostalgic. I don’t like going back to old neighborhood, schools or places I used to hang out. I don’t like seeing ex-husbands, people I used to know, long-lost relatives, etc. I feel very uncomfortable seeing my high school classmates staring at me on Facebook wanting to “friend me” again (that is, for the FIRST time). I’m very forward-looking, progressive, I think. So, I too do not have Glory Days. I didn’t much like the person I was then, always improving. Old me sucked; why be reminded.

  3. I don’t believe I have had any glory days. They’ve all been pretty fail-tastic in their own way :-P

    But more seriously: I do find myself getting nostalgic for some periods of time. There was one really great semester in college, for instance, or a couple of good bits of high school. But I can usually rationalize my way out of it by recognizing that confirmation bias is working on my memories. I’m keeping the good times and forgetting all of the stomach-churning hell that set them up.

    I will not pretend to be forward-looking or capable of living in the NOW. There’s plenty I regret, and I feel no shame for saying it. But I definitely will never be Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite, always wishing I could go back.

    Hell, I can’t even be bothered to friend half of the old classmates who try to friend me on Facebook. And as for my 10 year reunion next year, there’s nothing that could possibly make me go. It’s OVER. :)

  4. High school was so not my “glory days.” I’d say I might be in them now. Or maybe not. I don’t really care. I live my life as best I can.

    “I want to live ’til I die, no more, no less.” ~Eddie Izzard.

    That pretty much sums it up.

  5. @Expatria: I’ll be going to the 10 year reunion (this year) but mainly that’s because I still visit my home town a lot anyway (it’s only a couple hours away) and I still am friends with quite a few people I went to school with. That and I’m FAR more curious about how other people turned out than I am about my own past.

  6. I’ve always been one for making every bit of life count. But I can say that there was a time in my life from 1982 to 1987 that I would consider the glory days.

    I had a horrible childhood, but those five years made up for it. I was part of a group that became my family. We would do anything for eachother. If you got a phone call in the middle of the night for help no questions were asked just “we’re on the way.” If someone’s car broke down everyone worked on it till it was running again. Great people.

    We recently came together sadly for the funeral of one in the group, and that made us all think back to the “glory days”, on the bright side we all reconected and hopefully will stay in touch.

  7. My glory days are pretty much now. I know more, have more tools, more money, more strength, and more time than ever before. I remember boredom being a constant problem in high school. I never feel bored now. Most often now I am choosing between different, interesting things to do.

    The one thing I miss about college is the live-for-the-moment attitude. I have a hard time now sitting down to read a book or play a computer game when there are “more important” things to get done. My cricket wasn’t so fully developed mumble years ago. In college I could lose entire days to a good D&D game.

  8. Probably when I was in the Navy, specifically Westpac 94 (Long Beach to Pearl Harbor to Pusan, to Hong Kong, Singapore, Gulf, and then 3 towns in Australia). I was absolutely in my element the whole 6 months and had a blast, both doing my job as an OS on the ship and off the ship in the various port visits.

  9. “A few weeks ago I was stuck in an airport lounge with an endless repeating loop of “Let’s Hear it for the Boy” on the loudspeakers…”
    Where were you, Gitmo? ;-)

    Glory Days? Heh. I feel more like Expatria. A few moments now and then were good, but to call them “Glory Days” would be seriously misleading. If high school and first college days were supposed to be my ‘glory days,’ I was blued, screwed and tattooed before I hit 21.

    I’m already over the peak and looking down at the terrifying descent into old age. For some reason, I resent it.

    Like marilove, I’m curious how some of my high school friends turned out, but not enough to be bothered to find out.

  10. High school days and post high school, hitchiking everywhere, roadtrips with my cousin Jeff, smoking and drinking this and that, shooting guns and driving fast.

    And.. If my daughter is reading this, studying for SATs, being thoughtful and kind, volunteering to make my community better. Having coffee and discussing how to make the world a better place.

    Really I think the glory days are that age before we settle into a work/career routine when although we worked we still allowed ourselves the freedom to not be so goal oriented. Probrbly in our 20’s.

    I also look forward to retirement, those could be glory days, oh yeah, now is pretty decent. Playing disc golf all summer, having disposible income.

  11. Nostalgia is for chumps.

    Obviously, everyone has happy memories. I have mine. Usually, they’re about lost loves, because I’m just a fucking hopeless romantic like that.

    But that’s just it, I look back on specific things, not a “time” that was better. Because even when I was at my happiest, however that’s measured, I guarantee there was a lot of shit going on that annoyed or aggravated me as well. I’d rather forget the time and remember what made it so happy.

    The idea that I peaked at 18 or 21 or whatever age, with probably another 60 years left in my life, is fucking depressing.

  12. It’s interesting how many here look back on their high school days with derision, or at least a significant amount of lack or regard. College or university seems to have been the better time for most here. Do you think this is a geek thing?

  13. The year I took off from college and hung out on Maui… . Living with a few cool friends, working in a camera shop to pay the bills and lots of snorkeling, spear fishing, hanging at the beach, playing three golf holes on the course I lived by over and over again in the evening when no one was around and , cold beer. Not much glory involved but a fun eleven months with no sox or responsibilities.

  14. For me glory days are any point that yields a good story. I have many from highschool, some from college (or more accurately the time I hung out with college students) and lots from varying parts of my career(s).

    I hope to have many more.

    I recognize the value of creating that “air of yesteryear” when sharing these stories but truthfully it might have happened last week.

    As many others have said, I don’t want to go back to any of those times but some of them were awesome. I just figure there’s more awesome in store.

  15. I remember this one in Amarillo, man. It was the best. I was traveling through on my way back home and stopped at an innocent-looking filling station, and well . . . Wait . . . Never mind. . . . I thought you said “glory hole“.

  16. Oh man do you remember the dotcom boom? For approximately five months I was living it up in LA racking up insane bar tabs nightly with a dirty rotten scoundrel of a roommate and a wannabe rockstar dj significant other. Yeah, I’d consider that a golden age, like the party right before the cops show up, or the surf before the tsunami. I occasionally miss the 3am refuels at neon covered diners, sharing pancakes with queens and getting compliments on my ridiculous gigantic flamingo pink pigtails popped through lens-less goggles and my crazy tall boots. And work being free money for the taking. Just rolling in hung over, getting hopped up on caffeine boosted Jamba Juice to spend five minutes fixing a database, 6.5 hours on irc, and the rest of the time throwing darts with the boss over the daily employee appreciation keg. Five months was perfect. Any longer and my liver would’ve exited stage left with that one kidney I vaguely remember. It was fun at the time, but I wouldn’t do it again, because I want to be a responsible dog owner sometime soon. Rent a real house, like with a proper yard and neighbors to wave at and maybe magazine subscriptions, and all that business. Still working on that. I’ve got the boring job and daily routine part down though. Way down. So down. Ugh.

  17. @writerdd: Amen to that. Arthritis sucks.

    And, to me, Bruce Springsteen’s OK, but that’s all. He has some good tunes…I very much appreciate his lyrics about working life and his activism for the “common person” that’s just struggling to get by.

    @Steve: Let me know if you ever figure out how to get a “do over.”

  18. I’m too young to have had glory days.
    High school was okay – I had good friends and hobbies and so on, and really, anything after the unrelenting hell of junior high school would have looked good. But I certainly hope I never consider it the absolute high point of my life. If nothing else, it’s very hard to find out who you really are in high school, and your successes are pretty much always on someone else’s terms.
    University? Well, it’s pretty awesome and all, but again, having the best part of my life be behind me at 22 is a very depressing thought. So I hope not.

  19. I truly had a lot of fun growing up and have fond memories. I still enjoy many of the hobbies I developed in my youth. So as far as going back to those days or calling them glory days I’m just not sure.

    That said (and yes this part is very “Stand By Me”) I have never had freinds as an adult like the ones I had then. That part I miss.

  20. I look back fondly on the three years I spent in Monterey California, but I don’t think I’d want to go back to relive those moments. Looking back on it now it’s more the little things about the city, farmer’s market on Alvarado, watching the otters play, jade hunting in Big Sur and the Santa Cruz boardwalk that I miss and that I could and would someday like to get back to.

  21. This is an Excellent question for me because I have thought about it and discussed it so much with various family mambers and current friends.
    The fact is that my ‘glory days’ consisted of massive quantities of drugs and alcohol, dangerous irresponsible behavior, and a total lack of regard for other people’s feelings. In other words, I was an Asshole. I don’t exactly regret those years as I learned so much about what NOT to do or be that without them, I wouldn’t be the extraordinary person I am today! (cough, gag)
    Youth is for learning. Learning how to be a decent adult human being and I was a slow learner. But I did learn and my life is so much better now. I am single, but I also own my own home, two vehicles, both of which are paid for, and I live a pretty comfortable life. Even though I have fond and funny memories of my youth, I’m too old for all that hair pulling and jumping about. Too much drama back then, I couldn’t handle it now. Oh boy, could I tell you guys stories…whew! hehe

  22. that’s so odd, because I recently had my best friend from high school go on and on and on about how much she misses high school. She attended every dance and every football game and joined about every group you could join. We were friends because we were both artists, but she wasn’t the art type…she was the hyperactive crazy over the top social type. In a way, a quiet side kick worked well. She was SUCH fun. Always saying “hey why don’t we do THIS?” and for some reason everyone would go “YEAH!” The more over the top and nutty, the more she would insist it would be “the best” if we all did it. Think the crazy fun sexy female lead in any romantic screwball comedy and you have my friend.

    And then reality set in. All that energy and inability to settle on anything for more than a few days (she was engaged 5 times after high school, and has been married 3 times on top of that), has resulted in a life that is not conducive to happiness in the real world. She has 4 kids, all “opps” and has had more jobs (she gets hired very easily, because she is so instantly likeable) which she quits within a few months, and moved more places (she can’t stand to live in one place more than a year, even if she just moves across town, she has to MOVE), and is super in debt from her travel mania (she uses discount travel sites, her only criteria being she hasn’t been there before and it’s cheap, and while it’s cheap it isn’t free)….

    well you get it. She’s living a very exciting life, but she still doesn’t get why she isn’t happy like she was in high school. Her kids are a mess, her exs all like her but admit she’s impossible to live with, her finances are beyond a mess (she’s declaring bankruptcy again), and her new job is “SOOOO boring”.

    Me, I’m happier than I have ever been, but then again, I wonder how dull the world would be without my friend. Still, first day at college I remember sitting in my first class, the teacher starting to speak .. and I sat up in my chair and thought “Wow! THis is GREAT! Way better than high school!!”

  23. I’m blogging my way through my glory days right now. It’s painful to remember how stupid I’ve been, how many mistakes I’ve made, how much time I wasted chasing drugs and sex, mistaking them for fun.

    On the other hand, I have to think there’s a way to use all that baggage to my advantage, like some kind of emotional prop comic.

  24. Last Friday/Saturday.

    I did nothing all day at work except drink tea & eat biscuits, with a break for lunch and a trip to the shops. The student was interested in what was going on and cleaned up all my mess in the lab without being asked. And it was pay day. Then Saturday I went to a Mensa event and then drank a gallon and a half of beer.

    We wont see the like of those days again for some time

  25. I confess to a touch of nostalgia. Any time my partner and I go back to the town where we met and spent the early years of our relationship, we go poke at our old haunts. There are a lot of good memories there, and so we have a fondness for those places.

    But it’s not like it was “the best ever” — we’re just as happy where we are now as we were then. We’re building new memories, and we have a fondness for them as well.

    I truly don’t understand people who ignore the good things they’ve got now and focus on the good things they used to have instead.

  26. I dropped out of highschool. Nuff said about that.

    I guess the closest to glory days for me would be when I first got my own apartment. It was teensy tiny, but it was mine, my little retreat from the world. I had friends, I had just finished tech school so I had a good job, money for drugs, time to actually do stuff. I think that as a person I grew the most in this time frame.

    Fast forward a few years, and I’m in university. It hasn’t been glory days kind of fun, even any sort of definable fun most days, but I’m still glad I did it.

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