Wednesday, July 8, 2015

82 Things We Learned When We Spent a Week Living in the 1980s

1. Nintendo games are hard.
2. I mean, ridiculously unconquerably difficult.
3. But we spent many hours laughing, giggling, and cheering each other on.
4. Time just seems to flow more slowly and quietly.

5. A million media outlets weren't competing for my attention, and I could hear my own thoughts.
6. Mornings were peaceful.

7. I could listen to birds singing outside because the TV was just a small, quiet black box most of the time.
8. I could feel the calm passage of time, each delicious hour, instead of zooming through the media highway.
9. I began taking less pictures.
10. Although the first day I took about a dozen every hour.
11. But as the days went on, I picked up the camera less and began enjoying the moments more.
12. To be honest, the first day felt like complete withdrawal. I missed my phone, the internet at my fingertips, the Facebook notifications, the Periscope, the news feeds...
13. I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted to share this, share that, Facebook this status, Instagram that cute picture.
14. But eventually the social media demands lessened and finally dissolved.
15. We spent more time together.

16. I'm not kidding.
17. Aidyn even camped out in our room at night.
18. Told you I wasn't kidding.
19. We didn't separate to our respective tech-devices. If we were watching a movie, we all watched it. If we were playing Nintendo, we all played or watched each other play.

20. It was boring.
21. But boredom bred new ideas, and we did a lot of stuff we don't ordinarily do: we played MASH (seriously), we had a Duck Hunt Tournament, we watched The Princess Bride together, we laughed at Little Shop of Horrors, we drove through my old neighborhood and visited Peter's Market, we ate crappy but delicious foods...speaking of which:
22. Hostess Cupcakes are instant teleporters to the 80s.
23. Ding-Dongs, Boboli Pizza, Kool-Aid, Yoo-Hoo, JELL-O Pudding, Froot-by-the-Foot, Gushers, and Keebler cookies are every bit as delicious as they were then.
24. But even more fattening.
25. David and I gained ten pounds between us in just one week.
26. Now I know why Jane Fonda was so popular in the 80s.
27. The pain in my hand and wrist from all the phone-swiping completely disappeared within the first day.
28. As did the need to swipe through layers and layers of virtual information.
29. I remembered the oddly peaceful sound of gently pushing a VHS tape into a VCR.
30. Aidyn actually never claimed to be bored.
31. Although he did experience a total time-warp shock, likening the 80s to "cave people days."
32. Going with the flow,when you walk thirty minutes in the sun to the library only to realize it was closed, became a necessity.
33. Ice cream after a long thirty-minute walk in the sun was the most refreshing thing ever.
34. Aidyn and Jack spent more time hanging out in pajamas.

35. I still hate the water levels in Super Mario Bros.
36. Calling a friend on her birthday was actually kind of nice. :)
37. Fireworks are fun whether or not you share them on social media.

38. Pee-Wee Herman can still make a morning fun and zany.
39. Lunch was sinfully sweet and simple.

40. Duck Hunt can unite families.

41. Even pulling a semi-reclusive Grandma out to participate.

42. And many of you might know that is a miracle in itself.
43. David often remarked upon coming home how quiet and peaceful it was.
44. Simple toys are simple pleasures.

45. Even Care Bears.

46. I had ample time to simply observe my children and where they are right at this moment, without feeling a need or a whim to share them with the world.

47. We cooked lots of Hamburger Helper and instant mashed potatoes.
48. Which means dinner took about 20 minutes from start to finish.
49. Baking a friend's birthday gift was a simple pleasure.

50. "Simple pleasures" could seriously have been our motto.
51. The Steve Martin dentist scene in Little Shop of Horrors is still funny.
52. Aidyn was surprised that The Land before Time could bring his mom to tears.
53. It is freeing to just allow my hair to be naturally wavy and wild.

54. David learned that Die Hard is still one of the best action movies of all time. And Aidyn agrees.
55. We could survive without a GPS, sort of.
56. Aidyn lights up now when he sees a public pay phone.
57. David learned that he still can't beat Ninja Gaiden.
58. Or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.
59. Or Super Mario Bros for that matter.
60. But we're still trying.
61. I am still the master of secret Super Mario Bros. warp tunnels, hidden vines, and secret 1-Ups.
62. But He-Man is the Master of the Universe.
63. The song "The Power of Love" is thrilling to dance to.
64. I actually found loads of time just TO READ.
65. And read I did.
66. I had forgotten how much I love reading.
67. David's complaints about missing his PS4 gradually lessened with time.
68. And I eventually forgot all about my phone.
69. I had almost  forgotten how polluted the world is with news-noise.
70. And I'm not even sure it's the news we need to hear.
71. As soon as we came back to the present, I felt one thing:
72. Distracted.
73. Distracted from the important things.
74. People in my life.
75. The seemingly mundane moments that are actually the moments I'm going to miss if I'm not careful.
76. My own thoughts and daydreams.
77. My authentic voice.
78. And the subtle emotions of those I love.
79. Social media and smart phones offer us the illusion of being constantly connected.
80. But being so plugged in and connected never made me feel so disconnected.
81. Millions of weak threads can never replace a few strong tethers.
82. Snip, snip.