Friday, May 24, 2019

Romanticizing the Past

My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary earlier this week by going out to dinner.  We'd been given a gift certificate a while back to a nice Italian restaurant, but never managed to make the time to use it.  Not only I was exhilarated at the thought of a "kid free" meal, but I was also excited because I hadn't been to this particular establishment in almost 15 years.

The one (and only) time I was there was on a first date. (NOT with my husband, in case you were curious. Ha!) I remember the food being great, and I remember it was the first time I had calamari as an appetizer. It was also one of the nicest places I'd ever been taken on a date.  I'd been talking this place up to my husband for a while.  He's a bit of a foodie, and I was pretty sure he'd like it. 

We got there, and the food was... just okay. Hmm.

I think I may have romanticized my first experience with this restaurant in my head.

Don't get me wrong, the food wasn't horrible.  But will we make the time to go back there again in the near future?  Probably not.

The whole experience got me wondering how often I'm guilty of this whole "romanticizing the past" thing.

Were Saturday morning cartoons *really* better in the 1990s than they are today? Or was I just viewing them through a different "lens" than I view cartoons now?

What about TV?  Were those shows I grew up with actually better than what's on today? Or do I just have fond memories of watching TGIF on Friday nights and SNICK on Saturday nights because they felt like more of a "treat" than watching television does now?

And don't get me started on music.  I'm convinced that many people feel the best decade for music was whatever time period they were in high school/their early 20s. I read a study once that said the majority of people actually STOP seeking out new music/artists once they hit their 30s.  I know I'm guilty of this one.  You're going to hear "PopRocks" (1990s and 2000s pop and rock) on the satellite radio whenever I'm in control of the dial.

While I've only been a parent for 7.5 years, I know I'm going to be having wistful thoughts about the past when it comes to raising my kids.  My first grader is already talking about how much she wants a cell phone when she's a teenager.  (Kid, I didn't have my own phone until COLLEGE.  Calm down.)

So is all this romanticizing harmful?  I don't know.  So far, I don't think I've hurt anyone with my rose-colored views of certain past experiences.  Will I be able to to stop?  I don't know that either.  But maybe I should try.

If nothing else... perhaps we'll be able to have a tastier anniversary dinner next year.

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