Nostalgia Bug Did Bite


I knew it would happen one day and now it has.  I have become THAT man.  The man who says “I remember them good ol’ days when we could go into town, watch a movie, have a nice dinner and buy a pair of shoes and still have change from a dollar.” or “Back when I was a lad, I had to walk 40 miles through monsoon rains to get to school – not like you kids these days with your public transport!”

Of late, I have been stricken with the “Nostalgia Bug”.  Nostalgia for the good ol’ days of my youth or at least my younger years and especially for the friends that I made along the way.  Recently, my cousin spoke of his school reunion and how he still keeps in touch with a few friends that he has known since he was ten.  My brother will be coming back from Australia next year to attend the 40th year re-union of his University mates in Malaysia.  People will be coming from around the globe to attend.

Now I confess that I have not been good at keeping in touch with my friends.  I soon lost touch with most of my school friends the minute I went to university in the United Kingdom.  They just went to different places and I lost touch with most of them; they stopped being part of my life or my consciousness.   When I returned to Malaysia and faced the strain of a new job and a long, long commute, I had little time and soon lost touch with most of my University friends.  The same thing happened when I left my work colleagues to study in Canada and when I left my Canadian friends to seek employment in Malaysia.  My mindset then was that with every move (and I moved around a lot during that period), it was increasingly unlikely to ever meet any of them again during my lifetime. And so, I did not put as much effort in keeping in touch as I now wish I had.

So lately, feeling nostalgic and a little melancholic, I have made much effort to track some of them down and to re-establish contact.  But they seem as anti-social as I am. Maybe it was a characteristic of my batch.

First I tried to get in touch with my school friends.  I got in contact with the one guy that I knew kept in contact with a large number of people from school only to find out that he had a falling out with a few of them about 10 years ago and  stopped maintaining contact.  I then tried to visit my school’s alumni website but it had the words “UNDER CONSTRUCTION” on it and even more telling was a message from the webmaster on the site, ” It’s UNDER CONSTRUCTION!  What did you expect? None of you buggers are lifting a finger to help!”   Yay, school spirit!  After much effort, I did find one guy on Facebook.  We “friended” each other but neither of us post regularly on Facebook.

Then I tried to get in touch with my University mates from UK and Canada.  I got two on Facebook but neither they nor I were able to find anyone else.  Are most of my friends so social media inept?  I tried to google them and  made contact with one person  and found another on Linkin but that person has not replied.  I tried to use other search engines and there was no result.  I then joined my University Alumni online (I had refused to do so for years cause I did not want my info so readily available and did not want to receive emails soliciting for donations).  I know, I know….I’m an anti-social Scrooge.  Guess what! So are my friends!  Out of about 40 people that I knew well from University, only two registered with the Alumni and one of them I had already found via Facebook.  What’s the matter with the lot of them!

So my advice to the younger ones out there is to keep your friends and nurture the friendships – they are amongst the most meaningful of life achievements.  Don’t be a lazy, self isolating bum like me.   I think you would live to regret it.

Of course, nostalgia always seem to make them good ol’ days seem better in a bittersweet way as the video below shows.  The video itself is a blast from the past for me.  It is a spoof on a very successful and ubiquitous TV advert for Hovis bread from the 1970’s and 1980’s in the United Kingdom and I saw that advert very often when I was studying there.

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14 thoughts on “Nostalgia Bug Did Bite”

  1. Who was it? Some famous wag who said “You can’t go home again?” I’ve always been the type of person who lives in the future but as you grow older there becomes a lot more past than future so you had better store up some friends and memories for that cold night when suddenly, you go from pining about the good old days to whining about you aches and pains.
    The video is a hoot. An early Monte Python effort?

  2. That’s pretty funny Squirrel. I wish I could remember when I started saying, “I remember….” Blogging is about as “social media” as I get. I don’t do f-book, twitter etc. Love the vid.

  3. I don’t do social media but I understand your frustration. I have two friends from college who seem to pop in and out of my life when it’s convenient for them. I wonder if I matured and they didn’t, or if I was just different when I met them.

  4. Seriously Calvin, I didn’t like them 40 years ago, so I thought I’d check in on them at our 40th…I found that I still didn’t like them now. I guess you could say the good old days didn’t start until I learned to be comfortable in isolation by choice. give me my 21 year old legs and 80 pound back pack and let me go back to the real good old days.

  5. Mr. Charleston,
    I know it sounds a bit ridiculous but as a squirrel, I totally failed to store up friends as you suggested. 🙂
    The video is based on a comedy recording by a British folk musician and comedian from the Yorkshire area which has that strange accent. His name was Tony Capstick. He died in 2003.

  6. Riot Kitty,
    You asked an interesting question about maturity. May we all never fully grow up. Sounds boring if we all did behave “matured”. I fear I would be one of those that pop back into people’s lives at my convenience!

  7. Mark,
    I did the isolationist, monastic existence for awhile but I have decided that people are the jewels along life’s journey. I think you are a people person too beneath that gruff image you try to project. Am I right? After all, a poet is one who tries to communicate with others.

  8. I have made a conscious effort not to keep in contact with people from my high school days. I had a very misearble four years in high school, and even almost 30 years after graduating, those people still haven’t changed. Which is probably why I told the class reunion committee for my 15th that they should never contact me again.

    And they haven’t.

  9. Calvin you could ask a thousand poets and get three thousand answers to that. I try to communicate with me own heart, the poetry is for the benefit of any who happen to stumble upon it but mostly I write it because it is like talking to my spirit and that being who placed it within me.

  10. The thing is, you can’t tell younger people to treasure relationships now because they aren’t in a place where that even makes sense/ Could anyone have told you? And yes, the distance of time makes those relationships seem better than they were.

  11. G.B.,
    Sorry to hear that your experience in high school was not a pleasant one. It would seem that that is not an uncommon experience. In my case, I had some rough times too but I did make some good friends even then.

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