Some observations since I last wrote...
T? (As referred to over at Girl Meets World) Is so good. He's great- smart, easy to talk to, considerate of Girl, patient with people who need to pause periodically before squeezing themselves through giant boulder crevices even though he doesn't need to, never claims to be a spy... Overall, two thumbs up.
On an entirely different note, I've been watching My So-Called Life re-runs on the-n. That channel is addictive like crack/cocaine. Although, in my defense, Degrassi, the most addictive, terribly-written, poorly-acted show since ABC Specials went off the air, DID get a shout-out in the latest Bitch magazine.
So yeah- My So-Called Life. (That title probably more accurately describes my life now than it did ten years ago.) I must confess, it hurt to watch it at the time, which is probably why it went off the air. Angela Chase's parents' marital problems were too plausible, her embarrassment too realistic for it to last. Beverly Hills 90210 was still so popular and squeaky-clean then. (Brenda was still a virgin; Kelly's bangs were still so perfect.) My So-Called Life was too smart; it didn't stand a chance.
Even now, it reminds me of the first time I fell in love. Of October, of waiting for him to come from college for the first time. Angela's bright red hair just reminded me that he was juggling both our relationship as well as "flirtations" with a redheaded girl. The re-runs still make me think about that- and how my birthday is now one of three days that I know for sure I'll hear from him, but that's a good thing.
I watch Jared Leto crooning, "I call her red, I call her re-eh-ed..." and it sounds nasal, like REM. Or Live, with that Lightning Crashes song.
The way the characters talk, interjecting the word "like," which makes everything they say seem deeper somehow in a very 1994 way... "You know those guys? Who make snow, like, as their job?" And then Jordan Catalano leans in to kiss her, and it's awesome until we learn the song "Red" was about his car.
But it still hurts me to watch it, even as an adult. The episode where Ricky brings a gun to school and accidentally shoots a bottle of Pepsi in a locker is infinitely more painful now. The scenes of the parents panicking about guns at school and Ray-Anne saying, "Who's gonna shoot me with a bod like this!?!?!" seems scarier post-Jonesboro, post-Paducah, post-Columbine. Not that I don't love Ricky wearing a button-down silk shirt and a bandana, like, before it was a 'do rag- I love Ricky. He's, like, a cuddly, effeminate pirate.
I think it's just that the 90s are still too close for me to feel nostalgic about them. VH1's "Reasons Why the 90s Ruled" doesn't do it for me the way the "80s Strike Back" does. I wonder, though, if I like the 80s tribute shows because hearing about Cabbage Patch dolls, ewoks, Velveeta, ET, and jelly bracelets makes me feel safe. By the time the 90s rolled around, I was aware of things like Waco and the Oklahoma City bombing. Listening to Jason Priestly ruminate about the OJ trial doesn't quite feel the same.
I don't necessarily wish I was a kid again, but sometimes I envy the kids I cover. I recently attended an International Food Night/Elementary School Art Show that featured a timeline with the students' personal histories intermixed with international news. For example:
1998- The majority of AnySchool kindergarteners were born.
1999- Amber Larson's twin brothers were born.
2001- The Twin Towers were knocked down. It was September 11, 2001. (The child's drawing of this almost brought me to my knees- two towers bent like rubber bands, bricks falling all around with a plane drawn between them, the amorphous curvy kind of plane that kids put into drawings of their summer vacation essays about going to Disney World.)
2001- In December, Jose Rojas moved to America with his family from Puerto Rico.
2002- Osama Bin Laden was found hiding in a cave.
2003- Saddam Hussein was found hiding underground.
I'd like to think that the teachers do know Osama bin Laden hasn't been found, that they allowed the kids to work this into their timeline because it makes them feel safe: the bad guy was caught!
Oof. Pass the Velveeta. Oh yeah. pleeease!