I’ve noticed something about my peers and myself.
We love to reminisce.
In essence this makes us no different from any previous or future generation – nostalgia, memory and believing that your youth was the best the world had ever known is an integral part of human nature.
I guess what I find incredibly fascinating about the whole process is how each new generation finds something unique to reminisce about… something only they know the true nuances of despite an older or a younger generation being witness to it too.
Of course one gets different kinds of reminiscences… there are those you share with your childhood playmates. The intimate memories of inter-gender shared bath time, embarrassing moments, scoldings, adventures, birthday parties and favourite games. These memories are sacred and specific and only shared by a select few.
But the reminiscences I am really talking about are those you share with post-childhood friends around dinner tables, pizza boxes, wine glasses, camp fires, hubblies, beers or over humble cups of coffee.
Memories you tentatively put out there – sometimes as ice-breakers of sorts – quietly hoping that they are perhaps, by some random stroke of luck, shared by ones who didn’t grow up in your house, go to your school or even live in your home town.
Memories that, when found echoed in the vaults of your companions’ minds, grow into a clamour of affirming excitement. A brilliant blend of what it was like to be a kid growing up in a certain country at a certain time.
Last night I got to experience the joys of just such a bonding session when a few friends – all of whom I have only known for between 2 1/2 years and a few months – and I gathered around pizzas, beer and wine in my and Marieke-the-flatmate’s living room. For a long time our conversation dwelled on our new jobs, new homes and new lives when somehow we found our way into the much more fun territory of Nintendo games and 1990s kiddies television shows!
As we chattered away about Mario and Luigi whose princess always seems to be in another castle, Ice Climbers who are actually Eskimos and not penguins, the chubby Adventure Islander man, Power Rangers and how those who weren’t so well-versed in Afrikaans – like Jerusha and Suprise – had to sync TV3 with Radio 2000 in order to enjoy programs such as Brakenjan, Sandokan, Dawie die Kabouter, Die Swart Kat, Niklaas, Nils Holgersson, and TaoTao I suddenly realized that it was a conversation I had had hundreds of times before, in hundreds of different settings, with hundreds of different people…
but somehow each time brought the same feeling of warm, fuzzy excitement at finding this arb connection!
And so, if my theory stands that each generation has their special thing to reminisce about, there is no doubt that this would be ours! If my random conversations aren’t proof enough to you let this be:
- #KTVforeveryoung was trending on twitter the other day. Across the social media platform South African children of the ’90s were sharing memories of the kiddies television shows they watched on our country’s first exclusive pay-to-watch TV channel, M-Net. (We never had it, still don’t, so I couldn’t really participate, but it was interesting to find that somehow the knowledge of these shows had filtered down to me through my more spoiled friends).
- Hell, Jack Parow even sings a song about it! Go listen to it here:
So, there you go! Conversation topics galore for those awkward moments when you don’t know what to talk to a peer you suspect has nothing in common with you about… Somehow, somewhere, you would have played the same TV game or watched the same episode of something. Just give it a try!