Gentleman Scholar and I were walking to a dance club in Providence’s Jewelry District one night (long story, completely about free food), and we passed a pizzeria near our house. The pizzeria had sidewalk seating, like many restaurants in Providence do, and a festive awning with music playing. The music as we walked by, was a Madonna song from the 80’s (I can’t remember which one) and in that moment I felt an intense longing to go back to the simpler days of the 1980’s working at a seaside pizza joint with my friends.
Of course, I never worked at a seaside pizza joint in the 80’s with my friends, I grew up in a land-locked state. That was the movie Mystic Pizza, which I actually only saw for the first time about a year ago, and wasn’t terribly impressed with. In the 80’s, I topped out at age 10, but the feeling of nostalgia was so intense I was taken aback by it.
When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up. As a grownup, I would be able to wear radical outfits, and drive a car like the one my Barbie had, and have tons of cool friends who also had cars and outfits. We’d party, and have boyfriends, drive our cars and wear our outfits (really, that’s all I thought twentysomethings did, at least in the summer). Of course, my life hasn’t quite worked out the way I envisioned when I was a pre-adolescent, but does that really mean I should be nostalgic for a life I never had? It’s weird, right?
Maybe this is what happens when you have to admit you are officially a grownup, and things aren’t the way you once planned. I don’t even covet any of the lives in Mystic Pizza, and my idea of what my life was going to be, wasn’t much of a full life, so I’m not sure what I’m clinging to. The idea of things being simple and straightforward enough that you can act like a total moron about petty issues? Teen sex and sports cars? Being screwed over by an older man? What else even happens in that movie? None of that sounds particularly appealing. Perhaps this is my latent crush on Vincent D’Onofrio waking up.
Rarely have I ever had such an intense reaction to a song/setting/smell. I guess that in that moment I realized that the world I thought I would be a grown up in has changed, which I never thought about before. It’s less about any choices I’ve made than it is about…progress, I guess.
I’m going to deal with this strange sensation by listening to old school Madonna and eating pizza outside. I think that’s healthiest thing to do.