Last week I was at a restaurant with GL and looked out the window to see two people in their early 20s, I’d guess, sitting on the tiny porch of the house next door. One was smoking a cigarette and they were both gesturing, animated, obviously engrossed in this conversation so important that it had to come outside for the smoke break. I started thinking about the last time I did that, followed a friend outside in the rain, so she could smoke without interrupting our conversation. It was the last time I had a friend who frequently smoked, I’d guess, when I was in my late teens or early 20s.
Those are important conversations, you know? One of us smoking, one of us urgent to put voice to the latest disappointment, maybe both of us crying. The rain such an encompassing metaphor.
Andrea and I both watched Clueless this week, texting about the clothing styles to each other, musing about whatever happened to Contempo Casuals (Wet Seal bought it, thanks Google!) We talked about what we wore when we were teenagers, when we thought we were making statements with our eyeliner and our chunky shoes, with snake jewelry and nose rings that appeared right around the time Joan Osborne showed up. Because we just didn’t care, you know? We just didn’t care so much that we were making a statement about it.
All this nostalgia for the 90s is a funny thing, because I’d never let go of some of those clothes that I’m supposed to be embarrassed of ever wearing now that the next generation has had its flashback to my high school days, I’d never stop wearing them. Because I cannot look at a Delia’s catalog without remembering that time when every single thing was simultaneously the most hyperbolic thing that ever happened that I couldn’t stop telling my friends the dramatic story, on a porch, in the rain, while they smoked, while we all reassured each other that it was really no big deal at all while we re-hashed the details again.
We cared so much about how little we cared.