Why Nostalgia is Bullshit

So I met this girl Kimber* eight years ago and I thought that she was pretty awesome. She was the kind of girl that was popular with guys (but not in a slutty way). That is to say that she had more guy friends than girl friends and pretty much every single guy friend that she had wanted her. She was a very interesting mix of three different kinds of girls, she was a tomboy (she was raised by her single father and two brothers, after all), a “girly girl” when she had to look professional for her job and she was a stoner as well. She was naturally very pretty but she didn’t really wear makeup when she wasn’t working. If I had to describe her I would say that she looked like Teri Hatcher (in her prime), a little bit like Alyssa Milano and maybe Mary Louise-Parker.

Teri HatcherDan Golden Photoshoot 1989
And before you ask, the answer is yes, finding a girl who looks like this AND is into weed and videogames is like a gift from the heavens…

I think that she was, in a way, every nerdy guy’s fantasy because she was a nerdy tomboy who was into videogames (her favorite game being Red Dead Redemption, a favorite of mine as well), a girly girl when she had to be, and, as I said above, a pretty chill stoner on the weekends. I, like most of her other guy friends and acquaintances, had a bit of a thing for her subconsciously (and a little consciously as well) but I didn’t bother to do anything about it because I was with my second ex-fiancee Gwen** at the time.

I was more of an acquaintance to her than a friend and we kind of went our separate ways for awhile until I saw her again in 2014 when I was in an incredibly pissed off mood because I had just failed a section of my insurance exams for the second time (and for those of you who don’t work in the insurance field, you have to take exams to get your license to sell insurance and the test is split into different sections where you have to pass both to get the okay to sell). I was in a bad mood and I was scared of the possibility that I wouldn’t get licensed and I’d have to keep working in retail hell forever. So when I saw her at the Petco I just thought “What the hell, what do I have to lose” and I asked her out because I heard through the grapevine that she had broken up with her boyfriend of seven years. She was really surprised that I’d have the balls to ask her out but she turned me down because the rumors weren’t true, she was still with her guy at the time. She did, however, friend me on Facebook and we kept in touch since then.

Last year I finally broke up with my on again/off again girlfriend Heather and Kimber was just getting out of her relationship as well, so one weekend at the end of January, we got drunk, hooked up and started dating after that. And things were fantastic, for like two months. After that we went through two or three breakups and then we got together from May until October when she hit me with some bombshells, one of them being that she was cheating on me with another dude ever since we got back together in May. There was some more drama in there as well, but I don’t want to get into it and will save it for my bigtime Oprah book deal (suffice it to say, it was some pretty heavy shit). In spite of all that, I was still willing to give her another shot.

Sometime in December we broke up one final time (or so I thought) because she wanted me to get rid of my female friends and she tried to justify her affairs by saying I was having an “emotional affair” with Madison (and that turned out to be true in a way but we’ll touch on that another time). Unwilling to end my friendship with Madison, we reached an impasse and then we broke up and I got with Madison. Suffice it to say, things were pretty great with Madison until she decided to take a job out of state (and we’ll touch on that another time as well), leaving me single once again. So I, a couple of weeks ago, got back in touch with Kimber and tried to give it one last go. And that, unfortunately, just recently ended last week in an incredibly dramatic fashion with her lying to me about being pregnant (from us fooling around in December) and then me discovering that she was still fooling around with other dudes.

So how do I, or any other guys or girls, fall into this trap where we keep going back to shitty on again/off again relationships? It’s simple, we fall for bullshit nostalgia.

Nostalgia is an interesting word because it actually means the PAIN of the past, yet when we use it in modern times we use it to describe the times that were good or great. And the thing is, things were hardly, if ever, good to great with Kimber. Sure she was,  to quote my mom, a “beauty queen” but she was also very manic in her moods (I swear she’s bipolar), very loud and abrasive at times and full of bullshit for the most part. And yet every time  we split up and I was alone again I would get this yearning for her and I’d think of the (super rare) good times that we DID have and I’d want her back. And this was, sadly enough, not the first time I was a victim of relationship nostalgia.

The first time I had relationship nostalgia was back in the fall of 2011. I was with one of the two great loves of my life, Martha.*** Martha was looking to move to LA to look into becoming a model and I told her that I didn’t want to stand in the way of her dreams and that I was okay with us splitting up. From a Jedi point of view that was true but the MAIN reason I was okay with letting her go was that I really wanted to get back with Gwen, this girl I had dated a year before. When Gwen and I originally dated in 2010, things were pretty awesome because I thought she was beautiful and badass too. Gwen, like Kimber, was also a tomboy into Star Wars and videogames and she kind of had the look of a Suicide Girl model (that is to say she was heavy into piercings and tattoos). At the time that was very much my type of girl (not so much now though) so you can imagine how happy I was to land her.

Just picture a girl who looks like this who loves Gears of War and try to tell me you wouldn’t abandon all logic and reason to be with her. Go ahead, I’m waiting…

Thing is though, she was pretty verbally and emotionally abusive, she drank like she was trying to outdo Charlie Sheen (in spite of having liver and kidney issues) and she was also, big shocker, a cheater. She ran up one of my credit cards and left me for the guy she was seeing before I got into the picture (and there was another issue as well but I won’t get into it here) and left me feeling more emo than Dawson when he lost Joey to Pacey.

Yes, you all knew this one was coming…

I was crushed but I met Martha and I moved on. Thing is though, when we start thinking with our nostalgic feelings, we’re not exactly thinking with our brains. We’re thinking with our…uh…hearts. That’s it, we’re thinking with our hearts….

So around the time Martha left, Gwen and I ran into one another and things just progressed from there and I was with her for about five months before things hit the shit and she skipped down with $2000 from a joint bank account that we had.

Thing is though, I DID come across her profile on Facebook recently and I have to say that even though things are going great with Madison right now, I couldn’t help but think “Hey, she is looking GOOD” and then I started to think nostalgically before I was able to stop myself and realize how idiotic I was sounding.

And that’s the thing about nostalgia, it’s a dangerous animal. And when I say that, I’m not just talking about nostalgia for past relationships, I’m talking about nostalgia in a general sense. Every so often I think about how great things were when I was in the fifth and sixth grade and how I wish I could go back to those times. I think about all the great comics that I read and how I was in that golden age where we had Batman the Animated Series, the X-Men cartoon and the last days of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Geek paradise, in other words. Thing is though, as happy as I was about those things I’m forgetting that my older brothers always beat me up and gave me wedgies or they would “pants” me (and if you don’t know what it means to get “pantsed” you’re a lucky son of a bitch).

Somehow I get the feeling that James Van Der Beek knows more about being pantsed or getting wedgies than we could possibly imagine

There was also the fact that we only had one channel on TV, no internet and I had to deal with my own version of Nelson from The Simpsons at school. But that’s the bitch about nostalgia, somehow your brain only remembers the good stuff and not the painful things. It’s nice to have nostalgia for old movies or TV shows that you watched when you were a kid, it really is.

Though some things from our past aged worse than others…

It’s great to have nostalgia for the past when it comes to videogames, movies and comics, but nostalgia for relationships is pretty tricky. If you ever feel like going back to a girl from your past, you should ask yourself the following: “if things were so great in the past, why did you split up in the first place?” If you can justify getting back together with them after that, you should ask yourself if the risk is worth the rewards, that is to say is a badass stoner or tattooed girl who likes Star Wars and Gears of War worth her cheating on you with some douchebag?

A douchebag who no doubt has a rockin’ sweater vest.

It’s good to have nostalgia for the past and to remember it but really it kind of gets back to that cliche about visiting your home town. “It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” And as cute/hot/attractive or fun as the women from my past may have been, I don’t want to live in that past if you smell what I’m cooking.

*Kimber was not her real name, I don’t want to be sued for my disparaging remarks.

**Gwen actually was her last name, I’m not going to change it for this article because I don’t think she reads blogs anyway.

***Name changed because I don’t think she wants me to talk about our past relationship in a public forum.


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