“Oh, when I look back now…. the summer seemed to last forever…. and if I had a choice…. yeah I would wanna be there….. those were the best days of my life” – Bryan Adams – fellow Canadian who was having the best days of his (musical life) at that exact moment (in my opinion).
The song was called Summer of ’69. But it was released in 1985 which is the year I would want to get caught in a time warp. Why would I choose a song which was clearly not about the year that I wanted to talk about? You’re guess is as good as mine. Don’t fight it, just go with it. I mean, I’m sure that ’69 was cool, but I was born in 74 so I don’t want to gamble on the unknown. I’ll pick a year that I’ve seen and lived through.
Now I don’t really know what a time warp is, and Wikipedia didn’t help, but I’ve always saved this term for describing people who just stopped evolving at a certain point in the world’s history (to be fair, I base this on appearances if I don’t know the person…..which isn’t really fair at all, but I can’t slow down for technicalities right now). I see it all the time, at work, on the train, at the mall. It usually happens to people over 30, and it probably will happen to everyone at some point. I sometimes see a person, and look at the way they’ve dressed, the way they talk, and I can usually pick the year that they stopped evolving. Fashion is the easiest indicator. It moves around, and sometimes you move with it, and look current. Sometimes you might skip over a trend or two if it doesn’t suit you, but other times people just stop forever with a certain ‘look’, and that’s the ‘look’ they have for the rest of their lives. As time moves further and further away from that moment, you look more and more like you weren’t made for these times.
I have an example of a guy who is a tradesman that I run into from time to time. He’s a nice guy, and he is usually wearing some sort of work uniform, but he has a mullet. A great mullet mind you! There is definitely product in his hair, and it’s well maintained. If this were 1985, you’d look at his hair with fascination and approval. Now I look at it still with fascination, but….. I can tell that in his mind it’s 1985. That his ‘Glory Days’ (released 1985 by Bruce Springsteen) were in the mid 80s, and he just stopped evolving. He got stuck in a time warp, so now his clothes and hair probably look a bit weird to most, and if he was single and wanted to meet women, he’d have to find someone who was also stuck in that same time warp, so that they would ‘get’ each other. I’m not saying that’s bad. I’m not saying this guy doesn’t have a great life. After all, what better year to be stuck in? I remember another guy who owned a bar in a small town, and it was near the lake, but you could tell he wishes he was a Sam Malone type of bartender, but based out of California in a Huey Lewis & the News video. This wasn’t that, but it didn’t seem so bad. After all, he had a great ‘Mark Harmon in Summer School’ Hawaiian shirt.
My advice on avoiding the time warp phenomenon? 3 things. First, believe that your best days are ahead of you. The fashion time warp hits people who (subconsciously) feel that they’ve already peaked. They want to be like they were in their ‘glory days’, so they act, dress, and talk like they still are. Second, keep an open mind about things that are happening today. Yes, the music we listened to back in the day was way better than this shit, but there’s still some good stuff coming out if you’re patient enough to find it and give it a fair listen. Third, don’t dive too deep into the fashion trends. There are always some classic looks, and some wardrobe staples that never go out of style. If you can stick to some of those looks, then people won’t be able to pinpoint the year you got stuck in.
Finally, why did I pick 1985 to get stuck in (if I had to get stuck, which I hope I never do)??? Because I was 10 years old….my hair had an ambitious concoction of mousse, gel, hairspray, all to try to get that Duran Duran look…….Back to the Future came out (and btw, the future is 3 years from now…. where are our flying cars?)……My Toronto Blue Jays made the playoffs for the first time, and had a 99 win season which is the best regular season they ever had (including their 2 World Series years)…..On July 13th I woke up at 7am to watch Live Aid on TV which is probably the most extraordinary concert of all time for a lot of reasons…….I wore parachute pants……I had a Commodore 64…….Pop music was on the tail end of possibly most interesting period (ok fine music purists, the keyboards and electric drums were a bit much, but is was fun as shit)……WWF wrestling hadn’t yet become a weird soap opera for men (they actually had wrestling matches)……..The San Francisco 49ers won the Superbowl……Music Video stations like MTV and MuchMusic actually played Music Videos!!!……There was so much neon (my wife thinks it’s disturbing that I have such a fascination with this, but if your restaurant or hotel has a neon sign, I’d like to eat/stay there…. reminds me of Miami Vice)………Probably the funnest part of 1985 (other than Coca-Cola shitting the bed by changing the recipe of the most popular drink in the world, and then having to change it back (btw… ughh I know bracket within a bracket… ugh I know, they’re called parenthesis, people should never be afraid of making mistakes….. just be awesome all the time and people will forgive you…. that’s the first thing I’ll tell my kid when he/she is old enough to understand….. Look at Coke!!!)) was the fact that I was 10 years old and didn’t have a care in the world. I couldn’t fault anyone for being stuck in a time warp like that!! I wouldn’t recommend it either though…. it’s not a good look.