Saturday, June 9, 2018

Of Slurpees and Video Games

When I look back on the '80's, I sometimes feel I was more of an observer than having experienced them first hand. I don't mean that I wasn't the right age, I was.  I turned 13 in 1980, prime time coming-of-age age. But due to lack of funds, proximity of my home, and an overprotective mother, I saw little of the things most of my generation did. One of those things was video arcades. I didn't have any near me and we certainly didn't have quarters to "throw away". Another was 7-11 Slurpees. We had a 7-11 in town, but my parents never bought gas there, and we certainly wouldn't have gone inside to buy a frozen drink if we did. Like I said, I was aware of all of these things; I watched a lot of TV after all.  But as far as tasting or playing them, Slurpees and arcade video games were out of my reach (full disclosure, I did have an Atari 2600 after 1983).

Perhaps the best representation of my pop culture gap is summarized in these cups I found this morning at a garage sale.  They date from 1982 and apparently there was at least one more series in 1983.  Coincidentally enough, they cost a quarter. I didn't mind "throwing it away".


  1. Interesting notes about how your real-life experience affects your experience of nostalgia. When I started serious thrifting in the late 90s, it was to collect Atari cartridges --- which could still be found for 25 cents at Goodwill then, before the collector scene grew thanks to eBay. The fonts, the art, and especially the games themselves gave me very pleasurable nostalgic feelings connected to my childhood home, my father, brother, and friends. After a year or so, all that was thoroughly demystified for me, and as I've grown older I've found I'm less interested in things that actually were part of my life and more in things I glimpsed but never experienced or didn't fully understand because I was too young. It's still a reaching for the past, but for something I missed rather than something I "lost" with time. Is that still nostalgia? Hmmmmmmm

    Love your blog.

    1. Thanks, Alec. I do think you can be nostalgic for things you never experienced. There's actually a term for it: "anemoia". Technically, that's a nostalgia for a time you never experienced, but I think it can applied equally to the things of those times.

  2. Well we had an arcade but did not have a 7/11 the closest being well over an hour and a half away.


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