A Cure for Nostalgia?

Eight or nine years ago Dad spotted a leather jacket at our local secondhand store that looked like it might be my size. As soon as I arrived home from class he told me about it. I’d been looking for a new jacket for some time and hadn’t found anything I liked yet so I drove over to the shop sure that someone else had bought it.

They hadn’t.

It was hanging right where Dad had last seen it. At first glance I wasn’t sure if I liked it; the color was a little more auburn than I had imagined would be my next jacket. I tried it on anyway. It was a perfect fit.

I wore that jacket everywhere.  It wrapped around me as I walked to my car late at night after work and hung over the back of my chair through countless hours of studying at the library. I wore it the first time I met Drew and took it off just minutes before meeting my newborn nephew four winters ago.

A Few Years Ago

The lining in it began to fall apart. That was ok, though, as I was the only person who ever saw it. I also wasn’t sure how easy it would be to replace the lining as the inside of the coat was falling apart almost as quickly as the lining itself.

When the zipper started to stick I quickly learned to hold the bottom stop and pull tab just so. At the right angle it still worked ok.

Last spring I noticed a series of holes that had developed on the jacket. I planned to have them fixed until I realized that some sections of my jacket were more air than coat. Reluctantly I threw it away just before we moved out here.

Nostalgia

Normally I’m not a sentimental person. Most stuffs exist for almost wholly practical reasons in my mind. The only exceptions to this are a couple of boxes of keepsakes: photo albums, my wedding dress, a few childhood outfits and some other small, miscellaneous items. Yet there was something bittersweet about throwing that jacket out. So much of my life – good, bad and mundane – passed while I wore it.

Over the last few days I’ve been feeling nostalgic about the past in general. Part of this can be explained by the message boards at The Ooze coming back. The beta test of the boards is full of Ooze old-timers. I’ve missed talking with so many of them. The years when I was most active there were personally difficult for a variety of reasons but we had such stimulating conversations on the boards. I don’t want to go back to the hard times but I do miss the positive stuff!

If only there could be one without the other.

Respond

What do you do when you’re feeling nostalgic?

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19 Responses to A Cure for Nostalgia?

  1. I too have moments where I yearn for the past. I am like you,I don’t place much value on things. If the price is right I wil sell most anything I have.

    There are days I yearn for the “simple” days. I know I am somewhat deluded about those days, but I still yearn for them.

  2. Lydia, Really enjoyed your story about your jacket. Have you read the fable “Something from Nothing” by Phoebe Gilman? It is marvelous — and you will see many parallels to your tale. I don’t want to spoil it by saying any more… Enjoy! Franke

  3. I like to go for a walk or a drive in the convertible with the top down when I’m feeling that way. Being outdoors heals me. By that statement, I must think of nostalgia as something less than whole. hm-m-m-m … I do know that I don’t like feeling that way. I like to live in the present.

  4. I revel in it. For me (and it sounds like for you too) it doesn’t come around too often, and unless you take to the extreme there’s nothing wrong with it. I take some time for myself and just experience it. When it’s time to put the memories back in the past then I can continue on with life without feeling like I’ve surpressed anything.

  5. makes me nostalgic just remembering that day i spied that leather jacket and then returning to see you buy it at the goodwill store … a real treasure was found and worn out … like the velveteen rabbit story

  6. Remembering the past is good, it reminds us how quickly time flies..I also feel very nostalgic sometimes but then again I realize, only crying about the past isn’t going to help me live the present. So I smile at the past, look at today and hope for tomorrow. (Sorry if I wasn’t too helpful, I’m only 12)

  7. […] Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. It’s very easy to gloss over the difficulties in life, though. Would it be great to have the boundless energy of childhood again? Yes! Do I want my parents to tell me what to eat, which television shows I’m allowed to watch and when to go to bed? Not in the least. […]

  8. I respect your decision to throw the jacket away, but I would have kept it just for memory’s sake… even if it was really worn out. Maybe one day, you could have gotten it fixed up. Anyway, I know how you feel and I hope that you can find one just like it some day. Also, there are probably some photos of you wearing your jacket, so you’ll never truly forget. I hope you feel better soon, and I wish you the best of luck from the bottom of my heart.

    P.S. – I know how you feel because i miss so many things in my life. So many precious memories are just gone, but somewhere in the midst of feeling nostalgic, I find that my life really isn’t that bad, and that those memories will continue to live on in my heart forever.

  9. I always begin to feel nostalgic as I prepare to enter a new phase in my life.  I just finished my third year in university and all along have been thinking that I’m ready to graduate and move on to travel and work etc.  As this year has come to a close I’ve begun to see how nostalgic and sad my graduating friends are becoming and I realised that although I will be ready for graduation in one year, I’m going to feel very nostalgic about it.  I think nostalgia really forces you to look upon the past with fond memories as you prepare to move on to something different.

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