Friday, September 25, 2015

A Man of the 1990s

     I remember the year 1996 like it was yesterday. We had just renovated the kitchen in the house where my wife and I lived for 20 years, where our children had been born and where, in 1996, they were in middle school. It was the year I had lyme disease. The year my company had a big layoff. I was offered a voluntary retirement package at work. I turned it down, and ended up getting a promotion because so many other people left the company.

     For the rest of the 1990s I had a pretty good run at work . . . until 2002 when I was handed an involuntary retirement package. And thus began the next phase of my life, including my years of  semi-retirement (which are still going on). At the same time my wife and I were getting divorced, and soon after that I met B, and began a new life in another way as well. All that just does not seem very long ago.

      Yes, to me, the 1990s seem like yesterday. My kids were in school. I'd go to Little League games; and I'd watch them play tennis and go to swim meets. My parents were still alive, and we'd go visit Nana and Grandpa for the holidays.

     Last night I happened to notice a photograph of my mom and dad that sits on the bookshelf in our living room. I guess it's one of those things that's so familiar, I never really see it. But I saw it yesterday. In a way, my mom and dad still seem like they're here. Like we should start planning to go visit them for the holidays.

     The 1990s have not faded away. I watch Seinfeld reruns on TV. And sometimes Friends as well. The other day I saw that the original Jurassic Park (1993) was on AMC. This summer the latest in the series,  Jurassic World, was in the movie theaters. Plenty of other films from the 1990s come around all the time: Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump and Shawshank Redemption, all from 1994; Fargo from 1996 (there's now a TV series Fargo on the FX Network); Saving Private Ryan from 1998, and  lots of others -- and all of them seem fresh and modern, at least to me.

     On my Sirius XM radio I have one of my preset buttons on the station playing hits from the 1960s. They sound old and shopworn to me. The 1960s were so long ago, they appear like a dream. But the station featuring music from the 1990s -- those songs are new! Nirvana, REM, U2, Pearl Jam, Radiohead. Aren't they the bands that the kids listen to?

     And, of course, the most powerful political figures of the 1990s are still around. Which begs the question: What about the Clintons?

     I would agree with most experts who rate Bill Clinton a pretty good president, despite his personal flaws. Would I vote for another Clinton in the White House? Maybe. Hillary Clinton may not be as honest as the Pope. But what president is? Certainly, nobody is more "ready" to be president, and I agree with her on a lot of issues -- for example, just last week she came out with some ideas on how to rein in the ridiculous increases in drug prices. She's talking about health care today, just like she was in the 1990s!

     But, actually . . . in the political context, the 1990s do seem kind of long ago and far away. Remember "Don't ask, don't tell"? Would anyone believe, "I feel your pain" anymore? Why can't we find a newer, younger, fresher face?

     Well, you always have doubts. So I don't know what your favorite decade is. But, like I said, I'm a man of the 1990s, which, as far as the past goes, were just around the corner.


DJan said...

I also feel like the nineties were just last week. It continues to amaze me that time just keeps on rolling along so quickly that I can't keep up. Instead I just ride the waves and catch a nice one every once in awhile. I am hoping for Bernie to get nominated (I know, it's a long shot) but that guy is the real deal. :-)

Janette said...

The ad sense on your blog today for me was---Ben Carson! LOL.
1990's- I'd vote for Bill today if I could. Not so much Hill
I missed the music of that time, we were overseas most of those years.
Time is slipping faster and faster, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

would you want a president who would lead, just as it was back in the 1990's? Or one that is way ahead of the curve ball (say 2016) and is versed in cybersecurity, knows about the latest terrorism manipulations and bombings, is abreast in computer technology, smart phones, wireless diplomacy, drone warfare, military advancements in protective artillery (just to name a few)?????

If not, then by all means vote for the lady who defiled the safety of the American public by keeping her internet server in the closet of her bathroom and sent both private and classified, vulnerable emails out over the interwebs.

I'm voting for intelligence, smartness and sophistication.....qualities of which NONE of the current candidates possess.

Olga Hebert said...

I have difficulty when people say "that's so 90's!" Now what ever is wrong with that?

Stephen Hayes said...

Remember Clinton catching flack because he smoked dope but didn't inhale back in college? Now no one would care.

Janis said...

I am always amazed when I meet someone who says they were born in the nineties and they are adult-size. The nineties seem so recent that I would have expected them to still be in diapers. A lot of great things happened back then - Seinfeld and a decade of relative peace are just two.

I wish we had more/better presidential choices also, but I know that I will end up voting for the one that will break the conservative hold on the Supreme Court.

Anonymous said...

The 1980s were my decade...Careerwise, marriagewise, school wise, kids grown, first grandkids. So long ago and I traveled like mad. The 1990s were okay, but working for the government was a shock after working in the private sector. The government i knew was inefficient, too bureaucratic, stagnant, full of politics and patronage, as well as waste. Max Weber was right I fear. The Census Bureau is having more trouble it seems, scandals involving fraud and sex....glad I retired.

Tabor said...

I tend tofind each new decade interesting although I also tend to get more disappointed in our politics. We are in dangerous times with money running everything from the news we are allowed to here, the cost of drugs we are offered, the politicians we are allowed to vote for...etc.

Anonymous said...

I guess every decade of my life there has been something to cheer about.
For example, we bought our present house in 1991.
In 2003, I published my first book.
In 2012, we traveled to India.
And so forth.