“She want that old thing back”

Being grown is just not what I thought it would be.  Jason and I were going to be best friends, forever, walk to school together.  Then he would marry Nicole and I would be a world renown tap dancer/guitar player and marry a rapper.  I hadn’t quite gotten to the part of the world where I learned that having two left feet would make tap dancing, not impossible, but difficult.  Lil Wayne hadn’t been invented yet, so I didn’t know marrying a rapper wasn’t a great idea.

Of course, there were things that I had in my youth that I truly miss.

Sugar in Soda

If you’ve had a Coke since the mid-80s you’ve consumed a can full of high fructose corn syrup.  (I don’t know what you Pepsi drinkers did, nor will I investigate. You’re communists and you spit on babies.)  There’s something more…syrupy about it.  All of it.  Don’t believe me?   Next Passover season, go to a grocery store in a Jewish neighborhood and look for the Coke with the slightly different top (I think it’s blue or green or something).  This Coke is made with sugar.  Taste its goodness.  The curse the rest of your life (or at least the rest of the year), because finding that sort of goodness again is rare.

Hair Bands

I’ve always been an eclectic soul, and in my pursuit of good music, I fell in love with hair bands.  Listening to me sing Whitesnake’s “Hear I Go Again” is probably one of the most epic moments of terrible warbling you’ll ever experience.  But you’ve also never witnessed such passion and fervor.  Something about that type of music just brings out the tortured soul within.  If I’m in the car, and an hair band power ballad comes on, batten down the hatches chief.  It’s gonna be a doozy.

Snacks were snacks and we liked them that way

Remember when you got Oreos in one big pack?  And they were all the same size? No pussy 100 calorie snack bags either.  To make your lunch, you would grab that sandwich bag (which didn’t seal if you grew up in my house, so you had to twist it up), cram it with Oreos or chips, and go for what you know.  You’d get to school, everything would be crumbled up and you’d like it.  *mumbles Whipper snappers with their reusable Gladlock.  And not only that, back in my day, we didn’t need those 100 calorie packs because we engaged in the miraculous invention called


Before Facebook and Twitter, before Nintendo and Xbox Live – even before the internet – outside was more than a place you passed through on the way into the house from the car.   We used to frolic there.  You would skip, and if you’re lucky, traipse.   It hasn’t dawned on you that you’re giving your kids these hundred calorie snack packs, and they’re still looking like Willie Roaf?  SEND THEM OUTSIDE.  If it’s far, get your behind up nd go with them.  You know you’re probably fat too. (Guilty.)

“Do You Like Me” Notes

If someone wanted to go with you, or vice versa, a binding contract would be handed to you by a close associate, you would mark your response, carefully fold the paper and return it to the confidante, and it was over.  One of two things happened:  either you went together, or you got flipped off.  I don’t know about yall, but I didn’t hang with that “maybe” too tough.  Either we do or we don’t.  There’s no place for indecision when you only have ten minutes left for research, and you still haven’t mastered double dutch.

Not having to bust it open for every hip-hop or R&B song

I try to stay out of the “these kids don’t know good music” argument, but for some of these folks, Mystical’s “Shake Ya Ass” is a classic.  No lie.  Someone is going to hear that song and tell their child through prison bars, “That’s when music was music.”  I’m sorry “You already know what time it is, reach up in the dresser where them condoms is?” does not even begin to compare to “Let me love you down, even if it takes all night.”  Both are extremely direct.  You know you ain’t there for prayer meeting.  But one is just so much more – mmmm – than the other.


Skipping school was something I just LOVED to do.  Particularly in my senior year.  I was so over it, and was going through a lot with my mother’s illness, I didn’t want to be home, but I didn’t want to be at school.  My friend had no first period, so she’d park in front of school, wait for me, and we’d head to Ted’s Frost Top.  I never got busted, but even if I did, the biggest “wrath” was upsetting my parents.  Not saying that it was a walk in the park, but I’d still have food and shelter after that.  If I play skipsies today (not that I WOULD), I have to stay in my spot like it’s the Honeycomb Hideout, lest I get spotted by a work snitch.  I saw her and she wasn’t eenmuch sick.  Then I’m homeless.  Sucks.

No Call Waiting

I would like this to be a service that I could turn on and off at my leisure.  Yes, I know that I can send the call to voice mail.  I don’t want to do that.  When I’m having my heart to heart conversations with Marques Colston on the phone (in my dreams), I don’t want anybody calling in to ask me if I saw what Theresa did on Real Housewives of New Jersey or to call me form their toilet so I can hear their bubble guts symphony.  You call me. I’m busy.  Call back until I ain’t.  Or fine someone else to bother. I’m on the phone with Marques anyway.

Joy in the Simple

Running for the bus with a boy you liked so that you didn’t get in trouble.  Eating crawfish on the lake while drinking Strawberry Hill Boone’s Farm (because that’s one of the few things you could buy and afford and no one was old enough to realize it was swill).  That’s the kind of stuff that I miss.  Not knowing any better.  Of course, in the real world, I wouldn’t give up my knowledge or experience, but I’m a throwback.  I like thinking about the good old days.

If you could resurrect three things, what would they be?


8 responses to ““She want that old thing back”

  1. I would resurrect Pontchartrain beach, McKenzie’s chocolate covered muffins and block parties where nobody got shot. Ohhh and kids playing Teddy ball, cool can and good old fashion games of marbles and spinning top.

    • I can’t remember the last time I saw girls jumping double dutch. That makes me sad. That’s like, one of the best parts of little black girl bonding. Ponytails and ribbons all over the place, getting popped in the eye with those hair balls our mothers insisted on. Oh…and me NEVER having the coordination to actually jump. I was the BEST turner though.

  2. I would resurrect the days when we’d play with pieces of stockings strung together until 8PM because the Capetonian sun only set around 9. Those days when we’d sit on plastic chairs in the front yard while my mom would try to hold me still so that she could finish braiding my hair.
    Those days when I’d be excited to go to school bc learning new things was awesome and I didn’t have to worry about being labeled as a teachers pet.
    There’s elegance in simplicity. That’s one quality humanity seems to have lost over the years.
    That’s what I’d like to have back. beautiful post. Thanks for sharing that.

  3. I’d bring back the REAL Transformers, where Megatron transformed into a chrome gat that scared my mom when she initially saw me with it, instead of the metro-sexual, purple jet he transforms into now. Lol. Great post, Mamba.

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