Entry 27: The Nostalgia Factor
The odd thing about nostalgia is that it is tailored to an individual, unable to perfectly matchup with anyone else. While some people may share a few reminiscent memories, no one can truly understand your personal love for that nostalgic happenstance.
The first video game that I wholeheartedly remember was Crash Bandicoot for the PlayStation in 1996. My family was stationed in Germany at that time, and my next door neighbor was Christopher. I didn't have my own video game console until the Nintendo 64 came out, but Christopher had the PlayStation and I was able to take turns playing his games. Crash Bandicoot was a platformer that always destroyed us, considering that we were only six-years-old at the time. After he failed to complete a level, he gave me an attempt to help him beat the game. Back then, it didn't matter if we played a single-player game or never beat the game at all; it was the thrill of spending an entire week trying to beat one level together and finally achieving that hurdle.
My first comic reads were Peanuts, Tumbleweeds, and Garfield, but none was as memorable as Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. In short, Calvin and Hobbes was about a kid with the wildest imaginations and the love of dinosaurs, something they and I share in common. When I was young, Watterson's comics were humorous and carefree. When I grew up, I realized his comics had moments that pondered the existence of life and death, the struggles of true friendships, and the limitations between academia and imaginative-freedom. I grew up with a wonderful comic series that taught me to appreciate all aspects of life, even the cold and brittle moments that we tend to disregard.
My mother has worked in Child Care for as long as I can remember, so some of the kids she took care of were my friends when I was young. One of them was Angela, and she had these cool miniature Barbie-like dolls that were similar heights to my Batman figures. I never enjoyed role-playing as a doctor or fireman, but instead we would play with each other's dolls instead.
Growing up with a destructive brother, however, meant my toys were always obliterated after he entered the room. My new doll/figures were Bionicles by LEGO. They were action figures that required the assembly of 30-60 pieces. I had a White and Blue Bionicle, while my brother had a Green Bionicle, but his terrible habits meant all three were taken apart with several pieces being lost to the wilderness. In the end, I managed to mix-match the remaining parts and create a unique Bionicle hero.
By and by, all of my nostalgia can only be fully appreciated by myself, and it can be awkward to tell people that I used to love playing with Barbie dolls. But then again, my nostalgia is my fingerprint, and finding those friends who share a portion of those memories are a delight.
So what are your nostalgia factors that no one seems to appreciate? Do you remember a time when Kinder Eggs were safe to eat? What about Cow and Chicken? Feel free to leave a comment or some feedback; they are greatly appreciated!