Sunday, August 27, 2006

back in the day (1994)

I’m sitting here tonight doing some thinking. I have My Life by Mary J. Blige on the CD player and it’s bringing back a flood memories from 1994.

My life was lot different back then, I guess. Obviously there wasn’t a blog. In fact, in my world there really wasn’t an internet. People communicated online, to be sure, but the ones I knew were these weirdoes named Sid and Doug that were friends of Todd M. and almost never left their dorm room.

I would have been typing this on a 486-DX computer in my sophomore dorm room in Lee Hall at Virginia Tech. Actually, if I remember correctly, I didn’t even have a computer in my dorm because my brother and I didn’t room together like we did freshman year, and he took the computer with him to his new apartment. I eventually got one that year, when my dad bought me a bunch of spare computer peripherals from Montgomery Ward to create what become “FrankenComputer.” It’s a funny story that I’ll tell sometime.

Anyway, instead of commuting to a municipal job, I walked across campus to architecture studio. Kevin was at college in Baltimore and I hung around with Todd M. and Glenn seemingly every day. Nobody was married and only Glenn was seeing somebody, but she was back home in Jersey. We pretty much did the whole typical adolescent hi-jinks thing after class. Not much drinking and no drugs, but pretty much everything else.

I bought my first real stereo equipment that year: a Sony bookshelf stereo with enough bells and whistles to make its own parade float. It never worked correctly (and I eventually had to exchange it for a more useful model), but I really loved that thing. $286.00 on my new American Express. Sears, Mercer Mall, Bluefield, West Virginia. Most expensive thing I’d ever bought back then that wasn’t tuition.

1994 was significant in that I met many of the people who would become my closest friends: those mentioned above, Angie, Derek M., and Doug L. I also started building my CD and sneaker collections that year. Sadly, I still have most of the former and none of the latter. A pair of Air Accel Trainers would certainly fetch a lot more on eBay than a Karyn White CD.

But anyway, 1994 was also significant in my expansion of research on this mall and fashion thing. Before, I was limited to the resources of the occasional newspaper article and whatever I could find at the Franklin County Library. The University Libraries at Virginia Tech were an unbeatable resource of just about anything retail or fashion related, and since my level of socialization at the time was pretty much stuck in geeky teenager mode, I went to the library and read and researched instead of getting drunk, high and laid like college students usually do. What a dumb move. LOL

Okay, maybe it wasn’t the most macho thing I could have done, but I’m still in possession of just about all my brain cells, and my research has resulted in the backbone of my current life as a semi-professional retail pundit, occasional column writer (it’s on its way back) and all around nerdy neighborhood blogger. Y’all dig it, so that’s all that matters

Looking back, I’m heavier and older, but I’m smarter, savvier, smell better (LOL) and I’m a hell of a lot sexier than I used to be. 19 was cool, but I’m looking forward to 31 just about as much.

Which reminds me: does anybody remember what August 30th is?


  1. Glad 1994 was a good year for you! Happy Birthday This week!

  2. 1994 was an awesome year for me. I turned 5 in November. I didn't even have a computer back then. My life as different back then. Back in '94, I would watch a lot of TV, go to Carolina Circle, etc. Those commercials on Flashback City are from 1994 as well.

  3. I don't find you to be sexy.

    Anyway, happy birthday.

  4. Muddy: Thanks! I'm hoping to have a really good week this week :-)

    Billy: Sounds like 1994 was even better for you than it was for me.

    Greg: I'm actually glad that you don't find me sexy...that was more for the single, attractive geeky girls that I'm sure check out this site from time to time. ;-)