those were the days…

i fucking love my beats by dre app…

…partially ’cause you get three years of it for the price of the headphones that carry the same name.

partially because they have these great playlists that involve years – best alternative hits of 1986, best indie music from 1992, etc, etc…for a record store geek this is awesome! and it got me thinking – what years were really significant to me? excluding the expected, of course (1971 – born, 1989 – graduated high school, 1995 graduated college) what other years stick out? here’s a list, oddly enough, of six special ones:

MCMLXXVII (1977) – in addition to being the year my beautiful wifey came into this world, it’s also the year the divorce happened. at the time i didn’t know anybody else that had been divorced. shit, i didn’t even know what a divorce WAS. they had to explain it to me…and i didn’t like what i heard. my family was going to disintegrate. things were never going to be the same. i focused on the tv, which was showing the sonny & cher show, trying to lose myself in the skit and escape reality. it didn’t work. years later ME would drag me to a cher show in san antonio and they did a montage of clips from the show to intro her medley of hits from that era of her career – THAT SKIT was part of the montage. it was the first time i’d seen it since that day, and my knees almost buckled…i have no complaints about my childhood, and feel like i adjusted to single parent life pretty seamlessly. i was sent to a couple kinds of therapy and never felt they helped because, quite honestly, i didn’t think i NEEDED the help. but that little subliminal cher slap surprised me…although it did give me a momentary escape i didn’t get in 1977, but this time not from bad news, just overt gayness.

MCMLXXXIII (1983) – in addition to being a kick-ass year in music (i haven’t found a playlist on beats from 1983 i haven’t liked regardless of genre, but then again the app only throws out genres you like) it was also the year i made the (semi) executive decision to almost flunk out of school on purpose. why? have you ever seen the old school-based sitcom head of the class? it was about honors students who were all geniuses and they had all the same classes together. in smaller school districts (can’t speak for larger ones) that happens – you literally have the same kids in EVERY CLASS. sixth grade was when they started to notice i didn’t listen to the same music and, because of the economic reality of living in a single parent household where said parent was a school librarian versus a lawyer or successful real estate broker, i didn’t dress the same or have the right haircut or what have you…meanwhile, i had good friends i got to see after school or on weekends, but never got to hang out with in class or sit next to them because i was “in honors” and they weren’t. so i almost flunked out on purpose (they refused to put me in normal classes claiming i “wouldn’t be challenged” and “would get bored easily”) but they figured after all F’s started rolling in that i must have run out of intellectual steam. oddly enough standardized testing helped as i scored in the ninety-seventh percentile nationally so they felt holding me back would be a bad call…and i got to hang out with lance and jon in class going forward so life was happy!

MCMLXXXVI (1986) – i put this year on the list for one reason, but realized in kinda hits on two. in the spring i was a freshman in high school and decided i needed to rekindle my relationship with my dad so i went up to the dfw metroplex where he lived for spring break where i got to, first hand, witness the strict style of parenting that he and my stepmom did with my step sister. talk about feeling like you dodged a bullet! don’t get me wrong – mom didn’t let me do whatever i wanted or anything, but she didn’t overdo it, which is how i learned to think for myself and figure shit out. my stepsister wasn’t allowed anywhere NEAR that kind of freedom. as a result, they still have to raise HER kids and help her out with all kinds of shit that normal adults do on their own. i feel like this was kind of the closure on the divorce, showing me “see what you missed, asshole?”. never loved my mom more than i did after that! the summer brought me my “little brother” via a marching band “big brother / little brother” program, JAB, and was also when bret and i really started hanging out more. definitely a banner year for getting life to make more sense.

MMII (2002) – this was originally supposed to be “1996”, which was the year mom died and i struck out on my own and lord knows how long that might have taken had she survived to now…but that was kind of a bummer, and while it kick-started a depression in me that lasted over a decade (albeit underlying for a good chunk of that time) i’m trying to focus on the positive here. 2002 was the year we started this show on i didn’t wanna do it, but ME insisted and kramer double-teamed me and honestly i couldn’t be happier for doing so. kramer always says it’s cheaper than therapy, and while i don’t know if it served THAT purpose in the grand scheme of things, it did give me a good outlet that obviously continues to this day as you’re reading this and shit. both of you. i never feel like i have more than two or three readers, but the hit counter at the bottom of the page says differently.

MMIX (2009) – this was the year i got fired (early – like tale end of january) from dell and ended my corporate life for good. it was never really “me”, i never fit in there, and i only applied there ’cause kramer dared me to. truth. it provided me with some interesting turns in life (alex), some good friends (tina) and ultimately taught me that the amount of soul lossage required to exist in a corporate cube is just not for me. i knew when radio was over (sadly) and i knew when i walked out of dell that i would never work in a cube again (although i applied at a few places when the house became in jeopardy). it also gave me six months of drunken unemployment which was ultimately the break from adulthood my post-mom life needed and kind of hit the reset button on my soul.

and finally…

MMXII (2012) – one word on this year…nikki. the ufw. the best thing that ever could have happened to me. no, we’re not in a fight; no, i didn’t fuck up, and no, i’m not trying to kiss her ass. it’s just the truth. looking back at my life, and not to belittle anybody that came in during the midsection (and plenty of cool fuckers did, shane & ME being the main ones that comes to mind), i basically look at my life as three eras – June 1971 – February 1996 (my years with mom), November 2012 – ???? (my years with nikki) and “the lost years” in between. now i feel i need to make every year significant in some way, and she inspires that in me…which is pretty fuckin’ awesome.

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