Thursday, September 22, 2011

With the lights out, it's less dangerous

For me, as I'm sure it is for many of you, there is some music that instantly transports you back in time.  Maybe it's a seminal moment in your life, or maybe it's just really fond memories.

This morning, on the way into work, NPR did a story on the upcoming anniversary of Nirvana's sophomore album, Nevermind.  Otherwise known as The Anthem of My Generation.  It turns 20 on Saturday.

Twenty years.  Twenty f*cking years since Nevermind hit the airwaves.  Holy crap.

Twenty years ago I had just graduated from high school and was experiencing the heady days of freshman year of college. Which consisted mainly of meeting new people, laughing my ass off, and alas, Sig Nu After Hours.  Needless to say, studying was not high on my list of priorities which doubtless contributed to my demise as a future engineer.

Sigma Nu was the fraternity across the street from my sorority.  I adored the boys there.  They did things like make their pledges take turns being sober drivers on party nights and invite us over for a formal dinner (prepared and served by them) every once in awhile.  (It backfired one year, though, when they invited us over the week after St. Pat's and, too late, realized that all the salad dressing was still green from their run of dying everything edible - and not - kelly green to celebrate.  Not too appetizing, guys.)  They also did things like drag crappy couches out to the front lawn of their house to yell across the street during our rush parties, loudly "rating" the girls hoping to pledge my house.  I longed to be with them instead of going through sorority rush antics designed to make us all look like idiots.  I was a Sig Nu little sis, and I learned quickly that the longstanding tradition of After Hours parties on Wednesday night meant that you made sure to not register for an early Tues/Thurs class.

So when I hear "Smells Like Teen Spirit," or "Lithium," or "Come As You Are," I am 18 again.  Moving through Sig Nu's concrete and vinyl basement (designed specifically to be easily hosed out the morning after parties - very smart move) looking for friends and the vintage bathtub on casters that held iced beer, "tea," or jello shots, depending on the night.

And I think to myself, "Damn, that was twenty years ago?"

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