Atari, When in Rome, and a rainy day in 1988 – The Return of Nostalgia Thrsday

So the other day I was driving in my car, radio station hopping, when I heard my first “favorite song”. I don’t know about you, but for me my favorite song changes often. There is so much good music out there, I just can’t stay with one. But there is always one song that I could listen to over and over again, on a loop. Right now I’d say that song is “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys. That is the latest in a long line of favorites. Most of these songs become my favorites because I could pin them to a specific event or feeling that was happening when I first really listened to it. And no matter how old the song or long ago I liked it, when I hear it, I am transported to that one place and time.

This is the case with “The Promise” by When In Rome. It always brings me back to a rainy day in 1988, an extremely rare occasion when my mother, a teacher at a different school from the one I was going to at the time, had to work, but my brother and I had off.

She arranged with a friend, whose two sons went to school with us, to babysit. The younger son was my brother’s best friend. The older son was my first crush. He and I were in 5th grade together, and we had a little bit of a history. Well, as much of a history as you can have in 5th grade. See, back in 3rd grade, we’d have to line up with partners to leave school. And every day Alex, my crush, would walk by my desk and say, “I’ll be your partner” on his way to the door. I’d say OK, and every day we’d walk out holding hands.

By 5th grade, I guess I’d developed cooties, because Alex no longer wanted to be my partner, and he didn’t really pay a lot of attention to me anymore, except to tease me. But I still thought he was cute and funny and whatever else would attract one 11 year old to another. So when I found out I’d be spending an entire day with him, I was really excited.

I do not remember much about that day except the rain, and the fact that they had Atari. He showed me how to play Space Invaders, and we spent a good part of the day shooting at aliens together. Alex was paying attention to me and it felt great! But all good things must come to an end, and that epic day did too. As for Alex, he ended up dating my best friend when I was in high school, which completely broke my heart.

But I got over it, I got over him, and today I have no idea where he is or what he is doing. I don’t know if I actually heard “The Promise” at some point that day or if it was just stuck in my head the entire time, but when I hear this song I think of Alex, and Atari, and the day I felt like the most important girl in his life.

While watching this video, I was reminded of Gerardo (the “Rico Suave” guy). Perhaps on another Nostalgia Thursday, you’ll be seeing that video and all the flowing long hair you can possibly stand!

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