Dana Byerly's

Digital Junk Drawer

Double bagger

Earlier in the week my Mom sent an email with her usual innocuous subject “Hi”. Instead of an update about her bingo results, or the gossip at her assisted living facility, the email read “Was just looking around Facebook and found this picture of you”. Yikes.

The photo was from around 1987 in Ye Olde College days. I had a pretty good idea of who posted it, but inquired further. After a bit of back and forth it turned out to be one of my friends and former roommates who had posted a bunch of photos of our group at the time.

I talked my Mom into sending them all to me after explaining, again, that I don’t want to sign in to Facebook, “But I don’t understand why I can see them and you can’t”.

The photos were funny time capsules, as expected.

Me in 1987, sitting in front of a collage on the wall of my bedroom. My arms are crossed and I have a smug look on my face. My hair is a triangle shaped bob with a bad undercut.
Young Junk Drawer, looking oddly smug while feeling like a double bagger.

Ah youth. Behind me was an ever-changing collage of photocopies, pages from Interview Magazine (when I could afford them, which was not often) and maybe posters. The usual Young People type of expression with the materials of the time. I didn’t remember this particular photo, but the mockneck and mushroom undercut had all the hallmarks of the era.

Back in the present, one of the many things to pass through my garbage feed this week was a chuckle-worthy article on Millennials going from cool to cringe, which I promptly sent to The Lady. “Ha ha millennials are old now”, to which she replied “IKR”.

As members of Gen X we don’t really exist, at least in terms of generational sniping, and that’s a-OK with me. But here at Junk Drawer Manor we enjoy using, and misusing, Young People lingo. This is 100% my version of the “young homeowners turning into their parents” commercials, minus the young and homeowner part.

One of my favorite memories of my Dad was from a few years before the Facebook picture. He was on wife number four, who was only about five or so years older than me, although light-years more mature. She was OK, and every now and again she let me use her ID (and with that baby face I needed all the help I could get).

That year I spent the holidays at Dad’s house. As Xmas neared I noticed Dad and Number 4 started to use various Valley Girl phrases with each other every time they were around me. “Like no way, don’t be a Melvin”, “Fer sure, he’s a double bagger”, etc. All followed by fits of giggling. It was something to behold.

A middle aged man with his face pressed up against a window from the outside. He has one arm raised as if he's trying to claw his way in. His mouth is open as if he's making a strange noise.
Dad, around 1987, in all his glory.

Finally, on Xmas day one of my presents turned out to be “The Valley Girls’ Guide to Life“, one of the many send-ups of the Preppy Handbook. Dad and Number 4 went on and on about how much fun they had reading it and trying to torture me with Val Speak.

Cover of the Valley Girls' Guide to Life, with a bright pink background and illustrations of thee valley girls in exaggerated poses.
I’m like totally a poindexter because I still have the book.

At the time I thought it was pretty funny, and confusing. How could they be having so much fun? Now I get it, and find it even more funny than I did before. But also touching, in the best possible “turning into your parents” way. Even if I am a bit cheugy.

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