I spent a good chunk of yesterday in a funk of unknown origin. This seems to happen a lot on my days off work – more time with my thoughts usually leaves me more anxious than those days that I have the singular task of making sure that I don’t hurt someone because of my distraction. I’ll admit that a lot of my funk stemmed from a stupid reason – Back To The Future Day. It’s not that I don’t like Back To The Future. On the contrary, it’s a well written film series (especially the first one) and an enjoyable bit of nostalgia. But I just didn’t get the craze that moved everyone to write about it all day across every conceivable social media platform.
It made me realize just how grumpy I’m getting as I get older. Even 5 years ago, I would have loved something like this. The whole Internet sharing in a collective pop culture experience would have been a dream come true. I don’t know when or how that changed. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I feel very much like I am too nerdy for normal people and too normal for nerdy people. It feeds into the undercurrent of loneliness that seems to permeate my life regardless of whether I am alone or not. Even though I have so many people in my life that love and care about me, there’s still a part of me that remembers not fitting in anywhere or, when I did, fitting in only for a short time. Even in my 40s, I still feel like that 20-something guy waiting for the other shoe to drop and friends to vanish.
This bugs me a lot because I am really not a cranky sourpuss. This is not me – and I think most people who know me well know this about me. I find joy in so many things. I also understand that people take joy in things that I do not. The best example of this is sports. I couldn’t give a single solitary shit about sports, but I recognize that’s something that’s important to a lot of people, and people that go on and on about how stupid sports are can be insufferable. Not one to want to be insufferable, I just think about how I feel about Madonna or pop music or getting new vinyl albums and try to apply that feeling to them. That works most of the time.
I had a harder time using that same approach with BTTF day. Again, I think it stemmed from knowing that there was once a version of me that would have eaten this up with a spoon. Am I really that humorless? What happened to me? I just don’t know. In the end, I mostly turned off social media and let the rest of the world have its party and didn’t hold it against them, but it did leave me feeling a bit alienated. Self-imposed alienation, to be sure, but that feeling didn’t tickle no matter how much I tried to talk myself into thinking it did.
Ultimately, it’s a stupid first world problem. I know no one loves (or even likes) a killjoy. I tweeted something early in the day about how BTTF day was like May the 4th on steroids, but then I realized how awful and insufferable I was being and deleted it. The only thing I ended up tweeting about the whole thing is how much I truly love Back To The Future 3.
I’m glad people got to experience it. Some people have been looking forward to it literally since 1985. And I’m truly sorry that I shit on it for those people.
However, I stand by my assertion that May The 4th be with you is stupid. It’s not even that good of a pun.