I read an interesting interview with Hollywood actress Christina Ricci this week, in which she notes that she would like to try and do the 1990s again. It was the decade she rose to stardom as a child actress (she was born in 1980) and ended it as a 20-year-old indie film star.
It’s very dark, but I’d just like to go back to that age and do it again and not make so many damn mistakes,” Ricci said recently. “To be honest, I really regret it. I’d like to go back to 1996 and say, ‘All right… we had a practice run. It went quite well, but it wasn’t really as great as we wanted it to be. We’ll do it again.’ People who say, ‘I have no regrets.’ What bloody magical life have you lived?”
girl I hear that If you make mistakes, between the ages of 10 and 20 is definitely the best time to do it. And yet there’s something so alluring about the idea of a do-over, isn’t there? That is probably why there has been such a resurgence of time travel plots in literature (Emma Straub’s Tits time tomorrow) and movie (Little mom, PalmSprings, The Tomorrow Project). Having spent my teenage years in the 1990s, it’s a decade I have no end to. But yeah, when you pick a leaf from Ricci’s book, it’s almost impossible to marvel at the things you’d do differently once you’ve had the wisdom of a practice run.
The first place I would bring this metaphorical time machine back to would be my first day of school where I didn’t know a sinner. After my mother threw me out of the moving car and I stood there, lip wagging, a group of girls soon took me under their wing. They turned out to be the popular crowd, but my spot on the class totem pole was funnily short-lived. To hide my nerves, I got so ebullient, playful, and shrieking — less than zero chills — that my new lunchtime friends hid from me at the gym in horror. It took me years to learn how to walk into a roomful of strangers and keep my cool, but that one fateful morning stayed with me forever.
The next thing I would do differently as an older teenager is treat the guys/men who approached me in bars or clubs with a little more humanity. It must have been unnerving, even petrifying, walking up to a complete stranger with a chat-up line and hoping they wouldn’t fist crush you for being insane. I know that now. But at the time, I was cosplaying as someone much cooler than I actually was, and that meant being distant and disinterested – oddly even when I was. I stared at people, answered in monosyllables, blew smoke rings at them in the manner of a Gallic sex symbol (I often wore polyester and corduroy) until they slinked away. I took that as a kind of win. What a 48k idiot I was.
Also, I wish I had noticed when other people were actually flirting with me. I’ve had a string of lovely, gentle, sweet male friends that I found dark corners of bars with or talked to at parties on fire escapes. It was all soft and meaningful and lovely, and it wasn’t until much later that I realized they were hoping for something else, and I was too aggressively my-pal-my-brother platonic to find out. romp. Absolutely raging. Of course they tell you all this years later, which is pointless.
I should have been nicer to those who were just a little bit different from me. Do you prefer Bovril to tea? state of you. study theology? smell you later Do you like listening to the Spice Girls? Out of the way. In my late teens, I had an incredibly precise and narrow notion of the kind of person I wanted to be and, more broadly, the kind of people I should surround myself with. Everyone else was subtly picked up, regardless of what other endearing traits they had. A complete dumbass errand.
This is an almost evergreen middle-aged woman’s regret, but it still stands: I also wish I hadn’t spent so much time fretting over not looking like Kate Moss. I grew up in the heroin chic era, all protruding hip bones and protruding collarbones. I hated the body that was unfairly assigned to me at the time. All I saw were thunder thighs, stickiness, and real skin on my bones. The tragedy was that I was lithe, slim enough to pin size 10 skirts, and most importantly, healthy. The energy I expended believing otherwise would power a small town. Ironically, I’m practically unrecognizable from that sleek and lithe young person now, but I’ve regained all that self-doubting energy. Life, you’re absolutely hilarious at times.
Hindsight is 20:20, but it’s also incredibly humbling. Every young person is a beguiling stew of confidence, insecurity, audacity, ignorance and stupidity. I’m just glad I did all this in the 1990’s when no one could hear me screaming and screwing up.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/if-i-could-go-back-to-my-teens-i-would-treat-the-boys-who-approached-me-in-bars-or-clubs-with-a-little-more-humanity-41901476.html If I could go back to my youth I would treat the guys who approach me in bars or clubs with a little more humanity