There are defining moments, stages and phases in everyone’s lives, years that mold them into who they are and become. Ones they’ll never forget, for better or worse. 2005 was one of those years for me, as I had just turned 18, taken my first real job and was getting ready to finally graduate High School.
Rap still sounded like music to me, The Golden State Warriors hadn’t ruined the NBA as we knew it and Lebron James had not yet taken his talents to South Beach. Terrell Owens was still a member of my beloved Philadelphia Eagles and people were still referring to Caitlyn Jenner as Bruce.
Our President was dumb as a bag of rocks back then too but at least we we’re certain he had never colluded with Russia and nobody was claiming he had sexually assaulted them.
I’m pretty certain my criminology teacher was trying to have sex with me, as I was given special treatment, was left flirtatious comments on papers I turned in and eventually was straight up invited to her house for dinner. My girlfriend at the time saw to it that I politely declined. Full disclosure, I’ve since tried looking Mrs. so and so up on social media but to no avail unfortunately.
Ah, yes, 2005 was also the year I discovered what a Reuben sandwich was. I was on my fifteen minute break and told the cook of the restaurant I washed dishes for to surprise me for lunch. He made me this delicious corn beef and sauerkraut concoction and said it was called a Reuben. Listen, I don’t particularly care for corn beef or sauerkraut but if you’ve never had the pleasure of inhaling such a delicacy, do yourself a favor and order one today.
Unfortunately, I started having one for lunch every day and it became a popular sandwich for employees to order for lunch. So popular in fact, the restaurant’s owner decided we weren’t allowed to order them anymore and we were then limited to items off the side order menu for lunch only. Ironic how a Jewish Deli owner could enforce Nazi-Germany like lunch restrictions but I digress.
I had just began dating the girl who I was by this time deeply in love with the year before. I’ve heard females hit their sexual peak at around age 19, I’m not sure if there’s a lick of truth to it but based off my experience in the year 2005 with a 19 year old female — I’m going to assume it is. She’d show up outside of my classroom as we were being let out, before the school day was even over and lead me back to her house by the arm. Before school, during school, after school. I could hardly keep up — but I managed. What a year to be alive.
I was eighteen, employed, ready to graduate, had a relationship with the person I loved and had the best friends in the world. To quote Boston George from the movie Blow, we had life by the short and curlys. Life hadn’t thrown any major tragedies or curve balls my way quite yet, though unbeknownst to me they were certainly on the way. The world hadn’t yet showed me how quite ugly it could be or get. Drugs were still something people I knew just did recreationally. They weren’t yet responsible for any of my friend’s funerals.
I was young and dumb and boy would I give anything to sit the kid I was back then down for a long hard talk. Not that he’d listen, he was certain he had it all figured out. A thought that makes me laugh almost as hard as I used to back in 2005, a year I’ll always hold near and dear to my heart.