1. The music
I blame my uncles entirely for this. Two of my uncles sang in a Motown band during most of my childhood and another still hosts a doo-wop show on the radio. The love of, what is now “oldies,” music has been embedded in me for decades. The harmonies, the dance moves, the lyrics; it’s sensational. It’s 2014 and I’ll still happily blast, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.” Do you think anyone will be listening to “Blurred Lines” in 50 years? Doubtful.
2. Sock hops
I guess the two kind of go hand-in-hand, but I really wish sock hops were still a regular thing. Nobody my age really “dances” anymore outside of weddings; it’s mostly just softcore porn on a dance floor of a bar.
3. Drive-in movies
Yes, there are places you can still go for drive-in movies, but they are not as common. If there isn’t one in my area, I’m not going to drive hours away just to experience that. Drive-in movies are incredibly romantic, and a lot more private than a movie theatre.
4. Malt shops
You know — “the hang out,” the place everyone went to after school. I like the ambiance associated with malt shops — the jukebox, the décor, the atmosphere — but that doesn’t exist anymore. Growing up, our town had Annie’s, but that’s been gone for years. And no, don’t say going to Johnny Rockets is the same thing as a true malt shop. That’s like saying Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson both sing and dance, so they’re like the same thing. No. One is a point in time; the other is timeless (see No. 1).
5. Riding in cars with boys
A weird thing happened to me for the first time this summer. I asked a girl out, she accepted (that’s not the weird part), and then I asked for a time to pick her up. She said she’d rather meet there. She explained why, and I got it. I know I’m not a creep who is going to stalk her house, but she really doesn’t know me; she’s looking out for her own safety, and I get that. If anything, I think it’s more a shame that we — as a society — have gotten to a point where if a guy asks to pick a girl up for a date, which she agreed to, she has hesitation. But maybe that’s just me.
6. Chivalry was expected, not a rare attribute
It’s disheartening when I call someone “Sir” or “Ma’am” and they look back saying, “Did you just call me _______?” as if they are not used to it. I was raised to respect my elders, meaning you said, “Sir, ma’am, Mr., Mrs. or Ms.,” until otherwise corrected, and even then, you still subconsciously do it. Other things like holding doors open, hand-written notes and actually listening when someone is talking and remembering seemingly insignificant details shouldn’t be as uncommon to women as it currently is. (See also No. 5.)
7. Sitting down for family dinners
Granted, as you get older, you become more independent, so you spend less time with your family. But, during your adolescence, sit-down dinners should be an integral part of the family; a time where televisions are turned off, phones are ignored and you ask about each other’s days. I can only imagine what technology will be like in 10 years, when I’ll likely be the parent in these situations, but whatever it is, it will have to wait during dinner. Kids, whatever you have can wait; as for your mother and I, barring an emergency, whatever we have can wait, as well.
Remember when I said that there are plenty of things I love about my generation? Technology is one of them, it really is. Think about it — for the most part, we are able to reach anyone from wherever we are in a matter of seconds; we can have generations of music all stored in one place, flipping through decades with the push of a button. But, technology is also ruining our generation in a lot of ways. A lot of kids don’t know how to hold a conversation or function because their eyes are glued to a phone screen. I get it, technology is important; it allows us to do a lot of things we could never do. Personally, it is a vital part of my job, so I’m on my phone a lot. Instead of all-night text sessions, you can call people to talk rather than saving the dreaded voice-on-voice conversation to something as simple as a, “Hey, I’m outside,” or a “Hey, where you at?” Before you graduate high school, there’s really not a whole lot of reasons you need a 0 phone or to be on it most of your free time. I graduated high school in 2007 with no phone until senior year; and even then, it was off during school hours. I didn’t get text messaging until college; and even then, it was limited outside of Verizon.
I’m a sports reporter for a newspaper, which, if you know anything, is not exactly the most stable career out there. Newspapers are a dying industry as everything moves to the Web. Few reporters, if any, simply write nowadays. They’re an extinct species. The days of, “I wrote my article/column; my work is done,” are over.
Part of the allure of becoming a sports writer, for me, was the scoop — getting to a story before anyone else and sending the competition into a frenzy when they read it the next morning. But those days are over. Twitter has now become the breaking-news capital of the world. Rather than waiting for the news to appear in the next day’s paper, important information has to be rushed from our fingertips into under 140 characters so that the world knows, “He got it first… check the timestamp.”
Another part of the allure was seeing your name, your words, your work in print; knowing it’s being read by tens of thousands of people. With so many sites and outlets out there now, your story gets lost in the shuffle. It’s almost become a, “Hey, look at me!” way of promoting your story.
Newspapers were thicker back in the day. People used to save articles or the entire paper. Not only did you have job security, but there were also other available jobs. Breaking in to journalism now, for most, requires associates, bachelors and Masters degrees, a number of internships, a willingness to do free work, and, not to mention, a lot of luck.
And that’s just to get in. Staying is another ballgame.
I’m a bowler, which is generally viewed as an “old man’s game.” The sport isn’t what it once was. The United States Bowling Congress has stopped giving away rings for perfect games because people shoot too many of them. A 300 game was once sacred; it was an honor; it meant you were the real deal. An 800 series was almost unheard of. Now, pre-teens are shooting them. The PBA prize funds are minuscule compared to what they once were. Forget about bowling action (that’s “bowling for money,” for the laymen); the days of late-night gambling and “strikes are for show, spares are for dough,” are over.
Months ago, my best friend and I were having one of our tri-daily discussions about men. A recent “flirtationship” of mine had just crashed and burned, and she was knee-deep in a new relationship with an old acquaintance. Learning (the hard way) to be cautious, she was actually asking me for advice about a concern that she had. If she’d taken my advice, it might have saved her several months of drama, heartache, and pain. However, I don’t know a woman alive – besides myself – who’d take the advice I gave her.
The evening prior, she’d posed a hypothetical question to her new guy: “If something were to happen to me, where I was paralysed or physically disfigured, would you stay with me?” He responded honestly without any hesitation: No.
Physical attraction was too important to him, and the life changes involved with caring for a disabled significant other were too much for him. Personally, I have no problem with that; to each their own. My best friend, on the other hand, believes in unconditional love through thick and thin. She feels a life-partner should stand by you, regardless of your appearance or physical challenges, but she really liked the guy. So, she asked me what she should do…
I told her to break up with him. Not because he’s shallow, or because he’s not dependable. (Nor the laundry list of reasons she eventually did leave him…) I told her to break up with him simply because: They are incompatible.
When you date with the intention of someday marrying, you’re searching for a life partner. Much like interviewing candidates for a business partnership, you want to choose someone with similar interests who will help push your union toward success. She asked him an interview question, and he gave the wrong answer; he should have been disqualified as “not a good fit for her company”.
We hear about people breaking up all the time because of cheating, lying, violence, disrespect, and many other things. But how many couples disband because they just don’t fit together? Think of how many couples fuss and fight for years until everything falls apart. (Rather, until something big enough happens to justify them splitting up.) Is it too harsh to say: “I like you, but I’ve decided to go in a different direction”? Or are we so uncomfortable being single that we’ll put up with incompatibility?
Accepting an incompatible partner is counter-intuitive. If you’re looking for “‘til death do us part”, you can’t settle for “‘til I can’t take it anymore”. Instead of seeing forever in them, you’ll be staring at the giant expiration date over their head.
Treat relationships like a business. No company wants to hire a COO or Vice President they’ll have to fire in a few months. Take the time to develop criteria, perform a thorough interview, and hire someone for the long haul. Termination isn’t fun for anybody.
1. Mackinac Island
Visitors to the island say even in the middle of summer some places here just feel colder and more ‘off’ than others. Maybe it has something to do with the fact this is one of the most haunted locations in all of Michigan? Over 100 individual ghosts have been reported on the island including Native Americans, soldiers, students, and tourists occupying different buildings and spaces.
Mission Point Resort is one of the most popular spots for ghost sightings. Built by the Moral Re-Armament movement in the 1950s, the resort housed the world headquarters of the international moral and spiritual movement that strived to cultivate world peace.
The building was then donated to be used as Mackinac College in 1966, a four year school that graduated only one class in 1970. One of the most famous ghosts of the island was a student at the school believed to have killed himself in the midst of heartbreak. Locals report the ghost flirts with the female tourists and plays jokes on the guys.
2. Pere Cheney – Grayling
Pere Cheney, near the town of Grayling, was established by lumberjacks but has since taken on the reputation as a literal ghost town. Although it was known in the 19th century as a busy and well populated sawmill village, diseases including small pox, diphtheria, and cholera took over the majority of the town, dropping the population down to the double digits. The town became abandoned sometime after 1912 when the post office closed.
Some believe the town was cursed from the beginning as it was built on top of Native American land. Legend has it neighboring towns tried to burn this town down twice in an effort to stop disease from spreading to them.
3. The Paulding Light – Paulding
For the past 40 years a mysterious light has appeared in the woods nearly every night between Paulding and Watersmeet. Reports say the light appears to be someone carrying a lantern and is the haunting of a railroad worker who died while trying to change the tracks at night. The team from Ripley’s Believe It Or Not along with a slew of paranormal investigators have been here to figure out the truth behind the nightly phenomenon but no one has been able to understand what’s going on. Other legends say the light is from a father who was carrying a lantern searching for his lost little boy.
4. River Raisin National Battlefield Park – Monroe
The only battlefield park from The War of 1812, this is the site where hundreds of soldiers lost their lives in the deadliest battle of the war and continue to linger while living in the inbetween. Witnesses have claimed to see apparitions of solders in 1813 military attire; others have heard cries of agonies, sounds of war, and figures in doorways and on the field.
5. Michigan Bell Telephone Co. – Grand Rapids
Warren and Virginia Randall made this once lavish mansion in downtown Grand Rapids their home in 1907. Although Warren had a good job as a brakeman on the G.R. and Indiana railroad his luck quickly turned when he lost his leg in a railway accident and had to replace it with a wooden one. Becoming increasingly insecure with himself Warren accused Virginia of having affairs and would regularly get into violent fights with her. The cops once found him chasing her down an alley with a straight edge razor. Although she didn’t press charges she left him later that summer.
Shortly after that Warren tried to make amends with Virginia and coaxed her into a carriage ride. The two ended up back at the mansion late at night where they got into one last fight. Warren beat her to death with his wooden leg then sealed every opening in the room with towels, taking a gas fixture off the wall to let the fumes invade the room. He then took out a straight razor and slashed his throat with it.
The bodies were found two weeks later when the office building next door started complaining of a strange odor coming from the mansion. Many board members and an official from the gas company broke in to find the bodies so badly blackened and decayed they were only able to identify them by Warren’s wooden leg.
The house was torn down 10 years later and Bell Telephone Co. has occupied the space since 1924. Although the house no longer remains many witnesses claim they can hear the screams and cries of Virginia begging her husband for mercy.
6. The Masonic Temple – Detroit
In 1920 Mr. Mason was a wealthy gentleman in Detroit who was the financier behind The Masonic Temple. With over 1000 rooms, concealed passageways, and several hidden staircases, Mr. Mason went way over his budget and eventually became bankrupt. When his wife left him over money problems Mr. Mason jumped to his death from the temple. Security guards claim they still see sightings of Mr. Mason and visitors often report an eerie feeling of being watched.
7. The Henderson Castle – Kalamazoo
Four ghosts frequent this 115 year old castle turned bed and breakfast: the castle’s original owners – Frank and Mary Henderson, a Spanish-American War veteran – Clare Burleigh, an unidentified little girl, and a dog.
The local Kalamazoo paranormal team has investigated the castle nearly half a dozen times since 2008. The ghosts favorite forms of communication include tapping people on the shoulder and appearing suddenly in period clothing. Ellen Creager, a writer from the Detroit Free Press visited the haunted locale and explained her experiences.
“I don’t believe in ghosts, but it was very strange,” Creager wrote in an e-mail. “I was sound asleep in the Dutch Room when I felt a tap, tap, tap on my forearm. I woke up and it was pitch dark. I heard a woman’s voice say, ‘Go away.’ I lay awake for a while. I knew it wasn’t a dream, but if it wasn’t a dream, what was it?”
8. Old City Orphanage – Marquette
This Catholic orphanage, formerly known as the Holy Cross Orphanage, was built in 1915 and abandoned in the ’60s. The French nuns in care of the orphans were known to be incredibly cruel and violent, both emotionally and physically abusive, to the children. There are many sad and scary stories that have come from this place but the greatest legend surrounds a young child that wandered out into a blizzard one night to play in the snow. It’s said the nuns were so furious with her that after she died from pneumonia they displayed her body in the lobby of the orphanage for the other children to learn a lesson from.
Many people who have lived near the orphanage have reported seeing glowing lights moving from floor to floor or window to window when no one else was inside. Other visitors say they can hear the sounds of crying children when they pass late at night.
9. The Bruce Mansion – Brown City
The Bruce Mansion has a long history of its owners dying tragically either inside of the house or somewhere on the grounds. In 2009 the Waite family became owners of the mansion after gaining it in a foreclosure, reporting it was still occupied with former deceased owners who never left. They quickly called paranormal investigators to find out what was going on.
When Beyond Paranormal came to the house for an investigation in 2011 they recorded one member of their team being pushed while another record captured a camera which was video recording suddenly toppled on its tripod as it was capturing the voice of a small child saying “Grandpa”. The Waite’s were allowing ghost tours into the house until recently but no longer offer them.
10. Bone Head’s BBQ – Willis
Unlike other places on this list there doesn’t seem to be any known reason for why this location is haunted – it just is. Built in the 1860s this building has been a post office, butcher shop, coach shop, and ice house but there’s no recorded troubled history during any of these time periods. The ghosts that frequent the place range from an older woman with her hair in a bun believed to have lived in an upstairs apartment when the building was a general store to a young girl that lives in the woman’s restroom.
James and Nikki LaChance opened Bone Head’s in 2009 and immediately began having trouble with the ghosts when they started renovating the space. When they began breaking vases Nikki told the local news she explained to the ghosts what they were doing with the place. “I talked to the ghosts and assured them that we are taking care of the place,” she said. “After that, they stopped breaking things.”
I admit, I once broke up with someone in a not very nice way (forgive me, I was so young). Luckily, since then, I haven’t experienced or done anything quite as terrible. It seems breakups are a common theme right now. Maybe everyone’s trying to ditch everyone else before the holidays get here? I thought I’d ask some friends and randoms on the internet to tell me the most ridiculous way someone broke up with them. Here’s what they told me. Have your own ridiculous break up story you want to share with me? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. “I dated someone for 7 years. 7 years!! We lived together for the last 4 years of the relationship and I had pretty much thought no matter what we would work it out. We had been through college, grad school, three cities, and post-grad life together. We didn’t really fight very often and we still had a decent sex life. Then one day I wake up to a text message and it says, “Left you money in an envelope that will cover my half of rent for the rest of the lease. Sorry I had to do it this way but I feel like if I stay I’ll never know what could have been. XX – Mark.” I was half asleep and was very confused. XX? He never signed any messages or notes like that. I go to the kitchen and there’s the envelope with cash and I see nearly all of his stuff is gone. When I tried calling him he wouldn’t answer. I never talked to him again after that. He either blocked me or disappeared from social media altogether. That happened a year ago and I still think WTF? about the whole thing. I still have no idea what happened to him. How can you just leave a 7 year relationship like that?” Krissy, 27.
2. “I had casually been dating someone all summer when we finally had the talk we were ready to take our relationship a step further. Everything was great for a few dates then he started acting weird – not answering my messages for long periods of time, saying he was too busy. Eventually he sent me a long Facebook message saying he was fucking his co-worker and that he decided him and I should just remain friends.” – Elsa, 29.
3. “Okay, so no one has done a ridiculous break up with me but I definitely had a ridiculous break up with someone else. I broke up with my ex while we were having sex. It sounds awful I know, trust me, I do. I regret it…the timing. Basically, we had been discussing breaking up for awhile and it was one of those things that just needed to happen but we were both so comfortable with each other it was hard to let go. Mid-thrust she said, “Just hold me close like you’re never going anywhere again” and I said, “Okay, it’s over!” and pulled out. I just got weirded out. I felt claustrophobic when she said that. Stayed friends for a couple years after.” - Brian, 33.
4. “I had been dating someone a year and thought everything was mostly going well. Well, I don’t know, did I? There were a lot of red flags – he couldn’t communicate, was always hiding his phone, always had girls spending the night when I wasn’t around. Anyway, we were dating a year and I told him I was leaving to go run some errands. I came back an hour later and I tried buzzing up to his apartment but no one answered. I thought that was weird because I knew both him and his roommate were home. I buzzed a few more times thinking maybe they were in the bathroom smoking together or something. 10 minutes later he comes downstairs with all of my shit in garbage bags. I asked him what was going on and he screamed, “YOU!!!!” then closed the door to his apartment building and ran upstairs. Completely stunned I just stood there for about 5 minutes not knowing what to do. Later, he sends me a snapchat with a picture of himself frowning saying. “Sorry it wasn’t working.” Never gave me any explanation. I wish I were kidding.” - Jackie, 26.
5. “I was seeing someone about three or four nights a week for 2 months and then she just stopped answering my texts. No explanation. No response. Nothing.” - Alex, 31.
6. “My ex-boyfriend catfished me on Ok Cupid then sent everything to my mom on Facebook. Yeahhhh. Real classy there.” - Rebecca, 27.
7. “I was traveling for work when the girl I had been dating for five years Skype’s me to tell me she wants to break up. I knew we had been having some issues (mostly because I was traveling so much lately for work) but I only had a week left of travel and I had been planning all of these things to talk about and do when I got back. I was heartbroken and asked if we could talk about it in person when I flew back. She said no, that she wouldn’t be there. It really ruined my last week of work. I really loved her and I would have done anything for her. I never cheated or lied or did stupid shit. I still think about her and wish things would have worked out.” - Derek, 34.
8. “I don’t know if the guy had watched Sex and the City or something but someone DID leave me a post-it note breakup once. We had been dating a couple months when I woke up to a post-it that said, ‘Sorry. Can’t do this. Hope U understand.’ The U still cracks me up. My break up post-it note didn’t even deserve the full spelling of ‘you.’” - Melissa, 24.
9. “Text message break ups are ridiculous. Even if they are becoming more common everytime I hear of someone breaking up that way I get mad. Is our generation really that fucking scared and pathetic you can’t look someone in the face or at least, at the VERY least, give them a phone call to tell them it’s over? This is someone you had sex with, shared very intimate details with, and that’s how you choose to break up with them? And yes, this is how someone broke up with me recently.” - Craig, 25.
10. “We were walking through Target looking at Christmas decorations and she says, ‘You know what? I don’t think I’m happy in our relationship anymore.’ I was like, what?? Okay, let’s talk about this more. She said, ‘Nah, I just know I’m not happy. Guess we should end it?’” – James, 28.
11. “He called to tell me his therapist didn’t think it was a good idea if we were dating anymore.” – Patricia, 27.
12. “One night I asked my guy to come hang out with me and the girls. It was the first time I had seen my college girlfriends in forever. We’re all at dinner and he says, ‘I’m sorry guys. I just can’t do this anymore. Meg – I’ve loved you so much. But I feel like I’m not doing everything I want to do in life while being in a relationship. I’m sorry.’ Then gets up and leaves the table! I was so embarrassed and all my friends were looking at me like, ‘did he really just do that?’” - Lindsay, 25.
13. “My boyfriend and I were having a hard time but I didn’t think it was anything worth breaking up over. I went over to his house to hang out one night and his roommate hands me a backpack full of my stuff. He refused to come outside and speak to me. We never talked again after that. He even deleted his Facebook.” – Kris, 22.
14. “I had reconnected with this girl I knew from high school when I moved to a new city (we had both just moved there, it was a strange coincidence) and we began dating for a few months. It seemed like everything was going good and when I found out I had to go away on business for work for a month I wanted to discuss us and what we were. She completely avoided the questions and just said that we’d talk about it when I got back into town. We had been seeing each other about 3 nights a week every week so although I thought it was odd she didn’t want to put a label on anything I just figured maybe she wanted to take things slow. I texted her a couple times on my trip telling her I was excited to see her with barely any response from her. Then once I got back in town I sent her a message saying, “Hey, would love to see you.” She never responded. Never heard from her again. We weren’t an official couple and it wasn’t an official breakup but it still stung pretty bad. I still don’t know what happened.” - Mike, 30.
15. “My boyfriend wrote for a major blog site and he would write posts regularly about how he was cheating on me and how miserable it was to be in a long term relationship. He’d always try and turn the posts into ‘woe-is-me-I-don’t-know-how-to-end-it.’ I didn’t see the posts until someone pointed them out but I was totally shocked. It was a bad way to end the relationship.” - Amy, 29.
16. “I was in Seattle visiting my friends when my boyfriend of 7 months Skyped me with some girl sitting next to him. He told me very calmly that the girl was someone he had been seeing and he hoped I wouldn’t be mad but could we still be friends? He asked me to be happy for him and told me he wished me the best. We had been dating for 7 months at this point. I still wonder if I was Punk’d” - Lauren, 23.
1. No one will ever be the same.
And it’s okay. There’s no loneliness in knowing that every human being you meet will have a different effect on you; some won’t have any at all. This notion, the one that implies we should have similar feelings of affection for every person we become romantically involved with, is problematic. It forces you to make your love life into a a journey with an end point and attach a certain value or rating to every single person along that path. This is a fallacy. There’s no end game. There’s no reason to fear that you’ll never experience love again. Sometimes this fear is so great that we try to love two people the exact same way, or we project our disappointments an old relationships onto new ones. We’re scared to go to sleep without something we had before, or to someday die alone. The truth is a double-edged sword: you have to die alone, but you will go surrounded by the infinite kinds of love that one can have in an entire lifetime. Why live your life only accepting and giving one kind of love?
2. There’s no such thing as better love.
Love isn’t better or worse. It’s old and new every time, recycled and repurposed and felt every day in a coffee shop, the backseat of a car, in line for security at the airport, in sobs as one person says goodbye to another. You should never love anyone the way you loved your ex because it was just one kind of love, and if you use it again on someone new– if you do all the same things, and expect the same treatment in return– it will only be a better or worse version of something else. Your love will be a faded photocopy of the real thing, the ring left by a cup on a table after the mess is cleaned up. Love is not better or worse; it is a person growing over the course of a lifetime, it is breathing and changing, and it is never perfect.
3. Old parts won’t create anything new.
When you try to love someone the same way you loved someone else, you try to make your body and mind function the exact same way to understand a new territory. Your ex built something with you using their parts and your parts. You created something and it worked and then it broke, or became too old to be useful anymore. Don’t take the parts of that love and try to use them in a new relationship, a new machine. Start fresh. Use what you have now and let someone else build something else with you. Don’t bring the same reasons for loving one person into the plans to create a life with someone else. Love may feel old, but every connection between two people is new. Every relationship will yield something different. Your heart may feel old too, but it is not broken. Your heart can still love someone different, it can feel differently.
4. Comparison is a cheap high.
It’s easy to compare our current feelings with things we’ve felt in the past. Grief and mourning as an adult might feel worse than they did when we were younger. We feel stronger when we know that we can weather the worse. We cope by using comparison. But comparison is addictive when you use it for every feeling; one love becomes insignificant compared to a newer, better, intoxicating love. Oddly enough, we bring up the past in comparisons so that we can forget the past. Resist the urge to get high on comparison. Love your ex the way you loved your ex, and love the next person in a way that exists you and them alone. You don’t need to kill one thing to create another.
5. Dating isn’t goal-oriented.
Sure, feeling love is the ultimate goal of being in relationships in the first place. You don’t have to lose twenty times to win once, though. You can win over and over again. You can lose a little every day until it feels like you have nothing, but you are never without love. Your ability to share, hurt, give, and experience love is something that you own from the day you are born until the day you die. The goal is not to find one love, but to give your own love to others, and hopefully share it in a meaningful way with several different people. When you let go of your ego and realize that there is no great prize to be won when you are worthy, you’ll realize that you are worthy of winning all the time.
6. Feeling the past is the beauty of having lived.
If you see something that reminds you of someone and you cry, or feel angry, or feel the burning in your wrists and throat that means you can’t even cry, then you are experiencing the pangs of nostalgia for something you had. It was good. Let it be good in the past. Allow yourself to feel your past every day and it can’t own you. If you try to love someone the way you loved your ex, your past will manage your present. Let the past stick in scents, pictures, songs, feelings, everywhere but the present moment with someone you can love in a way you never loved your ex.
7. Every new feeling in the present is the beauty of being alive.
You have the ability to fall in love every day, sometimes with someone new, other times with the same person over and over, and, if you’re lucky, always with your own best self.