Nostalgia is making a serious comeback. So while you tell me about your new 4G phone, it won’t be non sequitur that I respond with an exquisite description of my grandmother’s old strawberry and whip cream dessert she used to make my brother and I every Friday night. Your current Super Bowl chit chat will be met with descriptions of my past as a teen in my living room making up various killer dance routines to Shannon’s “Let the music play.”
Ahhhhhh, yes nostalgia sure is making a comeback. Woody Allen makes it the main character in his movie, Midnight in Paris; Urban Outfitters honors nostalgia with the USB turntable, among other throwback products; and Tracy Stern urges us to savor it with her Salon Tea brand.
While Woody focuses on the idea that every generation thinks the previous generation was simpler, Ms. Stern focuses on something less debatable: Lost time. All Ms. Stern wants is for us to put our iPhones down. Pour un instant s'il vous plaît. She wants us to experience what Proust wrote about In Search of Lost Time when he bit into that madeleine and “ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal." And she’s giving us a chance. From her line of teas named after turn of the century archetypes like ‘The Dandy’ or ‘The Society Hostess’ to her instruction book, Tea Party, there is a place for nostalgia in all of us.
If you men and women out there aren’t ready for tea parties (Boston or English) just yet, how about just cherishing the moments between Facebook updates, Siri results, or while staring at the Twitter whale -- preferably with a cup of tea.