Monday, September 13, 2010


Does anyone ever dream or think about "the good old days?" Nostalgia is alive and well. In a recent study at the University of Southampton in England, 79% of the 172 subjects surveyed admitted to having nostalgic thoughts at least once a week and 16% reported experiencing nostalgia once a day! There is a growing body of research on the subject that is looking at the benefits of nostalgia. The HEALTHFUL benefits...what other kind of benefits are there? According to the July/August issue of Scientific American Mind magazine, the term "nostalgia" is derived "from the Greek words nostos ("return") and algos ("pain"), so that nostalgia means, literally, the suffering that results from a desire for return-to a place, to a time, to a way of life." It also was once referred to as "immigrant psychosis"...nice, but in hindsight understandable.

Finally, in 1979, sociologist Fred Davis discerned that words such as "warm", "old times", and "childhood" were being associated with nostalgia. A survey in 2006 yielded results that demonstrated that nostalgia is a "specific form of autobiographic memory; most people give themselves the starring role in nostalgic flashbacks. These glances back often focus on relationships; a third of nostalgic thoughts involve other people. And nostalgic memories quite often feature a so-called redemptive theme or master sequence-a story line that begins with a bad experience out of which something good ensures."

I'm out of the loop on this. My nostalgia involves clips (little videos) that play in my head. They involve drinking out of the hose on a hot day; watching my grand mother laugh so hard that her belly shook, her toothless mouth was open, and her corn cob pipe was held high; the clink of glasses at my parents' cocktails parties; Christmas morning-the first few moments (the sensory overload and the smiles on my dad and sister's faces) of it, just little short bursts of video. I remember mastering riding a bike, and being forced off of the diving board and then loving it.

I'm interested in others' tales of nostalgia. Does anyone match the findings described in the research? You can answer anonymously if you wish or you can share openly. I'm just curious is all.

Much love.

The geek in the glasses.


Emmy Slusser said...

Most of my nostalgia is my mother beating me. . . those were the gold ol' days. . . before the whip.
Oh, wait. . .no, no no. ..
My nostalgia has a lot to do with smells. Nice smells, bad smells, school smells, art class smells, etc.
Also, most of my nostalgia is related to cold days. Just a few summer ones, but mostly fall and some winter.

The Katzbox said...

That's interesting. Your memories are sensory related. Your sense of smell is very heightened...very intense...

And the winter thing is interesting also...

thx, honey!!!!


Eli Bowman said...

Mine usually involve places. When I go through Colonial Hills, or anywhere in Olde Worthington really. Walking into Scottie's or Graeter's...I rode Laura's scooter to Colonial Hills Elementary a couple of weeks ago and rode behind the school and looked at all 3 playgrounds, remembering when I "graduated" to a bigger and better playground as I moved up in the grades.
.....Smells do it for me too, just like they do for Emily. SCHOOL SMELLS!! I know EXACTLY what you mean, sis. The smell of the theatre at TWHS, or of the gym/art room/music room/cafeteria at Colonial Hills.
.....and being with The Gang reminds of Summers past.
.....I'll sometimes also feel it when I re-read books I read when I was too!!!!

The Katzbox said...

So Eli, you are also sensory oriented. The "song" part doesn't surprise me a bit. Also, you have "relational" memories, involving the gang.

I find this very interesting. Thanks honey.

Interesting that I used to beat Emmy, but by the time you came along, I had graduated to the whip usage.


Lawdy, I hope people realize we are joking....