After the Message Beep: Nostalgia Calls

Hi. We need to talk.

Our time together has been great, but we need to take a break. It’s been a little too intense lately. I know you’ve done some wonderful things for me—stranger things—but it’s time we separate for a while. It’s not that you need to grow up. You’re grown. I know that.

There’s simply too much pressure on me to live up to who I was. You’ve put me on an impossible pedestal. I can already hear you shaking your head, but you know it’s true. We got together way too young. In the past, people have waited until middle-age before getting into a serious relationship with me, but we got together while you were still a teenager. Maybe that was too soon, maybe it wasn’t. I honestly don’t know if things would have gone differently if we’d waited. But you have to find a new life to lead—a new story to tell—without me.

I know Saturday mornings were great, and cereal just doesn’t taste as good without Hanna-Barbera. But trying to recreate that feeling when you’re thirty-three and hungover from last night’s office party, inexplicably hosted at an Applebee’s, is not a good idea. For anyone involved. Especially not the cereal, which only ends up decorating your toilet bowl. That reminds me, you should really invest in soap not shaped like a ninja turtle.

Yes, being an adult sucks. It’s the reason you were sucking down all the Bahama Mama’s at “Your Neighborhood Bar” while Stacey from accounting showed you pictures of her genius two-year-old covered in pudding. From what I understand, he’s reading at a fifth-grade level and is currently weighing (very) early acceptances from both Harvard and Yale. If this was my life, I too would want to retreat to better times. But as soothing as Postmodern Jukebox’s rendition of the DuckTales theme song is, it’s not healthy to have it on repeat for five hours.

Don’t feel insecure. You’re just as caring and attentive as my other exes X, Boomer, Silent, Greatest, and Lost. They also used me as a crutch in a dangerous game of co-dependence. Boomer still calls me up wanting to get back together. I explained that red hats notwithstanding, things might not have been as great as all that back then. Boomer called you lazy and entitled. I defended you. I said that you’re not lazy, you’re passionate.  You’re not entitled, you just want the best. The best career, the best love-life, the best taco.

It’s important to you, I understand. We’ll still see each other. Just on more appropriate occasions: holidays, family gatherings, midnight screenings of Mean Girls, that sort of thing.

And there’s no need to bring Z into this. It’s not about Z, it’s about you. Yes, I’m intrigued; I’m not going to lie. But Z is busy with more important things right now than to pay attention to me or to lists on Buzzfeed about growing up in the 90s. Gun control, rising college tuition costs, global warming. You know, the things you said were important to you, too.  You’ll be tempted to bad-mouth me and/or Z to your friends. Don’t. You’re better than that.

Use the pain you’re feeling now to inspire something new, something unique. We had a special thing you and I. I’ll always love you. You’ve shown me how creative you can be when we’re together. Now show me what you can do on your own. I know you have it in you. Prove me right, please. For old times’ sake.


Veronica Klash loves living in Las Vegas and writing in her living room. She is a Folio Award-winning essayist and a Senior Reader for Witness. Her work has appeared in such publications as Desert Companion, Cheap Pop, Ellipsis Zine, and X-Ray Lit. You can find more about Veronica at