18 years ago, I was 18 years old. Back then, I was absolutely confident that I knew everything I ever needed to know. By the time 2011 arrived, the only thing that became certain to me was that I barely know anything.
For the time being, though, let’s suspend reality and travel together back to 1993. THE WIFE and I had begun our freshman years of college in Vermont, she at Castleton State and me at UVM. Heavy woolen sweaters, Birkenstocks, and flannel shirts were de rigueur. Kurt Cobain, Chris Farley, Jerry Garcia, and Tupac were still alive. Pearl Jam was still making music videos and absolutely owning the “Grunge Era.” The only reality tv in existence was Season 2 of The Real World. O.J. Simpson was still a free man filming Naked Gun movies and Miller Lite ads. I did not own a computer, mobile phone, Facebook account, blog, or an e-mail address. I did own a bulky camera with film that I wound after snapping a photograph that only became visible usually weeks or months later after dropping it off at the pharmacy for developing.
At school, I was officially “undecided” in my major, with a lean towards pre-med. Sports medicine, I thought. Or maybe gynecology. [Shrug and an eyebrow raise.]
THE WIFE, on the other hand, declared her major to be communications. She was going to be Veronica Corningstone, your trusted local female news anchor.
I made it through one semester of chemistry and two semesters of biology, before realizing that classes with labs really sucked and bullshitting measurements was really tough to pull off. Pre-law, it would be then.
THE WIFE, meanwhile, kept her original focus alive. Somewhere along the way, she got a gig as a part-time radio disc jockey at the local college radio station WIUV, 91.3. She divided her air time between The Lemonheads, Arrested Development, The Samples, Big Head Todd, Dave Matthews Band, and Lenny Kravitz, while discussing that night’s parties at the Rugby house or The Pickle Barrel. (I admit I just googled bars in the Killington VT area on that last one – I don’t know if it even existed back then. THE WIFE is asleep already and I don't think that detail is wake-up worthy.)
After graduation, we both left the Green Mountain State and headed to the Bay State. While my med school intentions were long gone, THE WIFE’s potential to be a media member was still alive. She took a job at a Boston radio station selling air time.
Eventually, the 90’s became the 00’s. Real World season 47 made way for Jersey Shore. E-mail, Internet, cameras, and social media of any kind all fit on one single, wireless telephone that fits in one’s pocket. Untalented people obtained their own television shows on E!, Bravo, or MTV by 1) making sex videos that go viral on the Internet 2) being a rich, dumb, and bitchy wife, or 3) pulling up your shirt to show abs a lot.
While all of this was happening, THE WIFE’S career had steered totally into sales and Internet advertising by the late 2000's. Her D.J. days were long behind her.
Then one day in 2009, Greta and I were about to pick up THE WIFE from work. I found a Memorex cassette while searching for car keys. We got in the car and pressed play.
I heard a voice. It was familiar yet it sounded different. A young woman and her girlfriend Mary were discussing how they were intending to spend Spring Break. Then, a song by Phish or The Pixies played. Hey, I knew those girls!
Greta and I picked up THE WIFE. I said Gigi really missed her, so she should sit in the back seat. With the ambush succeeding, I pressed play on the tape again. Shocked, THE WIFE laughed and asked me indignantly where I found this recording. We reminisced about the good old days. My brain took notes.
Fast forward to today. THE WIFE is knocked up with our third bun in the oven. We live in the burbs. We drive a fucking minivan. Our tunes in the car consist mainly of Yo Gabba Gabba, Bingo the Dog, or Are You Sleeping? 1993 is 18 years ago. We are suddenly Old Man and Old Lady Dinkins, cursing at kids that light fireworks in our neighborhood on the Fourth of July because it might wake up our babies! Obv, we're cool.
Fortunately, we stumbled upon a time machine where THE WIFE can be 18 years old again. Thanks to the power of Facebook, e-mails, and a very flexible music director in his sophomore year of college, THE WIFE will return to the air waves once again on November 19, 2011 from 10 p.m. to midnight. DJ Baby Mama will be broadcasting live that night and time from Stonehill College’s campus in Easton. For those within the 5-mile radius of the radio transmission, the frequency is (ironically) 91.3 FM. For those further away, THE WIFE will be streaming on-line at http://tiny.cc/wshl.
This is most likely a one-time event, so be sure to tune in. Orientation and a tour of the studio were last week. THE WIFE is ready to get it going. In the interim, feel free to e-mail her with some suggestions as to music. She hasn't heard about this new fangled thing called an iPod yet. Hopefully, you'll be along for the ride next week to see how it goes.
Greta and Gus, please burn the broadcast onto a CD so you can play it 18 years from now and we can talk about the good old days again!