Bozemama Goes Back to the ‘80s

August 19, 2013

Posted By: Bozemama

People, we need to talk about Charlie. As the driving force behind my recent ‘80s flashback, Charlie has become a key figure in our family’s Bozeman experience. And I would just like to tell all Gen X-ers of the Gallatin Valley to rejoice! For there is a savant among us, and you can have an audience with him most days at the Target on 19th.  No need for a pilgrimage to Lourdes or Mecca. The wise one, it turns out, resides right in here in Bozeman and wears a red shirt. As you may have guessed, his name is Charlie and he is – say it with me now – Most Excellent .

First, a little backstory: My kids and I have been mildly obsessed with Charlie for more than a year now. It started small, as these things often do. We happened upon him one fateful day at the checkout counter and were easily and excitedly drawn in by his frequent and genuine use of one of that unique ‘80s phrase once perfected by Bill and Ted: “most excellent.”

This is Charlie

My first conversation with Charlie probably went something like this:

Charlie: And how are you today?

Me: Good. How are you?

Charlie: I am most excellent.

Me: Wow. That’s great.

Charlie: Yes. Yes, it is.

Me: Oh, I brought my own bag.

Charlie: That is awesome. Please. Have yourself a most excellent day.

Me: Thank you. You too.

Charlie engages in this kind of righteous banter with everyone. It’s feels so good that my kids and I have become addicted to it, always wanting more and seeking Charlie out in the checkout line. We start scanning the registers for him when we first walk in the big red doors. Even if his line is the longest (which, as he recently pointed out to me, it often is), we stand patiently and wait for our few precious moments with Charlie. We even started shopping later in the day once we figured out that he usually works an afternoon or evening shift.

Now, let me be clear: Charlie is still pretty young, he was probably  just a little dude when Duran Duran ruled the airwaves and Molly Ringwald was queen of the cineplex.  But, the thing is, he isn’t being ironic, sarcastic, post-modern, tongue-in-cheek or sardonic when he channels Bill and Ted. He is just honestly and triumphantly most excellent . Just a brotha' from anotha' era.

Plus, Charlie knows stuff and he’s not afraid to share it.  He’s just filled with what you might call easy-to-digest tidbits of wisdom about things like the British monarchy and the credit crisis. But the most excellent thing that Charlie has done, at least for our family, is he has re-connected me with my long-lost ‘80s self. Now I know that neon, ripped sweats and pointy flats have been back in a big way for quite some time now. But, other than the occasional legging and my Prince Pandora station, I have shunned all things ‘80s for decades.

To be honest, there was a time when I felt lame (ashamed even) about having grown up in the ‘80s, you know, what with the greed, the Iran Contra fiasco and the big hair. But, thanks to Charlie, I am learning to embrace my past and am even sharing it with my kids by showing them Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure , the Church Lady and Michael Jackson videos. This is their history too, you know.

Oh, to be free from the shackles of my Bananarama-centric past. I am no longer ashamed! I love Keanu Reeves, leg warmers, Wayfarers and George Michael. I do. And thanks to Charlie, I can finally shout it from the rooftops in fingerless gloves and parachute pants. Thank you Charlie, for helping me understand the higher truth and for encouraging me to introduce it to my children. We think of you with gratitude every time we recite our new mantra: Be excellent to each other.

Party on dudes,


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