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If you're like me, chances are that your email inbox has been the recipient of many fun, nostalgic lists. Surely you've seen them. They start with a line like, "You know you're a child of the 80's when…", or "You know you spent your teen years in the Philippines when…", and next thing you know, you're scrolling down a long list of intimate, personal recollections! Still not sure what I'm talking about? Take for example the following snippet from a list entitled, "You know you were born in the 70's when…"

1) You wore "bellbottoms"
2) You had an "afro"
3) You liked "disco" music
4) You saw Star Wars in a "movie theater"
5) You owned "LPs" and played them on a "record player"

You know what I'm talking about NOW, dontcha? Well, may I be the first to proudly declare, " I LOVE THESE LISTS!!!" And thanks to a list not unlike the one above, I recently deduced that I was born sometime in the late 60's. It was quite uncanny. I don't want to sound like some sort of conspiracy theorist, but really, you read these things and can't help but wonder, "How does the author of this list know such personal information about me?!" It's almost as if they were spying on my childhood, taking notes on my every move! I would expect this kind of feat from someone like that creepy magician David Blaine, but from an anonymously forwarded email???

Inspired by these nostalgic romps (and in these sensitive times, who isn't?), I felt compelled to create my own list to share with you! It's a tall order to be sure, but hey, there's no law that says I can't try, is there? And with that in mind, I present to you, dear reader, my first ever "You Know You're X When Y" list! Here goes…


It's time to take your mind back to a time when life was simpler and times were easier. There were no terrorists in the skies above, and no "gangsta-rap" or "heavy metal" on the jukebox, just your favorite good-time oldies. Kids wrote each other innocent love letters instead of having sex in the playground, and venting your ambiguous feelings of desire was as easy as humping an Ottoman. Come with me now on a journey of rediscovery. I only hope you get the same nostalgic kick out of it that I did!


1) People you know come up to you and say, "Hey Eric".
2) On your driver's license, it says "Eric L. Willhelm" in the name part, and right next to it there's a picture of you!
3) You have a mailbox, and when you open it every piece of mail says ‘Eric Willhelm' somewhere on it.
4) You're in a room full of people who are trying to figure out something you probably know the answer to, and when someone says, "Let's ask Eric", they all turn and look at you.
5) In discussing your eventual death, you mention having a tombstone made with an inscription on the front that reads "Eric L. Willhelm".
6) Like you, your childhood friend Eddy Wilson ALSO had his initials written in Sharpie on the back of his underwear, resulting in confusion whenever he spent the night.
7) When you were growing up, your address was 4523 Emory Lane, Charlotte NC 28211.
8) When your parents found out you had misbehaved, one of them would say in a stern, firm tone, "Eric Louis Willhelm, you come here right now!"
9) When the teacher announced "Eric Willhelm" during role call, you almost always found yourself saying, "Here".
10) When people spell your last name, they never include the extra ‘L'; or they pronounce it ‘Wilham', ‘Wilheim', ‘Wollingham', or ‘Willem'.

Ah, now that was fun, wasn't it? I could go on and on, but it's time for my meds. Still, it's good to take a moment every now and then to think back and remember how simple and innocent life used to be. It seems like it was just yesterday, doesn't it? Perhaps one day it will be.

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