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Time Capsule. Actually.

  • Posted on: 10 July 2014
  • By: Michelle

So, before I moved to Germany six months ago (oh, PS, I moved to Germany six months ago), I was going through all my stuff, purging and packing things away, and I found this.

It’s a time capsule that I made at a Girl Guide camp on July 10, 1989. For years after, it hung on my Girl Guide hat along with a collection of other things regularly found on a Girl Guide hat, as any former Girl Guide could attest to (pins, badges, popsicle stick crafts, tiny outhouse models, things made out of FIMO, a variety of glow-in-dark articles, time capsules - you know, standard stuff).

I giggled with not-so-secret delight when I realized that the 25-year waiting period was almost up, and I could open it this year. Obviously, I couldn’t open it until EXACTLY July 10, 2014, because it says it right there, on the top. “Open on July 10, 2014.” And you know, there is no covenant as strong as a film canister, a glue gun and an 11-year-old girl’s promise.

So, I brought it with me to Germany, and today I opened it.

For the record, a film canister glue-gunned shut is significantly stronger than an 11-year-old girl’s promise to herself.

It was slightly surreal to pull the paper out, and think that the last person who had touched it was me, 25 years ago. It’s entirely likely that as I rolled up this paper I had just filled out, I was thinking simultaneously “Oh my god this is so dumb. I’m 11 years old. Why am I wearing a hat with a tiny outhouse pinned to it when I have to wake up to the realities of acid rain and second hand smoke tomorrow?” and “I double pinky promise to infinity that I will come back to this exact spot at Engstrom Lake where my entire existential perspective has changed during this week-long Girl Guide camp, and I will open this time capsule at exactly this hour and minute, 25 years from this exact day.”

I had zero idea what I had written down. In my mind, I was going to pull out an embossed, wax-sealed scroll written in calligraphy revealing the secrets of my 11-year-old heart and soul.

So, close.

Sheesh, the whole thing makes me sound so dorky. I apparently liked reading, art, math, I didn’t like insects and my fav foods were milk and bread. (Seriously?) General comments? “I like reading babysitters club and sweet valley high. I also wear a retainer and have glasses.” Because I was going to totally forget that awesome pound of metal and plastic I stored in my mouth, along with the fact that I couldn't see the big E on the eye chart. Thanks. I also apparently hadn’t discovered these so-called “music groups” yet, because I crossed it out and listed the local radio station as my favourite music.

I mean, come on! Does this look like a girl whose favourite music plays on an AM radio station?

OK. Fine.

Either way, it was kinda fun, if only to confirm that my nerd destiny was unavoidable.

In case you want to compare …

Name: Michelle Bartleman
Address: Mannheim, Germany
Age: 36
Career Choice: Ummm …
Nick-name: Bee, Bart, Miche (and at one point in university I went for an entire year being called Sparky)
Hobbies: Reading, writing, sports, thrift-store shopping, traveling, languages, staying awake at night in the throes of existential crises.
Favourite T.V. Show: SNL, The Big Bang Theory, The Big Bang Theory dubbed in German.
Favourite Music Group: Great Big Sea, Santiano (German equivalent of GBS), Bon Jovi, ABBA, Anne Murray, CBC Radio.
Favourite School Subject: Philosophy, writing, art.
Favourite Food: Is coffee a food? Salted caramel, salted kettle chips, licking salt off the plate. And sour soothers.
Pet Peeve: Mean people, dishes in the sink, people who don't obey line-up protocols, the past.
General Comments: I read Twitter feeds, blogs and German-English dictionaries. I also wear a night guard and have glasses. Again.