(To be fair on the desk, it is in an exhibit on "duck and cover," but you went to elementary school in an old, un-air conditioned building in a tropical city, which your mother attended and at which your grandmother taught early in her career. Your desks were probably the same ones they used.)
(The Holiday Inn sign is partially boxed because they are renovating the exhibit, dang it! But you remember that shiny colorful sign on roadsides throughout your early childhood, especially the one at the end of your grandmother's street, beyond the canal, off of the interstate, in said tropical city.)
(Your love of Star Wars is well-documented, and the artifacts are still in your parents' attic. Sadly, they are not valuable nor museum worthy because they have been played with. A lot.)
(You actually preferred the one that looked like Snoopy's doghouse, but this will do. You also really coveted the blue Holly Hobby lunchbox, and really wanted a lunchbucket like they carried on the t.v. show Little House on the Prairie. Instead, you got the school lunch because your mom worked and, dammit, she didn't have time to mess with that lunch shit when the school already cooked a perfectly fine one. That's also why McDonald's is the comfort food of your youth, too. You now understand her position. Besides, you didn't want the lunch so much as the box. It's all about the accessories, you know.)
Try to identify all of the familiar objects in this case. Down on the bottom left is a Tab glass that narrows in the center, forming an hourglass shape. You remember the commercials that showed the "waist" on the glass getting smaller to underscore the dieting properties of Tab. God, you hated Tab. Your stomach turns even now to think of it. You must have been four when this commercial was on t.v., and now all of your teenaged eating disorders make so much sense if these messages assaulted you even at that age. Also not the birth control pill compact on the left. You have no stories to go with this because you were a big ole prude, mistrustful of men, and the compact was no longer in use when you finally started taking them.)
(Here is another angle. You wanted the candlestick phone, but not in Bicentennial red, white, and blue. God, you were a big ole history nerd, even in the '70. The Snoopy phone appeared in the film Time After Time, about H.G. Wells travelling in a time machine to San Francisco in the 1970s. Yep, big ole history nerd. A friend had the yellow donut phone, which fascinated you as you traced the outlines over and over and over, oblivious to whatever crap she was playing on her record player. You didn't like music until you were a teenager.)
Heck, your whole generation has been analyzed and considered worthy of inclusion in an exhibit:
(Being on the upper end of the Gen X spectrum, you did not have a computer in your bedroom. OM fact, the only time you've had a computer in the BEDroom was when you had a roommate and had to have your office there. Also, you can only sing the Preamble to the Constitution, and had cable before MTV, which you did not like for a long time because your musical tastes were more of the Baby Boomer generation, when you finally decided that you liked music.)
So, you decide that you need to buy yourself a birthday present, because that is what grown-ups can do: buy themselves presents.
While you would like this, which combines the best qualities of a porch swing, rocking chair, and papasan:
you know it will not fit on the airplane home; but, oh!, was it a comfortable test ride and perfect for reading.
Instead, you opt for the vintage clothes shop -- and it is "vintage" not "thrift" or "resale" -- down the street where you purchase this lovely jacket that actually fits perfectly (you have a tendency to get a size or two too large because you overestimate your size, even when the clothes are on your body):
Very Mad Men, season 1.
You also accessorize with a gargoyle ring (plastic, but still cool):
and cufflinks, for those French cuffs you love, or improvise on the men's shirts you sometimes wear that sometimes have too long sleeves.:
Then, you get yourself some local, organic apple cider and Ben & Jerry's low-fat Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt and have yourself a party. Not much of a party, but a good enough one for a hotel room after a long day seeing your generation move into a museum. For the moment, aging is not yet painful, simply mysterious and new and a little bit amazing; and you wouldn't go back to any of those eras for anything, even the knowledge of how to live them better.