The Wall Street Journal ran a story about college friends who have stayed in touch since graduating in 1956. The article made me think about, and feel grateful for, the enduring friendships of my college-girl posse, including the scarecrow, the carrot, and the blueberry from this Halloween post.
One of the posse recently used the term salad days in reference to an old photo. I love that turn of phrase. I had heard it before, and assumed it meant “the good old days.” It does, but with a patchwork of nuances.
According to Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary, Shakespeare first used this term. How cultured of us! The quote comes from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra, who is in love with Antony, recalls her fling with Caesar as being from “[Her] salad days, When [she] was green in judgment.”
So salad days are the time when we were young and inexperienced, emphasizing the OLD in “the good old days.” Beyond that, there are different connotations. Some usage implies that salad days were a heyday, emphasizing the GOOD in “the good old days.” As for the connotations of youthful indiscretion? A different kind of GOOD in “the good old days,” I suppose.
I’ll take the whole melange (or salad!) of meanings in this semester of reliving my own salad days.