Reminiscing with would

February 18, 2019

 

 Do you ever talk about what you did when you were a kid? When you first met your wife/husband? I know I do. When we reminisce like this in English, we often use the modal verb would.

 

Example: When I was a boy, I would go to the drugstore to buy candy.

It serves to describe something you did in the past that you don't necessarily do now. I associate this usage with nostalgia.

 

Note: This use of would is not the same as the conditional (I would go, but I have a cold.).

 

Bob "Baldy" Bobbit was telling me about when he was young and in love. Let's hear about what he has to say:

 

Back when I was at Hairtown Hair Academy, I met this cute redhead named Bonnie. Usually, I'm outgoing with the ladies, but somehow I didn't want to miss this opportunity, so I was careful about how I approached her.

 

We at the academy would start cutting hair at 9:00 a.m. and wouldn't finish until 6:00 p.m. The women would cut both men's and women's hair and the men would cut men's hair. We would cut so much hair that our wrists would get tired. I would occasionally look in Bonnie's direction, but at first, she wouldn't look back at me. I think she was playing hard to get.

 

On lunch break, some apprentice stylists would go across the street to the Hairtown Hamburger Caboose, but Bonnie would always bring a sandwich. One day, I went up to her and asked her if I could keep her company. She said yes, but didn't say anything else. So I used a line that made most people laugh: 'Never trust a bald barber. We can't cut what we don't have'. At the time, she thought it was funny. Maybe she just liked me. After that moment, when we would reminisce together, she would always chide me for that cheesy line I pulled on her.

 

Now that we're divorced, it seems like it happened in another life...

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