Monday, April 2, 2012

If you're a child of the 90s...

Nostalgia (noun):
1. A sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
2. The evocation of these feelings or tendencies, esp. in commercialized form.

We all have to deal with missing things from our past that seem so long ago, and far away, that there isn’t a hope of visiting them again. I think a lot of us right now are missing $1.50/gallon gasoline and $4 movie tickets, but I am longing for more than that.

I often hear the older members of my family verbally ache over what they miss from their past. Namely, they miss slower times. They miss the world where you knew your neighbors, spent Sunday afternoons drinking sweet tea and there wasn’t a television in the background or a cell phone buzzing in your lap – the only thing you could hear that had any marking of civilization was the sound of the trucks on the highway, if you were unlucky enough.

But now, there is no hope of eliminating television, or cell phones, or the busyness of the modern world. So we think about those old times, miss them, and know we will never get them back.

There are little things I had before that I didn’t realize would be gone one day. I can safely say the older generations aren’t the only ones feeling nostalgic for things of the past. My generation is not exempt from missing what now belongs to yesteryear.

If you were a child of the 90s like me, the list of things you miss looks something like this:

#10 Renting movies at Blockbuster

Fridays nights used to mean a scramble to the video store (video, as in VHS) before all the new releases were gone. You would get your VHS for two whole days. Sometimes my family would skip Blockbuster on Friday and go Sunday, when all those new releases were returned. Watching movies used to mean a cat and mouse game that required more strategy than clicking “Add to Queue.”

#9 Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Girls fought over who got to be the pink Power Ranger, guys fought over who was going to be the green. I always made my little sister play the yellow, but it’s not my fault that's how we fall in the birth order.

Also, if you never fought over who was going to be Leonardo and who was going to be Raphael, then you’re not a child of the 90s.


Before TGIF was a Twitter trend, it referred to the ABC Friday night line-up. Some of the TGIF shows from the 90s included: Family Matters, Perfect Strangers, Full House, and Step-by-Step.

You want to know why crime rates are so high now? Kids are roaming the streets on Friday night instead of sitting on the couch with their parents watching quality sitcoms.

#7 SNICK = Saturday night Nickelodeon

Who remembers the big orange couch?

As if two solid hours of television on Friday wasn’t enough, Nickelodeon initiated their SNICK programming to keep kids locked in on Saturday nights, too. Shows like Clarissa Explains it All, The Ren & Stimpy Show, All That, Kablam!, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and the mother of all SNICK shows – Are You Afraid of the Dark? found their audiences on Saturday night.

I remember making forts in the living room with my little sister, shoveling popcorn into our mouths, and watching Are You Afraid of the Dark? with the lights off and thinking we were brave. I miss that. I want those times back.

#6 Writing phone numbers in the year book

My partner and I went to high school together, and it’s quite precious being able to look back at our high school year books to read the messages we left each other (not knowing we would be committed to each other seven years later). Something that struck me about my year book message is I signed my name with my home phone number. I looked at the other yearbook signatures, and sure enough, everyone followed their name with a home phone number. Not a cell phone number. Not an email address. But the number where you had to call, ask for the intended person, and leave a message if they weren’t home.

How do kids sign yearbooks now? Follow me @TwilightLvr4Eva ?????

#5 Pogs

To adults, Pogs were thin pieces of cardboard with a picture printed on one side. To kids, they were golden coins used to taunt our friends and provoke jealousy. I had two slammers: the eight-ball and a Simba and Nala cuddle scene.

#4 GigPets and Tomaguchi

Daily chores consisted of cleaning up your electronic pet’s poop.

#3 Beanie Babies

I had the Princess Diana Beanie Baby preserved in a plastic case in my room until I was 16.

#2 Legends of the Hidden Temple and GUTS

Double Dare couldn’t hold a candle to Legends of the Hidden Temple and GUTS. My question: were you a blue barracuda or a silver snake?

#1 Oregon Trail

I tried to ford the river and my oxen died! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have typhoid fever?! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Snakebite?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

I didn’t even know what dysentery was, but I died because of that too.