My teen years were reared in the best decade: the nineties. For those of you who weren’t fortunate enough to be a teenager during the nineties, let me give you a glimpse into what you missed.
The economy was booming, fashion was unique (MC Hammer pants anyone?) TV was about clever sitcoms and moving dramas, movies were good – really good, and music was…well, way better than it is today.
But all that aside, the best part of my favorite decade are the things I grew up listening to, watching, and wearing. Doc Martins and Birkenstocks adorned our feet. REM made us wonder what Michael Stipe was doing in that corner losing his religion. The show Friends made us dream of a life in Manhattan which would be an extension of high school where we would hang out with our buddies and drink coffee.
Like any child of the nineties, I watched MTV as if it was one of my daily meals. And if you’re in my age group, you likely remember watching what happens when people “stop being polite, and start getting real.” We didn’t have the term “Reality TV” then. There was ONE show on TV called The Real World, and that was all the real my generation wanted…until “Road Rules.”
We listened to GOOD music on our Walkmans. Sure, we had CD and DVD players in the nineties, but in junior high (not middle school) I listened to my cassettes on my boom box. I still have some of them. I know I don’t need them, and probably won’t listen to them much, but they’re there for me none the less.
If I want to jam out to Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation, I can play my cassette and be transformed to a better time. Don’t be jealous, I also still have Bel Biv Devoe, Boyz II Men, old school Mariah Carey before she decided clothes were constraining, En Vogue, the list goes on. See? Good music! The Beastie Boys and Green Day weren’t retro – they were IT!
You might argue that movies today are definitely better than fifteen years ago, and you’re right in some respects. Technology has made movies like the Matrix and the new Bond series a must-see, but with the film business evolving, we’ve lost some touches. I’ll see your Avatar, and I’ll raise you the scene of the girl with the red coat in Shindler’s List. Oh, and find me a better court drama than “A Few Good Men.” You can’t.
Before you accuse me of sticking my head in the sand and being scared of technology, let me assure you that if you tried to pry my iPhone or MacBook away from me, I’d cut you. In fact, I’d love a genius somewhere to develop a time machine that would allow me to go visit my young self in the nineties. I have a few things I’d like to share with youngER Sarah.
YoungER Sarah, you won’t marry Luke (Leonardo Dicaprio) from Growing Pains. He grows up to be super famous, and he likes girls who walk around in their underwear. Sadly, you also won’t marry Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto) from My So-Called Life. He grows up to be kind of weird, but still majorly hot.
I would nab her several cases of a magic potion (Keratin) that will tame her curls and keep her from looking like a poodle in every year book picture. I would tell her never to take a picture with shoulder pads, they’re so painful to look at later.
Reminder to all you hipsters: we wore them when they were trendy twenty years ago which makes you so not ironic. Only Alanis Morissette is allowed to be that. YoungER Sarah, be smart and save your clothes. You can sell them in your thirties and make a fortune.
Last few tidbits I want to share with youngER me: learn to hate chips and pasta at your young age, you won’t be able to do it when you’re older. It doesn’t matter what your major is in college, really. Stop stressing what you’ll be when you grow up, and just have fun. You were a comedy connoisseur genius even at a young age, you still love Seinfeld. And oh, invest in Apple stock.
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