Back when I was kid…
Back in the good old days…
Not to give away my age, but my childhood was 30 years ago. I know my childhood was vastly different than my parents’. There were no dinosaurs. I didn’t have to help build pyramids or a Great Wall. I didn’t have to choose sides in the Civil War, either. I didn’t have to walk to school barefoot in the snow uphill both ways.
Looking at my own children’s childhood, I can see it’s as vastly different from mine as mine is from my parents’.
The first thing that comes to mind is Atari. They may know Pitfall, Space Invaders or Missile Command, but they won’t know it by way of the infamous joystick and single red button. That was back when things were simpler. Video games weren’t complicated by unnecessary buttons. That didn’t happen until Nintendo came out.
If you’ve ever owned a Nintendo you know the cause of a scrambled screen. They render games unplayable. My kids will never know the joys (or innuendo) of blowing into a Nintendo game cartridge to make it playable again. You can blow on a Wii or X-Box, or PS CD all you want, it’s not going to fix it like it would a Nintendo Cartridge.
My kids will never know the comfort of parachute pants. I, myself, owned several pairs and wore them constantly. They were the comfort of pajama pants and the style of… of whatever style the 80’s were. I could have been one of those models in the photo, especially with my neon colors.
Kids these days don’t understand what it used to be like trying to find a favorite song on a cassette tape. You would inevitably fast forward too far then rewind it stopping every two seconds so you didn’t rewind too far. Eventually, you would just give up and listen until the song you wanted came on. And God forbid if the tape got stuck or unwound and you didn’t have a pencil to fix it.
The only way to listen to those beloved cassette tapes was on your Walkman. Makes no phone calls. Has no GPS. No Candy Crush. Held only 14 songs and required you to flip the cassette over to listen to side B. Unless you had a mixed tape you recorded off the radio, you listened to a band’s whole album. There was no choosing just the songs you liked.
Speaking of phone calls and GPS and Candy Crush, we didn’t have cell phones back then. Or at least the general public didn’t. They did exist, but they resembled tanks. They were behemoths. Our parents knew where we were because other parents would tell. Or rather, I would ask/tell my parents which friend’s house I was going to and when I got there, their parents would call to let my parents know I was there. It took a village. And we always came inside when the street lights came on.
I can’t imagine any of these making a comeback. You might find them on 80’s day at school or at a retro throw back party. Except the parachute pants. I would still wear those. However, the toys from that decade are starting to reappear. The Fisher Price toys in particular. The phone. The record player. The view finder. I even found the Movie Viewer!
I am proud to say I still have that original Movie Viewer. My aunt and uncle were wise enough to not let me sell it at a yard sale. But they’re making a come back and can be found on store shelves again. I wonder if they’re still as indestructible today as they were 30 years ago?
There’s so much more from the 80’s that could be discussed here. He-Man and She-Ra. My kids don’t ride my back like a horsey, they ride like Battle Cat. There was also big hair, shutter sunglasses, fish head shoes (jellies), acid washed jeans, Cabbage Patch Kids, Koosh balls, and music on MTV. There were many others, but these 7 were my favorites.
What are your favorite memories from that weird age?