Ah the '90s, a simpler time, right? Pre-internet, pre-texting, pre-Apple product ubiquitousness when the music in the car was limited to your CD (or cassette!) player and the whims of your local radio disc jockey. I can only imagine what a free-for-all it is to drive around with your friends now; every song you've ever loved conveniently located in your pocket. Honestly, the idea alone stresses the '90s girl in me the hell out. How do kids decide what to listen to, these days? (Oh wow, I sound like my mother.) Luckily, I did the things every cool '90s girl did in her car with her BFF, so I didn't have to scroll though 1,206,729 songs on an iPod before landing on a playlist that would suffice. (Seriously, again, how did you kids do it and why do I sound like my mother?)
In between doing the "Macarena" and the "Electric Slide," and while wearing Gap Scents and Doc Martens, one of the highlights of being a teenager in the '90s was driving with your best friend for an undisclosed amount of time on a highway, probably, to nowhere. Granted, I wasn’t able to drive until the very end of the '90s, but many of my friends and my brother beat me to it and they (as the best passenger and/or backseat driver the world has ever seen) gave me a preview of what can only be describe as '90s heaven on earth.
To this day, I can clearly remember the inside of some of my friend’s cars; the manual windows and the tattered floor boards and the horrible sound systems that rattled and the views of our favorite routes to and from school (which often included detours, to give us more time together). I mean, we were able to drive and listen to '90s music so we were totally cool and, well, if you were a cool kid in the '90s, you probably did the following, too:
Belting Power Ballads From The Likes Of Whitney, Mariah, Christina And Celine
One of my close friends and I even had a very specific routine to a very specific Whitney Houston song that involved a triumphant dashboard smack at pivotal moments. Until you've sung a powerful duet for an audience of zero, you haven't lived.
Buying Starbucks For, Like, Two Dollars
Back then, Starbucks prices were like gas prices and limbo bars: lower.
Using A Scrunchie When The Windows Were Down
How else were we supposed to tame our curling-ironed hair? I could never pull off comb headbands, so scrunchies were my fate.
Applied Copious Amounts Of Lip Gloss
I mean, I still do this whether or not my friends are in the car and whether or not I am listening to '90s music. Some things (including the importance of lips with sheen) never change.
Marveling When You Could Use Electronic Windows And Locks
Nothing made me feel cooler than cruising up to another car of friends with a mechanically-lowered window, and asking them for mustard.
Bumping Britney And The Backstreet Boys
If you were a teen girl in the '90s and you did not do this, please accept my most heartfelt sympathies. I'm so deeply sorry.
Gossiping About Someone's Abercrombie Clothes
This was back when Abercrombie clothes were something to be jealous of. The conversations were especially feisty after this song came out.
Using A Car Phone, With Wonder
I was to bring my dad's car phone and keep it in the glove compartment, for safety reasons only. I used it once when I had car trouble, and I felt very fancy in the parking lot of a rundown tavern.
Doing That "Rolling With The Homies" Thing From Clueless
Because of course we did. Every character was #goals decades before #goals was even a thin.
Debating Which Classmates Looked Most Like The Members Of *NSync
Often, it was a heated debate but, let's be honest, pretty much all debates about '90s boybands were.