The ‘90s were a simpler time, and now that I have a child of my own (and another on the way), I’m cognizant of where my own parents may have had it tougher, and where they may have had it easier. I mean, think about it: this was before baby food in pouches was a thing, and before screen time was even a whisper in moms groups. To illustrate some of the other discrepancies, allow me to present a list of things ‘90s parents said that no parent would say today.
For the record, I’m on the older end of the millennial spectrum, so I was in early elementary school when the glorious decade of the '90s dawned upon us. Of all the gifts my parents have given me in life, a birth that happened early enough that I remember most of that marvelous decade is high on the list. Of course, the earliest of those years are nothing more than cloudy, neon-soaked hazes spent playing with sticky hands at the local skate rink and bobbing my head to Janet Jackson. The latter years, however, were spent clomping around in Doc Martens and bootcut jeans to a soundtrack of the Backstreet Boys and *N Sync. In other words, I cannot and will not complain.
So, with all that in mind and because a healthy dose of nostalgia during these crazy times is necessary, here’s a sampling of some of the things my parents were saying over my shoulder, while I busily applied Bonne Bell lip gloss (I took the shine of my lips seriously as a tween).
“No, I Have Not Seen Your Jean Jacket Or Your Baby Hair Clips. Did You Check Your Room?"
Actually, wait. Fashion often comes full circle, so this one might not be totally off-base. I would not hesitate to buy a baby jean jacket, if given the opportunity.
“You Already Have So Many Lisa Frank Stickers, I’m Not Buying Anymore”
At which point, I'd usually say something like, "OK, but what about these pencils? Or this trapper-keeper? Or this stationary? Or this folder?" Because Lisa Frank was what my pre-Pinterest desk dreams were made of.
“That Man Who Just Gave Kevin Directions At The Plaza Hotel Is Donald Trump”
I've got nothing else to say about this one since the news cycle moves so quickly, any commentary I offer will probably be outdated before it's even published.
“Did You Drink All The Squeeze-Its?”
"Sure, You Can Sit In The Front Seat"
Yeah, no. The CDC says that children 12 and under should be in the backseat. Safety standards sure have come a long way, haven't they? I can only imagine how crazy different they'll be when my kids are grown. At that point, they'll probably have to do with oxygen tanks in our flying cars.
"Hurry Up, Your Show Is Starting!'
Does anyone else remember rushing home to catch a particular show during its scheduled time slot? How about that tragic feeling of when you turned on the TV to find your favorite characters already mid-scene? Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we can stream, we can record, and we can watch full episodes online to our heart's content.
“An Internet Chat Room? OK, That Sounds Fine.”
Anonymous tween strangers asking each other personal details in a semi-private setting while parents' slept comfortably in their beds upstairs? Sure, what could go wrong?
“Can You Get Off The Internet? I Need To Make A Phone Call.”
Never mind the fact that I just managed to get on, or that the dial-up was acting really slowly that day, and I'd only managed to download one picture of Nick Carter to a floppy disk. The fact that we only had a single phone line in our household ruled everything.
“Take Good Care Of Your Beanie Babies. Those Are Going To Be Worth Something Someday.”
I may or may not have had a Princess Diana Beanie Baby that lived in a pristine glass case. It may or may nay now be in a box somewhere in my parents’ garage, and it may or may not be accruing value at an exponential rate.
"OK, I Guess You Can Go See 'Titanic' Again. Tickets Are Only $6.00."
Hello, yes, I saw Titanic in the theater four times. I'm not ashamed. I mean, I'm not exactly proud either, but I'm definitely not ashamed.
You guys, I swear I have a memory of watching Britney Spears perform "...Baby One More Time" on the Rosie O'Donnell show. I am also about 99 percent sure I had the single on CD. Who would have guessed she'd still be part of her lives, twenty years later?
“Did You Try Blowing On It?”
Of course, there’s absolutely nothing else I could be talking about aside from video games and cassette players, right? We all know that blowing on the cartridges was the number one, most foolproof way of fixing all technological difficulties in that decade.