It’s easy to idealize the past, but it’s also important we not forget the important lessons each respective era undeniably taught us. Are things always as great as we nostalgically remember them being? No, but when it comes to our collective yesterdays, there are some important lessons from the '90s that we should be sharing with our kids, today.
When I was younger, there was an aura of whimsical reminiscence surrounding the decades of yore. For example, I always pictured carefree kids riding bikes around at dusk in muted colors and snug ringer tees (thanks, Now and Then) in the '60s and '70s. It’s weird to think that the ways our parents felt about the '60s and '70s is how many millennials (okay, me) feel about the 80s and 90s.
With all due respect to, you know, science and technology and arts and culture and the many advances we have made since the '90s, sometimes we need to be reminded of the small-scale lessons that the realities of everyday life in the '90s taught us. Many of those lessons were neon-tinged and sparkly and probably held together by a scrunchie, but that doesn't make them any less important. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? Hopefully your Doc Martens are properly broken in, because we have a lot to cover and I don’t want your feet to start hurting. (But, in case they do, I have a few seasons of Friends on DVD that we can watch while you put them up and relax.)
Be Careful Online
Who knows what kind of social tools will be available to my son when he's old enough to use a computer (or a phone, because let's be honest)? I can hardly think about it. I'm still a little scarred from that one time I was outed as an 11-year-old in a MSN beta chatroom for teens, so I want to make sure my kid careful.
Support The Artists You Care About
Now that I'm a mom, I'm kinda shocked they went with the name Napster for an internet thing, and not a product designed to help toddlers sleep during the day. Still, Napster taught us that illegal downloads were bad, and purchasing products legitimately is, well, good.
Flannel Is Important
Okay, I grew up outside of Seattle, so it's possible that I'm a bit biased here. But, if nothing else, the Grunge era and Alicia Silverstone both reminded us that flannel a wardrobe staple of the utmost importance.
Everything That Ever Happened In A Baby-Sitters Club Book
Don't ever question any choices made by Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, Dawn, Stacey, Jessi, Mallory and sometimes Abby, Shannon and Logan Bruno. But, especially Kristy.
Don’t Do Speed Before A Geometry Test When Your Girl Group Is About To Become Famous
I don't care how excited, or how scared you are. Just don't.
“Yo Homes, Smell Ya Later” is An Appropriate Way To Say Goodbye To Someone
Admittedly, I'm not sure I've ever actually used the phrase. However, that doesn't mean I don't live more confidently knowing that, if I wanted to, I could.
That You Can Be An Aspiring Chef Or A Barista, And Live In A Stylish NYC Loft
And, I suppose if it was updated for modern times, we'd see the entire cast of Friends going to Hamilton all the time. Because that's what New Yorkers do casually, in their spare time with all their spare money that they definitely aren't spending on rent, right?
Paul Rudd Solves Everything...
Technically, this a lesson that spans the test of time and might not be completely limited to the '90s. However, since most of us were introduced to him in 1995, thanks to Clueless, we can give credit where credit is due.
...But Leonardo DiCaprio Does Not
I mean, obviously he could have fit on the floating door with Rose. I'm still not over that ridiculous decision.
Lisa Frank Stickers Are More Valuable Than Any Currency, Ever
Although, Lipsmackers was a close second, they didn't quite have the same sheen after being rediscovered in the zipper pouch of your Jansport after a hot summer.
Boy Bands. The Entire Lesson That is Boy Bands.
I don't care who you are, where you're from, what you did, you probably had an affinity for at least one boy band. As for me, I remain proudly loyal to the Backstreet Boys. #KTBSPA, obviously. Don't question my genius.
Dysentary Was A Serious Affliction And No Laughing Matter
Especially if the player named after your crush was the one who died from it, because that was a tragedy like no other.
No One Can Hide As Well As Carmen Sandiego
In other news, to this day I still find myself desperately wanting a belted red trench coat. I suppose it would be equally accurate to say that no one could dress as well as her, either.
High-Waisted Jeans Are More Forgiving, And You Should Never Be Sad When They Come Back In Style
You may feel slightly frumpy at first, but I promise you'll be ready to embrace them before you know it. Don't fight it.
There Is No Struggle Like The One When Your Crush's Parents Answer The Phone...
IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME WHO IS CALLING.
...Except For Your Sibling Needing To Use The Computer For Homework While You’re Saving Pictures of Nick Carter To A Floppy Disc
Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.*
*I'm totally speaking from experience.