Awww, the 80’s. The decade of plastic barrettes and Cabbage Patch Kid jogging suits. Walkmans and hyper color shirts. Jane Fonda workouts, crimped hair, extremely hungry hippos, and of course, flower everything. It was a decade of absolute ridiculousness. I miss it so much.
I did the majority of my growing up in the 80’s. The decade made its mark when I was the tender age of three and then forever left its imprint as I entered my teen years. My fondest and most cherished memories are from the 1980’s. I could legitimately write a mini-novel based solely on my love of Fraggle Rock or the endless hours I spent sitting by the radio waiting for my favourite songs to come on so I could record them on tape (and then cursing the D.J. when they started talking before the song ended – HUGE pet peeve!). The music and movies of the time now cram me with nothing but nostalgia filled warm and fuzzies. While the fashion choices still remain questionable, there was a profound innocence to the decade that I remember most. Life was so much simpler then. No one really gave a crap about anything and the full capabilities of technology were seen mainly through the eyes of a Jedi knight. (Although I am slightly ashamed to say that as a child of the 80’s I have yet to fully watch any Star Wars or Indiana Jones movies. In my defense however, I have seen The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Stripes so many times I could probably recite them word for word.) Needless to say, the 1980’s definitely holds a fond place in my memory vault.
My friend (she knows who she is) recently got me hooked on the television show, The Goldbergs. Anyone who has seen this show knows they have done one heck of a job recreating the social norms of the 1980’s. From Aquanet to ALF, it’s all represented in neon and pastel gloriousness. I laugh myself to tears through most episodes – not only does each bring back a flood of memories but they also provide a constant slap in the face of the absolutely stupid things I used to say and do. The writing it so bang on, it’s like a window into my formative years. If you haven’t watched the show I strongly suggest you check it out. Especially if you, like me, owe your childhood/teenage years to the 1980’s – there’s not a cell phone in sight and the only computer gets constantly yelled at because it destroys floppy disks. It’s totally rad.
As much as I would like to put a strangle hold on my childhood and learn to channel the main character from Out of this World (aka Evie – who could stop time by putting her index fingers together), it wasn’t until two very specific things happened in my life that I realized how far I was from the decade of florescent clothing and talking puppets. First, my favourite 80’s tunes started showing up on the local “Oldies” radio station. I remember rocking out to “Kyrie”, in almost perfect harmony, only to have the moment brought to a standstill the second I realized which station I was listening to. Initially that was a hard pill to swallow, but I digressed. The second blow came not long after. While taking part in a very educational museum visit, learning about historical events far and near, there they were, beautifully displayed under glass – carbon copies of my most cherished childhood toys. They had officially become relics of the past. My childhood had essentially been declared extinct. Shit.
While I am aware that it is quite frowned upon for one to live in the past it sure as heck doesn’t mean I can’t incorporate bits of childhood splendor into my present. One example that I utilize on an almost daily basis is revisiting my Saturday morning and after school cartoon crew – the Care Bears, Smurfs, Inspector Gadget, and, most significantly, Scooby Doo and Shaggy. Thanks to the retro cartoon channel I am able to participate in thirty minute installments of time travel in order to re-secure moments of innocence and clarity – a much welcomed escape from a sometimes too uptight modern world. All while enjoying a bowl of snap, crackle, pop.
And if all else fails, I always know that I can dance if I want to.