Ah, to be a ‘90s kid
They were simpler times, in which neon colours, baggy jeans, and backward caps were all in style. It was a time before trashy reality TV, Facebook, and Instagram. It was the ‘90s. Let’s face it, there was absolutely nothing like being a kid in that era. With quality TV programming like Full House and YTV’s Hit List; dial-up modems; music from Nirvana, Alanis Morissette, and Britney Spears; and fashion greats—who needed a belt, when you had a sweater to tie around your waist?—the ‘90s were years like no other. To honour the ‘90s, we’ve decided to put together a massive Throwback Thursday, in which we reminisce on the best parts about being a kid in the era that birthed Pogs and the Baby-Sitters Club.
Growing up, when life got stressful, there was always Lego. Those little plastic figures were there for you and wouldn’t judge you. These little building blocks allowed your imagination to run wild. The speciality Lego sets of today like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings didn’t exist back then, so you really needed to use your creativity. I loved spending hours with my Lego, building towers, creating cities, and assigning personalities to the Lego people. I envisioned and created the world that I wanted to live in. It made me think, and best of all, I had fun.
Whether it was by saving up my weekly allowance, or waiting patiently for my birthday to arrive, there was nothing that could compare to the joy of receiving a fresh pack of Pokémon cards. Every pack was a surprise, containing the possibility of a rare card that would make me the envy of all my friends. With my luck, unfortunately, I usually ended up with about fifty trainer cards and a bunch of really weak basic evolutions, but I still cherished every single one. As a result, I never did perform very well in actual Pokémon battles, but I didn’t care because I would go on and make up my own set of rules. In the end, I was more in it for the cards themselves than the battle. They were the physical embodiment of my imagination, and it really did make me want to catch’em all!
Speaking as someone who loves to be comfortable no matter what the cost to fashion, I salute ‘90s culottes as one of the greatest clothing inventions of all time. They were ugly; they were floral; they were wonderful. They didn’t have to match anything else you were wearing (at least not the way I wore them) and they were great for going to school, lounging, playing tag, and making the other kids on the playground jealous. Who wouldn’t want a pair of hot pink, loose-fitting short-pants that gave you unique tan lines and all the comfort in the world? I know I did!
Before the O.C. and reality shows, there was TGIF
“Thank Goodness It’s Funny” was the slogan, TGIF was the slang, and LMAO was the result. ABC had the best Friday-night television lineup in the ‘90s. Where else could you find a talking cat named Salem, a hilarious teenaged angel that’s come back from the dead after eating a rotten hamburger, and the best high school couple to ever grace the screen? I’m talking of course about Corey and Topanga from Boy Meets World, but you already knew that.
Almost every Friday night, my sister and I would have friends over, get out the bean bag chairs and snacks, and get ready to giggle, gawk, and relate to the kids from Clueless, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Sister, Sister, Two of A Kind, and Teen Angel. The lineup, which started in the ‘80s, changed over the years and eventually fizzled out, but the memories will last forever.
Don’t worry about the nostalgia you’re feeling right now—Girl Meets World is in the works and you know you’re going to check out Corey and Topanga’s daughter’s take on the 2000s with a goofy grin on your face. I know I will.
The best part about the ‘90s? All the free time. Okay, so this is true of kids in almost any era. But I grew up in the ‘90s, which means, for me, that this was the greatest part of that decade. I didn’t have university to stress over, money problems were two words that literally hadn’t entered my vocabulary, and my days were my own. If I wanted to go home and re-watch Wayne’s World or episodes of Sailor Moon all day long, I could. The weekends weren’t spent working at some shitty part-time job, but relaxing on my couch reading a Harry Potter novel, or playing outside. It was an easier time in which days blurred into weeks, and I could just sit back and relax.
Scholastics book club
Scholastics book club was my crack growing up. I had a serious addiction problem. There was absolutely nothing like arriving to school and having the teacher hand out new flyers. I’d race home and pick out each and every book and item that I wanted. My parents would usually narrow it down to one or two books, but I didn’t care. Only one thing beat the day I got the flyer: the day I got what I had ordered. Needless to say, my book collection grew quickly, and hasn’t stopped growing. I partly credit this book club for starting my love of reading. I shudder to think where my collection would be today without the The Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley novels and A Wrinkle In Time.