Friday, February 1, 2013

I'm an 89er!

I was born in 1989.  Maybe that doesn't sound too remarkable to you right now but after some explanation, perhaps you will understand and wish you were a fellow 89er.

Though I am only 23, I have the privilege...nay, the pleasure, of saying that I have lived and breathed during four different decades/eras.  Let's go through the greatest characteristics of each one, shall we?

The 1980s
With my infant-eyes, I saw my older siblings wear the neon colors and thick scrunchies of the 80s.  While I can not say that I was entirely aware of my surroundings during this time, the effects of the era definitely carried over into my early childhood.  As the youngest child out of six, my formative years were spent watching "tubular" 80s cartoons my Dad had taped off the TV and playing with some of the "totally awesome" cast-off toys of my older siblings.  If you didn't have a popple or a glo-worm (or, in my case, a glo-turtle), you seriously missed out on some good times. 

I would often watch my brother play Super Mario Brothers and Simon's Quest on the original Nintendo that you had to blow into every time it stopped working.  And you might just be an uncultured swine if you have never witnessed the original versions of Strawberry Shortcake or if you have never seen a single episode of Rainbow Brite.
(The was a strange decade.  After watching those TV shows again, I kind of wonder how anyone came out of it as a reasonably normal human-being.)

The 1990s
Though I was technically born in the 80s, I am most definitely a 90s kid.  I was making my way through elementary school at the height of the boy-band era.  (In case you are wondering, I like the Backstreet Boys more than N'Sync.  That isn't to say that you won't find me rocking out to "It's Gonna Be Me" any given day.)  I became aware of fashion when the cool thing to do was roll out of bed, throw on the baggiest flannel T-Shirt you could find, and head to school in hopes of being the grungiest person in the class.  Once in a blue moon, we kids looked semi-decent.  I felt especially attractive when I wore my extremely fashionable hat that had the flower smack-dab in the front.  Wouldn't you agree?
I showed off my Polly Pocket collection at a Show-And-Tell in 2nd Grade.  The boys and my teacher didn't think it was all that exciting, but the girls in my class thought it was "all that." I so had this exact one!
Girls with colorful Lisa Frank folders and erasers would pretend they were the Spice Girls during recess.  We would wake up early on Saturday mornings to watch Nickelodeon, making sure to watch the forbidden shows (Power Rangers and Rugrats) when Mom was not home.  My Tomagotchi was Salem, the cat from Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.  My sister Brittany was so accommodating whenever we wanted to use her Easy-Bake Oven..."As if!"  (Haha, I'm kidding, Brittany.  I just wanted to throw that phrase in there somehow.)  The 90s...another interesting yet awesome decade.

The 2000s
In the early 2000s, I headed into the awkward years of middle school with the lyrics from songs by the Dixie Chicks, Michelle Branch, and Avril Lavigne in my head.  I wore my jean overalls to school for as long as the fashion world would allow and thought I had hit the pinnacle of greatness when I finally managed to get my hands on a visor.
I think I kind of lost my grasp of popular culture during this decade but that doesn't mean my friends didn't try to pull me back into it a time or two.  I reluctantly took part in the viewing of the cheesy yet melodious phenomenon that was High School Musical.  I thought it was so cool when I was able to upgrade to an MP3 player after carrying around my old-fashioned CD player for years. I got my first cell phone when I was a junior in high school and, with it's tiny screen and limited uses, I hardly picked the thing up.  I went from writing my papers on my sister's old once-revolutionary iMac to writing them on my beloved Mac Mini which still serves me well to this day. 
I graduated from high school and headed off to college where methods of communication included some face time, Facebook, texts, and the sharing of YouTube videos.  The, how the world has changed over the last decade.

The 2010s
We are now a couple of years into this new decade.  I think we have yet to see what its defining qualities will be.  However, the trends I am noticing are these: This is the age of the iPhone and the age of social media.  In fashion, girls are looking to the 1940s and the 1950s for style tips.  Music still draws upon the techno age of the 1980s, but we are also starting to see a rise in popularity of music that is a little more "folksy," (yes, I just made that word up) getting some inspiration from the songs of the 1960s.  Beyond that, I have no idea where the next few years will take us.  Twenty years from now we will, no doubt, look back at these years and wonder, "What the heck were we thinking?"  I know I look back at the 80s and wonder how the mullet was ever cool or how the Grunge-look ever made it into popular culture in the 90s.  So what will be the defining characteristics of the 2010s?  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

So, though my lifetime is like a drop of water in the bucket of time, I have actually been privy to quite a number of eras/cultures and events.  It's amazing to think about all the things that have happened and changed in the last 23 years.

See!  Don't you wish you were an 89er too?  :)

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