Traveling back to my childhood home is always difficult for me because it reminds me of how far away from my hoodI am. This bittersweet nostalgia always propels me to search the cellar for spoiled dessert wine my mother bought on a wine tasting trip ten years ago and get loaded. Or as loaded as one can get on spoiled dessert wine. It’s like instant hangover.
About halfway through my visit home, I typically sludge up any number of childhood relics from the closet and begin playing with them, much like I did as a lonely, lonely only child.
I will pull out my old Mall Madness board game and drunkenly sing the Ghostbusters theme while weeping; my mother will run from the couch to see if I’m OK, only to find me sprawled on my bedroom floor, clutching my Alf doll in the fetal position. She’ll roll her eyes and I’ll scream back, “I MISS MY CHILDHOOD, CAN’T YOU SEE?” and then I’ll stare at the starry night of my glow stickers on the ceiling and pass out.
There is something special about being a child of the 80s. We didn’t have household computers nor smartphones; we had to let our imaginations run wild. We lived in Polly Pocket’s world, or Molly McIntire’s. Our heroes were Sally Ride and Cyndi Lauper, and we wanted to look and be like them. There wasn’t a pressure to be the best at everything; we were told to enjoy our childhood. And to stay away from crack cocaine. Or eggs from a frying pan. I’m not sure which.
Below are some picture from my childhood; these are my reminders that I am and always will be a child of the 80s.
Won’t you skip down memory lane with me?
Please forgive the Buzzfeed-esque title of this post.
1.) Mall Madness encapsulated a time when malls were neither depressing nor scary.
photo via me
2.) Even though you were past the age of six when playing with Polly Pocket, the bite-sizeness of Polly still made you want to put her in your mouth.
photo via me
3.) You ran with a great crowd of friends.
photo via me
4.) You remember when there were only three American Dolls.
photo via me
5.) Though you now stay away from things like food dye and high fructose corn syrup, those six words meant shit to you when it came to Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler.
6.) This man haunted your dreams.
7.) And so did these.
8.) This man optimized heterosexual sex to you.
9.) Your gaming skill level did not exceed Nintendo, and you can still vividly remember Princess Peach’s dress in Super Mario Bros. 2. And you want that dress right now.
10.) You wanted to name your first born daughter Lydia and you were confused as to why this man above made your crotch area tingle like climbing the rope in gym class.
11.) You were also confused as to why of all the characters in Ghostbusters, you found this guy attractive. And it was because you didn’t realize you were a Jew. Or a nerd.
12.) AND YOU HAD A CRUSH ON THIS GUY TOO?! SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE F WAS WRONG WITH YOU?!
It wasn’t the spoiled dessert wine. Nobody ever warns you about the potent hangover a dose of nostalgia can give you. But the potential for a wicked hangover never stopped anyone from the emotional drunkenness that comes from “going there.”
So, like the guy said when someone asked him, “Why are you hitting your head against the wall?” Because it feels so good when I stop.
By the way, welcome back! 🙂
Thanks, Eddy! Nostalgia hangover is both the best and worst.
I’m a few years older than you and I don’t remember half this stuff. What the hell did I do during my formative years?
Or, we might be the same age and I played with this stuff when I was old. 😉
Oh my god, yes yes yes to #11. I’m pretty sure Egon was my first crush at age 5.
My parent’s basement flooded recently and our old toy room had to be emptied. The walls were painted with my brother and my handprints dipped in red, blue, yellow and green paint. All my Barbie things – including the white Barbie corvette got pulled out of this room. My brother’s lego sets, still built. Lamb Chop puppets and Berenstain Bears books were stacked.
My parents old vinyl. My old cassette tapes. It was like my whole life from ages 6-12 was pulled out of this room.
So yeah, I get what you mean about nostalgia overwhelming you.
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I’m 30 and I remember every bit of this stuff. Thank you. This was basically my childhood.
F yeah! Growing up in the 80s was kind of great, right?
born in 1985 the same year Back to the Future came out and Reagan was our president , no caller Id thank god, no texting , thank God, but I wanted to grow up in the 80’s . that would have been so cool or like they say in the 80’s gnarly!!!!