What I remember most from growing up in the 80's was that my biggest obstacle was choosing my lunch: a can of Spaghetti O's or a Lunchables with a side of Dunk-a-roos. No bills, no kids, no car problems. I'm 25, born in 1981, and boy, was it SWEET! I mean, Transformers, He-Man, Wacky Wall Walkers! My kid has a Playstation 2 and he's only three years old, but wow, those toys back then were great. I remember waking up on Saturday morning, and practically floating down the steps in anticipation for the Saturday morning lineup. Of course it was 7:00am, but I was excited and eager for the Transformers, and TMNT. If I woke up early enough, I would catch some show (The name of which is long forgotten) where kids would invent stuff for practical use. It was hosted by an Asian guy, and it was awesome. Anyways, with my tummy filled with Yoohoo and BooBerry cereal, I would hunker down for all my faves.

As I look back now, I'm suprised at what I've forgotten. Probably what I remember most were the commercials. Who could forget "Watermelon! Grape! Strawberry! Sour Apple! That's a blowpop! -say from CHARMS! Cut! Cut!" Or who didn't wander to the corner store for one of these babies?

It didn't matter what it was, if it was on TV, I wanted it.

I mean seriously, a Skip-it? Jeez, how lame. But it wasn't. It was more than just a toy. Simon was more than just a game. It was an era. It was history. It was a time when war and AIDS and gasoline prices were obsolete. My Schwin ran on pure 8 year old leg power. War was a game me and my Gram would play if it was too hot out or if it rained. And AIDS, well it was around, but the only thing I was doing with girls was playing Red Light Green Light, or showing them how my Super Soaker worked in full action. What I'm trying to say was that every older person tells stories of how it was better in their day. Simpler. Cheaper. Safer. I used to scoff. Now I'm living it. Try giving this to an 8 year old now.

I'd be suprised if they even had a clue. But when i was 8, this was my world. I was unaware of the riots, or the war on drugs. I was unaware of my parents failing marriage. My mom divorced my dad and kept the rest of the family up and running, but that was a million miles away. Ice Cream Man! Slip and Slide! Wild and Crazy Kids! That was real. That is what I miss when I look in my mothers eyes. Her smile when she suprised me with a Nintendo when she couldn't afford it. Her dissaproving gaze as I wrestled with my little brother over who was gonna get to use the green Hippo. Her tears when I took my lunchbox and walked to the bus stop by myself for the first time. That's what the 80's were for me. The best years of my life.