A Time It Was

Childhood In The 90's
July 07, 2014
"A time it was , oh what a time it was, it was.
A time of innocence, a time of confidences.
Long ago it must be, I have a photograph.
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you."
Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel

To this very day, as I sit here writing this very article, I still kick myself for not selecting the above song as my senior quote in my high school yearbook (as I had originally intended). I was not around when the song was originally released. No, the idea of me wasn't even born yet. But it's lyrics resonate with me just the same. I like that song a lot and wanted to open my first article with it. I feel it fits :)

I also want to share this: Webster's Dictionary defines nostalgia as: pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again.

My husband has been a longtime fan of this site. He recently began writing articles for retro-junk and as he has a way of doing, he inspired me to do the same. This is my first article for retro-junk. I have enjoyed and got quite a few chuckles out of other articles and I love me some countdowns and top ten lists. However I am hoping to bring a fresh perspective if not for any other reason, then simply because I'm a girl (from what I can gather that appears to be a rarity on this site).
Like many of you retro-junk readers and writers, I too am I nostalgic person. Inside and sometimes out. Always have been (I pride myself on it). My heart has always longed for a better time. A more simple time. Even when I was a young girl and didn't have much of a past to look back on, I yearned for the good 'old days. I used to wonder to myself, "How could I miss (so badly) something I never had. Something I was never a part of?" To be honest I still wonder that sometimes. However it wasn't until my husband and I started building up our TV on DVD collection (which consists primarily of late 80's and 90's family television shows) and watching it with our daughter, that I realized that despite the less than happy times of my childhood and when compared to how the world is today, I did live in more simple times. I grew up in a better time. I did have good old days. Before the days of social media (don't get me started on Facebook and Twitter), before Apple and their never ending parade of i-products. A time when the only cell phone I ever saw belonged to one Zack Morris.

Like most girls my age, I too suffered from a Zack Attack

I have a deep love of all things 80's, but by the time I was old enough to really start remembering the times, that decade was on it's way out and the 90's were being ushered in. This new decade was not without it's fair share of controversy and tragedy. Desert Storm. The LA Riots. Hurricane Andrew. President Clinton's affair and impeachment. The death of Princess Diana. Northridge earthquake. And who could forget the hysteria caused by the dreaded Y2K? When you think about it, the 90's don't seem all that great. But I must say that when you're kid, you don't think about things like that. My thoughts were more like: "Why is the TV showing OJ Simpson driving around instead showing TGIF?! or "Where's my Totally Hair Barbie?"

While in a tug of war over Totally Hair Barbie, my sister pulled her head off. But this is the way I remember her

I was born in the High Desert in California. The first girl in my family after four boys. I'm told that if I visited the hospital where I was born, I could probably still hear the echoes of my mother screaming "It's a girl, it's a girl!" Nearly 2 years later I had a younger sister, Becky. I had friends all throughout my school years, but none of those friendships lasted more than two or three years. When I look back, some of those people weren't even really my friend at all. But kids can be so fickle... Anyway my sister and I were so close in age and my brothers rarely involved us in anything they did, so Becky and I were more or less each others best friend. We did everything together. Sometimes my mother would even dress us the same. Every now and again we could convince our brother James to join in on our games (Barbie, Power Rangers, etc..) James was the youngest of my older brothers and he almost died (twice!), so he kinda got babied and I guess the rest of my brothers didn't take too kindly to that. Now that I think about it we played more often with him than I had remembered. We used to lean chairs back against the bottom bed on the bunk bed and re-enact scenes from Apollo 13.
"And if you could give the oxygen tanks a stir."

The 90's brought me two more younger sisters, bringing the grand total of children to 8 (myself included). I was rarely alone. Always someone to play with, always someone to talk to. However, that doesn't mean that I never felt alone. I love my family, but feeling like I never quite fit in, I often sought solitude and with a house full of people this was not always easy. I had a backyard that sloped down and the neighborhood just ended. No more houses. No streets. Nothing. Just hills and hills of desert. I would go down to the bottom of the backyard and watch the sunset. The image of the sun in an orange and pink sky about to set behind the purple mountains is forever engrained in my memory. The bottom of the backyard was my stage. I would sing every song in the Disney catalog to my hearts content and as loud as I wanted. I would ride my bike and roller skate in my driveway. I played Skip It and Pogs. I wore clothes my grandmother made (I rocked stirrup pants like no one else!) I watched TGIF on ABC and SNICK on Nickelodeon. I recorded songs off the radio onto a cassette tape. I was in love with Brian Littrell from Backstreet Boys. I was a card carrying member of the Lisa Frank Fan Club.

NOT my fan club card, but this is what it what the certificate looked like

After some thought and a few edits, I decided to just keep my first article simple and what you've just read is only a brief description of my childhood/teenage memories. I'll leave you with this: When I reflect on my childhood (the toys, the fashions, the TV and movies, the music -all of that awesome by the way and I'll likely write about it in other articles) the memory I hold most dear and visit so often doesn't involve any of those things. Just me swinging on a tire swing on the Mulberry tree in my front yard. I used to slide a long wooden board through the center of the tire so I could lay down while swinging. I look back and I see me. Laying down. Arms in the air like I was flying. Sun shining through the leaves. Just me. Just swinging. I'm not exactly sure why this particular memory stayed with me. Maybe because it was just before I started Jr. High and I didn't have a care in the world. Maybe this memory (at least for me personally) just encapsulates childhood and everything it stands for, and everything it used to be. The world is so different now. It's not that I want to be a kid again. Like so many others, I guess I just miss that time.
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