Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why I loved the 90s

Dear 90s,

I just wanted to say that I miss your denim and plaid and band t-shirts. Over-sized flannels and sweaters. I even sort of miss seeing JNCOs  and Keds.  I miss those disheveled, greasy locks of shoulder length hair, those hideous, chunky Doc Martens, and those sparkly, plastic Jelly shoes. 

I often reminisce about the days of:

1.  “Late 90s Prep” influenced by the genius movie Clueless with skirts and stockings and Mary Janes, spaghetti straps or cardigans that showed a little midriff, and certainly never bothering to wear a bra (Buffy!, Felicity!)

 2.  Gritty teen angst (Kurt Cobain: voice of a generation!). 

Jane’s Addiction,
Alice in Chains,
Stone Temple Pilots,
Pearl Jam,
Smashing Pumpkins,
The Offspring,
Rage Against the Machine,
Foo Fighters,
 Sound Garden, and so very many more that we blared in our bedrooms then, and I turn up when you come on the radio now.

3.   The bitter, scorching lyrics of Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple, and Tori Amos (back when they were raw and angry). 

4.  Popular 90s rock, with really depressing lyrics but a pop rock sound.  It was on top forty radio, so I’d lay in my room and listen for hours (“Bittersweet Symphony”).  This includes but is not limited to:
The Verve Pipe,
Third Eye Blind,
Goo Goo Dolls,
Matchbox 20,
early Green Day,
Collective Soul,
Spin Doctors,
and REM.
 90s pop rock  led us to believe they were singing about something happy or at least hopeful because of the choruses and pop rock beats, but no, it was usually about someone committing suicide, a relationship falling apart, or a fatal drug addiction but don’t worry!  We didn’t notice unless we paid attention to the lyrics.

5.  TV shows’ main characters talking directly to the TV or to the viewers like a diary so we could share in the awkward, embarrassing moments and oh- so- deep- insights into life (a special thanks to early Sex in the City, My So Called Life, Felicity, and Clarissa Explains It All).  Claire Danes gave us legendary sulky expressions, epic eye rolls at the general unfairness of the world, and brilliantly conflicted expressions.  

6.  When I was younger: Trapper Keepers, Lisa Frank folders, and troll pencil toppers.  Later on, those crappy gel pens that never worked were a MUST HAVE.

7. (Ok, does anyone else remember the late 90s Tamagotchi key chain pets?  (Or if you were slightly less cool perhaps you had a Giga Pet.)

8.  Where on earth is Carmen San Diego?  Or Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?
P.S.   Are you afraid of the dark?

9.  I learned more important life lessons from Saved by the Bell (started in 1988 but who cares?) and Boy Meets World than from anywhere else, and who can forget the show with the greatest theme song of all time: Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

10.  90s, you gave us Buffy, who kicked butt and was the first one to have her heart broken by a totally nice vampire. (Totally nice?  As if!)   
11.  And Seinfeld….oh my gosh, what can I say, every episode is so genius, so classic it hurts my heart.  (The Soup Nazi, “Yada, Yada, Yada”, Kramer’s hair?)

12.  Friends made me want to hang out in coffee shops waiting for my quirky friends to gather on couches and stand by me no matter what stupid decisions I made.

13.  That catchy 90s rap: Vanilla Ice, Salt- N- Pepa, Sir Mix- A- Lot , and Tag Team’s  “Whoomp! (There It Is)” and hip hop produced the term Original Gangsta (O.G.!), apparently first used by Ice T, with his 1991 album "O.G original gangster".  You should be proud of all that, 90s.

14.  Boyz II Men.  Nuff said.

15.  Legitimate gangsters like Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G (R.I.P!),  “Mo Money, Mo Problems”, those are words to live by.

16.  Oh 90s, I even miss your unabashed, late nineties bubble- gum pop.  The contagious, boy band beats of N’sync, Britney’s breathy “Oh, baby”, and songs that made teenage girls long for boyfriends like the Backstreet Boys.  Not to mention, Everlast, No Doubt, TLC, Savage Garden, Ginuwine, Gin Blossoms, Cake, Destiny’s Child, and ACE OF BASE.

 17.  Those teen movies where the geeky (but really super hot) girl gets the jock guy or the guy dates the hottest girl in school, only to find out he’s really in love with his next door neighbor/best friend; whom he’s always communicated with through windows - that - face - each – other - because - the – houses - are- unnaturally- close?  Those continued into the early 2000s and then left us high and dry.

Everything is just too slick, too cool, too sexy these days; I like a bit of grunge to my slick, a raw angst to my cool, and a little tongue-in-cheek to my sexy!

18.  90s, you produced the Disney Renaissance (what other decade can boast that?) with absolute classics such as Beauty and the Beast , Aladdin, and The Lion King.  As well as one of my favorite movies of all time, My Cousin Vinny (Marisa Tomei, you were truly riveting!) and who didn’t cry in My Girl?  Who didn’t watch Pulp Fiction and think this is amazing?  Jerry Maguire, Fight Club, Good Will Hunting, Forest Gump, Braveheart, now those are just good movies!  ( If  you’re reading this just look up the rest of the classics this decade produced.  You’ll be like, “are you freakin kidding me?!”) And, ok, Titanic.

19.  May I also just mention:
Dumb and Dumber
There’s Something about Mary
Varsity Blues,
American Pie
Billy Madison,
and Austin Powers.

Dearest 90s, I want to give you a big phat kiss,

You can’t know how much I love you, how every time I hear your songs it takes me back to a time when the world was so raw, so real, and yet somehow simpler.  So far these post 90s years have just been so slick and glossy, so filled with over stimulating pop/dance tracks (Ke$ha, lmfao), celebrities who are only famous for reality TV, wearing over-sized sunglasses, and “dodging” the paparazzi.  Where is the voice of this teen generation?  

Justin Bieber, your hair is just too perfect, singer/songwriter ladies of this generation are too happy (Colbie Caillat), and there are so few  good teen movies and TV shows, the new 90210 sucks.  Gone are the legitimate gangsters (Snoop and 50 cent lost their street cred with TV shows and endorsement deals).  Lisa Frank where did you go?   I’ve tried to move on from you but 90s, you will forever live in my heart as one of the greatest decades ever (exception: the 60s but I wasn’t alive then). 

And let’s face it, I loved that I was a kid.  Though I have found things I love about the current decade, I still felt I needed to take a moment and write this ode to you. 

Love your devoted,

Many thanks to my own fond memories and this blog 

What are your favorite memories of the 90s?


  1. Lisa Frank. oh my gosh. Lisa Frank!

  2. The Boyfriend is obsessed with the 90's! Mainly because of the music, but also because he had the same hairstyle as Kurt Cobain. O_o LOL

  3. I think I love you. I love love love the 90s! I know it's bc that's when I was a kid, but I also love the fashion. I love how things were more innocent back then and the shows were better. I loved my tacky Lisa Frank binders/school supplies and I had a Tamagotchi pet. I was/am obsessed with Carmen San diego and I hate that its so hard to find the disks now. The 90s were the bomb, Nuff said.

  4. amazing post, I have so so many good memories of the 90s and this just brought them all back :)

  5. Let me just say I love this post! I am pretty sure I owned every Lisa Frank folder back in the 90s (I see them reappearing at Target now too), I still watch Saved by the Bell and Boy MEets World whenever they are on, and I own the entire Friends collection!! Oh and the 90's did have amazing movies didnt it! I did a similar series of "Child of the 90s" posts at my blog if you are ever interested in checking it out! I am your newest follower!

  6. I want to cry now after reading this, from a combination of pure, beautiful nostalgia, bitter sadness, and sweet camaraderie. You just listed more or less every band, tv show, movie, childhood effect, and fashion tip that I ever loved from that era.

    Also I just got the entire series of Friends for Christmas. Which was just about the happiest moment of my life.

    I am now officially following you. Bless you for this post.

  7. Great post! I remember dragging my parents to the school supplies section so I could get Lisa Frank binders and folders.

  8. Oh Lisa Frank was the best in the 90s! Standing in the school supply aisle of Target begging and pleading with my mom to get everything Lisa Frank! Nostalgia is a powerful thing. Thanks for sharing it with us!