I remember wearing those plastic collectable bracelets, putting pennies in my loafers, and safety pinning my pants from the ankle to almost the knee. I remember mood rings, and jumping beans and Vuarnet. I remember when United Colours of Benetton had the most progressive ads promoting global unity, something that no one else was grasping. I remember drinking tap water, because there was no such thing as bottled water, and people would laugh at the very notion of that. I remember my Atari 2600, my first Nintendo, and the Commodore 64. I remember what it was like to NOT have a computer, and to not have any interest or knowledge of them. I remember playing Hide & Go on the street with my friends until dark, and not having to worry about being kidnapped or assaulted. I remember being on an airplane full of smokers, including my very own parents, who also used to smoke with the windows rolled up while my siblings and I sat choking in the back seat of the car. I remember when Michael Jackson was Black, and was one of the most respected musicians on the planet. I remember almost being trampled at a toy store because of the Cabbage Patch Kid craze. I remember when my mom got her very first microwave, it had wood paneling and would change the face of dinner forever. I remember cassettes, before CD’s were mainstream and when Mix Tapes were all the rage. I remember when rap was actually groundbreaking and was considered underground. I remember using the word “yuppie” every time I saw an affluent male driving a nice car on a big blocky cell phone or car phone. I remember my Walkman being an integral part of my being and the way the foam ear pieces felt covering my ears. I remember learning what AIDS was for the very first time. I remember Teddy Ruxpin, the Rubix Cube, and Rainbow Brite. I remember Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Karate Kid, and the martial arts craze that swept the Nation. I remember fondly the Jane Fonda workout videos and Get In Shape Girl for young Jane Fonda wannabes. I remember hangin’ out behind the school after hours dancing in the hopscotch square while the boom-box kicked. I remember watching the world premiere of Michael Jackson’s music video Thriller from the living room of my parent’s friends’ house. I remember my crimper, stirrup pants, and Punky Brewster. I remember forging doctors notes, doctoring report cards, and riding banana seat bikes with playing cards in the spokes. I remember those really bad metal roller skates that you used to put on with your regular running shoes and how shitty they were compared to proper roller skates. I remember when Fruit Roll Ups came out and those plastic lunch boxes with the thermoses inside.
I remember when my biggest worry was staying in detention after school or having to explain the absences on my report card to my unsurprised parents. I remember when the world was a much bigger place, and another country really did feel like a world apart. I remember when the realities of life were much easier to take.