Every day I check the weather on weather.com, and they always feature little tidbits like video shorts or interesting photograph-heavy articles. Today, the article in question was about spring break back in the day——my day, to be exact.
Now, since I was born in 1975, one might argue that the '80s weren’t my day, because I’d have only been a boy. Well, surprise, that’s where my days were, not my teens or my twenties. At least I can remember my entire childhood.
Anyway, the article, of course, sent me back to times that were better, simpler, full of hope and magic. As I scrolled through the photos, I realized that not only was I most influenced by the '80s, I am and will always be '80s in some way shape or form. What exactly does this mean? I’m glad you asked, because here’s a bullet list of things that helped to shape me and many, many other kids who were ten years old in the mid-eighties.
- I like pink and black sunglasses that bend and don’t break. Also, Don Johnson blacks were all the rage.
- Boom boxes ruled the roost——dual tape decks meant you were serious.
- Men drank Busch, Michelob, or Coors regular.
It was even for the kiddos, see?
- Hard rock was Quiet Riot and Motley Crue. The real bangers listened to Metal Church and Krokus.
Did nothing to keep us warm.
- Michael Jackson’s Thriller was the first LP I bought with my own money. Yes, the 33 RPM big boy.
- Red Hawaiian shirts with completely clashing yellow Hawaiian shorts and Jordan high-tops sans laces was completely acceptable school attire. Oh, and Don Johnson black shades.
Probably thanks to this guy.
- Bikes were acceptable in two forms: knobby tires and v-bars or freestyle bikes, usually reserved for the kids whose parents had a little more jingle than mine. The occasional ape-hangered, banana-seated Schwinn style was okay, too; they were falling out of fashion fast but still given the nod.
Note the chain guard.
- Cameras could take 12 or 24 pictures, so one had to click very wisely.
For the shutterbugs with style.
- Push-button phones reduced dialing time by 90% or more.
You could dial your best friend's number in 0.5 seconds.
- Break dancing. That is all.
Like crunk only better.
- I like Chevy vans with murals on the sides. I like orange Chargers and black Pontiacs and big rigs. Sunroofs still impress and, of course, white letters on the tires always go to the outside. Always.
Need I say more?
- A hot rod was anything with a V8 engine, long shackles and big back tires. Grandma's maroon ’78 LTD qualified as a candidate.
Get you some.
- Ball caps were worn forward or backward only. Mesh caps weren’t a style, they were just what was there.
- Big wheels, red tricycles, skateboards with very loose trucks and huge, soft wheels.
Fun 'til the flat spots arrived.
- Four-wheeler skates and magical rinks.
I hope those don't have the one crooked wheel...
- Robots. Thanks, Black Hole!
I'd do what it says, bro.
- Scooby-Doo, Galaxy High students, Smurfs, Mighty Mouse, the Looney Tunes gang, and Dr. Who kept us company Saturday mornings, along with whatever the special movie was if you were man enough to put that kind of couch time in. I’m gonna need another bowl of Fruit Loops. Goonies is on and shit just got real.
Times were very, very different.
- Flip-flops weren’t a statement, they were comfy.
To the lake!
- Digital watches from Casio meant no more headaches reading cumbersome hands and confusing numbers in a harrowing circle. Also, the light button. That button.
Check yourself. Colors.
- Explaining to mom that Bad actually meant really cool. Rad was a thing of the past.
This guy was Bad. All the way.
- Construx, M.U.S.C.L.E. wrestlers, GI Joe dudes, Hot Wheels cars with rubber tires and hi-jack rears, Star Wars stuff and magical toys waiting for me at garage sales. Oh, the butterflies each time grandma would shut down the big LTD in front of a new garage sale; if I had a dollar in my hand, I had access to the world.
Yes, even Barbie on occasion. Hey, I had a sister.
- Garbage Pail Kids.
Remember the bubble gum? Daaaayum.
- Toy guns that looked frighteningly real.
Were parents insane?
- Station wagons with wood-grain side panels and fold-out back seats for the kiddies.
And still had room for the weird neighbor kid.
- Waiting for the DJ to shut up so you could capture your favorite song on tape, being careful to hold down Record and Play just right so the tape wouldn’t be eaten.
Couldn't score the 90-minute job, eh?
- Realizing that you wished you had more of that DJ on tape today.
Pfft, flipping tapes is sooo last year.
Oh, there are a slew of other things, and maybe I’ll revisit this in another post at another time. Maybe not. Now I’m feeling nostalgic and think I’ll listen to some Lisa Lisa, maybe watch The Breakfast Club.
Or this one. This is cool. Yeah.