I Choose the ’80s!

I was just thinking, ‘What the hell happened?’

In the world we live in today, where we’re inundated with talk of crooked politics, violence, bullying, the death of the environmment – sometimes it seems impossible to remain hopeful. All those childhood dreams we had, so vibrant and attainable, they’ve all given way to very adult responsibilities. Are we all just sad, miserable adults that don’t even bother to dream of the next meal we’re going to prepare, or the next nice piece of booty we might get? Do we just float on clouds of apathetic numbness day to day? We’re staid and stoic and our only joy is bad tv – watching people younger than us on American Idol butchering songs we sang when we were still little and HAD dreams.

When I was a tiny Teeray I thought I was going to marry Andrew McCarthy from Pretty in Pink.

I still hate Molly Ringwald. She’s a redhead of a different color. And she got Blane. What do I have? Adulthood. Bills. The beginnings of crows feet.

The 80s were a time of fantasies, hopes. We all had something to look forward to. How could we not, what with all the color and learning and mystery in our faces? Teddy Ruxbins, GloWorms, Star Search, John Hughes movies, lite brites and spyrographs, all lining up to blast our creativity from every rooftops! The possibilities were endless. We could have flowing side ponytails just like My Little Pony, or build a mansion of play doh. Barbie could be president, and we never realized that her proportions were making us hate ourselves. The world was full of bubble gum ice cream, razzles, and Fruity Pebbles. We could have our Little Debbie cakes and eat them too, because this was before our food had been fully polluted with MSG, corn syrup and trans fats.

Imagine a world where children went outside to play. Making mud pies, jumping on the trampoline for hours, climbing into a treehouse, and riding bikes have now been replaced by new friends named Wii, Xbox, and Playstation. The interwebz have taken over our every moment. 12 year olds are updating their statuses and changing their profile pics on Facebook, from their cell phones, as they watch Reality TV.

Have you seen Pretty in Pink? Andie and Blane hang out at the record store! The RECORD store! Most kids today have never even held a record, and music stores are a thing of the past. After all you can choose to download entire albums at the click of a button. There is no need for outdated technology like cd or record players. Nevermind that I’m stubbornly clinging to my parents’ entire record collection with the hopes that they’ll come back in style.

Andie makes all of her own clothes from thrift store finds. No, she isn’t online blogging about how to get Dolce and Gabana at half price. She’s out there being creative and making her own clothes. What a novel idea!

Today, if Duckie were to come into the store all dancing around like an idiot to ‘Try a Little Tenderness’, that shit would be on YouTube in a hot second. Everyone would critique him and he would become a viral sensation, until his inevitable desent into paparazzi madness, and eventually drugs and rehab. We would chew him up and spit him out until ‘the duck’ was no more.

It’s a sad state of affairs.

I miss jelly shoes, the Smurfs, and loving Tiffany and Debbie Gibson without seeing paparazzi photos of their crotches as they exit limos. I miss the wonder and the mystery of my childhood. When ‘Star Search’ was the only reality tv show about becoming famous. Before we became the technologically savvy and cynical society we are. We’re living so far beyond our own lives that we conduct every whim via Facebook status. We might as well set up shop INSIDE our iPhones.

Oh, my childhood. A simpler time, when the possibilities were endless. When neon wasn’t considered tacky. When whimsy and playfulness were celebrated. After all, who can be smug when they are wearing balloon pants?

And now, look. We’re old and the only thing we dream about is gas prices falling under $3 a gallon. We’re so lazy we pay $1.39 for a coke in Kroger rather than walk 50 paces to the coke machine right outside and get it for a buck. We’re obsessed with being thinner, smarter, making more money, having a better sex life than so and so – and we spend every waking moment absorbing the media ideal of how to attain these things.

I’d trade all my gadgets, my FB followers, even the gig writing for this blog, to have MC Hammer back again. To hug a care Bear. To go back to a time where I’m not always available via my cell phone. Where I can’t live stream movies from Netflix through my Wii into my flatscreen television as I update my twitter from my Droid and listen to my iPod. Where books had actual paper pages and cable channels actually showed material that was relevant to their name.

I’d like to go back and live in a John Hughes movie. Preferably with Andrew McCarthy.

Personally? I choose. Life. I choose Blane.

Picture: Courtesy Pretty in Pink

By Teri Drake-Floyd

An almost 30-something synestheste, foodie, genealogist and all around proud geek.

2 replies on “I Choose the ’80s!”

We both mentioned Pretty in Pink today! That means we’re blogger twins!

On a less silly note, I agree with what you’re saying. I’m not a child of the 80s (late 90s for me), but I think, due to my family not having cell phones and internet very soon (we were always lagging behind the technological breakthroughs/trends), me and my siblings still got to experience a lot of undiluted childhood sans social media, texting, blogs, etc. The older I get, the more I’m glad that I had thought. The thing I find to be potentially poisonous about growing up with “the world at your fingertips” is that there’s a lot more pressure to form a very specific kind of identity. The access to cool music, movies, shows, and the ability to upload pictures of you doing all your cool stuff, can be a bit much.

P.S. My siblings and I also watched Star Search and actually played Star Search–we would perform and rank one another.

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