WARNING: 90s nostalgia ranting ahead.
I think it can be generally agreed upon that in times of distress–or perhaps, depending on the mood you’re in–there is a certain comfort in turning to the nostalgia of childhood. Reflecting back on a simpler time, and remembering things that once were and are no longer. If you happen to have been born in the mid 80s or early 90s, you know what I’m talking about, because the nostalgia is around us all the time.
I wouldn’t be the first to admit that my generation, in particular, is deeply rooted in nostalgia. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t come across an online article about something that will relate to you if you “grew up in the 90s” (I’m looking at you Buzzfeed), or hear about a particular item that’s all of a sudden back in style. Thanks to the glorious Internet, the past is still within our reach, and remarkably tangible.
Let’s face it. WE’RE OBSESSED.
But the fact of the matter is, all this 90s’ rehashing has been getting over the top. I would even go so far as to say it’s getting tiresome. We don’t need reminders on a daily basis. C’mon, we lived it already!
Sure, I enjoy a good trip down memory lane from time to time. And sure, the 1990s were an awesome time to be a kid (mostly): they were generally fun, funky, and kind of bizarre*. I’m talking about trippy kids’ tv shows (that somehow passed as suitable for young viewers), unusual toys, bad movies, and regrettable fashion trends that would only be topped by the 2000s. Yet somehow, even with all these weird things, people love the 90s even more??
Admittedly, when you’re an adult it’s not uncommon to yearn for a simpler time before the Internet and social media really took off (even though things weren’t all that simple to begin with). On occasion, I’ll look on youtube to find old clips from YTV, because it gives me a pleasant nostalgic reminder of watching it after school. (At least on the days I was allowed to watch tv after school, ahem.) But when we’re constantly finding ways to relive memories of our childhood, it becomes too repetitive, and too commonplace.
If I’m going to be reminded of my 90s’ childhood, I want it to be in unexpected moments. It could be as subtle as the opening to Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in my Pocket“, or something more pungent, such as taking in a whiff of cigar smoke, because it reminds me of my grandpa.
Nostalgia is a personal thing, and maybe that’s also why I’m starting to resent this 1990s’ overload. It’s because it’s such a generalized viewpoint! Even though a person can share similar experiences while growing up in a particular decade, everyone remembers their childhood in a different light… And it can be good or bad. Certain things could remind a person of a bright time in their young life, but it could also possibly be reminders of a rotten time that they would rather look back to. Childhood can be a joyous time, but not for everyone.
That being said, I’ve got nothing against reading articles about these types of things. I realize that they’re supposed to be read for fun, and that sooner or later, the whole 90s’ nostalgia will be done and over with (maybe?). That is, once people start waxing nostalgia over the 2000s. (Which I think is worse, because I was a teenager during this time, and everything about being a teen in the 2000s is crap.)
And just in case you needed the reminder: the 1990s are still awesome.
*We’re adults now, so we can finally admit it.
Image from here