Growing up in the 80s-Not Me!by Tyler Woods on Dec. 01, 2012, under Life
I was talking recently with someone who grew up in the 80s, they had said growing up in the 80s was the best time. Not Me. In fact, I giggled under my breath and thought, I was raised in the 60s and no one should ever say their decade was better than mine. Of course, I get that I am biased; I mean after all, no other decade had Woodstock, or the protest songs from Viet Nam. I get she had no clue about make love not war and tune in and drop out, or what flower power meant. I felt as bad for her as I am sure she felt for me, and it got me thinking…
I personally did not care for the 80s. I had graduated school in the mid 70s so by the time the 80s came, I felt set in my ways. I felt fortunate that I grew up in the time that I did for many reasons, but mainly for the people and the music. We had real music in the 60s and early 70s. We had The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, Grateful Dead, Steppenwolf, Crosby Stills and Nash. I was not really one for Flock of Seagulls, Air Supply, Culture Club, Rick Springfield, Bananarama, New Edition, Debbie Gibson, Milli Vanilli or Hall & Oates. Though I will say I am glad the 80s gave us great music like The Pretenders, U2, Radiohead, INXS, The Police, and REM.
After doing some research of the 80s to see if I could possibly understand why she thought her decade was better than mine, and once I got past the high hair and the mullet, the 80s did give us some interesting things. Well, I cannot say fashion was one of them. Each decade gives us a variety of fashion do’s and don’ts but I have to say the 80s had a great deal of don’ts. Shoulder pads, leg warmers, parachute pants, sweaters around your neck, acid wash jeans, and neon colors where clearly some of the big don’ts. Oh sure in my day, it was the hippy look, jeans, tie dye, love beads, leather vest and yes we had poor fashion, we had polyester and that was about as gross as it got and go-go boots, which I confess I had a pair.
The 80s had interesting television as well. It is important to note that in the 80s television changed because cable TV was available and more people were turning off local network stations to tune into home box office material. Still, the 80s gave us Alf, Married with Children, 21 Jump Street, Cagney & Lacey, The Simpsons, The A-Team, Miami Vice, Moonlighting, The Cosby Show, Doogie Howser, Golden Girls, Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Wonder Years, MacGyver, St. Elsewhere , Magnum P.I. and Punky Brewster to name a few. Nighttime soaps made it big with as well, still, I longed for the shows I grew up with like Bewitched, Candid Camera, Get Smart, Gilligan’s Island, I Dream of Jeannie, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, The Ed Sullivan Show and The Carol Burnett Show. Most of the time in the 80s, I simply did not watch much TV and played music or watched cable.
The 80s did give kids some fun toys and games such as Trivial Pursuit, Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears, The Koosh Ball, Pictionary, Rubik’s Cube, Glow Worms, Pound Puppies, Rainbow bright, and Strawberry Shortcake were all products of the 80s. You could play with those while enjoying your favorite 80s foods like Jumpin Jack Cheese Doritos, Hostess Pudding Pies, Chocolate Cow, Bonkers, Pudding Roll-Ups, Giggles, Pudding Pops, Pop Rocks, and raisins thanks to the antics of The California Raisins.
In addition the 80s gave us slang like, No Duh, Tubular, Righteous, Take A Chill Pill, Gag Me With a Spoon, Totally, Gnarly, Radical, Totally Grody, I’m so sure, Like, oh my God and Psych. Who am I to judge slang of the times though I still say groovy cool and freaked out.
Despite some of the weird music, or the high hair or God forbid the Mullet, people who grew up in the 80s love their generation. They share with their children what Dirty Dancing was, or Pac Man, they tell them about Madonna as they watch Lady Gaga. I have come to the conclusion that every decade has its own magic and what was my magic in my time might not be your magic, but still, I am glad I did not grow up in the 80s.