Yesterday, a whole bunch of family friends were over at our house and I sat down to play Scrabble with their kids. The boy, David, is 8 years old and the girl, Sonia, is 12 years old. They started talking about their favourite TV shows like Hannah Montana, Suite Life on Deck, and Sonny With A Chance (Family Channel, holler!). We then had the following conversation:
8-year old David: I like Suite Life on Deck, Mr. Moseby is so funny.
Me: I know, him and London are my favourite characters.
8-year old David: Heeheeheeheeeee *snorts*
Me: You sound like Steve Urkel.
8-year old David: Huh? Who is that?
Um. Hold on. If there was ever a moment in my life when I realized I was getting older, this was probably it. How in the world do you not know who Steve Urkel is?! I remember spending weekday evenings in elementary school giggling as I watched Steve attempt to win Laura Winslow's heart on Family Matters. Side note: Who else had a crush on Stefan Urkel (Steve's alter ego)? Please, you know those 90's dance moves made you swoon.
I grew up in the 90's. I listened to the Backstreet Boys, fangirled over 98 Degrees and LFO, watched YTV's Hit List, joined a Spice Girls fan club, cried at the series finale of Full House, was fobidden to watch Dawson's Creek (my parents thought it was inappropriate), watched TVO Kids every afternoon with Patty and Joe, saw every single episode of Ghostwriter, witnessed the airing of the very first Arthur episode, gasped in shock when Tommy the Green Ranger transformed into the White Ranger (I was a Tommy & Kimberly shipper, obviously), considered playing basketball after watching Hang Time, accepted the concept of high school on a boat with Breaker High, pretended to morph into a puddle after watching The Secret World of Alex Mack, witnessed the release of Britney Spears' first ever music video (hit me baby, one more time!), swooned with my entire generation as Freddie Prinze Jr. took Rachel Leigh Cook to prom in She's All That, got angry at Cory Matthews for cheating on Topanga in Season 5 of Boy Meets World, danced to every single Aqua & Vanilla Ice music video (ice ice, baby), and sat around with the entire world (clutching our gas lamps & instant noodles) waiting for the universe to end as 1999 drew to a close and the new millennium began.
Its been 10 years since Y2K, 13 years since Princess Diana died, 12 years since the Clinton & Lewinsky scandal, 12 years since Britney Spears released her aforementioned debut music video (schoolgirl outfits sans the shaven head, of course), 20 years since Julia Roberts stole our hearts in Pretty Woman, 11 years since we were introduced to the Taco Bell Chihuahua, and 11 years since we were introduced to memorable movies like The Matrix, There's Something About Mary, The Sixth Sense, and Fight Club (pre-Angelina, of course!). Yes, it's been a long time, my friends.
But 90's pop culture represents something even greater than the washed out has-beens who ocassionally gloss tabloid headlines today. It represents moments in our childhood where we played, laughed, and enjoyed the company of our family and friends. These iconic TV shows and music videos represent times in elementary school where we sat down with our best friends to fawn over the latest Teen Beat magazine or to giggle over the new Jonathan Taylor Thomas poster. These moments with loved ones are memories we fondly remember, leading us to walk the road of 90's nostalgia today.
But we've grown up, we're older now. And as we begin new chapters of our lives in September (in grad school, university, or a new job), we can learn a thing or two from our Tamagotchi-obsessed selves: don't ever forget to treasure each phase of your life.
Our love for the 90's reveals alot more than we realize. This unforgettable era also teaches us to appreciate each phase of life we go through, to unabashedly enjoy and learn from each activity, event, and daily occurrence, just like we did when we were kids. Time goes by so quickly, friends. As we continue to grow older, remember to enjoy each moment of whatever phase of your life you are at. And if you do, I'm sure many years of your life will be filled with 90's moments: they'll be memorable, loveable, and just a very fond memory away.
"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, and the things you never want to lose." - The Wonder Years