’20 REASONS TO THANK YOUR PARENTS FOR HAVING YOU IN THE 90s’ was published on Scotcampus.com, March 2015
“I’m getting jelly sandals for my holidays. Do you have a pair of jelly sandals?”
You cannot fathom the look I gave the little girl in work when she posed this question to me at the till.
“Do I have a pair of jelly sandals? Hen, I had a pair of the original jelly sandals est. 1995.” (By the way I had one of her hair scrunches, too.)
A wave of complete misunderstanding swept across the youngster’s face as a tumbleweed blew by. It made me consider all of the other things kids have worn that we 20-somethings first sported in a much less flattering light.
It’s not only in fashion that we feel like we had the upper hand. Born into the ripe era of ‘Children of the Night’ by Nakatomi, we not only got to appreciate gems like this in their prime, but also reached an age of cultural understanding just in time for the hip-hop-happenin’ music scene of the early ‘00s. What kids miss out on most today is the simplicity of youth – tiny small occurrences that filled youngsters with those joyous feelings associated invincibility. And so, in light of jelly sandals, here is a list of reasons why I’m thankful I was born in the ’90s.
1. The exquisite cuisine: think… Potato Smiles, Party Rings, Dairylea Lunchables, Baby Bottle Pops, candy necklaces, Rainbow Drops, Cheetos, Kwenchy Cups, chicken dippers, Vice Versas. The list goes on…
2. Those sneaky but guilt-free instant piercings with stick on jewellery
3. Grounding your relationship by presenting your classmate with a co-ordinating ‘Friend’ necklace and keeping ‘Best’ for yourself, obviously
4. Getting to amaze your siblings with your Slap Bracelet – “It sounds sore but I can take the pain.”
5. Making your Dad a CD for his birthday to save money for sweets, even though the blank CD was taken from his stash… and the tunes on it from his own music library
6. Growing up with the Spice Girls AND the Spice World: The Movie (and wanting that bus), and arguing over your group of girlfriends over which Spice Girl you were (it was totally Baby).
7. Proceeding to listen to that BEAST of a tune on your Walkman 24/7
8. Having that one friend at school insist they watched an episode of Takeshi’s Castle where somebody won. (It was lies, all lies…)
9. Returning empty glass bottles of Barr fizzy juice to the corner shop and receiving 20p per bottle in return
10. Wowing the crowds at your school’s Christmas parties in your halter neck top/kick-flare jeans/frilly socks/heeled boots combo. Or, in your single smart shirt/denim combats/light-up trainers arrangement.
11. Knowing all the words, harmonies, dance routines and key changes in ‘C’est La Vie’ by Bewitched.
12. Having your feet ruined by the hard plastic in jelly sandals and sand from the beach on Scotland’s annual day of summer
13. Going to that one area of town your mum warned you not to go near (being grounded was at stake) and telling her you were at your friend’s house all afternoon – hoping she wouldn’t phone their parents to find out
14. Getting a certificate in class and feeling like you’d won an Oscar
15. Making full use of Paint on the computer to make your artistic dreams a reality
16. Getting to grow up at the same rate as Harry Potter in the movies and books (but not escape puberty looking as good as Neville Longbottom)
17. Having your heart ripped out for the first time when Jack died in Titanic, 1997
18. Promising yourself you’d be on The Crystal Maze when you grew up
19. Following your friend and his girlfriend around singing “…sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, second comes marriage…” – but not always. You learned that later on.
20. Reaching high school and feeling like you made the best of your time as a kid before mobile phones, computers and tablets took over.
We miss you so much ’90s…