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Remembering The 1990’s

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

My little family went away for a week and completely disconnected from the world. We stayed at our family’s cabin on the lake in Canada where there was no access to the internet, cell phones, television, or even electricity that wasn’t run off a generator. And it was amazing. We discovered that someone had left a battery operated CD player and I just so happened to have a bunch of CDs in my car- all of them were from the 90’s and I was in reminiscing heaven.

I may have been born in the 1980’s but my pre-teen and teen years were spent in the 1990’s and even though I’m in my 30’s now, I refuse to let go. Those days were so different than the days we have now. Life was simpler. People were kinder.

Do you remember when ‘The Real World’ was the show to watch? If you think about it, The Real World really was reality TV before reality TV existed. We loved to hate Puck and cried with Ruthie as she struggled with alcoholism. We’ll never forget when Irene got slapped and we bawled when Pedro died of complications from AIDS.

Before the dance trends we have now, there was the ‘Urkel.’ We didn’t learn to do the Urkle by watching videos on YouTube. We learned by watching it live on TV and then comparing the moves with our friends.  Unless one of us taped the show on our VCR, we never knew if we got the moves right, or not.

Remember when there was only one computer in the entire school and we had to sign up to take turns to use it to play Oregon Trail? We battled dysentery and river fording. If our wagon sank, our day was ruined.

Speaking of computer games, remember when we’d rush home to watch “Carmen Sandiego” on TV and then as soon as it was over, we’d stick the floppy disc in our Commodore 64 to play the computer game. When it was time for dinner, we’d sit down singing “where in the world is Carmen Sandiego???” until our parents threatened to take away our TV privileges. Go ahead and sing along. There’s nobody to stop you now!

Remember when instead of sitting in front of the computer or TV with our friends for hours, we’d go outside and play 4-square outside?  We knew what a cat’s cradle was, and if you were a girl or had sister, you definitely remember what “shimmy shimmy coco puff, shimmy shimmy, pow!” is all about and why “the rhythm of the hot dog” made you giggle.

Remember when you’d wake up at 7am on a Saturday and your entire day was ruined because you missed your favorite cartoon?  Sleeping in?  Who did that? Nobody- not when there were such amazing cartoons on TV. My favorite was Gummi Bears.

Here are a few other of my favorite memories of the 90’s:

I remember being the only one of my girlfriends with a crush on Jonathan Knight of New Kids On The Block and spending hours trying to convince them that he, in his soft spoken sensitive ways was so much better than Danny, Donny, Jordan or Joey. A few summers ago, my  teen dreams of meeting Jonathan came true.  Yes, this is really me loving up on Jordan who didn’t hesitate to throw his arm around me and after this picture, gave me a fantastic hug. My 10-year-old self was squealing inside.

Jay Long
Jay Long

I remember playing M.A.S.H and manipulating it so that I’d end up with my crush of the week. Yes, kids. This really is what we did to amuse ourselves before the days of hand-held electronics.

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

I remember going for runs after school with my uncle (who’s not much older than me) and how we thought we were cooler than cool because we knew every single word to “Ice, Ice Baby” and would sing it as we ran. I’m sure the neighbors loved that.

Alanis Morrisette, Matchbox 20 and the Goo Goo Dolls.  Still my favorites to this day.

I remember getting grounded because my mom didn’t find humor in me following every sentence with “not” and she warned me if I didn’t stop, she’d ground me.  She was NOT kidding.

Three words: “Pop Up Video.”


I remember when the Chicago Bulls were the best team.  Ever.


I remember exactly where I was the day Kurt Cobain took his life. I also remember when we lost 2Pac, River Phoenix, and Selena. My world was shattered.

I remember when my brother broke into my Lisa Frank diary and read it.  He told everyone I had a crush on Jerry O’Connell from Sliders. My world was over.

I remember drinking from the hose, using leaves as band aids, flannel, laser backgrounds on school photos and crimped hair. I never did figure out how to crimp my hair without it turning into a ball of frizz.

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

I miss the simplicity of the 1990’s. It’s not to say that I hate the world today, but I miss how the world wasn’t drowning in violence. I miss how kids were more innocent and less exposed than they are today. It was a world where kids could be kids and parents could be parents. We got bumps and bruises from playing and nobody panicked or thought the worse. We were held accountable for our actions. We worked hard and played hard. Our faces weren’t stuck inside hand-held electronic devices and that meant we had to use our imaginations to entertain ourselves. Our world wasn’t without problems, but it was much simpler.

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