Children of the Eighties!
We are the children of the Eighties. We are not the first "lost generation"
nor today's lost generation; in fact, we think
we know just where we stand - or are discovering it as we speak.
We are the ones who played with Lego Building
Blocks when they were just building blocks and gave Malibu
Barbie crewcuts with safety scissors that never really
cut.We collected Garbage Pail Kids and Cabbage Patch Kids
and My LittlePonies and Hot Wheels and He-Man action figures
and thought She-Ra looked just a little bit like I would
when I was a woman.
Big Wheels and bicycles with streamers were the
way to go, and sidewalk chalk was all you needed to build a
city. Imagination was the key. It made the Ewok Treehouse
big enough for you to be Luke and the kitchen table and an
old sheet dark enough to be a tent in the forest. Your
world was the backyard and it was all you needed. With
your pink portable tape player, Debbie Gibson sang back up
to you and everyone wanted a skirt like the Material Girl
and a glove like Michael Jackson's.
Today, we are the ones who sing along with Bruce
Stringsteen and The Bangles perfectly and have no idea why.
We recite lines with the Ghostbusters and still look to The
Goonies for a great adventure. We flip through T.V.
stations and stop at The A Team and Knight Rider and Fame
and laugh with The Cosby Show and Family Ties and Punky
Brewster and what you talkin' 'bout Willis? We hold strong
affections for The Muppets and The Gummy Bears and why did
they take the Snorks off the air? After school specials
were only about cigarettes and step-families, the Polka Dot
Door was nothing like Barney, and aren't the Power Rangers
just Voltron reincarnated?
We are the ones who still read Nancy Drew and the
Hardy Boys, the
Bobsey Twins, Beverly Clearly and Judy Blume, Richard Scary
and the Electric Company. Friendship bracelets were ties
you couldn't break and friendship pins went on shoes -
preferably hightop Velcro Reeboks - and pegged jeans were
in, as were Units belts and layered socks and jean jackets
and jams and charm necklaces and side pony tails and just
tails. Rave was a girl's best friend; braces with colored
rubberbands made you cool.
The backdoor was always open and Mom served only
red Kool-Aid to the neighborhood kids- never drank New
Coke. Entertainment was cheap and lasted for hours. All
you needed to be a princess was high heels and an apron;
the Sit'n'Spin always made you dizzy but never made you
stop; Pogoballs were dangerous weapons and Chinese Jump
Ropes never failed to trip someone. In your Underoos you
were Wonder Woman or Spider Man or R2D2 and in your
treehouse you were king. In the Eighties, nothing was
wrong. Did you know the president was shot?
Star Wars was not only a movie. Did you ever play
in a bomb shelter? Did you see the Challenger explode or
feed the homeless man? We forgot Vietnam and watched
Tiananman's Square on CNN and bought pieces of the Berlin
Wall at the store. AIDS was not the number one killer in
the United States. We didn't start the fire, Billy Joel.
In the Eighties, we redefined the American Dream, and those
years defined us.
We are the generation in between strife and facing
strife and not turning our backs. The Eighties may have made us
idealistic, but it's that idealism that will push us and be
passed on to our children - the first children of the
twenty-first century. Never forget: We are the children of
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