So when I was contacted by Man Crates to do a post about what it was like to grow up as a nineties kid, I was really pleased, because now I had an excuse to talk about it.
And then after I was contacted, I did some Man Crate stalking and discovered what an awesome website it is. I mean, they have some of the coolest gifts for men for when you're stumped about what to get the men in your life, and it all comes neatly packaged in this crate.... (most of which need to be opened with a handy-dandy crowbar. A crowbar! How perfectly manly. How cool.)
It took me a little while to think of what to say for this, because let's be honest here: I didn't really grow up as a nineties kid. I've always felt that my family grew up as more... fifties kids. We didn't play video games, we didn't use the internet except for email, and not one of us had a cellphone for ages.
I'm not saying that's a bad thing! I'm grateful to have grown up playing outside and getting dirty rather than spending all the time staring at a screen of some sort.
And when I think about it, I notice that there's a lot of stuff that's changed a lot.
So, let's make a list! I like lists. Here's a list of things that I vividly remember about growing up.
1.) Walkie-talkies. Remember those bad boys? You felt like the world's most spyish spy, hiding behind stuff and talking covertly into the speaker, like, "Agent Teresa reporting to base, over. The water balloon has been thrown. Mission accomplished, over." (And they always made that delightful static sound right before you pushed the talk button: KSSHHHHT.)
2.) Polly Pockets. I know these aren't only from the nineties, but that's when they were at their climax. I'm not talking about the inch tall dolls, no, I mean the ones that were only a little bigger than your thumbnail.
We had the gypsy caravan one for a long time, even after the horse and the dog got lost, we still had the carriage, and I played with that one all the time. I wonder what happened to it.
3.) Freaking BOBBLES, man! Those things were so evil. (It didn't help my mom liked to do our hair really tight, and sometimes the bobble would escape and smack your head like a plastic mace-and-chain from hell.)
4.) You know those stories where all the neighborhood kids get together and play baseball in someone's back yard or a vacant lot? That actually happened a lot when I was growing up. We had those cheesy yellow wiffle bats, the rubber bases, and we'd set them in our yard and have a grand old time playing baseball. (Obviously with some rule changes, like the youngest kids weren't out until they at least clipped the ball. Strikeouts didn't happen when you were three and could barely lift the bat.)
And let me tell you guys, I was good. (Want to know the story of how I broke my elbow in several places, resulting in lots of pain medication and a surgery when I was eleven? I was the outfielder.)
5.) Jumanji. My dad used to watch this movie a lot, and it's been seared into my brain as the scariest movie of all time.
It got me to swear off all board games for a good six months, because those game pieces moved by themselves, and it was alarming.
6.) American Girl Dolls. Every single little girl ever wanted one of these. Or all of them. We wanted all the dolls' accessories, and we'd literally spend hours pouring over the magazine and drooling.
7.) Oh remember when cap guns were cool? When you could get them and they were metal and actually looked real rather than the stupid clear or orange plastic ones you can sometimes find now? And they came with holsters and belts and that little roll of caps that smoked a little when you shot them...Man, we used to play with those a lot. We'd have Cowboys VS Indians wars, and we'd be Indiana Jones-type people who'd rescue the orphans (AKA the youngest girls) from the evil Orphanage Lady (usually portrayed by yours truly).
I don't know. There was something special about about staying outside all day long. We live in a pretty good neighborhood, and I would be on my bike and up the street with the kids from the block as soon as I finished breakfast.
We'd build forts, and have mud pie making contests, and compare calluses, and it was so much simpler.
Kids were allowed to be kids, we were allowed to get dirty, and actually play on playgrounds. We'd play hide-and-seek and all sorts of tag, we'd see how many times we could jump over that stupid Skip-It toy...
The world was a lot more wholesome than it is now.
It was an awesome way to grow up!
And I miss it.
*What was your favorite toy as a kid growing up?
*What was one game you played all the time?
*Did you ever play with cap guns?
*Have you checked out Man Crates yet?
*Do you like the new blog look?
Love you all!