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In the span of a single morning, I’ve found myself playing a #Throw-backThursday playlist (Nirvana! Alice in Chains!… Britney Spears?), reading a Buzzfeed Rewind post (or five), debating whether to wear a plaid shirt with faded jeans or a plaid skirt with a schoolgirl sweater, and swiping on a raisin-hued lipstick matte enough to make Kylie Jenner proud.
If it weren’t already obvious, the 90s are back. We just can’t get enough of that decade when every lid was a shimmery pastel, every lip a deep brown, and every outfit exploding either in sunflowers, flannel, tie-dye, or acid wash. It was the golden age of Nickelodeon, Clueless, bouncy butterfly clips, Sineskwela, platform flip-flops, boy bands, and Tabing Ilog It was a time when we had to wait for our dial-up internet to connect before we could go on YM! or mIRC, or pray our parents wouldn’t pick up the phone while we were downloading music off Limewire God help you if you spent six hours getting a copy of The Crossroads, only to find out that you clicked on a link to avirus.
We millennials love our nostalgia, but this mania for the 90s is far from our first flirtation with things that… don’t exist anymore. Thanks to our parents or older siblings, our formative years were spent in a 70s revival. This was followed by the resurrection of 80s neon thankfully, that blew over quickly. Screwing up all chronology, our hipster brethren jumped back to the heyday of mid-century modern design, a time of record players and quirky ads, so we went there too. Today, the 90s are officially The Coolest and Best Decade Ever.
It’s been 20 years since As if! was a relevant catch-phrase, about as much time since Bath and Body Works’ Cucumber Melon perfumed the air, and too long since The Spice Girls dropped an album. So, why on earth are we clinging to even the most obscure pop culture nuggets of our youth?
It seems pretty straightforward, really: it was a much simpler, happier time. Granted, our only responsibilities then were homework, keeping up with the ever-changing pairings on Dawson’s Creek, TGIS, or Gimik, and knowing all the lyrics to Get Down (You’re The One for Me). We had it easy, compared to the Mandarin-learning, ballet-dancing two-year-olds our friends are spawning. I guess you could say we were that lucky generation that not only had access to this wondrous thing called the Internet, slow as it was, but still knewwhat channel surfing meant and how the great outdoors actually looked.
Eventually, we grew up, and just as Friendster gave way to MySpace and then Facebook, our lives got more complicated. Like our broadband connections, life got faster and, sure, now we have constant, synced social media alerts on our phones, but there are days when we yearn for when all we had to do to know what our friends were up to was to look out the window and see them playing patintero or arguing about who really got that tower of Pogs to fall over.
Truthfully, there’s nothing wrong with looking so far back into our collective memory that there are Pinterest tutorials on how to make Nickelodeon slime and eBay auctions for untouched Bonne Bell Lip Lites. We just have to keep in mind that although those glittery, shimmery, bedazzled times were our days of carefree glory, we’re living in the present. If there’s anythingwe should be bringing back, it’s how we all revBlogd in and truly lived the moments we experienced. F.R.I.E.N.D.S, after all, may have its reruns, but real life doesn’t.