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 Little
Ponies 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
Smurfs off the air? After school specials were only about cigarettes and
step-families, the Pokka 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
Bobbsey 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 Reebox - 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,
were defined 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 the Eighties.
If this is familiar, you are one of us... pass it on to all the others...