I recently saw Don Johnson at a restaurant near my office in Orange County, and the resulting excited Facebook post, tweet and mass text was met with a mix of silence, “who” and “is that the guy from Die Hard.” Perhaps Miami Vice aired after their bedtimes, perhaps they would need to see the white suit to make the connection, perhaps they’ve never seen Die Hard – whatever their unfortunate circumstance, my fellow 80s babies are clearly getting older.
A few years ago, various email chains circulated with the promise to help confirm you were a child of the 80s. The test was a success if you could check enough boxes on the quiz, such as identifying the names of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, recalling the year that WHAM broke up, knowing Jenny’s phone number and remembering what Video killed.
I believe it’s time for an updated checklist that better reflects the evolution of the 80s child – from teenager that can’t quite give up the Aqua Net to college kid with Breakfast Club dorm room posters to adult that’s enthralled that side pony tails are finally back in (and some that still can’t give up Aqua Net). So here’s how, all grown up, you truly know you are a child of the 80s:
- You attend 80s parties wearing your own clothes
- You know that kid from Gossip Girl can’t pull off Ren McCormack’s dance moves but you’re going to see the remake anyways
- A mix of nostalgia and pure rage emerges when you hear Part Time Lover on the Oldies station
- You keep a VCR for “emergencies”
- You keep a crimper for “emergencies”
- You cringe when buying a pair of Converse because they used to be $16
- In your house, the word “gremlin” is a term of endearment for your pet or your child
- You’re an active contributor to the resurgence of the Swatch watch
- You have a Snork as your Facebook profile picture
- You own Blues Brothers on VHS, Laser Disc, DVD and BluRay
- You’ve used the phrase “no one puts Baby in a corner” in the last 24 hours (yes I have)
- The writers of Glee make you very very proud
- You’re counting down until Christmas 2015 when you can buy your kids a hover board
- Your favorite TV moms keep popping up in Lifetime movies
- When you walk into your regular watering hole the Cheers theme song pops in your head – and sometimes out of your mouth
- Smurf movie? About damn time
- You taught your daughter how to put on lipstick without using her hands
So 80s kiddos, let us not forget where we came from – a time when ET was more than a Katy Perry song, a world where the biggest boom box got the girl, and a generation where Patrick Dempsey was simply that horrifically-coifed nerd from Can’t Buy Me Love.