Nineties kids were a special kind of kid. We were the last lot of children not to have an epic array of technologies available to us. No smart phones, no music streaming services, no endless bounty of memes to keep us occupied. We really had to entertain ourselves, but at a time when pop culture was very sincere and everyone was wearing brown lipstick. I'm not going to lie: it was a pretty weird time to grow up. Cell phones and home computers were on the come up, and the Internet was something we were all starting to discover, even though we were using search engines like Alta Vista and making crappy Geocities sites rather than pretty Squarespace ones.
In the '90s, kids were trying to be cool, much more so than kids are now. Kids now are just kind of naturally cool, no? They all dress like Kylie Jenner or Justin Bieber and have smart phones and say things like "fleek" and "bae" which is all very intimidating to an old person who used to sit by the radio trying to press record at the exact moment the DJ would stop talking and my favorite song would start. Kids these days just seem so chic by comparison, meanwhile, my '90s childhood can be characterized by a succession of failures. Here are some things all '90s kids failed at:
1. Making Mixtapes From The Radio
Show me a '90s kid that didn't get even a smidgeon of a radio DJ's vocal in a recording they were making and I will show you a hero. Making a mixtape from the radio without any DJ voice in it was something we all failed at regularly.
2. Summoning The Spirit Of Kurt Cobain
Every '90s child tried to have a seance to speak to the spirit of Kurt Cobain. None of us did though. SOMEONE WAS PUSHING THE CUP, YOU GUYS.
3. Singing The Right Lyrics To "Macarena"
Don't pretend like there weren't parts of "Macarena" you didn't just mumble through and hope no one noticed, even though everyone else was doing the exact same thing.
4. Actually Knowing What To Do With Tazos
We all collected Tazos, right? How many of us actually knew what to do with them other than putting them in that album thingy? NONE. That's how many.
5. Keeping A Tamagotchi Alive
You could have had the best intentions with your Tamagotchi, but you killed it at least once. All Tamagotchis must die.
6. Having A Non-Cringeworthy Boy Crush
If you were crushing on boys in the '90s, chances are he had gelled frosted tips and makes you cringe to recall.
7. Getting Your Hair Mascara To Look Smooth And Not Crunchy
The dream was to paint hair mascara into your hair and have it look natural and retain movement. The reality was we all had weird crunchy vaguely blue spikes in our hair for a good portion of the '90s.
8. Cultural Appropriation
We can all pretend we didn't wear Bindi's in the '90s as much as we want, but we will never make it untrue.
Everyone failed at pants in the '90s. They were either too baggy and underpants revealing (for boys) or too pube skimming and bootlegged (girls). Pants in the '90s sucked. No kid got them right.
10. Not Scratching Your CDs
When you started building your CD collection in the '90s. It was exciting! No more pesky tapes needing to be rewound with a pencil. What could go wrong? You could scratch your CDs, for one thing. A serious problem no one actually saw coming.
11. Using Comic Sans
Comic sans was all too popular a font in the '90s. It didn't look any better or more sophisticated back then than it does now. It was just where we were at, culturally. Failing ourselves on the font front.
12. Beating Hugo's House Of Horrors
If you beat Hugo's House Of Horrors in the '90s please call me. We need to talk.
13. Having A Good Hair Style
I used to make my mum put all my waist length hair into tiny braids before I went to bed, then in the morning I would take them all out and tease it really big. It was kind of like a faux-perm. Every kid had stupid hair in the '90s.
14. Tricking Your Parents Into Buying You A CD With A Parental Advisory
We all liked yo believe our parents were born yesterday, and maybe kids today still do. Putting Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill on your Christmas list was a surefire way to fail at getting what you wanted. Those damn parental advisory stickers made sure of that.
15. Keeping Your Troll Dolls' Hair Nice
If you had a troll doll collection (and if you didn't, you had at least one troll doll in your room somewhere), there is no way you were able to keep its hair the same way as when you got it. Even if you never touched it, somehow your troll doll's hair would always wind up matter.
16. Keeping Your Discman From Skipping
I remember when I first got an iPod I would always try to keep it very still so it wouldn't skip. Even the slightest movement would make your Discman skip. Basically, '90s kids just sucked at listening to music.