While it's all fun and good to look back on the '90s with a big heart and nostalgia now, they weren't always the best. Like, when we were living in them, we weren't walking around saying "This is the best decade of our lives!" We were jonesing for trends of the '80s or the '70s. We were definitely not happy about everything in the actual '90s. We didn't have all that much to compare them to...
But now that we've revamped '90s memorabilia, the decade has basically become a novelty market, and it's a lot more fun to enjoy. But back when the '90s were all we knew, Game Boys were annoying because they died and were bulky. The wrath of Mary Kate and Ashley was oppressive at times — that is, until they made a clothing line and we could finally sort of dress up like them. Lizzie McGuire did get predictable and Gordo was mostly annoying and uncool. Girl Talk was like all the fun of calling boys on the phone without any of the fun of calling boys on the phone. We plowed through these trends that we revere now with great speed. When it comes to the '90s, hindsight is not 20/20. The present was. These are a few things that we completely forgot that we were totally bored of in the '90s:
I'm sorry, but who are you kidding? You don't miss AOL. It took forever to log on, it knocked you off all the time and took over the phone line. It also took like seven minutes to load a page.
Waiting For The Phone
Before cell phones were ubiquitous, families usually had only one phone. So that meant that we had to take turns waiting to use it. Your mother could be on the phone with your aunt and you might have to wait to call your crush and hang up for hours.
For a while, the TV line-up was really strong. It was back to back A+ entertainment, until it wasn't. The actors became tired of the shows and the people became tired of watching them and they slowly fizzled out, one by one.
For a hot minute in the '90s, it was a lot of fun to clip a piece of lanyard onto the back of your friend's shirt and tug and knot away as you all made friendship bracelets for each other. But there are only so many bracelets one can wear! By the time we were half-way through the '90s, we were up to our elbows in lanyard and ready for some real jewelry.
There were only so many curse words you could use and still impress your friends and shock your parents. After a while, Mad Libs started to feel like a homework assignment and a lot less like a game.
MK & A Hats
At first, their hats were awesome. The inspired us to go out and rock bucket hats and fishing hats and sun hats and cabbie hats and berets and baseball caps. They totally inspired us to play with accessories. But then their fashion became more eccentric and the more we tried to copy them the more we got made fun of in school — by people who lived under rocks and didn't have extensive MK & A VHS collections.
They're a lot more fun to think about now, but when we were younger, they were only exciting if we got them instead of a boring PB&J sandwich. But once we started having pizza birthday parties and got hooked on the real stuff, Lunchables were old news. And cold, too cold.
Once in a while it was fun. But when your parents try to get you and your friends to work your way through the family board game collection to keep you from talking about boys and being rowdy, it felt like a job that we weren't getting paid for.
These were super fun for a long time. Sure, we couldn't have more than 15 feet between us in order for them to work, but if you're upstairs and you're keeping an eye on your parents while your brother is downstairs raiding the cookie cabinet, it's awesome. And then we realized what real cell phones were and were so over it.
There are only so many multi-colored community business t-shirts a girl can have. First you wear them to school, then realize they're not cool enough. They you wear them to camp, until you realize that everyone has the same one. And then your pajama drawer just fills up with them.
Don't get me wrong, I never stopped loving my Game Boy. But by the end of the '90s there were a lot more fun video games to play and the dark screen and short battery life was a problem. I was ready to move on to something much brighter and better by the 2000s.
Images: Nickelodeon, Giphy