Sometimes, my internet will go down for 45 seconds and I switch to full-on panic mode. I pencil in one eyebrow darker than the other and the world implodes. The thumbprint recognition on my smartphone doesn't work and I have to enter the security code in manually. What year is this?! But as wacky as all this is, it's even wackier to think about things that gave you anxiety in the '90s — you know, when technology wasn't nearly as automated, stuff took time, and you couldn't post pictures of your lunch on Instagram. How did we even enjoy food back then? How did all of our friends know that we had Zebra Cakes at lunch? I'm confused.
People like to think that kids don't worry. We watch cartoons and pick our boogers and that's it. But I would argue to the contrary; in fact, I think that our emotionally confused, hormone-raging bodies are capable of flipping the heck out better than anyone. Kids are easy people to freak out: Just tell them that the TV is busted and enjoy the nuclear meltdown.
The '90s are years that we will always look back on fondly, happily carrying memories of slap bracelets and Dunkaroos in our back pockets. At the same time, we'll never forget all those things that gave us major anxiety:
1. Devil Sticks
The whole point was to twirl a fancy stick in the air using two other sticks, and do cool tricks without dropping the fancy stick or the stick-sticks that you used to twirl it. Anxiety: Level 10.
2. The End Of A Successful Game Of Solitaire
You just couldn't handle this much excitement.
3. The Game Operation
Because a game that punished young people with bad coordination by sounding an ear-piercing buzz was totes a good idea. Not.
4. A Crooked Toe Ring
You'd try to straighten it out with the surrounding toes, to no avail. Actually, you're probably still wearing it, because you could never get it off in the first place. Those things were no joke.
5. Trying To Re-Roll Your VHS Or Cassette Tapes
It took so long, your fingers were too big to fit in the holes of your cassette tapes (and you couldn't find a pencil), and they never sounded the same again. Tragic!
6. Slipping Notes Into Your Crush's Locker
The absolute worst outcome was when they didn't respond at all. Then you'd have to pass them everyday in the hallway like, "Why, no, I did not confess my love to you on a piece of lined paper."
7. Digital Assistants
"Hey! Is that a letter you're writing? Can I help? I can help! Can I help? Hey!"
Look at it. Look at it.
9. Waiting For Your Dial-Up To Connect
Sitting there waiting gave you the anxieties big time, so you'd run to the kitchen and toast up some Bagel Bites instead.
10. A Botched Manic Panic Dye Job
But, but, but, Gwen Stefani makes it look so easy.
11. Waiting For The Channel You Want To Watch To Pop Up In The TV Guide Scroll
Almost there... Almost there... Almost there... Oh look! Squirrel!
OMFG I MISSED IT.
12. Forgetting The Lyrics To the Fresh Prince Rap... In Front Of Your Friends
Just transfer schools, already.
13. Waiting To See If Your MASH Game Predictions Were Right
I mean, why wouldn't you end up with a mansion in Beverly Hills, a pink Corvette, and the captain of the football team? Duh.
14. Watching The Blair Witch Project At Night
After that, you ran up the stairs in a panic because you could sense a presence behind you. For real, though.