The '90s were an inherently magical time, and much of that magic was wrapped up in the fact that we always had something new and exciting to spark our imagination. Trends were aplenty! Some so captured the collective '90s kid psyche, in fact, that you felt like a square peg in a round hole if you weren't quite as obsessed with it as your BFFs. In reality, though, there were many things you pretended to love in the '90s, but secretly kind of sucked at. C'mon, everyone's doing it. Peer pressure, peer pressure. They're all gonna laugh at you. OK, I'm done now — but seriously, that pretty much sums up how it felt sometimes to be a '90s kid who wasn't on trend.
Looking back, of course, it's easy to see that we really didn't need to care whether or not we were good at these things. Some of them were blips on the cultural radar, never to be heard from again. Some we look back on now and realize, "Hey, we did all kind of suck at that, and it was still awesome." For Pete's sake, we wore fanny packs and popcorn shirts — it's not like any of us really had life figured out. It just goes to show that trends are totally subjective, and we probably shouldn't put much stock in them.
You know what they say about hindsight, though! We didn't have the benefit of retrospection when we were bee-bopping through the '90s, flitting from trend to trend, so we felt compelled to keep it top secret (except from Dear Diary, our digital confidante) when we sucked at these things everyone else was obsessed with.
A Solitaire girl at heart, I feigned excitement over Minesweeper many a day during the '90s. Tbh, I'm not convinced any one really had a strategy going into Minesweeper so much as they just got lucky.
2. Inline Skating
One glance at a '90s kids knees will tell you all you need to know about their skating skills (or lack thereof). It's too bad road rash wasn't considered cool.
You guys, let's take a minute to mull over the fact we were out of our minds obsessed with little cardboard discs back in the '90s. Now that that's out of the way, don't feel bad if your slammer never sent pogs flying face-up or if your stack always wound up smaller than everyone else's. You weren't alone, my friend. You weren't alone.
4. Wearing High-Platform Shoes
I kid you not, my friend Shannon had a pair of clear acrylic platform shoes with plastic goldfish in the heel — and I thought she was a goddess. But whenever I tried to rock this style, I'd inexplicably get my shoe caught in my pant-leg (damn you, JNCOs) and roll across the quad at school.
5. Baking For Beginnings
Some people were gosh-damn Julia Childs with the Easy Bake Oven, churning out picture perfect cookies and brownies. Other people could only manage a crunchy brown goop that smelled faintly of burnt hair. Erm, hypothetically speaking.
6. Hacky Sack
Hacky sack has been around for basically ever, so you'd think we all would have mastered the skill by the '90s. And yet, amazingly, there were those among us who only ever managed to accidentally line-drive that little beanie sack into some innocent bystander's, well ... beanie sack.
7. Line Dancing
There was no escaping it — every other song in the '90s was accompanied by a dance fad. The Electric Slide, the Macarena, the Hammer, the Train, the Humpty Dance ... there was no end to the madness. So if you lacked rhythm, you got real creative with excuses at prom ("Too much punch! Gotta hit the ladies' room, AGAIN.")
8. Crimped Hair
This should not be that hard, right? There were tools invented specifically for this person, and still my hair came out bendy. I had bendy hair, people. This was a crisis of epic proportions to '90s me, whose friends all had perfectly crimped Christina Aguilera hair.
Dear friends, I lied. I totally moved the little pointer thingy on purpose. Every. Single. Time.
10. Caring For Your Tamagotchi
If you could keep your hungry, super-pooping little alien alive, you were a better woman than me. I just kept resetting my Tamagotchi and not saying anything so that no one knew what a horrible digital pet mother I really was. Shhhhhh.