18 Random Things We Wouldn’t Know If We Weren’t Gen Xers

Oh, I had both those Barbies and the youngest brother Jimmy. WTF was wrong with me?(Oh, I had both those Barbies and the youngest brother, Jimmy. WTF was wrong with me?)

About a week ago I turned 40 …

I was telling a friend that I’d totally trade in my Gen X status for that of a 30 year old hipster who wears black rimmed glasses (yet has no prescription)… Then I wouldn’t have to admit that I spent most Saturday nights of my childhood hoping beyond hope that Charo would be the surprise guest on The Love Boat or that somehow Shari and Lambchop would find themselves in an eerie episode of Fantasy Island where Shari was the puppet. (What, I’m the only one who wished for that story line? I think not.)

No, I wouldn’t know a ton of things about pop culture, big hair, or bad TV, had I not been a poster child for Generation X. Things like this:

1. I wouldn’t recall the Facts of Life before Edna’s Edibles burned down and Cloris Leachman took over. I’d say, “Who’s Mrs. Garrett?” and “Tootie on roller-skates, really? I don’t think so.”

2. I wouldn’t know what it would be like to get up to change the channel on the television set or how to adjust bunny ears. (For those non Gen Xers, “bunny ears” is not a photobomb technique.)

2013-09-12-JennyIsenman.jpg

3. I wouldn’t know how incredibly ridiculous and large, I mean gorgeous, my hair could look by spraying my bangs to the ceiling and simply adding an over-sized scrunchie or clip on the top of my head, or an attractive horse mane-creating banana clip to the back of my hair, or how to weave my own ribbon barrettes à la Olivia Newton John in Xanadu.

4. I certainly wouldn’t have learned most of what I know about grammar, science, math and history from School House Rock. To this day, I can tell you who invented the cotton gin, why 3 is a magic number and how our nervous system is like a telegraph line. I’m also fairly certain the Great American Melting Pot is an actual stew made by the Statue of Liberty.

15 Things I Wouldn't Know if I Weren't a Gen Xer... #funny #humor #ecard #genx #generationx

5. Nor would I know what a Yuckmouth is, what to do when I “hanker for a hunk a cheese” or how not to drown my food in ketchup or mayo or goo.

yuckmouth

6. I wouldn’t have diligently listened to Casey Kasem count down the weekly hits while praying Bananarama, Debbie Gibson or The Bangles would take the number one spot (and not have been ashamed to admit it).

7. I wouldn’t know the joy of waking up at 6AM on Saturday morning to catch The Super Friends and wishing there would be a storyline that included one of the random heroes or villains. You know like, Apache Chief, Plastic Man, Mxyzptlk or Bizarro. (Did anyone else think Wonder Woman was hooking up with Aquaman?)

Did anyone else think she was hooking up with Aquaman?8. Plus, I don’t think I would’ve made it through adolescence without “One to Grow On” or “After School Specials.” Frankly, without the likes of Mr. T, David Hasselhoff, Kim Fields or Punky Brewster telling me not to steal or cheat or throw up after meals — I don’t know that I would’ve turned out OK.

9. I wouldn’t know from Corey Apple, Adam Bomb or Sy Clops.

garbage pail kids10. I wouldn’t know the excitement over getting a brand new Brother Word processor (you could type an entire sentence at a time, I kid you not – goodbye white-out).

11. I would have never annoyingly used the phrases and terms: “Where’s the beef,” “Barf me out,” “No Duy,” “Tubular,” “Faced” (as in, “You got faced”) or like the word “like” every like other word in like a sentence. (All to my mother’s dismay.)

12. I wouldn’t have been able to watch (while pretending to be asleep) Eddie Murphy sing “Unce, tice, fee times a mady,” or teach me the word “scum bucket.” I wouldn’t know why Mr. Bill screamed “Oh No,” or why it ’tis better to look good than to feel good.

13. I probably wouldn’t have owned a rainbow assortment of EGs, that we all know were beyond perfection with a pair of simple Keds, or awesome Reebok hightops, or fancied up with a glorious pair of shoe boots!

14. I wouldn’t have attempted to do the flash-dance quick-toe-tap and hair swing while wearing leg-warmers and a splatter painted, off the shoulder sweatshirt for my 4th grade talent show. (Oh, if I could erase that day! Alas, I cannot — years of therapy says so.)

15. I wouldn’t know what it’s like to use my allowance to buy the Beastie Boys License to Ill album (as in LP), and play it on my awesome record player with mono AND stereo… nor would I understand how speakers were also furniture… mine were used as makeshift bedside tables.

16. I wouldn’t know the feeling of getting a Cabbage Patch Kid after being on a wait-list at Caldor that felt like an eternity — and not even being able to pick the one I got, but loving her/him nonetheless. Extra points if you can remember the name, mine was Mitzy Shirley.

17. I wouldn’t be able to wow my children with my awesome dance moves including: The Running Man, the Roger Rabbit, the Cabbage Patch, the MC Hammer, the Robot, the Sprinkler, the Shopping Cart, the Walk the Dog … Oh, I’m goooood.

18. And those references to winding cassette tapes with a pencil that you see on Facebook — I’d see them as meaningless graphic designs to be silk-screened onto a tee shirt. 

cassette

Shit, did I age myself saying silk-screened?

I meant iron-on.

No?

Glitter decal?

Still no?

Acid washed? Stone washed? Distressed?

Getting better?

Organic? Composted? Made from hemp… green coffee… some material that wicks sweat?

Fine. I can’t fool myself or anyone else, and when I look back at all the crap I got to enjoy, I kinda don’t want to. So, I’ll embrace it!

Gen Xers are like totally awesome…

school house fock

Happy 40th to ME!

PS Am I the only one who remembers this shit??? Test me: What wouldn’t you remember?

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119 thoughts on “18 Random Things We Wouldn’t Know If We Weren’t Gen Xers

    1. Samantha

      Thank you for the trip down memory lane … so funny. Hankin’ for a hunk o cheese is still a phrase I use to this day. And I think I had every color of reebok high tops that existed. Fun times!

      Reply
  1. Karen

    I turned 50 this year, so the things I remember are a bit different than yours, but the best one is running home after school to watch The Partridge Family. Aaaahhhh, David Cassidy!!!

    Reply
  2. Jessica @FoundtheMarbles

    Hilarious. I so wouldn’t remember watching Solid Gold on Saturday nights and imitating the dance moves with my sister. I wouldn’t have collected unicorn puffy stickers or traded them with friends. Nor would I have watched Meatballs 673 times or chanted, “It just doesn’t matter” over and over from a whisper to a yell. And I certainly wouldn’t have exercised to the Chicken Fat record in elementary school gym class. Nope. No sirree.
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    Reply
  3. Tracy @ Momaical

    I still sing “Conjunction, junction – what’s your function” to my kids! And, yes, the words “Gag me with a spoon” have escaped my lips as I rocked bangs that doubled as a puffball and size 8 Tretorns. Which is 2 sizes larger than I am. But needed the extra room to accommodate several pairs of socks. Sweet.

    Reply
  4. Karen

    I shared most of your memories. Excepting EG.
    Here are a few more:
    Mr. Goodbody.
    Scratch and Sniff stickers.
    When MTV played music videos: Video killed the radio star!

    Reply
  5. Eryn Rossiter via Facebook

    I wouldn’t remember desperately awaiting my red haired cabbage patch doll and then I wouldn’t remember being terrified of it after watching Chucky.

    Reply
  6. RookieMom Whitney

    I turn 40 this year. All the things you named are ones I associate with cool kids. I was a little more oblivious until middle school, so I spent the Garbage Pail Kid years wearing a leotard with Dolphin shorts to school as if that were clothing, riding in the back (trunk?) of my mom’s Toyota Celica hatchback. Did you have a denim 3-ring binder? A Weird Al tape? An asymmetrical hair cut? I did.

    When a song suddenly comes back to me, like “Yuck mouth” did when I read those words here, I love singing it to my kids along with my husband. Though we grew up on opposite sides of the country, it’s a little thrill when one of us just starts belting out The Flinstones theme song and the other one joins in. The kids love it.
    RookieMom Whitney recently posted…How to set up a very small nurseryMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      LOL I loved sitting in the trunk of the hatchback. My stepdad’s was a Honda. ANd yep I had the denim notebook the Weird Al tapes and a scary lookin asymmetrical hair cut. I should find pics. It included a mullet. FO REAL! I think you sound like you woulda been fun!

      Reply
  7. Jenny Bauer

    Wow….Yuck Mouth is one of my all time favorites. I wouldn’t have known how cool Guess overalls were, I wouldn’t have desired to wear high heels with lacy socks (think ZZ Top video)… have known MTV back when all it did was play actual music videos….God, the 80′s were totally awesome!!!

    Reply
  8. Hanako Stephens

    This is really funny, because i associate with half of this, and i just turned 30. I had baby boomer parents, and i was an only child in an odd neighbourhood. I think the funny thing is, that being the generation after GenX – most of us who were the beginning of the new generation shared some of this. Rabbit ears – and many other things. Mom shared the gems of Eddie Murphy’s “BUHWEAT” impersonations on SNL, How King TUT was a FUNKY TUT – and that some of our earlier TVs didn’t have remotes because we didn’t have that kinda money. We had Commodore 64s, early nintendos etc – things that the kids now adays are like “What’s that?” – I sit here with Spotify and MSword 2010 open while i’m writing my 2nd book contemplating what it was like when i was these kids ages, these kids i help with at programmes when they’re 5-13. Showing someone a cassette or a VHS or a floppy disk and having them require to ask me what they exactly are.

    …Oi vei, i’m not liking the idea of hitting 40.

    Reply
  9. Natasha Kapoor Sriraman via Facebook

    I’m just a bill sitting here on Capitol Hill! And hitting the red record button on my boombox to tape the TOP 40 countdown each Sunday ;-) Hilarious–thanks!

    Reply
  10. April

    Oh Jenny,

    the memory lane you’ve sent me down {as well as all the awesome comments}

    I’m turning 40 on Friday, and I gotta tell ya – I’m excited about it!

    Here are some things you & the others have reminded me of:

    Guess Jeans
    Martha Stewart, the early days
    Banana Seat bikes
    The Walkman
    The Running Man dance move
    Break dancing
    Roger Rabbit
    “I like big butts”
    Stinky Perms, that made me look like a poodle while smelling like a rotten egg
    PeeChee’s
    Singing into my hairbrush – anything Pat Benatar
    Bon Jovi {and the friend’s brother who was in HS & looked just like him that I had a mad crush on in middle school}
    Converse high tops
    Hello Kitty
    the sticker collection, yes!!! Puffy & all
    My Mom’s hatchback was a Firebird, and the center “hump” in the back would get soooo hot on the highway
    B-52′s
    Anyone else’s parents experiment with tempura? #gross
    The first Mac, better yet – that the first computer filled a room the size of most middle class homes!
    Track Housing
    Skateboards – that didn’t “flex”
    No one wore helmets

    Oh, and you’ll be glad to know – I’ve hidden the remote to teach my kids a “when I was your age” lesson … only to discover it is now impossible to get up & change the channel on the TV!

    With kids 14 & 18, I’ve lived long enough for them to introduce me to a “new song” only to amaze them by singing along because it’s a remix of what used to be a good single

    And to witness the resurgence of Neon :: some things should just be left to rest in peace, no? {{giggle}}

    What a great post, and little did you know – a great birthday gift for me!

    Thanks!!!!
    April recently posted…Electric Blanket | Tech Me TuesdayMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Stephanie

      I’m LOVING this list and the reply’s. I just turned 33 and I remember 90% of all of this… I am introducing my girls to it all in small doses ;) My 9 year old has loved Punky Brewster and Princess Bride for 5 years! The mention of leotard and dolphin shorts OMG hahaha
      How about…
      LA Gear
      Trapper Keeper
      Jelly shoes and bracelets
      Rainbow Bright
      Muppet Babies
      colorforms
      Madonna gloves

      and who could forget
      The Cosby show
      Star Search
      Growing Pains
      Who’s the Boss
      ………..

      Reply
  11. Stephanie

    I love that you called your word processor a “bother” instead of a brother because those things were a bother and a pain in the ass!!! I had one in college that allowed you to see about 4 sentences and the disks would only hold so much memory, so for some of my papers, I had to use 2 disks. These darn kids these days don’t know how good they have it with their newfangled computers, memory stick doo dads, and saving to the cloud.

    Reply
  12. Amy

    Brilliant list! Finding out the Love Boat special guest stars was the highlight of my week for many years. Even better were the two hour Love Boat specials when they traveled to exotic ports of call and I was allowed to stay up until 11!

    Reply
  13. Kim @ Mama Mzungu

    Oh yes! And I remember when pong seemed futurisically high tech and our microwave was bigger than our TV. Unless of course your TV was all ensconced in wood and made to look like a bureau, all classy-like.

    And I think often of our Gen-x movie anthem (Reality Bites), that scene where Winona is asked to define irony for a job interview and fails. And then Alannis Moriset complete destroys the concept of irony for us in song. I guess the Millenials hipsters have recaptured our lost irony. I’ll give them that.
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  14. Melanie

    How about After School Specials? So dramatic! Stretch pants, Gloria Vanderbilt or Chemin de Fer jeans? A stationary collection? Satin puffy pillows like the heart or rainbow? And what happened to Bill Cosbys pudding pops? Those were the best!

    Reply
  15. Bari

    Your dad was stuck in the 50′s era, and you’re into the 80′s… So what it’s all in good fun and makes gift buying for those who love you so easy… Anything 80′s goes… Would you like some button covers?

    Reply
  16. cherie

    Well, you have brought up my major complaint about the way you communicated, like, for real. Like, I remember all that and much more. I remember Howdie Doody, Clarabell and Princess Summerfallwinterspring. I remember Soupy Sales and Pinky Lee. We sat in front of the TV and watched shows, my favorite, Uncle Milky ( Milton Berle). Perry Como singlng “We get letters, stacks and stacks of letters, dear Perry would you be so kind to fill our requst… Oh well, it was fun. Thanks babe.

    Reply
  17. Denise

    The Breakfast Club
    Ferris Buellers’ Day Off
    Pretty in Pink
    Polo shirts with the collars turned up – two at a time if you were cool
    The Go-Go’s album (LP!) with them all in the bathtub
    Devo and those sunglasses
    Bruce Springsteen was Born in the USA
    Mork and Mindy
    Atari and Pac Man

    Thanks for the memories!! We will truly be remembered as the Greatest Generation…

    Reply
  18. Stephanie

    I would not know about any of this stuff since I am only 39!
    So funny! I loved my EG socks! Not to mention my Z Cazaricci pants!
    Happy Birthday Old Friend! ( i don’t mean aged friend)

    Reply
    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      If memory serves and trust me it rarely doesn’t but it does when it comes to the 80s and since you were a major part of my life in the 80′s “old friend” I believe 40 is breathing down you neck. Hmmm March 4th am I correct? Don’t answer, I know I am.

      Reply
  19. Michelle @ You're my favorite today.

    Oh, my sister!! I’m a few years older but I’m a Gen-X freeeeaaakkk! Loved every one of these (and my Donny Osmond doll sits here on my desk keeping watch over me….still). I’ve written a few posts about all the groovy things myself, but you hit on some dandies I haven’t thought of in years!
    2 things I think you’d like – GenXtinct.com and my GenX pinterest board -http://pinterest.com/manewman21/generation-x/
    And the people who write that website have a great book called Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops FULL of this shit.
    Hope you had a groovy birthday party at the roller rink and got lots of BonnieBell roller ball lipgloss and a new subscription to Tiger Beat!

    Reply
  20. Leslie

    Loved this one!!! What about the Coneheads and Buckwheat? (Buckwheat got shot! OH NO!) And I had a Shawn Cassidy sweatshirt, which I wore faithfully with my Shawn Cassidy baby blue satin jacket, and my Shawn Cassidy jeans from the Sears Christmas catalog! I had his face ‘screen-printed” across my chest, back and calf for school picture day in 7th grade!
    And I think those Donny and Marie dolls are still in a box in my parents’ attic!
    Leslie recently posted…Give Me A Dose of Kindness; Hold the Criticism PleaseMy Profile

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  21. Deirdre

    Omg the Caldor comment made me laugh out loud.
    I had both Shaun Cassidy and Andy Gibb posters, who followed my obsession with Donny Osmond and the Donny and Marie Show
    Not just having LPs and tapes but taping off the radio – and before I had a stereo I would put my tape player in front of the speakers on my clock radio, one time my mom was vacuuming in the background and I also recorded, “Mom! I’m taping!”
    And not just getting up to change the channel on the tv (to like, one of 3 other channels) but to turn over the record or tape (I remember when my high school made fun of me that my walkman was fancy because it had “auto reverse”)
    UHF, whatever that was
    AM Radio that wasn’t news or sports, with the hard button settings in the car
    Emergency break-throughs when your friend was on the phone too long (no call waiting)
    EG Smith socks ruled, especially white (can you say cankles?) with Keds
    Microfilm and microfiche
    How every copied thing in school had purple type (or WRITING)
    Highlights magazine at the Dentist’s office
    The MTV Moon Man at the top of every hour

    God, that was cathartic. Thanks.
    Deirdre recently posted…Kings and QueensMy Profile

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  22. Carol

    I had ALL the Osmond dolls, as well. Not to mention a Wonder Woman doll that was taller than your average Barbie and had the longest eyelashes. (So long, in fact, that my grandmother insisted on trimming them down. I was horrified but all she said is, “Now isn’t that better?”)

    I grew up in Canada and have all the same memories, including “I am only a Bill” & “Melting Pot.” (I knew more about American history & politics than I knew about Canadian thanks to School House Rock!)

    Did you wear Nike shoes with the laces loose and the tongues propped up as high as they could go? (Grade 7/8 and I am now 43). Thanks for a great article!

    Reply
  23. Aliza

    Okay, fyi – there’s a station in Baltimore (102.7) that, on every Sunday night, replays an “American Top 40″ from the 1980s. With very few commercials. Long distance dedications and all. Not that I listen…every. single. Sunday.

    Reply
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  25. Lance

    I turned 42 in september. I can not explain to my 3 daughters – 17, 9, 8 , hoe my childhood hinged on moments like when Green Lantern was on Superfriends or running home from the school bus to see if Def Leppard’s Photograph was still number one on Friday Night Video Fights or who the guest star on Miami Vice was going to be.

    I get that my grandparents were the greatest generation because they survived the deprepression and won WW2 but we were the pop culture blessed generation. I think I’m okay with that, fer shur.
    Lance recently posted…Bittersweet SymphonyMy Profile

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  26. Loren

    Ok. My brain is remembering all this stuff and more, but it’s also forgetting it as soon as a new thought pops in because I am running out of space in there!

    You can’t do that on television is the reason people on Nickelodeon are still slimed today

    Going to dances and wishing you could witness or participate in a break dance battle like those you saw in Breakin2: Electric Boogaloo

    The brown box for cable with the buttons you pushed to change the channels

    Not only jumping on alligator eyes in pitfall but the music when you swung across the gator filled water on the vine. Btw. There’s an app by activision anthology .

    “Forever Young”

    Dr. Noah/Rick Springfield/”Don’t talk to Strangers”

    Autograph/slam books

    Did anyone else audio tape their favorite tv shows? A-team. Dukes of Hazzard

    The super long cord most likely on the kitchen phone so you could walk around.

    Knowing 10 different cool ways to fold a note.

    Writing actual pen to paper letters to people you met at camp.
    Getting to make a long distance call to someone because it was a big deal and expensive.

    Reply
  27. smilekl

    Mon-chi-chi dolls
    Shrinky Dinks
    Kid Video and Gummi Bears cartoons
    Dungeons and Dragons
    Knowing that all of the first Cabage Patch Kid dolls had November 1 as their birthdate.
    Saved By The Bell where Jesse sings, “I’m so excited… I’m so…scared!”
    Wanting to marry Bo Duke, because he was so much cooler than Luke!
    Folding all of your notes into little squares with intricate pockets
    One, Two, Freddy’s After You!
    Knowing not only the Care Bares, but all of the Care Bear Cousins, too!
    The Greatest American Hero
    Braiding friendship bracelets
    Making pot holders for all your relatives out of those loops of material
    Trapper Keepers
    Aahh… good times!

    Reply
  28. Lise

    Pompom socks. Jelly sandals.”don’t hate me cause I’m beautiful” Max headroom. A beret, a blouse with newspaper headlines print, a vest, tight rolled harem pants, slouch socks and Keds.

    Reply
  29. Sherri

    Add-a-bead necklaces, twist-a-bead necklaces, my pink bandana rolled up and worn around the neck of my baby blue Oxford shirt with my pink Bermuda shorts, pink and blue argyle socks, and penny loafers, complete with pennies.

    Reply
  30. Sherri

    Add-a-bead necklaces, twist-a-bead necklaces, my pink bandana rolled up and worn around the neck of my baby blue Oxford shirt with my pink Bermuda shorts, pink and blue argyle socks, and penny loafers, complete with pennies.

    Oh, and Spicoli… And knowing Keifer was the hottest vampire ever.

    Reply
  31. Marion

    Love it!!! What about Are you there God? It’s me Margaret and other Judy Blume novels? I must, I must, I must increase my bust!
    Sweet Valley High novels
    Pokeroo
    The Friendly Giant
    Beaver Canoe Sweatshirts
    10 million jelly bracelets worn with fingerless lace gloves like Madonna
    Beta machines
    Pacman

    Thanks for the memories – I’m turning 40 in August. Not sure if you will relate to everything since I live in Canada.

    Reply
  32. Marion

    Oh and jelly shoes – they were horrible – hurt so badly! But as my mother always said – “You have to suffer to be beautiful”

    Reply
    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Wow, I never even thought of that. I would tape stuff off Mtv, but solid gold? Impressive. PS my favorite solid gold dancer was the old lady puppet. Do you know her name???? That’s a good trivia question.

      Reply
  33. Alise

    I’m 22, and I’ll go one up on the rabbit ear antennas. Ever wrap the ends in tinfoil to improve the reception? The only problem arises when the cat decides to chew on the antennas- an unfortunately all-too common occurrence in my home.

    Reply
  34. Amy

    CLICK-CLACKS! Those horrors that used to give me a permanent, PAINFUL lump on the side of my forearm. They eventually started selling arm-guards for them but I never had one. I just lived with a lump (that the huge, marble balls would CONTINUALLY bang into) but I got REALLY good at those things. If it were a 1980s Olympic sport, I would’ve been there!

    Reply
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  36. Tara

    I just had a conversation with my kids about #2 – they were dumbfounded at the concept of turning the tv on and of by getting up and having only 6 channels that you manually changed too and you had to watch tv real time!

    Reply
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  42. Kathy

    I remember all these things and more. I am the official “font of useless knowledge” and the 70s and 80s are stuck in my head. I can sing the song Donny and Marie sang at the end of each episode. I can only SING the preamble to the constitution. I know who Electro Woman and Dyna Girl are, had the “Happy Family” complete with house, had Holly Hobbie colorforms and leg warmers. I watched “Emergency,” had a Shawn Cassidy album (vinyl, of course!), and came of age wearing neon and hair that defied gravity. I love your website!!

    Reply
  43. Pingback: 50 Like Totally Random Things I Remember as a Child of Like The 80s | The Suburban Jungle

  44. Woman_on_Pause

    I am 36 this year, and all of these things made sense. My submissions are as follows:

    Those circle things you pulled through your oversize T shirt side into.
    Side Ponytails
    Shell clips for your hair. One on each side if you were in the know.
    Watching Helen Hunt jump out of a 2nd story window because she was on the PCP.
    Snorks – The poor man’s smurf
    Greatest American Hero – Walked down the aisle to that song.
    Scrunchies. I still miss those. So much better for the hair than the newer one’s.
    Tales from the Darkside.

    Good times…
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    1. me

      greatest american hero theme song is the best theme song i remember. nice choice.
      i used to watch emergency with my grandfather.
      side ponytails – why? i’ve seen some girls wearing that style nowadays and it hasn’t improved. not even alyssa milano could pull it off back in the day.

      Reply
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  47. sparkling74

    HOw about the time I used two boom boxes to tape each other? Way before double cassette boom boxes came out, I would play a cassette on one and record with the other. Or, before you had a cassette player built into a turntable, you would have to do the same thing. Play the record and record it with another device. Amazing what we did in the name of having tunes to listen to! On our walkmen, of course!!

    And I am the only Gen Xer that never saw Schoolhouse Rock. I have no idea what I was doing.

    Loved the after school specials. And one to grow on.

    And could we forget Mr. Goodbody? I think you did!

    Hated it when Chloris Leachman took over for Mrs. Garrett. The show went down the drain after that.
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  48. Natalie the Math Teacher

    This list just my fucking year! I loved Charo on Love Boat!

    I wanted to be Jo from Facts of Life but I don’t even the a fingernail worth of her toughness!

    Reply
  49. StefSmit

    I remember parachute pants, tying bandanas around your legs while wearing your ripped up acid washed blue jeans, and wearing the high top sneakers with double lacing (usually in two different neon colors) left untied.

    Reply
  50. Rhonda

    OMG I got 2 Donnie’s and 2 Marie’s for Christmas one year! (from different family members) As well as the whole sound stage! I loved it!

    Reply
  51. JustBetsy

    I’m a boomer, so I remember the genx-er stuff from my step-kids. I saw Cabbage Patch dolls before they were mass produced–each one an original soft sculpture signed on the butt by the “Doctor”. They sold them out of the baby furniture dept. at the mall. You had to fill out an “adoption form” and then come back 15 min. later to get your baby. When I finally got one of the mass produced ones, I waited for the hair and eye combo I wanted–name was Avril Blanch (April White) and I still have it.
    Got my first Barbie in 3rd grade and sewed clothes for her. Got a hula hoop in first grade. I remember Mr. Greenjeans and the Dancing Bear, and Bunny Rabbit with his black rimmed glasses.
    Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Adam-12, Emergency. My first computer was an Apple IIe. I took typing in highschool and learned to use a mimeograph machine (the purple ink copier) and a ditto machine.
    In college we had mini skirts, hot pants, granny boots, maxi and midi skirts, gaucho pants. Hair braided wet to make “angel waves” when finger combed loose (or ironed it to get straight). In high school we had to wear dresses to school unless it was below freezing at 6:30 a.m. (then we could wear dress slacks–no blue jeans). We put dimes in the penny loafers (for emergency phone calls). I remember the clacker balls–our cheerleaders used them.Games: Operation, monopoly, stratego, rook, canasta, old maid (only for little kids), go fish. Right after school was “The Big Show” — old movies. Then late night monster movies with Dingbat or Vampira or Elvira.Wolfman Jack on latenight AM radio–the only time we could hear rock and roll. I remember the first color tv in the neighborhood–they invited everyone over to watch Bonanza. Remember Michael Landon as “Little Joe”? Before he was Pa on Little House on the Prairie, or an angel on all those Highway to Heaven shows. The Ed Sullivan show! My Little Margie, Gail Storm, Hazel, Mr. Ed (the talking horse), Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock show, Red Skelton. Romper Room! I remember hanging clothes on a line in the back yard to dry–and putting wire “pants stretchers” inside the legs of blue jeans so they’d dry without so many wrinkles. Everything had to be ironed after you brought it in. I still have my first cell phone (stuck in a closet) it was bigger than a lunchbox but smaller than a briefcase. Came with a shoulder strap!
    JustBetsy recently posted…Artist Tools Panel: Balticon 2013My Profile

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  52. cupcake

    Speidel Idents
    Weaing your boyfriend’s Speidel Ident
    Halloween with just a crapton of other kids, no parents
    Cabbage Night
    Giant Bonne Belle Lipsmackers in soda flavors
    Blacklight posters
    Little House on the Prarie
    Going anywhere quiet to listen to Dr. Demento’s entire show on the radio
    Captain & Tenille
    Safety Dance
    Body on Tap
    Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific
    The Young Ones and the outrageous bands they’d have (Madness)
    Madness
    Bay City Rollers
    I can still recite the Preamble to the Constitution from School House Rock (We, the People…)
    Jaws
    Rocky Horror Picture Show nights
    Personalize your clothing with bleach splatters
    Personalize your tee shirts with a scissors
    Stretch Armstrong – never had one, but if you hit someone with it, you could end up in juvenile hall.
    A-Ha, Queen, The Clash, Pixies
    Grateful Dead tour
    Pop Rocks
    Candy cigarettes
    Real cigarettes
    Baseball players who might as well have been rock stars

    And yeah, those skateboards that were inflexible! Almost killed myself on one of those. Thanks a lot, 1980s!

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  54. Claire

    I’m 39 and loved this. I can relate to it all. I remember our first computer when I was a kid…Apple IIe…if you got to typing too fast it couldn’t keep up and would freeze up and anything you hadn’t already saved was lost as you had to reboot. I lost a whole school report once because I forgot my dad’s advice…”Save often!” lol

    I had record albums as well as cassette tapes.

    We used to record music onto cassette off of the radio. Didn’t care back then that the sound quality was complete crap, but if the deejay talked over the beginning or end of the song, boy did we get mad!
    Ah, fun memories. Thanks for this great article!

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  55. Pingback: 5 Things Gen X-ers Did Growing Up That Our Children Just Wouldn't Understand | The Suburban Jungle

  56. Ani

    Knowing that Hulk Hogan used to be a really good wrestler.
    Knowing that Stephanie Kay, was the coolest girl at Degrassi

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  59. Beth

    “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”
    Besties sleepover with pillows all over the floor in the basement and Dirty Dancing on the tv in the basement. We watched the movie six times in a row that sleepover, and I know almost all he words to this day.

    Thank you for these memories. Although it might not have seemed so at the time, life was so much simpler <3

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  60. Melissa

    What great memories! I had a full length poster of Jon Bon Jovi behind my door. The first tape i owned was Micheal Jackson “bad”. I had the We Are The World record and loved to play it. I had a stone wash jean jacket with a huge Guns N Roses patch on the back ( my favorite). My cabbage patch dolls name was Edward. The only time you got to watch Brady Bunch or Bewitched was when you were home sick from school. Saturday mornings were exciting because it was our only cartoon day…. I sat on the arm rest in the front seat of the car. We prank called people and they couldnt call us back. I got to be the eraser duster at school if i earned it, and if you were really good, you got to wipe the black board down with a wet rag. I can go on and on…

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  61. Emily R.

    My Mom still has my Cabbage Patch doll. My niece plays with her. I think my Mom has an emotional attachment to the doll because of all she had to go through to get it for me. My doll’s name was Alana Francesca.

    Reply
  62. melissa

    Paper dolls
    peoples (LITTLE PEOPLE TOYS)
    Atari
    Jelly shoes and jelly bracelets
    Mandy and Jenny dolls
    Pinwheel, today’s special
    TGIF shows
    Taping videos on MTV using VHS
    Pony tail on the side

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