1. That guy from The Apprentice could potentially be president of the United States.
Every time I see an article that Donald Trump is leading in the polls, I honestly think it’s something from The Onion. Seriously, imagine if we had a time machine and could visit a room of our former selves, back in 2005, and told them that Donald Trump is leading the Republican polls in the primaries, ten years later? I can just see the perplexed faces and furrowed brows now. “That guy?” we’d all say, pointing to our clunky tv screens. “For real?”
2. Gilmore Girls, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and The OC no longer have new episodes. And the dad from 7th Heaven is actually quite a terrible person IRL.
On some level, I think we assumed these gems would be around forever. It was hard to imagine a world without our appointment television. These shows were a staple of our middle & high school lives, and our evenings revolved around making sure we were home in time for the opening theme song. Nothing was worse than being out with our parents and remembering someone forgot to program the TiVo. (And P.S. Reverend Camdon – why!? Childhood, destroyed.)
3. Beanie Babies are worthless. WORTHLESS.
Was it our parents or our own delusional peers who tried to convince us that somehow we’d make millions one day from those little bean-filled animals? Either way, all the painstaking efforts we went to, making sure that those heart-shaped tags stayed perfectly straight without any sight of a crease, keeping them on our shelves instead of cuddling with them…and they’re worth practically nothing. The fact that I never played with my princess bear…#regrets.
4. Cher Horowitz was right – staying at home and vegging is more fun than partying.
Remember when all we wanted was to go out and find the best party? We’d count down the days until our parents were out of town, or we’d tangle some insane story about a sleepover at Stephanie’s house (and, like, of course her mom will be home.) Nowadays, we make excuses so we don’t have to leave our own couches. We’d literally rather do anything else than put on that tight skirt and boots and interact with other humans.
5. No one is monitoring our internet use anymore, and yet we spend most of the time looking at cat pictures or reading actual news articles.
So many kids I knew were forced to use their computers in the kitchen, or in the office room with the door open. (Side note – what did our parents think we’d actually be doing, with them just a few rooms away anyway?) Now, we’re finally on our own with the entire interwebs at our fingertips – all the scandalous material just a click away – and, let’s be honest, we mainly choose cat fails and The Huffington Post.
6. All those tattoo choker necklaces and crop tops that we threw away or donated? Yeah, we really regret that now.
Who would have ever thought that this weird late 90’s / early 2000’s style would return with a vengeance? Clearly not us, or else we would have never gotten rid of our precious accessories and clothes bought at Claire’s or Delia’s. If only we’d had a crystal ball or some sort of fairy godmother to tell us – “Don’t throw away that velvet choker with the peace sign hanging from it! You’ll want to wear it to work when you’re 29!” Sigh.
7. No one uses AIM anymore. RIP SmarterChild.
Ok, I’m just going to say this – gchat is a poor man’s AIM. Nothing will ever be as good as the creaking sound of the door opening and feeling your heart race, hoping it was your crush signing online. We were the last generation whose internet drama was limited to group IM windows and “warning” someone over AOL. The world was a simpler place.
8. Snake is no longer the coolest game you can play on your phone.
There was a time when we could spend hours – legit hours – playing Snake on our boxy Motorola cellular devices. This was before our brains knew of Candy Crush or Angry Birds, before we had Xbox One or Playstation 4. Ah the good ole days of growing so long you run into your own tail and die.
9. We could eat Pop Tarts and ice cream for dinner every night, but for some insane reason we choose salad and vegetables.
I’m pretty sure that every 20-something who exists on this planet has, at one point, uttered the words, “When I grow up, I’m going to eat dessert for dinner every night!” Our little-kid selves are disappointed in us. Every time we reach for something sensible, like green beans, a piece of our childhood dies. I mean, when did we all decide that brussel sprouts are okay? I don’t care if they’re covered in bacon. This is a mutiny.
10. All of that meticulous labor, tweezing our eyebrows…completely in vain. Skinny brows = not on fleek.
I’ve saved the most horrific for last. Little did we know that we’d one day deeply regret all of that tweezing and plucking. We spent so much time getting those eyebrows to be as thin as possible. Some of us felt plagued by our unruly and thick brows, unaware of the fact that this was actually a glorious blessing. (I’m of mixed eastern European descent. Enough said.) Now we’re slaves to the makeup industry, powdering and applying gel every day to get those brows perfectly on point. Somewhere in another dimension, our teenage selves are shaking their heads in shame.