Traveling back to my childhood home is always difficult for me because it reminds me of how far away from my hood I am. This bittersweet nostalgia always propels me to search the cellar for spoiled dessert wine my mother bought on a wine tasting trip ten years ago and get loaded. Or as loaded as one can get on spoiled dessert wine. It’s like instant hangover.
About halfway through my visit home, I typically sludge up any number of childhood relics from the closet and begin playing with them, much like I did as a lonely, lonely only child.
I will pull out my old Mall Madness board game and drunkenly sing the Ghostbusters theme while weeping; my mother will run from the couch to see if I’m OK, only to find me sprawled on my bedroom floor, clutching my Alf doll in the fetal position. She’ll roll her eyes and I’ll scream back, “I MISS MY CHILDHOOD, CAN’T YOU SEE?” and then I’ll stare at the starry night of my glow stickers on the ceiling and pass out.
There is something special about being a child of the 80s. We didn’t have household computers nor smartphones; we had to let our imaginations run wild. We lived in Polly Pocket’s world, or Molly McIntire’s. Our heroes were Sally Ride and Cyndi Lauper, and we wanted to look and be like them. There wasn’t a pressure to be the best at everything; we were told to enjoy our childhood. And to stay away from crack cocaine. Or eggs from a frying pan.
I’m not sure which.
Below are some picture from my childhood; these are my reminders that I am and always will be a child of the 80s.
Won’t you skip down memory lane with me?
1. Mall Madness encapsulated a time when malls were neither depressing nor scary.
2. Even though you were past the age of six when playing with Polly Pocket, the bite-sizeness of Polly still made you want to put her in your mouth.
3. You ran with a great crowd of friends.
4. You remember when there were only three American Dolls.
5. Though you now stay away from things like food dye and high fructose corn syrup, those six words meant shit to you when it came to Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler.