July 21, 2015

For Those Who Grew Up in the 1980s.


Let’s take a nostalgic walk down the iconic 1980s memory lane.

Here’s to the days when the doors were left open to freely walk the neighbourhood from one house to the next to visit best friends whose families were an extension of our own.

When streets were safe and the only danger was that our bellies were hungry at the end of a long day spent exploring woodlands and strolling down dusty roads where magic and adventure was the air that we inhaled.

Back to the times we’d visit sweet shops to pick delicious treats from large glass jars filled to the brim with colourful candy sticks and sugary popsicles.

Those days when we’d save pocket money all week till our favourite comic book was released and we’d run to the shop, then slowly walk the route home flicking pages to find the stories that had left us hanging on.

The days we’d tear open cereal boxes to find stickers or plastic toys hidden within, or save the coupons to send for gifts which the mailman delivered as our reward.

When school lunchboxes and flasks showed our favourite characters from My Little Pony, A-Team or He-Man and they’d last for years till their faded images and scratched surfaces told of a thousand tales.

Trips to the library were spent searching shelves for our favourite stories full of fairies, dragons and wizards explaining a life that made total sense to our limitless minds.

We’d have collections of erasers that smelled of strawberries and swap soccer or character cards with friends who’d help us make our sets complete.

The times where we’d save cardboard, bottles and washing cartons to create much-loved ornaments made of glitter, glue and wool.

When Sundays were spent counting down hours till we found out who’d rose to the top of the music charts with our tape-recorders waiting by. The songs would be replayed, rewound and paused, as we’d memorise lyrics to the latest Michael Jackson, Tiffany or Madonna hit.

Neon was the trend with rubber bands filling wrists, jelly shoes in the summertime and multi-coloured leg warmers, sweatbands and Lycra helping us to resemble our favourite dance sensations that starred in Fame.

We were in awe at video recorders and how they could tape the adventures of ET, The Goonies or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with all the data stored on just a thin brown film. (And it would bewilder everyone when the cassettes regularly got caught up and tangled and jammed then had to be carefully cut or frustratingly destroyed.)

Back to the times where skipping ropes would be spun, Rubik’s Cubes seemed impossible tasks and Legos would be spilled on floors. Barbie or Transformers figures would fill boxes under beds to provide imaginations with role-play and make-believe to keep us company on rainy days when we were alone.

Our Underoos were Superman, Wonder Woman or Batman, super-heroes that reminded us how strong we were and that we were powerful enough to be whomever our hearts and minds desired.

Saturday mornings were lazy times spent lying on rugs with blankets and cushions watching our favourite cartoons such as Fraggle Rock, The Smurfs, Snoopy or The Clangers.

Our memories were tested as we never had technology to store information, however we’d remember each phone number of close family or friends and the addresses of our pen pals by heart.

We knew when and where to meet without the need for constant texts and we’d live fully in the moment, completely engaged with our minds present when we spent our quality time with friends and family.

We’d have no distractions to take our attention away from one another so we made bonds that locked us together creating memories and connections that will last a lifetime.

Safety was a second-thought as we took road trips without seat belts with the back seats flat to create an area for play. We’d never wear helmets whilst cycling and sunburn was an expected outcome of long summer days.

Life was spent on roller skates, rope-swings over lakes, catching butterflies, making daisy chains, having water-bomb fights, making perfumes from rose petals and scraping hands and knees when falling fast from bikes.

Video games were Pac-Man and Space Invaders and board games were stacked high and they’d often end in fights, but forgiveness was handed out before tears dried.

Sunday nights were bath times preparing for the week, where we’d pile bubbles on our head and wash the weekend’s dust and grime from hair and skin.

Our cheeks were always rosy, our flesh was always scraped, we’d have dirt under our nails from making muddy pies and our messy tangled hair spoke of our tales.

We’d take tubs and glass jars with us prepared to capture insects so we could feed them grass then keep them safely as our pets. We’d climb trees as high as kites and jump on beds and break the slats, ride down stairs in sleeping bags and regularly forget to wear shoes or our coats.

The children of the 80s are carefree, wild, fearless, feisty, idealists, dreamers, playful, adventurers, creators, explorers, wanderers, go-getters, rebellious, strong-willed, independent, cheeky, mischievous, fun loving dare devils that would petrify the parents of today.



The 80’s: The Good, the Bad & John Bender.


Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Flickr/Kristin Kokkersvold

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