We were born in 1981/1982. People were still getting over Vietnam and Disco had swept the country. Dolly Parton had a song called Jolene, and Diana Ross had records, yes those big black Frisbees that were five times the size of a CD,as big as her hair. The Muppets were our heros, and Atari was the game of choice. Pac Man invaded our heads and our parents pockets. We had those bouncy balls that had the handle on the top and you could sit on and bounce all over the place. The Reagan administration came around, but all we cared about were our mini-wheels. Snack time in Kindergarten was cool and the opposite sex till had cooties.
We liked to play Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. Tic-tac-toe was still fashionable to us. Star Wars and their cheap knock-off, the Ewoks, were imitated all over the nation, ET made us afraid to go into the bathroom. Girls fought over My Little Ponies, Barbies, and Cabbage Patch Kids. Boys were more into Transformers, He-Man, and GI Joe, not to mention their prized b-b guns with those little rubber pellets – yeah, they hurt, too. Pretend was always fun too. In second grade we watched as the Challenger lept from the earth only to float back unexpectedly, devastating he nation, and plunging them into a state of mourning.
Cuba was the enemy, drugs were becoming big and Iran got on our bad side, as did Oliver North. TV rotted our brains with “Different Strokes,” “Silver Spoons,” and “The Cosby Show”. Leg warmers, bandanas, and spiked hair, consumed us as we listened to Boy George and his Culture Club, Bruce Springstein, Rolling Stones, Madonna, George Michael, Cyndi Lauper, and Michael Jackson. Pretty soon, hair stopped being spiked and started getting BIG. Chains, and spikes, and jelly bracelets were the rage, and everything was “awesome” or even “rad. ” People started etting computers like the Apple 2E.
Bubble dresses were cool and the youth were following the path of rebellion. Drugs and guns were becoming more and more common, and we watched as the world discovered HIV and AIDS, and an 18 year oldboy from Indiana died from a transfusion. We also lived through the Bush administration. Our generation watched the Gulf War, our own small-scale version of Vietnam, come into our living rooms at night with the green night images and the blazing dots across the screen. We watched older brothers and sisters go off to a war that we never thought we’d see, but we made up songs bout Saddam Hussein to the tune of “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice.
Bill Clinton became the President taking Al Gore as his VP. Rolling your jeans and wearing GUESS and ESPRIT clothes made you popular. Everyone was crazy for McDonalds. We started dating more frequently, searching for the love of our life. Girls in the high schools started getting pregnant and we started getting our licenses. We lived through all the crazy fashion flashbacks, the hair, and the environmental crisis. We have now gotten to our senior year and we wait for prom and most of all graduation day.
We will pick up our caps and owns and all that senior stuff that’s supposed to help us remember the good ‘ole days, but some of the things that you’ll remember most, can’t be put on paper. That day will finally come, and you will sit there with all of the friends that you have made over the years. You will look out at your family and deep down you will know that this is a once in a lifetime moment. It will be the last time in your life that all these people would be together in one place. Yeah there will be reunions but there is always the chance that one person won’t make it there.
You will look back on our time with these people and realize that it was short lived and that it didn’t seem as if there was enough time for everything that you wanted to accomplish. Sports, activities, SAT,ACT, and all that good stuff. They will call your name, your tassle will get turned, and you will get a piece of paper that says you are smart. Then you said good-bye maybe to your town, and the school and your friends. You know that you can go back to visit, but there will be strangers in the halls and it won’t be the same. It will be different, and you’ll be different. But it won’t be the end. In fact, everything is just beginning.