Yesterday I was mesmerizing about the past. I am not talking about the roaring twenties, fifties or sixties. No, this time I am talking about the time I grew up: (mainly) the nineties. Certain things that were so common (or literally painful) back then, are now filed in the funny childhood memories section. I am actually the kind of person who talks like the nineties are still 10 years ago, but time flies. We are almost 20-25 years away. There are always funny moments that you remember from the time that you were a kid. Here are a few memories that always make me smile (or: #facepalm) when I think back.
Wintertime, who needs shoes?
One of my first memories is from the late 1980s. It was winter and I was sitting outside in my baby buggy. We were about to leave to do some groceries. During winter you’re obviously wrapped with warm clothes and shoes. But…during this winter I was sitting in my buggy and I wanted to go walk barefoot. Why? Nobody knows, but I REALLY WANTED TO WALK BAREFOOT. Ofcourse I was not allowed (surprise, surprise). So my first pitch-my-feet-to-the-ground action happened. Ofcourse eventually I had walk outside with my shoes on. So I just put on my grumpy face for a few hours and yelled a little. That’s how you roll when you’re 3 years old. I never tried to walk barefoot outside again during winter. I soon realised that a pair of shoes to keep your feet warm was not a bad idea and much later I realised that having mutiple shoes to choose from is always a good idea.
Bear on the road
It was my 5th birthday…I walked down the stairs and peaked into the kitchen. There was a huge something in wrapping paper on the kitchen chair. But I had to wait. For an hour so, but it felt like a decade. When I finally unwrapped my huge present, I was delighted to see that I had a new best friend. A Brown Bear. He (I immediately decided it would be a He), also got the very original name Brown bear. We had a few good years, but three years later he was brutally replaced with a 30cm elephant, who even stole his clothes. We went from best friends to vaguely acquainted after that elephant episode. I renamed him to Bruno during the mid-90s, because I believed he had grown up, so he needed a grown up name.
The anti-dress movement
As you may have read in the spot-on interview on lifestyle blog dejlig.nl, the early 90s were also the beginning of the anti-dress movement which included me, myself and I. I hated dresses. They were to girly, girly and…I just hated them. After my 5th birthday I decided that it was enough. Pants, tops and (very occasionally) skirts for life! I wouldn’t wear a dress again until I was 19 (with one wedding exception).
If you don’t wanna hear it, you have to feel it
1. Do you remember that moment when you’ve just learned how to cycle. You’re not afraid to use your hand signals. Yep you’re riding on your bike with just one hand on the wheel. You feel awesome. Well, let’s take it a little further. Cycling upright and showing your hand signal. And…BAM you’re on the ground. Maybe a little bit to overconfident.
2. Then the somersaul episode. We used to have some sort of chin-up bar in the neighbourhood where you could somersault. It’s all fun en games when you’re small, but when you’ve become taller for the chin-up bar, you can not roll as smoothly as you used to. If you’re smart, you’ll listen to your parents when they strongly advise you not to do it, because you’ve become too tall. If you’re stubborn, you’ll learn it the hard way. You get stuck when you’re hanging upside down and eventually fall on your head. More importantly, you’ll never do it again.
3. Using a normal kitchen chair as a rocking chair is not a good idea. However, back then it was creative and kind of my thing. Although, once again, I was strongly advised not to do it. I just liked to move. You can already guess that I’ve seen the ground a few too many times with my “homemade” rocking chair.
Read that dictionary like a novel
From the moment I could read, reading became a hobby of mine. It’s one of the reasons why I can still read very fast. On primary school, I was always a few levels ahead and at a certain point I had literally read all the interesting books of the local library. What’s a girl to do? Ask for a (Dutch) proverb dictionary and start reading it like a roman. The proverb dictionary had 700 pages. After 300 pages I decided that reading a proverb dictionary like a novel is a little strange, so I stopped. On the bright side: I knew (and still know) a lot of proverbs.
When it was all about the music
In the nineties, MTV and (in the Netherlands) TMF were all about the music. Hits of those days were so diverse: from eurodance to happy hardcore and from popular popsongs to hardrock. I even tried the happy hardcore dance. I know, you didn’t expect that, did you? But…anything was possible those days and it was all good. Nowadays this music is already nostalgic and seen as a guilty pleasure. Some songs still make me chuckle. I also remember sitting in front of the television and waiting for the (typical Dutch) top 40 and Clipparade. I had to be on top of the music game. I also remember the beginning of the popularhitlist top 2000 which started in 1999 on radio 2. I even set my alarmclock on a random Saturday at 7AM, just to record a song on a cassette and rewind it until I was too lazy to get off my bed to hit the rewind button
Timing is everything
Close your eyes and go back to 1998. Imagine the Fifa World Cup soccer. Imagine your home country is playing in the semi finals and then imagine that your tv stops working. So what do you do: rush to another person’s home in the neighbourhood. Not one minute to lose. Well, actually we lost 15 minutes. But…we still were able to watch the most important part of the game. Pffew.
Who needs a hairdresser?
In the early 00s I thought it was a good idea to cut my own hair. Who needed a hairdresser? I must say that it started well. Then I became overconfident again and cut some more and it went downhill. Ironically, nobody believed that I cut my own hair. It was the fault of the crappy hairdresser. Which was me. I did learn my lesson again and let someone else do the cutting from that point on.
Last, (for today) but not least:
Pronunciation – You’re doing it wrong
When it comes to home supplies, the brand Philips is related to my childhood memories. I always thought Philips was a very interesting word. When I was around 12 years old, a whole new world of pronunciation opened for me when I finally learned that Philips was pronounced fi-hl-uphs and not pii-lups.
Well, that’s it for now. If you have some funny childhood stories, do let me know. Bringing up personal, nostalgic memories is always a good idea!