Children of the Eighties

We are the children of the Eighties.  We are not the first "lost
generation" nor today's lost generation; in fact, we think we know
just where we stand - or are discovering it as we speak. We are the
ones who played with Lego Building Blocks when they were just
building blocks and gave Malibu Barbie crewcuts with safety scissors
that never really cut.  We collected Garbage Pail Kids and My Little
Ponies and Hot Wheels and He-Man action figures and thought She-Ra
looked just a little like I would when I was a woman.  Big Wheels and
bicycles with streamers were the way to go, and sidewalk chalk was
all you needed to build a city. Imagination was the key.  It made the
Ewok Treehouse big enough for you to be Luke and the kitchen table
and an old sheet dark enough to be a tent in the forest.  Your world
was the backyard and it was all you needed.  With your pink portable
tape player, Debbie Gibson sang backup to you and everyone wanted a
skirt like the Material Girl and a glove like Michael Jackson's.
Today, we are the ones who sing along with Bruce Springsteen and The
Bangles perfectly and have no idea why.  We recite lines with the
Ghostbusters and still look to The Goonies for a great adventure. 
We flip through TV stations and stop at the A Team and Knight Rider
and Fame and laugh with The Cosby Show and Family Ties and Punky
Brewster and what you talkin' 'bout Willis?  We hold strong
affections for the Muppets and The Gummy Bears and why did they take
the Smurfs off the air?  After school specials were only about
cigarettes and step-families, the Polka Dot Door was nothing like
Barney, and aren't the Power Rangers just Voltron reincarnated?  We
are the ones who still read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, the
Bobbsey Twins, Beverly Clearly and Judy Blume, Richard Scary, and
the Electric Company. Friendship bracelets were ties you couldn't
break and friendship pins went on shoes - preferably high-top Velcro
Reebok - and pegged jeans were in, as were Units belts and layered
socks and jean jackets and jams and charm necklaces and side
ponytails and just tails.  Rave was a girl's best friend; braces with
colored rubberbands made you cool. The backdoor was always open and
Mom served only red Kool-Aid to the neighborhood kids- never drank
New Coke. Entertainment was cheap and lasted for hours.  All you
needed to be a princess was high heels and an apron; the Sit'n'Spin
made you dizzy but never made you stop;  Pogoballs were dangerous
weapons and Chinese Jump Ropes never failed to trip someone.  In your
Underoos you were Wonder Woman or Spider Man or R2D2 and in your
treehouse you were king. In the Eighties, nothing was wrong. Did you
know the president was shot?  Star Wars was not only a movie. Did you
ever play in a bomb shelter?  Did you see the Challenger explode or
feed the homeless man? We forgot Vietnam and watched Tienneman Square
on CNN and bought pieces of the Berlin Wall at the store.  AIDS was
not the number one killer in the United States. We didn't start the
fire, Billy Joel.  In the Eighties, we redefined the American Dream,
and those years defined us.  We are the generation between strife and
facing strife and not turning our backs. The Eighties may have been
(scratch that) The Eighties may have made us idealistic, but it's
that idealism that will push us and be passed on to our children -
the first children of the twenty-first century.  Never forget: we are
the children of the Eighties. If this is familiar, you are one of
us... pass it on to all the others.