1990 Revisited

Several weeks ago my wife warned me that she would be watching the new 90210 tonight. I appreciate the heads up but I admit that my curiosity will probably force me to sit down and watch a few minutes. I expect the new show will be as terrible as the old one but the premiere did get me to thinking about what I was doing when the original premiered in 1990, and that led to this list:

Things My 16 Year Old Self Did (And Thought He’d Always Do)

  1. Drank Malt Liquor
  2. Enjoyed Jane’s Addiction
  3. Smoked Menthol Cigarettes
  4. Hated Dan Marino
  5. Waited In Line For Concert Tickets
  6. Hoped to Someday Have Sex

It turns out my 16 year old self was wrong, I only do one of those things today. What did you do at 16 that you wouldn’t dream of doing today?

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30 Comments

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30 responses to “1990 Revisited

  1. I was angry at my English teacher and she was in charge of yearbooks. I was so angry at her I refused to order one, and now I have no yearbook. I would never cut off my nose to spite my face these days.

  2. vintagecaveman

    I was afraid this was going to be a “what were you doing in 1990?” post.
    I always get the short end of the stick when that happens..

  3. **he he ** VCM
    When I was 16 it was 1975……
    I thought that I always would be driving that 1970 camero and I wrecked 8 momths later.

  4. At 16, I:

    — Made new friends on the CB radio.
    — Drove fast while drunk. And stoned.
    — Got stoned.
    — Snuck out of the house. A lot.
    — Came home in time to make Pillsbury biscuits and watch Saturday Night Live because the Stones were going to be on! (Technically, it was a month before my 16th birthday.)
    — Tackle football on the front lawn.
    — Tried to get a tan.
    — Lost the first girl that could have really been something special.
    — Had my life changed forever by “Give Em Enough Rope”

  5. betheboy

    Jim – Those first 4 actually apply to me too.

  6. I was wondering how I missed out on the whole 90210 craze. Now I get it. I was in college already and didn’t have a tv. Oh well.

    Hmmm…when I was 16…in 1986/87

    –I was the “new girl” again having moved about every 2 years, having to start over & make new friends
    –I wore high heels to a job where I was on my feet for 10-12 hours
    –Often snuck into the city, lying to my parents about where I was going
    –Accepted being rejected/ridiculed by “boyfriend” and manipulated by his best “friend.”

    That was a weird damn time and I’m sure I was doing much more interesting things in ’90. Okay, maybe not. Besides drinking, I just studied A LOT.

  7. At 16, in 1983 (holy shit!) I:

    1. would only read Stephen King novels, which pissed off my English teachers A LOT more than I thought it should

    2. thought I would never,ever, take a breath without owning all my horses

    3. believed a boy when he said he loved only me even though my best friend told me otherwise

    4. thought my parents had no idea I ever snuck out of the house

    5. listened to Pablo Cruise and thought they were the BITCHIN’EST

  8. … Looking back, the cardigan sweaters were probably a bad idea.

  9. I feel so ungirly but I don’t give a rat’s ass about 90210. I never liked that show. Does that make me unAmerican?

    At 16, what I wouldn’t dream of doing today:
    -speed in a red car (too easy to get caught)
    -have unprotected sex in a parked car (ok, just the unprotected part)
    -lay out by the pool without sunscreen
    -grow my hair long
    -drink wine coolers

  10. Mid 1980s…
    – Wore tourquoise eye shadow.
    – Stalked my ex-boyfriend (we’re married now.. he can do what he wants)
    – Dreamed about Duran Duran (wait I still do that)
    – Tried to dress like Maddie Hayes
    – Got in the car with drunk driver.. but since she was a senior it was perfectly safe.
    – Spoke my mind all the time (it’s not nice sometimes)

  11. barefoot jim

    Will,

    1,5 & 6 of your list totally apply to me.

  12. i was just getting sober for the first time in 4.24.1990, and my life was all kinds of messed up. i never thought i would get away from my abusive boyfriend, or be able to stay sober. (i went “out” after a year or so with new anniversary of 6.24.91.)

    i never thought i would ever be happy or leave the depths of despair i’d created.

    holy shit i’m glad none of that happened, what i got was far more than i’d ever dreamed possible for me and where i came from.

    p.s. i was a 90210 watcher from the first show and grew weary of it in the last year.

  13. betheboy

    Piglet – I’m glad you made it through that.

  14. At 16, I:

    -I got stoned in the parking lot of my high school
    -Wore a lot of black lipstick and listened to “A Day in the Life” on repeat while writing angsty poetry in my journal
    -Had an eating disorder
    -Rode competitively in equestrian show jumping events (not while wearing black lipstick)
    -Smoked Marlboro Lights
    -Wore pink platforms almost daily
    -Drove a Pontiac station wagon that eventually burst into flames while I was driving it (it was not a good day)
    -Dated a guy who dumped me because he realized that he is gay
    -Wore a lot of clashing polyester
    -Worked at Bath and Body Works and was required to massage the hands of customers with whatever new lotion we were trying to sell.

    I hope to never do any of these things again, save for listening to “A Day in the Life” on repeat. That I will do again.

  15. I spent most of 16 as a senior in HS and I was very boring and this pretty much sums it up for me:

    – Going to school
    – Working
    – Having Sex

    The only thing I wouldn’t do now is go to school again. Unless it was some random class that I took just because it interested me. But I don’t see that happening.

  16. Brooke and I had a pretty similar high school experience, minus horses and handjobs, of course.

  17. Jesus, I feel like I’m reading “Catcher In The Rye” again in all of these comments. How quaint was my existence back then?

  18. When I was 16 it was 1997. I know. I’m such a dinkster. Never watched 90210 either. My parents thought it was too “Adult” for me.
    I was..
    – chopping my hair off because I thought it was cool
    – not sneaking out of the house
    – obeying curfew
    – studying for AP exams
    – staying up late to watch SNL and eat Bigfoot pizza from Pizza Hut

    In general, apparently, I was practicing how to be ultra lame so I could grow up to be an ultra-responsible adult.

  19. Jax

    …I would still do a lot of the things I did at 16, but one I won’t do again is cut my bangs all short a la Janine Garafaolo in Reality Bites. I have cow-licks. Sega was big. My new nick-name at 16? Sonic.

  20. I turned 16 in 1996.

    That year I was:

    -really into punk (still am)
    -in love with my ex boyfriend but didnt want to tell him. (still am, but he died and still haven’t told him.)
    -getting kicked out of my moms house (never went back)
    -started working in radio (still do, too dumb to do anything else)
    -read like a demon (still do)
    -cut myself (don’t do that, now)
    -stone cold sober (never ever now, lol)

  21. Painted my fingernails to match my shoes
    Went to midnight movies every weekend
    Worked in a nightclub/bar
    I vividly remember swearing to my mother that I would never weigh more than 125 lbs
    And who can forget bribing bums to buy you liquor?

  22. Oh, oh, wait. I got hung up on the 1990 thing. When I was 16 I got my first “true” kiss and make-out sessions with a 20-year-old woman who was cheating on her boyfriend (who shared my birthday) to make time with me in the porn section of the video store she worked in.

    Ok, I feel much better about this thread now.

  23. Let’s see, I was 16 in 2000.

    I did the following things:

    1. Went out on New Year’s for the first time.
    2. Moved back to my hometown.
    3. Drank lots of cheap keg beer in fields.
    4. Had sex with for the first time.
    5. Got a 5 on my French AP class.
    6. Got my license, was given a car (Scuba Steve).
    7. Got my first job at Macaroni Grill to pay for Scuba Steve’s insurance.
    8. Spent spring break in California, got pulled over for the first and only time. Cried. Got out of ticket.
    9. Lost one of my best friend’s in a drunken driving crash. He was the drunk one.
    10. Attended my first funeral.
    11. Listened to the Thong Song on repeat.

    All in all, it was honestly such a great year. Even if it was sort of sad at the end.

  24. I was 16 in 1985. I did the following things I no longer do:

    – wore my hair spiked with a rat tail
    – never went anywhere w/out my kohl CoverGirl black eyeliner
    – listened to The Smiths, Psychedelic Furs, and New Order continually
    – pegged my jeans
    – swooned every time a U2 video was on MTV
    – drank Pepsi Light

  25. At least the Ex is younger than me. Ha ha! When I was 16, in 1998 I:

    1. Listened to entirely too much MXPX and Lagwagon.
    2. Had sleepovers with my guy friends every weekend (just sleeping! …sorta).
    3. Worked at Lamppost Pizza where I’d get sexually harassed daily.
    4. Made out with my best friend (who is now my husband).
    5. Wore butterfly hair clips and overalls.
    6. Got my license and drove my truck, Presidente Margarita.

    Yeah, I think only number 4 still applies.

    I think it’d be more fun to talk about what I was doing in 1990, which was rocking out to New Kids on the Block, Playing Super Mario 3, and wishing my baby brother would be a girl.

  26. jen

    I would not wear clam diggers or mens sweaters ever again.

    God, if you could SEE the pictures of me at 16. No wonder I was so unhappy.

  27. I was 16 in 1992 and grew up in the Palm Springs area, which my husband says might as well have been Beverly Hills

    – Stayed up to watch 120 minutes.
    – Frequented parties in the middle of desert/vineyards.
    – My alcohol of choice was Strawberry Hill.
    – Made out with a college guy.
    – Got stoned on golf courses or by hot boxing friends cars.
    – Wanted Dylan to be my boyfriend
    – Was obsessed with vampires, but not in a goth way.
    – Wore those black & white striped tights with mary janes and short skirts.
    – Smoked Camels…. or clove cigarettes
    – Hung out in coffee houses/Denny’s almost every night writing poetry on napkins

    The list goes on… Hell, I might need to blog about this now.

  28. how is it that i fail to follow the instructions? and write some wacky shit about the year 1990, rather than write about me being 16? i’m clearly off the rails.

  29. theletterkae

    I was 16 in 1998 as well! That was probably the last good year of music for my high school era ’cause it turned into a land of boy bands and Britney.

    In that time period of the 90’s…I was in elementary school when the original 90210 came out. I skipped out, mainly because the only two nighttime shows I was allowed to watch were the Simpsons and Unsolved Mysteries. The X Files would later be added to this list.

  30. Kate

    When I was sixteen I was

    -losing my virginity to a 20 year old in the back seat of his car.
    -running away from home to live at the beach (came back that night)
    -dying my hair white and purple
    -beating up girls who talked to my boyfriend
    -getting drunk and cheating on the boyfriend I beat girls up for
    -wore massive amounts of black eyeshadow with equally massive false eyelashes.

    I’m still doing most of this today aside from the makeup and losing my virginity.

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