When I Was Your Age…

Top 10 Things I Never Thought I’d Say to Teens When I Got This Old That I Actually Catch Myself Saying to Teens Now That I Am This Old:

  1. When I was your age… followed by something really corny or inappropriate that further accentuates my old age.
  2. We didn’t have cell phones (when I was your age). We had to keep a spare quarter in our shoe in case there was an emergency and we had to use a pay phone!
  3. (When I was your age) We didn’t have email or IM. We wrote notes, folded into fancy shapes.
  4. Why would you wear that? Aren’t you cold?
  5. You call this poppy crap music?
  6. When I graduated high school, you weren’t even a good idea yet.
  7. You’re young! Enjoy it while it lasts! It’s all downhill from here! Or some variation on the youth/downhill theme…
  8. I wish I could eat like that and stay skinny.
  9. I have nail polish / underwear / concert ticket stubs older than you.
  10. Um, yes, I am the author of that book. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Okay, I kind of like saying that one!)

10th GradeAnd to round out tonight’s theme, I’d like to send a heartfelt note of thanks to my dear OLD friend Amy DWP.

It takes a special kind of friend to notice, point out, and call special attention to each and every one of someone’s gray hairs, and tonight, you did that for me. They (and I) felt quite honored!

Especially considering that when I was your age, we didn’t have gray hair. We had Sun-In! And Aqua Net! Check out the lift on those bangs!

Well now you’ve got me all nostalgic, so…

Top 10 Things That Were Cool When I Was Your Age

  1. Rolling, safety pinning, or some other creative method for tapering the cuffs one’s jeans. Anything that didn’t cut off ankle circulation was considered bell-bottomed and therefore banned. Boot cut? We would have ostracized you!
  2. Big, immovable, indestructible bangs of steel (um, see photo above).
  3. Walkmans. That’s right. We didn’t have iPods when I was your age. If we wanted new music, we had to save up $8.99 to buy a cassette tape at the mall.
  4. Making mix tapes, either by dubbing cassettes (for those of us lucky enough to have a double cassette deck) or by holding the recorder right up to the stereo.
  5. Sissy tests, in which you let someone scratch the back of your hand rapidly and repeatedly until you pulled away. The longer you could stand it, the less of a sissy you were. If you didn’t have bleeding gashes on your hands, you were a loser. I made my own to avoid the test (some call it sissy, I call it genius) and told my parents an elaborate tale about slipping on the parallel bars in gym. That should have been a dead giveaway, considering I never did anything strenuous in gym, especially anything that had the potential to mess up those bangs.
  6. Writing out all of the lyrics to songs so we could sing along.
  7. Getting super creative with writing notes to girlfriends, like in code, colors, or with a really cool fold that no one had ever seen before.
  8. Going stag to dances in big groups of girls. We had to go stag. Getting too close to the guys was a bad idea — we could kill someone with those bangs of ours! (Well, okay, maybe going stag was just my personal fad, since I never had a steady [or presentable in public] boyfriend.)
  9. Hair scrunchies, often more than one at a time.
  10. Cootie catchers, aka fortune tellers, in which you write little clues on paper and fold it up into this little thingy and… well, check out the explanation here if you really want to know.

And now I want to know… for all the readers over 18, what was cool when YOU were a teen?

11 thoughts on “When I Was Your Age…

  1. When I was a teen? Hmmm…

    You had to wear a pair of Docs, or at least own one.

    Straight hair, no curls.

    Definitely had the notes thing – creative colors, code, shapes, even code names!

    Low-rise jeans were so cool, but super hard to find, I believe Silver Tags by Levi’s were the only ones. And if you wore tight jeans, you were a loser. Bells and bootcut were the way to go.

  2. Straight hair was mandatory, we even ironed it. Part right down the middle – NO bangs. Bell bottoms and mini skirts. Pantihose !! arrrgh!! Shoes with no hose usually meant you were a slut. Ok, that’s enough, damn Im old, we didn’t even have walkmans, the vinyl albums didn’t fit in them !!! and yes, I’m over 18 ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I thankfully missed out on the whole puffy hair thing. Everyone I knew thought Marylin Manson was cool. I had a rainbow of hair colors, but my personal fav was cherry red. I would use cherry kool aid to dye my hair. I also had purple hair for a few weeks, but it looked more like grey on my light hair. Black nail polish and silver lipstick were also very cool. Piercings were cool, but I was always too much of a wimp to get any done. Most of the other teens I knew had something other than their ears pierced. I’ve cleaned up since then, but I still think Manson is cool as hell. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Hmm..what was cool? Well, I wasn’t cool, but my friends and I loved X-Files and Buffy was popular when I was a teen, although I missed out it and am now catching up. In high school we loved dancing like idiots to the Spice Girls, boy bands were hitting it big again, and everyone wanted to have their romantic life turn out like Ten Things I Hate About You, She’s All That, or whatever other teen movie was showing. IMing and chatting online was cool and if you could think of a clever away message, than you were awesome. (Although the away message thing was more in college, but it was totally your signature and a peek into your life-looking back I can’t believe how much thought I would put into those stupid things!)
    But high school was still high school and teens were teens and mostly we hung out, had fun and enjoyed acting goofy and not caring. I miss it sometimes because I was so carefree as a teen, now I have responsibility which is no fun.

  5. Oh and I wanted to mention that in my birthday contest I asked people to name their favorite summer read. Twenty Boy Summer tied with Meg Cabot’s books for second place with only Sarah Dessen getting more votes (she got six and Twenty Boy Summer got 5) I thought that was pretty awesome since the contest started right before the book came out. Way to go Sarah!

  6. Hmm… seeing that I’m only 20, most of the things that were cool when I was in high school are still cool now– ipod, cell phones, etc. Then there were the phases like Uggs with mini skirts (I NEVER did that).

    But yes, I would like to point out to you that although we had cell phones to text people, we still did number 7– write out notes to each other! My BFF Andrea and I had a notebook that we’d pass back and forth to each other. It was in such code that nobody could understand that it was us gossiping and talking about boys. We had code phrases and code names for everyone, we’d also write in Italian and Spanish b/c we both were taking it. And to everyone else, I’d make notes with colors and doodles then proceed to fold them up in to fun shapes.

    And, I would agree with number 8. I turned down a few guys during high school to go stag with a big group of girls. Partly because I didn’t want the guy to think that I liked him if I went with him and also because my friends were way more fun than a guy could ever be… it would just be awkward unless I was previously dating him! I only went to two dances with a date, and I had been dating the guy (and still am!) for over 6 months for each dance (now it’s almost 3 years!).

  7. The Backstreet Boys, N Sync, and 98 Degrees. Flannel shirts. Super baggy jeans. CompuServe, AOL and Prodigy. Dawson’s Creek. (I seemed to be the only teenager who HATED that show.) Friends. The X-Files (loved it then and still love it now). Boy Meets World.

  8. I wasn’t cool, so perhaps I’m not qualified to say? I remember Nirvana and grunge and the shirts that changed color–and z caravachi jeans (not sure of the spelling–I remember because they were Italian and the name was written sort of on the crotch on cloth tape and some guys would make fun of these by writing other Italian words on actual tape and sticking it to their pants–z spaghetti, z lasagna…) Our senior class song was Boys II Men End of the Road. For awhile in high school these sort of short suits were cool–they were long shorts with a matching blazer? I dated exactly 2 guys the whole time I was in high school, so yes, the whole group thing was def. true, although often times ours were mixed groups. I also remember color blocked silk shirts for guys, and I had this blouse with ruffles at the neck and sleeves that I wore with this magenta blazer that I thought made me look like Prince…

  9. Vanilla Ice, Batman and David Letterman.

    BTW – Mix tapes are still cool.

    -James A Woods

  10. Fashion: Short, school girl skirts with knee high socks (think Clueless or Britney Spears)

    Music: Anything by a boy band. When I was in high school, I went to see N’Sync twice!

    Movies: High school movies were making a HUGE comeback (She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Never Been Kissed)

    Ooh and cell phones were gaining popularity. All my friends and I had them, but they were like the Zack Morris rectangular shaped phones. Too heavy to be a fashion accessory, but a must have for new drivers.

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