We’ve all done it. We’ve cracked open our parents’ photo albums and asked “What was with her hair?” Or “Why are the bottoms of these pants wider than the waist?” or “I can’t believe those glasses were ever ok.” And our parents would smile and begin to justify strange and sometimes even terrifying trends that were considered completely acceptable during their young adult years. And yet we still mock them. The words of the Bible “by your standard of measurement, it will be measured to you” remind us that we too shall have much explaining to do to the next generation. May this blog offer you assistance as you think (perhaps right now) about the things for which even you, 2012 trendy hipster, will have to provide justification.
1. Silly Bands
You see, kids, they were just like rubber bands, but so way cooler. They came in different colors and in the shapes of our favorite stuff: puppies, kittens, rocket ships, Twilight characters (Bella was colorless) and then we put them on and they….and they…they looked rubber bands! They were so cool they were HIDING their coolness. One time a kid had so many on he lost his circulation and doctors had to SURGICALLY remove them. I saw a picture on the Internet. That’s where we used to get all our facts.
All we had to do to hear the voice of someone hundreds of miles was tap the screen of our cellular phones (they were much bigger in 2012), but our favored method of communication was to type on a little keypad and transmit the message to another person’s cellular phone. We especially liked endangering our lives by doing this instead of paying attention while driving. Also, getting a text message almost always meant that you stopped talking to the person right in front of your face. Anything else would be totally rude.
3. “The Bachelor”
In the early 2000s, we decided to beautiful people needed help finding people to date and that the rest of us needed to watch it happen. This would combat smoking hot loneliness and Monday night boredom. Television networks found attractive people, gave them professional stylists and then recruited even more attractive people of the opposite gender to compete for their affections in a the ultimate test of evolutionary aptitude which we called “The Bachelor/Bachelorette.” We would watch one man/woman go on dates with over twenty women/men until they had to chosen an ideal mate to then have a dramatic breakup with in fake newspapers. We used to say to each other: I watched them get together on my living room, and I watched them break up in the grocery store aisle.”
4. Beanie Babies
It was a masterful marketing idea. You would make collectible beanbags in the shape of animals and keep using the word “collectible” so as to deceive people into believing they would one day be valuable enough to risk your life savings right then and there. Teddy bears were often dedicated to people, places or things. Usually it would be one incredibly random design meant to represent something so big that any association would be a stretch. Soccer ball=The Summer Olympics. Clover=Ireland and possibly the entire United Kingdom. The craze went for a few years and then everyone smartened up and put their Beanie Babies into storage: where they took on the same level of value as the plastic bins in which they were stuffed.
5. Side Effects
It was perfectly acceptable in 2012 to take medication with side effects that were potentially worse than the ailments the medication was attempting to treat. For instance, medicine that combated social anxiety disorder came with the possible side effect of uncontrollable bowls or extreme flatulence. But those were risks to take to not be nervous at a party. You could always take something else to combat the flatulence, but be warned: it could make you a little anxious.
Fashion was different back then, kids. It was totally okay to draw pockets and zippers on leggings and delight as people thought they were real jeans. Who needs jeans when they can have the feeling of craftiness? We actually believed that jeggings were not as ridiculous as leggings with the little elastic band to go around our feet, called “stirrup pants” which was an utterly ridiculous name, unlike “jegging” which made total sense.
Because we sent so many text messages in 2012, we could not be bothered to actually type things carefully, and to save us the embarrassment of misspelling things, our phones came equipped with something called autocorrect. Here are some examples of how it saved us:
“We have a few things to discuss” became “We have a few thongs to discuss”
“Out of practice” became “purifies rice”
“I think it was all the chicken I ate” turned into “I think it was all the children I ate”
“I’m available for lunch Thursday” turned into “I’m available for lunch Unitards”
…It really kept us from embarrassing ourselves.
One day we will all look back and think: “2012…we were crazy back then.” And our children will probably take a break from harnessing solar energy to agree. They will shake their heads in disapproval and embarrassment and then go out to play with the hover boards we were promised in Back to the Future. And we will not resent them.