90s Children, What’s Up?!

Little Man discovered a new-to-us show on Hulu called Fresh Off the Boat. It’s about a Chinese family that relocates from DC to Orlando, FL and has to adjust to suburban type living. It’s also set in 1995, so I have been loving seeing some reminders of my childhood. I was 11 years old in 1995, just like Little Man is now, so that somehow adds to the neatness factor a little.

The boy loves the show. In fact, the little Benedict Arnold bastard has been watching the show behind my back, leaving me to catch up on my own. That might sound harsh, but he did the same thing to his dad, who wanted to watch Green Arrow and Flash with him. We’re both on the verge of disowning him.

The main character Eddie is quite the slacker and loves the rap/hip-hop stuff that was all the rage in the 90s. Think Biggie, Tupac, etc. I never listened to them because I’m vanilla as fuck and have zero interest. The CD I had on repeat then was the soundtrack for The Baby-Sitters Club Movie. It was replaced a couple years later when Hanson released their Middle of Nowhere album with MMMBop on it. Did I say “vanilla” already?

The funny little brother.

The boy has been listening to a lot of music on his phone lately. He has entered the earbuds stage of adolescence — you know, the one where they listen to music nonstop and don’t want to speak to you as much. It’s a double-edged sword because you like talking to them, but they also tend to be smartasses, so it’s nice to skip out on that. I’ll admit, I haven’t really paid attention to what he listens to, because he builds his playlists out of the stuff we have on iTunes. The most kid non-friendly thing we have on iTunes that I can think of is a Weezer song called Can’t Stop Partying that talks about partying and drugs.

I can’t stop partying, partying
I can’t stop partying, partying
I gotta have Patrón, I gotta have the beat
I gotta have a lot of pretty girls around me

It has some explicit stuff when Lil Wayne comes out and raps. It was the song that made me realize I should pay more attention to the music I play. That happened when the then 4-year-old LM started very clearly singing about mixing alcohol with pharmaceuticals in line at Chick-Fil-A. It’s not a good defense, but since I struggle making out the lyrics to a lot of songs (unless I read them a bunch of times), I didn’t take notice of the lyrics. I started trying to play closer attention after that. (But still failed at least once when Baby Girl sang No Scrubs.) But, like I said, as far as LM is concerned, I don’t pay much attention these days because there isn’t much of anything in our library that LM shouldn’t listen to.

You see, what I didn’t know was LM’s dad put Amazon Music on his phone. And there’s a shit ton of stuff to listen to on that.

What I also didn’t know was just how much LM has taken a liking to the kid Eddie from the show, namely his love for hip hop. So he started listening to all sorts of hip hop and rap, including Tupac, Biggie, and Eminem. (For the record, I did actually like Eminem in my later teen years.) I discovered this when my best friend who has my Amazon info asked me about why I was listening to so much rap all of a sudden. I wasn’t, of course, so I asked my husband, and he told us about LM’s new musical interests.

Oh boy.

I realize now that I wrote three paragraphs on LM’s new music, and that’s really not where I was going with this, so back to the 90s stuff.

Fresh Off the Boat has been fun to watch. When I was watching with LM, it was cool to point out some of the stuff that he’d otherwise have no clue about, like the damn Internet modems that hog your phone line. Who remembers this sound?

I had a love-hate relationship with that sound. I absolutely loved the sound of connecting to the Internet and doing all of the things that made me feel so mature, even if I did accidentally make myself a target for being kidnapped in Yahoo chat rooms by divulging my age and too much personal info. (Every 90s kid with Internet access did that, though.) But those of you who had dial-up modems know how long that shit could take, and eventually the love of hearing the dial-up noise went away as the rage took over.

How dare you take 5 minutes and 42 seconds to connect me?! 

And damn it all to hell when someone would pick up the phone or you’d randomly get disconnected.

Oh and the times when I left it connected all night while I downloaded music from Napster and then Limewire and then Kazaa. (Granted, we’re in 2000 by that point, but it’s still childhood/young adulthood stuff.) Anything short of picking up the phone to call 911 for a heart attack and disrupting my downloads was deserving of a beat down. I tried to download movies as well, but they mostly ended up being porn videos, so I stopped that. (If y’all wanna talk about some scarring shit, try being the most vanilla and naive 15-year-old in the world and opening a very rough porn.)

The show talk about Zimas, which I had never heard of until a few years ago when my husband took a trip down memory lane. He appreciated the reference. The kids have Sunny D’s and Lunchables. Sunny D is the best, and I still buy it from time to time. I could never understand the appeal of Lunchables. Some of the kids are clearly in their Nirvana/grunge phase. The slang.

Releasing anything remotely related to the 90s is a surefire way to make money. I’m looking at you, manufacturer of the Oregon Trail game I spent $30 on. Everyone in my class loved using that old computer with the big ass floppy disk to play that came.

Watch it if you’re looking for something new and funny. It’s not as funny as The Office, but it has a lot of great moments.

What’s something from your childhood you’ve seen make a comeback or would like to see make a comeback?