Did you listen to New Kids on the Block?
Listened to them, lived for them, something like that. I was around 11 when they became popular, which of course is the age that guarantees that you will not only love the boy band du jour, but that pictures will exist forever of you, gap-toothed and permed, wearing sweatshirts proudly sporting the band's pictures. And of course I had every Bop, Big Bopper and Teen Beat with their faces on it, pictures of them on inexplicably ginormous buttons on my jean jacket, and a poster of Joey McIntyre on my bedroom wall.
Did you ever own a slap bracelet?
Yeah, a bunch. But we should really talk jelly bracelets.
The Babysitters Club or Sweet Valley High?
Okay, why don't you just ask me to choose between food and water? Both were finely crafted tomes about the struggles of growing up, coming of age, and Kristy was definitely gay, right? If I had to pick one (siiiiigh), I was probably more obsessive about Sweet Valley High. I started reading them in the third grade and I really felt that it helped me get a sense for what being a teenager would be like. Which worked out well because when I was finally in high school myself, I had an asexual boyfriend named Todd, drove a Fiat, and had eyes the blue-green of the Carribean. And my mischevious twin sister finally showed up! (Incidentally, you forgot Sleepover Friends. And what's up, Taffy freakin' Sinclair? I could talk a blue streak about all those bitches, too.)
Salute Your Shorts or Hey Dude?
I didn't watch either. Lame, I know. Where the hell was I?
Kids Incorporated or The Mickey Mouse Club?
I vaguely remember Kids, Inc. I think they recreated the Mickey Mouse Club when I was older or something.
Did you want Dylan to end up with Brenda or Kelly?
Okay, listen. This isn't an 80s question, but I'm perfectly happen to discuss this. Basically it doesn't matter either way because Dylan was a fucknut. The husky voice, the stupid hair, the motorcycle, the tortured past...BLEH. I liked Brandon, but I do understand that he wasn't a viable option for Brenda. The funny thing is that I still remember the creepy, pseudo-sexy dialogue between Dylan and Brenda right before he poked her on prom night. In any case, I never forgave Kelly for stealing Dylan away. So uncool! But then Brenda grew her bangs out and got boring, so whatever.
Who was ALF?
The little puppet alien guy who lived with the family and dispensed wisdom. The 80s were weird. Why did we just accept that shit? Hello, Small Wonder.
Do you remember the show Dinosaurs?
I mostly remember that my cousin Andrew thought it was really funny and I didn't. But he was also probably around four at the time, so that may have accounted for his tastes.
Do/did you know the words to the Fresh Prince theme song?
Do and did! In West Philadelphia, born and raised...
Kimmie Gibler or Urkel?
Gah, those feisty, weird-talking neighbors. What about Boner? Skippy? Mrs. Poole? (No idea what remote pocket of my brain I pulled her out of.) Also, didn't Laura end up with Urkel? Realistic.
Blossom or Clarissa Explains It All?
Blossom, although I kind of hated her and loved that her boyfriend wouldn't sleep with her. Also, can I just throw in that Elusive Jen once told me that she couldn't understand why the Huxtables' oldest daughter was white?
Bobby Brown or Tevin Campbell?
Either way, you really can't go wrong.
Step By Step or Full House?
Hmm, probably Full House. I was a little more committed to the family members and their compelling character arcs. How rude.
Did you listen to Milli Vanilli?
So much so that I didn't really understand the big deal about them lip syncing. Hello, did a complete lack of musical integrity mean that their songs were any less awe-some?
Mr. Rogers or Reading Rainbow?
I loved Reading Rainbow! I think we all outgrew Mr. Rogers pretty quickly, and some of those puppets were pretty disturbing. There was a strange dictatorship happening there with the king and queen and the rest of them.
Did you own a Glo Worm?
I don't think so.
Paula Abdul: better now or then?
Well, I was a BIG fan of Coldhearted Snake and Straight Up and Forever Your Girl and Opposites Attract and basically everything else that came out of her mouth in the 80s, but nothing beats her being drunk during live TV interviews nowadays, so it's really a toss up.
Wild 'n' Crazy Kids or Double Dare?
Um, did someone order a PHYSICAL CHALLENGE? I loved Double Dare. Didn't it seem like it was on every day? Was it? I wanted to kill the kids who didn't know that in order to go up the slide covered in hot fudge, you were supposed to put your feet on either side where there was NO hot fudge, otherwise you were never going to get that goddamn flag at the end. And I actually don't know what Wild 'n' Crazy Kids are/were.
Remember Legends of the Hidden Temple?
No, but if I was eight years old and you were suggesting that we play it in the backyard, I'd be totally into that.
The Mighty Ducks or The Little Giants?
I never saw either one.
Did you watch Saved By The Bell?
Hell yes. Jessie and her caffeine pills!
Who was hotter: Zack or Slater?
Zack! Slater was and is totally scuzzy.
Camp Nowhere or House Arrest?
I have no idea. What about Camp Cucamonga? Anyone?
Did you own a pair of Reebok Pumps?
Care Bears or Smurfs?
Again, a very tough call. I'm going to have to side with the bears on this one. They really cared.
Rainbow Brite or Strawberry Shortcake?
Rainbow was cool, but Strawberry dominated my world in the 80s.
Did you watch Miami Vice?
Did you own a pair of Jelly Shoes?
Did you own a Trapper Keeper?
Of course! I love John Mayer's quote from I Love The 80s on VH1: "Trapper Keepers were the genesis of obsessive compulsive disorders for my generation. You started out strong and then by the third day of school, the Louisiana Purchase was crumpled at the bottom of your bag and you just told yourself, 'next year.'" In related news, John Mayer is a douche.
Atari or Nintendo?
They were both addictive. I remember that Atari had some program you could buy that let you write your own game, and my dad showed me how to use it and then came back a few hours later to play the game I came up with. The first thing that came on the screen was the question, "Do you like blonds, brunettes, or redheads?" Apparently I tried to develop an escort service.
Do you remember when the A-Ha video was the pinnacle of modern technology?
Remember when? It's still the shit, thank you very much. Their love survived the trash!
Ever owned one of those embarrassing crimping irons?
I can feel the judgment in your question. YES, in seventh grade I was the proud owner and obsessive user of a pink crimping iron.
Did you have Michael Jackson tapes?
Records, even! For one of my birthdays, my dad told my grandmother that I liked Michael Jackson, but instead of Thriller she bought me old Jackson Five records. Boo.
Do you remember the first time you ever kissed someone at a dance during Crazy for You by Madonna?
I never did, but my God, I WANTED TO. When I was 12, I couldn't imagine a more romantic song.
Did you play with Transformers?
No. Mostly My Little Ponies, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and friends, Barbies, Jem, She-Ra, that kind of thing. My dad had a Transformer, though. He was probably 35.
What life lessons did you take from 80s movies?
Sweep the leg, angry marshmallows will kill you, in the future we turn into assholes or something, never say that Thor is a homo, Elisabeth Shue is the perfect girlfriend, my will is as strong as yours and my kingdom as great, the empress likes you to say her name, and when the pirate ship sails away filled with jewels, don't let it go just because you have enough in your pockets to save your freakin' goon docks. Swim after the damn ship and then you can buy the whole WORLD!