What nerdy shit did you and your BFF do in the nineties?
I have been best friends with the same person since the seventh grade. We’ve never drifted in all of these years. There is nothing about the other’s life of which we weren’t a part. Here is some of the things we did that I bet you did, if you were a teen girl in the nineties and especially if you grew up in the Greater Toronto Area.
You’d go a few times a month and go on all the rides a million times. You’d specifically choose rainy days because there’d be fewer people and you were guaranteed to be able to go on all of your favourites, multiple times. At least once, you did one of those antique pictures where you’re photographed in 1800s garb, in brown and white and somewhere in your memory box you have one of those Wonderland keychains with your picture inside.
Somewhere, buried in your house, you have a tape from a singing booth, where you rocked out to Richard Marx’s Right Here Waiting. You know you did. And it was the worst and best thing ever.
I have pictures of my BFF with her mullet and she has pictures of me with my brushed out curls and sequin, balloon skirt grade nine graduation dress (see above!). You would never show one, without knowing you risk the other being made public.
We could NOT have been the only ones who did this. Please say we weren’t. My best friend and I totally went into a Sears portrait studio with a couple of friends and got portraits done. Somewhere in a shoe box, I still have my key chain. I should really start using it again. It’s gold.
I don’t think kids do this anymore, do they? Anyone else take public transit to a mall, or have their mom drop them off, and then just wander for hours, talking about who knows what? Now, I guess kids just chat over text. Back in my day, we walked malls with stores in which we couldn’t afford to buy anything, because we were thirteen and babysitting paid $4.25 an hour.
Late eighties/early nineties was the age of the Glamour Shot. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the one where they make fourteen year olds look seventy and they have them lean on their fist with a smile and giant hair. One of the two of you did it. The other had to pretend it was awesome.
Ah, the good ‘ol days. The ‘back in my day’ days, when life was simpler and there were no smartphones or Facebook. There is no evidence of our bad hair and clothing choices. We are the lucky generation that limboed under the generational line that divides us from the social media generation. I don’t even know if most of us realize how lucky we are there aren’t pictures of our mullets and glamour shots, or our smart ass comments on the internet for the world to see.
I’m glad the most awkward days were shared with a friend who lived them with me, and not a world that would find it as embarrassing as it was in retrospect.
Long live the mall rat and glamour shot years. And long live the best friend who experienced it all with you.