18 First World Problems Of People Raised In The '80s

by Jessica Azar
Originally Published: 
A black and yellow disposable camera from the 80s
Alex Melnick / Shutterstock

Okay, I’ll admit it: something like a pumpkin spice latte shortage at Starbucks doesn’t carry the magnitude of a natural disaster, but it can still put a damper on your Wednesday morning. So-called First World Problems–like when your friend texts your iPhone to tell you that all of the Tory Burch purses on the Macy’s clearance table are gone or when the Wi-Fi goes out and you don’t get the seats you wanted for a concert–usually deserve nothing more than a frowny-face emoji or two.

As a kid who was raised in the ’80s, though, I’m vulnerable to certain frustrations that wouldn’t faze people who were raised in a less-awesome decade. Like, totally, for sure. Some challenges are ours and ours alone.

Here are 18 First World Problems and dilemmas unique to kids raised in the ’80s:

1. Surfing TV late at night in bed and discovering that the uncut, unedited version of Fast Times at Ridgemont High is on with an hour left, but you have to be up at 5 a.m. for work.

2. Realizing that no matter how much you weigh, your husband still won’t play Patrick Swayze’s Johnny to your Baby and attempt the lift scene from Dirty Dancing.

3. Telling your kids to tape a show for you so you can watch it later and remembering they have no idea what you mean. You say “Never mind,” because translating “tape” into “DVR” for them hurts too much.

4. Finding a disposable camera in a time capsule box you packed as kid and understanding you will never be able to see the pictures on that camera, because no one develops actual film or disposables anymore.

5. Looking at the new version of the beloved toys from your childhood in the Target toy section and wondering why the hell someone felt the need to “improve” the looks of My Little Ponies.

6. Feeling indignant when you hear Nirvana on the ’80s XM Radio Station when you know damn well it should be on the ’90s on 9.

7. When someone says they’ve never seen the music video masterpiece that is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” or says the video for “November Rain” was too long, you feel sorry for them. And want to punch them.

8. Picturing your fantasy life with your childhood celebrity crush, Rob Lowe, you didn’t think it would consist of seeing his picture on the cover of a tabloid magazine looking amazing as you’re wearing sweats and buying tampons with a herd of screaming kids in tow. (Seriously, why does the man not age?)

9. Lawn darts are now banned, which means your kids will never know the thrill of truly dangerous fun.

10. The local skating rink is now a sketchy dump, so you can’t even take your kids there to relive your backwards-skating glory days.

11. No one sells Electric Youth perfume anymore…or knows who Debbie Gibson is.

12. You can’t record songs off of XM Radio to make a mixtape.

13. Frustration sets in when you realize how much stuff you could fit in your car for a family vacation if only your kids could sit in the way back of the SUV like you once did in your mom’s station wagon.

14. Realizing your Caboodles is irreplaceable when it finally breaks. The new ones are lightweight garbage.

15. Hearing “Footloose” play in a grocery store renders you incapable of shopping until you’ve done Kevin Bacon proud in the produce section.

16. You have to have more awkward conversations about uncomfortable subjects with your kids than your parents did with you now that afterschool specials don’t come on TV anymore. Thanks a lot, ABC.

17. When perusing the wine aisle in the grocery store, you can’t help but think of how handy it would be if the bottle labels were like scratch-and-sniff stickers.

18. Waking up in the middle of the night with a craving for Pizzarias Chips or Jell-O Pudding Pops is an exercise in frustration.

It’s like you just want to go where everybody knows your name, but no one around you has even heard of Cheers. So what can you do to ease the pain of these ’80s child-style First World Problems? Comfort yourself by watching reruns of the best shows ever on TV Land and Netflix and remember that you’re not alone. Resurrect the best of what you loved from your youth and leave the rest. Even though many of the ’80s fashions have come back into style, let experience and old Polaroids remind you not to wear some of them for the second time around. These teenage fools parading around in neon jumpsuits on Instagram don’t know any better, but we do. Like, totally, for sure.

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