Awesome Things From The 80s Kids Today Will Never Know

by Lori Ferraro
Originally Published: 
A curly-haired 80s kid, now a woman, carrying heavy makeup on the left side and the paper note on th...
quantiumpix / Getty Lori Ferraro

There are so many things I miss about the decade of my childhood and teendom, the ‘80s.

Sure, we had the obvious best things … music, movies, fashion, and hair – they were THE BEST! But there’s also the simple things. The little things that sometimes come to mind that make me yearn for my youth. And my Stiff Stuff hairspray. I get misty that my kids will never experience certain little things.

Things like:

The magic of hitting play and record.

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How the Star-Spangled Banner would play at the end of the night and television would “turn off” for the day and go to white snow.

Feeling the wires underneath the rubber coiled telephone cord while you talked.

Signing a friend’s autograph book.

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MTV World Premiere Videos.

Making sure you’re home in time for your shows, otherwise you missed them.

Getting a note passed in school with your name on it.

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The thrill of getting cable television.

Walking around a video store with nothing in mind to rent.

Standing in line for concert tickets.

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Entering a lip-sync concert at a teen night club.

Cruising a strip mall with friends.

Not knowing what was on unless you had your TV Guide.

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Dance Party USA.

Driver’s Ed – in school.

Reading all the song lyrics after unfurling the inside of a cassette tape.

The anticipation of waiting for your film to be developed to see how your pictures turned out.

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Calling the movie theater to hear the recording of movie times.

American Top 40.

Digging to the bottom of the cereal and Cracker Jack box to get to the awesome prize.

Getting a box of tapes in the mail from Columbia House.

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The smell of a test in school, still warm fresh off the mimeo machine.

Writing down a friend’s telephone number. Or looking it up in the phone book.

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The excitement of not knowing who was on the other end of the phone when it rang.

Getting a letter in the mail from your pen-pal.

Aspiring to win “Battle of the Big Hair” in the yearbook.

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And holy moly…


God, I miss my mall.

I do still take my kids to the one video store left in our neighborhood. We look at the backs of the boxes, read them out loud to each other and decide what we want to watch. I like that.

And we sometimes go to the mall, just to hang out. Pretty sure that’s more for me than it is for them.

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