Understanding Life • Life In The 90’s


“In the midst of perfection and our picket fence lives – there was death, and loss, and tragedy.”

Life in the 90’s were simple.

They were easy.

Our TV’s played cartoons, not the madness in the news. Stress was level 50 on ‘Bop-It’, or the sound of our VHS jamming in the machine. We expressed ourselves on Paint documents and through our recreated Art Attacks. Crime was an Olsen Twin episode, while horror was the theme song to Goosebumps.

The one you always forgot to turn off in time.

And in the midst of perfection and our picket fence lives – there was death, and loss, and tragedy. We’ve now been taught to fear the world that once offered happiness. Once offered innocence. We’re no longer hidden from the truth so we can no longer pretend it’s not there. Technology will no longer let us look away.

Which leaves us to wonder, did we like the 90’s, or did we like oblivion?

This image was illustrated in collaboration with Lemon Chicken Por Favor

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  • doug stuber

    To Be Human

    is to fall in love over and over,
    to never give up on any of them,
    to cry for the inhumanity, and try to
    overcome all that surrounds us by creating
    a closeness with those in proximity, both
    geographical and philosophical. It is to
    carry those loves in our heart, flooding our
    minds no matter how gone they are. And
    to put others’ needs first, understand their
    flaws, work on our own so we can be
    better helpers. It is to take it all in and
    follow our dreams no matter how preposterous;
    to pull apart another brown paper bag and
    to write it all out, no matter how choppy.
    So take my hand and make it all better
    before I repeat the painful parts until
    I can no longer act. To struggle past
    obstructions and obligations, self imposed and
    expected; to wallow in joy, build strength and
    change what we can for the better. To give.

    • That’s a great piece, Doug 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

  • Ignorance is bliss, they say. Though, I can’t say I agree that it’s the better option. There’s something to be said about knowing the truth. Sometimes I feel like that’s the only way to really grow.

    • I’ve recently realized that exact thing, Stephanie! Ignorance truly is bliss but if you lose the sense of ignorance, it’s hard to find the bliss…A great perspective. Thank you for taking the time to comment 🙂

  • I’ve been thinking about this off and on all day yesterday and today.

    I’m a little older, as you know. So for me, it’s not just “did I like the 90s, or did I like oblivion,” there’s also the question of “did I like childhood, or did I like oblivion.” For me, the age that you were in the 90s happened in the late 70s and early 80s. And I really don’t have a lot of fond memories of those days. I don’t have a lot of memories at all, in fact… it’s been harder for me to remember specifics of my early childhood, probably just because there’s a lot I haven’t wanted to remember over the years. I have some fond memories of playing alone with Legos and Hot Wheels and putting quarters in the Ms. Pac-Man machine at the store down the street, but I didn’t really have friends at that time, and all my classmates in school were really mean to me. My dad was a newly recovering alcoholic, and he worked long hours, and my brother was too young to really play with at the time, so we weren’t very close as a family either. While I was fairly oblivious to world events at the time, I’ve never been oblivious to difficult emotional experiences.

    As for the 90s, I was a high school student and a university student, and it was during that time when I finally started to feel like I had friends. I’ve been feeling nostalgic for that era often lately, and strangely enough, I think it’s for a reason much like the oblivion you describe, even though I was old enough to know that life wasn’t perfect. It seems like life in high school and college was so much simpler. If I studied hard enough, I’d be successful, and I was surrounded by people who were in the same place in life as I was. Today, success is a lot more complicated, and most of the people around me aren’t like me: they’re not my age, or they’re at a completely different place in life (they have kids, for example, that’s the one I feel the most), or both. Looking back, though, I know that I’m mostly remembering the good times from those days, and choosing not to remember the times I felt alone, rejected, and not good enough. It’s interesting how that always happens when you look back.

    I’ve been working off and on (much more off than on) for a while on a novel, based on something that actually happened to me and makes an interesting story. It’s just for fun; I’m probably never going to try to publish it. It’s going to alternate between the story of an awkward college student in the mid-90s and an atypical friendship of his, and the same guy in modern times, in middle age, finding something that reminds him of those days and gets him thinking about tracking down his old friend, whom he has long since lost touch with. I’ve told people before that this piece will be my love letter to the place where I lived in the mid-90s, combined with my resigned acceptance that those days are gone forever…

  • I love this. The 90’s were amazing. i wish the time could go back to as peaceful as it seemed back then

    • I agree! This social media & technology driven world is far too chaotic. We need the simplicity of the 90’s. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment 🙂