In 1989 I turned 12 years old. I started out the year in 6th grade and spent the majority of the year learning what "cool" was.
Cool in 1989 was all about acid washed jeans, crispy gravity defying hair, Aussie 3 minute miracle (presumably to revitalize the crispy hair), and giant camcorders that recorded it all on full sized VHS tapes. I spent most of the year jamming out to Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation and Paula Abdul's Straight Up while crushing on a boy who hadn't discovered girls yet.
The Coreys were on their way out with Dream A Little Dream and Keanu Reeves was making his debut in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. We were on the verge of a new decade and things were changing.
I remember, distinctly thinking that this was cool:
It was mostly a terrible year for me, the year that encompassed the end of 6th grade and the beginning of 7th. I rode the bus to my middle school and endured relentless teasing from older, more popular kids. I was chubby and had an unfortunate case of acne and my parents had not yet succumbed to the begging and pleading from me to buy my clothes at Benetton and The Gap.
I wanted a boyfriend and I envied my friends who were fortunate and cute enough to have already experienced the joy that was parent chauffeured dates to the movies and phone conversations until 10 pm with a cute boy. I wrote angsty poetry and doodled smiley faces and hearts in my notebooks. I learned how to write notes to my BFF in code and fold them in the shape of an arrow.
It's this stage of life that my oldest child will be entering in the next few months.
I think things might be better for him. I think maybe things are better for kids in general these days. I hope so anyhow.