37 Things Only '80s Teens Understand

by Jo Macdonald

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The older we get the more nostalgic we can be and nothing brings on that nostalgia more than your kids becoming teenagers.  In an instant you're catapaulted back to your own childhood, your first kiss, the things you loved most, the clothes you wore...and how much better everything seemed!  

So here is a slightly nostalgic list of things for us over 40's to indulge in that you will probably only understand if you spent your teen years in the 80's...

1.  Having to squeeze yourself and all of your friends into a phone booth while one of you made a phone call.

2.  Waiting by the phone at a set time because that’s when you’d agreed your boyfriend would call and you didn’t want anyone else in your family to answer the phone because that would be mortifying.

3.  Having to ask permission to call a friend, getting told to hurry-up after 2 minutes and then having your mum pick up the other phone and start dialing whilst you're still talking.

4.  The concept of punctuality because once upon a time you had no way of letting people know you would be late...so you showed up on time.

5.  The joy of just switching off because, well there wasn’t much to switch off!.

6.  Having to figure out the answer to something by yourself because you couldn't just Google it.

7.  Why getting mixed tapes from a boyfriend was the ultimate in romance.

8.  Coffee dates, dinners etc. where everyone joined in and nobody was texting or playing games on their phone.

9.  When you simply ordered a cup of coffee or tea - there were no herbal/fruit teas or halfcaf-soy-latte-caramel-mocha-frappucino concoctions!  

10.  How annoying it was if someone didn’t rewind the VHS tape after watching a movie or taped over your favourite programme or the stress of trying to squeeze in another name on the label because you're recorded so many things on the same tape.

11.  When girl-power meant Madonna, Bananarama and She-Ra.

12.  Answering the phone without knowing who is calling…ever.

13.  Having to find phone numbers in the yellow pages or by calling Direct Enquiries.

14.  Having to actually remember all your friends phone numbers.

15.  The joy of a life without 500 passwords.

16.  The agony of your tape recorder chewing up your favourite tape and then having to sit there for an hour trying to wind the mangled mess back up with a pencil!!!

17.  That you had to create your own playlists by recording your favourite songs off the radio…and having the ends of them cut off with annoying adverts.

18. Religiously listening to the top 40 every week and getting very excited or annoyed about which song was at number one - because it REALLY mattered.

19.  When children’s television (or any television) wasn’t available 24 hours a day and none of us really cared.

20.  The joy of being able to have unbelievably huge embarrassing moments which weren’t shared on the internet the next day for the whole world to see.

21. Just how cool the ‘Bratt Pack’ were and why The Breakfast Club is one of the greatest movies of all times.

22.  The excitement when Nelson Mandela was released, the Berlin Wall came down and Live Aid took place and we thought the world was becoming an amazing place.

23.  You had no idea what your friends ate for breakfast, lunch or dinner and frankly you didn’t really care.

24.  You didn’t have Facebook just occasionally your face in a book if you fell asleep in class.

25.  Jilly Cooper books were the raciest thing around – there was no internet porn or sex channels.

26.  That Fraggle Rock is possibly the best children’s show ever made.

27.  Why the phrase ‘Wax on, Wax off’ is deeply wise.

28.  How Morrissey managed to make a bunch of flowers cool

29.  When the closest thing to Google was Ceefax and an Apple was just a fruit that everyone could afford.

30.  Being absolutely convinced that we would soon all be in flying cars and using hoverboards because Back to The Future was so gonna happen!!!!

31. The thrill of going from 3 channels to 4.

32. The deep sense that Pac-man was cutting edge technology.

33. That no matter how cool Keanu Reeves gets he’ll always be one-half of Bill & Ted and that is totally excellent dude!

34.  Why ‘nobody puts Baby in the corner’ and why we and all our girlfriends fell madly in love with Patrick Swayze.

35.  Witnessing the start of something special in music videos when Thriller came out.

36. That quoting Blackadder was a bit like using text speak today…everybody did it and grown-ups had no idea what you were talking about.

37.  That once upon a time you could eat anything you liked and nobody told you it was bad for you…ever!