According to the Times, Generation Y nostalgia is currently having a moment. It might seem a little early, but since Gen-Yers are also supposed to be self-centered, I've put together a slideshow of things I'm nostalgic for.

The Times says Gen-Yers, born between the years 1980 and 2003, are looking back longingly at Britney and Eminem (hence their respective comebacks, except they really haven't been away that long). Also ripe for nostalgia: Harry Potter, despite the fact that the final movies haven't even come out yet. And a marketer for Live Nation refers to Blink-182, Limp Bizkit and Creed as "classic rock for the next generation," which make me pretty depressed about the future of oldies stations. Allow me to take you on a tour of the things I actually miss, starting with the oldest and ending with the newest.

Bike Shorts Under A Skirt

Yeah, I know 80s nostalgia has been pretty exhaustively catalogued already. But that doesn't stop me hankering for this combo from time to time. When my mom finally bought me a connected bike-short-and-skirt outfit, my two crushes told me they were going to fight "for the friendship of you." I don't think they ever did it, but it remains the high point of my romantic life to date.

Image via Chictopia.

Alvin and the Chipmunks

As the oldest child, I had pretty strict TV rules (my younger brother was totally watching When Wild Animals Shred Your Face as an infant). So I missed out on Fraggle Rock, Small Wonder, Saved by the Bell, Clarissa Explains It All, and the Nickelodeon universe in general. But I did get to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks, and I ate that shit up. Who can forget the episode wherein Chipette Britney tries on various outfits to the tune of "Material Girl"? Not me.

Creepy Crawlers

Somebody recently told me that these devices, in which you could transform colored goo into small, slightly squishy insects, were supposed to be a boy's version of the Easy Bake Oven. Whatever. They were my version of awesome. I'm pretty sure they had to put warnings all over the box that you couldn't eat the bugs, because, with their candy hues, you wanted to so bad. There was also an accompanying Creepy Crawlers show, featuring animated versions of the bugs and presaging later disturbing toy-media crossovers like Transformers.

The Butthole Surfers

Screw Eminem, I miss the Butthole Surfers. I bought their wittily titled Electiclarryland for the song "Pepper," and quickly learned that when you buy an album because you like one song, you have to listen to a bunch of songs like "My Brother's Wife" (lyrics, if I remember: "I fucked, I fucked, I fucked my brother's wife!"). I don't so much miss their music (which is apparently still on offer) as much as I miss the thrill of buying an album with the word "butthole" on the cover and a picture of a horrifically injured ass-cheek on the inside. Ah, youth.


The Times uses Y2K as an example of the quaint fears of a pre-9/11 world, a world Gen-Yers wish they could return to. But at the time, it was really scary! Maybe because my high school history teacher told us that the Soviet Union had nuclear missiles aimed at the 500 biggest American cities, which would go off in the event of even the smallest computer glitch. Thinking about December of 1999 makes me nostalgic for a time when ill-informed grownups could still strike fear into my heart. Now I have to do it myself.

This Really Great Sandwich I Ate In 2004

It looked kind of like this, except with Havarti cheese and olive tapenade and avocado. I had just come back from a summer in Boston, where I was trying to save money by stretching a can of beans over an entire week, and I was kind of depressed and anxious and hungry, and my friend Max and I bought these huge sandwiches and ate them on the beach in Santa Cruz. A little actual sand got in them. Yeah, you kind of had to be there, but this slideshow isn't about you, it's about me.


Ah, Wednesday. Such an innocent time. I woke up, I wrote about the male brain, I ate some pizza. If only I had taken the time to savor Wednesday, to really revel in a day whose beauty will never come again! Until next week.

Harry Potter Is Their Peter Pan [NYT]