The 90s are my safe place. When I feel scared, threatened, insulted, poorly dressed, stupid, insipid, uninspired or underappreciated, I can always look to the 90s for comfort. An example- tonight, feeling tired and bedraggled, I got home from a rainy walk and listened to Annie Lennox’s ‘No More I Love You’s’ 12 times on repeat. And I marvelled at her range and I watched the video on Youtube and I wondered if I could make my eyes do some of the crazy expressions she makes her eyes do and then I tried to make my eyes look super-crazy.
That made me feel better. So I listened to ‘Too Close’ by Next… and then ‘Ditty’ by Paperboy and then ‘Do You Sleep’ by Lisa Loeb. I could go on but I think you get the point.
The thing is, I wouldn’t be me if it wasn’t for pop culture in the 90’s. Honestly. I wouldn’t be a feminist if it wasn’t for Liz Phair, Poe, Veruca Salt and Alanis Morisette’s ‘You Oughta Know.’ And speaking of Alanis, I remember watching her on ‘You Can’t do that on Television.’ AND I remember when she was a teeny-bop popstar.
I wouldn’t be a nerd if Lisa Loeb hadn’t made me feel like ‘cute’ and ‘geek’ weren’t mutually exclusive terms. I wouldn’t be so ok with having achieved very little for a person my age if I hadn’t been convinced that ambition was actually kind of lame by grunge, alternative and Troy Dyer. My first romantic feelings were experienced in tandem with listening to the New Kids On The Block’s album ‘Step by Step.’ I don’t think I would be quite such an anxious person had I not fed myself at such a young age on z-95.3’s toxic mixture of KLF, Snap and Technotronic. Staying up late with my brother Sean to listen to U2’s ‘Mysterious Ways’ on the ‘Top 8 at 8’ was a formative experience in my life. My friend Dory wanted to be a fly girl. My friend Jill and I bought Vogue to look at pictures of Carla Bruni, the supermodel (as opposed to the pop singer or the French president’s wife), swathed in Alaia and Versace (Gianni, Not Donatella). And I have very vivid and precious memories of walking to Kelly Goodridge’s house at lunchtime to listen to ‘Again’ by this girl you might know named Janet Jackson
I very firmly believe that the birth of my emotional and self-aware self occurred the night that my parents let me and Sean stay up to watch Kris Kross on In Living Colour.
I never said I was normal. But I bet you aren’t so ‘normal’ yourself.
In case you care, I’m listening to ‘Rump Shaker’ by Wrexx n Effect as I post this.