the eighties and you.

On my iPod as of tonight: 166 albums, three audiobooks, 1,200 pictures, and 51 full-length movies…and the hard drive is only half full.

Remember the days of schlepping around a Walkman, and a tape or three?

Of course, I was a poor kid, and I had the knock-off Walkman from the discount store, and all of my tapes were either my clumsy compilations of radio-taped stuff, or copied from friends’ albums.  I remember quite a few recording sessions where I’d stop by at a friend’s place to record a specific album or single I knew they owned.

We don’t have personal jet packs, flying cars, or robot butlers yet, but being able to carry around a whole collection of CDs and DVDs is pretty cool, too.  I know that if you handed my 14-year-old self that iPod on my desk, that kid would lose his shit.  (Of course, he’d only recognize the music in the “Classic Eighties” playlist, and he’d only have 40 hours of listening time before the lack of USB-equipped computers in 1985 would render that iPod a pretty paperweight.)

Here’s a fun exercise: if you could give your 14-year-old self a brief piece of advice from your present self, what would it be?

I’d tell my teenage self to scowl less, shower more, and stop listening to shit like Peter Cetera.  (Seriously, kid…trust me on these, or you won’t get laid until well into the next decade.)


16 thoughts on “the eighties and you.

  1. ilcylic says:

    “Know when to stop on a project.”

    There’s about 8 or 9 project vehicles in my past where I got way farther into the disassembly phase than I knew how to reverse at the time, thereby rendering the vehicles in question nothing more than very large, unwieldy albatrosses. And of course, that tendency doesn’t apply to only things with 4 wheels, or even any wheels at all.

  2. MarkHB says:

    Don’t trust people richer than yourself – or poorer, either. Neither of ’em like you for who you are. Actually, very few will – live with it earlier, rather than later. Always bet your own skills over other people’s promises. There’s no such thing as natural fairness: You were right. But artificial fairness is a pretty amazing thing.

    It’s never safe enough to travel alone and unarmed.

    One thing I’m still trusting my 14 year-old self on? Don’t get married too early. When my 40-year old self reports back on not getting married to late, I’ll let you know.

    Oh, and one last thing, 14 year old me: Buy lightweight mice.

  3. Dominique says:

    I would tell myself that introverted does not necessarily equal snobbish, and that I would be well benefited by getting out the house, away from my parents and at least trying to interact with my peer group.

    And that sweat and a bicycle are my friends.

  4. Liberty says:

    One piece of advice. Easy.

    “Dude … seriously … don’t do it. You’ll understand.”


  5. Turk Turon says:

    Fourteen years old? In the Eighties?!


  6. divemedic says:

    1 Don’t get married before the age of 25.

    2 The recruiter is going to lie to you. Don’t go into the military, at least not until college is over. Being an officer is better than being a janitor, which is what you are going to mostly be doing if you buy the recruiter’s line and enlist.

  7. jessica says:

    14-year-old J: Try pumpkin pie before you’re 23. Don’t fall in love so easily, and try not to get into so many situations where you will get your heart broken. Badly. Not just by people, but by ideas you fall in love with, too. Write more letters. Take more photographs. Bake more cookies. Watch more movies. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to be alone so much.

    Oh, and take more naps.

  8. Jay G. says:

    What would I tell my 14 year old self?

    “Let your hair grow long, despite what Dad says, because it will be gone in 8 years…”

  9. Michael says:

    Worry less and enjoy what you have more.

  10. Adam says:

    “Buy a hat.”

  11. Dirk says:

    Buy Microsoft and Coke stock. Sell in 1999. Stay away from Popeye’s.

  12. Calvin says:

    Those bully girls in high school will go no where special. Ignore them. Stay strong and confident. Your success will come!

    . . . and buy Apple, Intel and Microsoft stock at your first opportunity!

  13. Stop concentrating on being miserable, and ask that girl out.

  14. “see that cute new blonde in the corduroy miniskirt? keep your distance or she’ll be your babymama before you’re a junior in high school…”

    see, now time-travelling advice ain’t always so good, is it? i would have listened to that shit, and where would i be now, without the hardest-working, through thick-and-thin, for-richer-or-poorer, in sickness-and-in-health, pure-minded, most-devoted-mother, most gorgeous woman my sorry ass could ever ask for, in the whole wide world?

    you lives your life, makes your choices, and takes your chances,…and tough it out…no do-overs.


  15. “True love” ain’t.

  16. John says:

    “if you could give your 14-year-old self a brief piece of advice from your present self, what would it be?”

    Relax. Listen more. Smile more. Walk more. Don’t go to the Christian Bible Camp for the entire summer.

Comments are closed.