And why shouldn’t we? As a country, we were kicking ass. The economy was great, the internet was just beginning to take off, and the music was fucking awesome. Just ask any high school or college student about that gloried, fabled time period, and you’ll probably receive a flurry of “omygods” and “the90swereawesome” and, most frequently “I am totally a child of the 90s.”
I hate to break it to you, university students, but you are not children of the 90s. You weren’t children of the 90s in the 90s, you aren’t children of the 90s now, and you won’t be children of the 90s in 20 years. You are not a “child” of that time period, so shut the fuck up and stop claiming you are.
I’m guessing that a high volume of rage has just begun to flow through your body, 19-year-old reader. “Fuck you, Giblets; I was born in 1993; I am so from the 90s! You don’t know me! Besides, you were probably adopted anyways, jizzsleeve.” It’s ok to be upset; denial is the second stage of ultimate acceptance, right after the initial shock – on a related note, sorry for making you spit Jones Soda all over your keyboard.
Now let’s really delve into this issue; let’s pop open the hood and really take a good look at the engine that is this “children of the 90s” phenomenon. Firstly, claiming that you are a “child” of something is a heavy label. For example, you are literally a “child” of your parents, meaning not only do you automatically inherit their physical genes and some of their properties, but you take a large and heavy personality influence from them. That influence goes beyond simple aesthetics – their favorite bands, clothing, and television – and reflects something deeper; their emotional psyche, their physical habits and mannerisms, their personal views and attitudes towards life.
If you are in fact a “child” of the 90s, your link to that decade must go beyond aesthetics and target deep inner workings. For instance, I can’t go up to some random guy on the street and start calling him “dad” just because we’re both wearing T-shirts with George Costanza on them (although I have done that before, but that’s for another article). I have to really understand that person, and have a full and cognitive recognition of his personality and inner workings – in addition to, once upon a time, being that guy’s sperm. Likewise, I can’t just say that, because I watched Aaahh!!! Real Monsters when I was 6 and owned a cassette of N*SYNC’s No Strings Attached, I am a full-fledged and healthy child of that period – I have to have been cognitive and aware of so many other things that were occurring for the majority of that period – politics, economics, the hottest women of that era, etc.
So what is the date of birth limit, therefore, in order to have been “fully cognitive” for most of that fabled decade? 1993 or later is definitely too young – sorry, reader; please don’t spit your soda out again; I warned you this time. As people, we really don’t have a clear idea of everything/anything that’s going on in the world until the age of 9, at the very earliest. If you were born in 1993 you would have been 6 in 1999. Fucking six! I was still pooping my pants occasionally at six, and you’re saying that I somehow found time in my busy day of eating boogers and playing with my ding-a-ling to think about the economic effects of the Silicon Valley boom? Furthermore, let’s say you finally realize Santa doesn’t exist at 9, thus signaling your manhood/womanhood. You would have to have been alive for at least five years of the 90s (i.e., starting in 1995) in order to say you remember them clearly, meaning that, by examination, the latest date of birth for a “child of the 90s” is 1986.
If there are any 26-year-olds out there, congratulations; you have actually earned the title. For the rest of us? Sorry, but we are children of the 00s, or millennials, or whatever the fuck VH1 chooses to call them – the pathetic, economically shitty, musically disgusting, and – dare I say it – heinous, 2000s.
If you still haven’t reached acceptance, let me try to coax you through this troubling time with another analogy: a guy who takes a vacation to Italy for two weeks, sees the Colosseum and the Parthenon, eats some Spaghetti, smokes a cigarette, and knows how to say “I would like a coffee with milk” in Italian can’t come back to America and start calling himself an Italian. He has only scraped the touristic and strictly aesthetic crust of that country; he doesn’t know anything deeper than a simple passer-through would know.
By that relation, our generation – kids born between 1990 and 1995 – we are that tourist. We see some Full House reruns on Nick at Night, listen to “I Want It That Way” occasionally on our iPods, dance The Macarena ironically at frat houses (because the ladies love it. Don’t deny it, ladies) and say “Jiggy” every so often, and suddenly, we have dual citizenship – despite the unavoidable fact that we are legal children of the 2000s, that we were – inevitably – influenced strongest by the 2000s, by Ms. New Booty and Get Low and Spongebob and a unified hatred of George W. Bush, we put on the 90s kid cap and shake our thangs like Rico Suave. Chances are, you don’t know who that is. Ergo, millenial.
Yeah guys, I agree, the 90s seemed pretty awesome, but these things repeat themselves. Think – in 10 years, college kids are going to be saying they are children of the 00s. And the heinous part? They’re gonna be proud of it.