Is the 80’s the New Retro?


Is the 80’s the New Retro?

     The first time I realized that the 80’s was edging toward being retro was when I worked as a server at Nigara Falls during Grad School. One of my co-workers, who was in her late teens, refered to an 80’s song that was playing as “that’s so retro.” It took a moment to register and when I did I said to myself ~ Really? Are the 80’s retro now? How can it be retro when I’m in my early 30’s? Don’t I need to be like 60 for things to be retro? That was several years ago which makes me only a few years closer to 60, but with all the advances the 80’s are even more retro than it was back then.

 Via Flickr by windy_sydney

127 Hours and Glass Soda Bottles

     I watched two movies that kindly shoved ’80’s retro’ back in my face. First, was 127 Hours with James Franco. In one of his characters flash backs they showed old soda commercials. A man on a beach was drinking a Sunkist out of the bottle. My step-son said ‘They had Sunkist in glass bottles?’ My husband and I preceded to reminence about the good ol’ days when all sodas were in bottles and you returned the bottles back to the store. As a special treat my parents would buy the straws to fit in the long soda bottles. Back then that was the bee’s knees.

       Poltergeist, Metal Roller Skates and HUGE TV’s

                                        Via Flickr by just.Luc

      Second, was Poltergist. A couple of things in this movie made it clear how the 80’s have landed in the retro category. The first was the roller skates Diane found under the bed. You know, the metal kind that fit over your shoe. I had a pair of those and remember making sure the pin was on the right notch and cinching the front pieces down so they’d wrap around the toe of the shoe just right. Man, those things were clunky, but I didn’t care. I loved skating and would charge up and down all the streets in my neighboorhood. Today I have a pair of roller blades in my garage, very different from the skates back then.


                                     Via Flickr by antjeverena 

     The second was the TV. Man those things were huge and ugly! I chuckled when my step-son said it looked like a microwave with all the channel buttons and time on it. Then at the end the TV in the Holiday Inn was on a roller stand. Wow! That took me back to stays at motels with cots and roll-a-way beds. Both TV’s are very different from the Flat Screen TV these movies were watched on.  

Via Flickr by x-ray delta one


Real Retro

     My parents and grandparents comment on things I consider “real retro.” Like buying an ice cream for 5 cents. Or listening to TV shows on the radio and calling the operator to make a call. But, even still, my generation has experienced noticeable changes and with technology advancing as it is, more changes are still ahead. When I reach the ripe old age of 60 I wonder what I’ll consider retro then? 


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Will you still need me … Will you still feed me … when I’m 64??

    Got’a love whatever each generation calls “the old days” and put it all into perspective. Your grandchildren will come across this one day and smile … thinking poor old granny … look at what she thought was cool … can you believe people actually blogged about stuff like this??

    Great post … thanks Lara 🙂

  2. You better be careful there Missy, when you call 60 a “ripe old age!” :mrgeen: Having reached this year that green young age, I can attest that it’s not so bad! Besides, you get to call young folks like you, “Missy!” (And my doctors “Sonny!” as I pat them on the head saying “I bet your Momma’s proud!”)

    Back in the day when soda in the glass bottles were a nickel – besides avtique vending machines, sometimes you gotthem by reaching your hand down into a huge chest of ice and water, taking it out, and then pulling it through a slot track, that would release it when you put your nickel in the coin slot! Also, I remember sitting on the front porch, sharing a bottle of soda with friends. Each person took a swig, and then wiped off the top of the bottle with your hands before passing it on to the next – after all, we didn’t want to spread our “germs!” Do you remember when Coca-Cola glass bottles had the name of the city where the bottle was made? Since they were recycled by the Corp. (THOSE were the good old days!), you got a kind of travelogue just checking the bottom of the bottle! It was always fun to find out where your own bottle was from, or trade it for a city you liked better!

    I also remember when long distance telephone calls were very special things and only made at special times. You could only talk for three minutes, and an egg timer was by the phone so you would know when you had talked long enough. LD was always a big deal! There were two ways of mailing a personal letter: First Class or Air Mail. First Class was a nickel for the stamp. Airmail was eight cents! Sometimes it took a week for a letter to get to its destination!

    I could probably go on forever, but you get the idea! You are always going to be old compared to someone else, and by the same token, young when compared with another!

    BTW, when I turned 60, people told me, “Oh, but 60 is the new 40!” My reply was “No! 60 is the NEW 60!” It ain’t what it used to be. I wouldn’t be a teenager again for a million bucks; really not any other age. Life just keeps getting better.

  3. Joan says:

    Yeah – I’ll be 60 at the end of this year, also. Generally, you never know whether to mention your age or not – you don’t want to join in with those ageist people. On the other hand, you feel so – well – aged!

    Paula’s comment – love the way you speak to your doctor, Paula!

  4. John Wiswell says:

    Oh mama. There are actually movie studio execs who now say the early 90’s are old and ripe for remakes. It’s not even everything old being new again anymore. It’s just everything you can sell. At least sometimes this means a neat thing to look at a second time — I do dig the old bottles.

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      I’ve noticed that and my inner monologue says “Really? They’re going to remake that?”

  5. Joan says:

    I remember the early 70s coming round again when I was about 40 – the early 70s being the time of my youth. I think I made all the same mistakes the second time around that I did the first time.

    I agree with what John says – there seems to be a basic motive of profit these days. However, things will no doubt change again, or come around again. By the way, even Aristotle used to moan on about ‘these days’ and ‘the old days’.

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      What will pass, will come again. History is destined to repeat itself. So true. The tidbit about Aristotle made me chuckle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s