Born in the 90’s? Quick Translations When Communicating With a 30/40 Something

As I sat and watched The Goldbergs with my son a few days ago, he was getting frustrated when I would pause the show every few minutes to walk him through why something was so funny. I wanted him to have as good of time as I was having and he needed to know.

“Oh my God…Oh my God! They are not going to do the Time of My Life Dance! No…they are! Oh my God!” I would exclaim, giddy like a school girl, watching the actors imitate Baby and Johnny.

Despite this officially being one of the best Goldberg episodes, I could tell P was not that all into it. I wanted him to have as good of time as I was having watching these references.

A few hours later, I got to thinking about all the movie and tv references I use at the young age of 39. Yes….young..ok? Young! Any friends and family born in the 90’s usually fake laugh or smile; trusting it’s funny, but not really having a clue as to why they are laughing along with me.

So here is my cheat sheet of terminology I use as well as references to some very popular movies/shows:

TV Dinners

“Hey Hot Mess did you pack your lunch today?” My co-worker would ask wanting to go out for lunch.

“Yeah, sorry. I just brought a tv dinner.”

TV Dinners= Frozen Meals. They are called tv dinners because it was a foil container, sectioned off, holding the following: Salisbury steak, mashed potatos you could NEVER get cooked and green peas. Once cooked, you would simply peel back the foil to the worst meal in your life. Oh yeah, and these were eaten in front of the tv, never at the table.

Tape That

Now we have DVR, HULU, Netflix, etc. In the 80’s we had to “pop a tape” into the vcr, hit record and watch the magic happen.

In addition to your home grown tapes, you would amass 100 VCR tapes of movies you bought at places like Blockbuster or a mom/pop VCR place. You would proudly display your VCR tape collection starting with the recorded shows on the bottom of a bookshelf and putting movies like Indiana Jones and Back to the Future directly in view. This was an aesthetic choice as you had to write the title on the VCR jacket and sometimes you scratched it out and it just became really sloppy.

Look….it’s a Pat! 

Don’t know Pat? YouTube it! Pat was an SNL character that no one could figure out was a man or a woman. People would ask questions of Pat but Pat’s answers were vague at best. Where did Pat buy clothes? The Gap. Things only got worse when Dana Carvey played Pat’s significant other who was equally androgynous. To this day, if I come across someone I can’t tell is a man or woman, I call it a PAT!

Pen pals

“So basically he’s your pen pal.” I said to my oldest son after he talked about a kid he was e-mailing.

“Pen what?” My son asked.

“Pen pal,” I reiterated. “You don’t know what that is?”

P shook his head no.

I then had to explain how his nerd of a mother would literally wait on the front porch for the mailman because she was expecting 20 letters from her various pen pals from around America, the result of her 3 trips to Space Camp as a Tweener. Don’t judge me.

Below are some old school 80’s/90’s pop culture references I use; probably on a weekly basis. If you are in your 20’s and need a translation, please let me know in the comments and I will translate for you.

This place looks like the Regal Beagle

Insane in the membrane!

What chu’ talkin’ bout’ Willis?

Picture it…Sicily…1941…..

Kiss my grits!

Just cinch it!

Just say no!

I learned it from you, ok? I learned it from you!

I’m the king of the World!

Whatever! (circa Amber of Clueless)

So all my friends old enough to remember ALF, what did I miss? What do you reference these days that younger folks look at you like “what?”

And my younger compatriots, what do the “wise ones” say that your like WTF?



2 thoughts on “Born in the 90’s? Quick Translations When Communicating With a 30/40 Something

  1. I love this post because I’m the same way. My son doesn’t get The Goldbergs nearly as much as he should, but he gets some of the movie references because I forced him to watch all the 80’s classic movies

    Liked by 1 person

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