I remember the magical day when my parents (my dad, more specifically) finally broke down and bought a VCR. My unending pleas to “join the 80s” were finally heard, my dad at last conceding that it in fact wasn’t cheaper to rent a VCR from Tapedek every time we wanted to watch a movie, even if they did throw in a free rental. Plus, who wanted to lug that huge plastic case around?
Having just watched The Breakfast Club on Blu-ray, I was taken back to those days, and it got me thinking about childhood crushes. We’d peruse the pages of Tiger Beat and BOP and swapping carefully torn out pages at the cafeteria lunch table. “You have the new Jason Bateman? I’ll trade you for Chad Allen!”
I was a one-man kind of girl. I was delusionally in love with River Phoenix, my bedroom walls a shrine plastered with his image and articles about his “fave” foods, music, what he looked for in a girlfriend—you know, the kind of hard-hitting journalism Teen Beat was famous for. I watched all of his movies. Even the bad ones (A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, anyone?). I’d spend my babysitting money on movie tickets and magazines, because I just had to know every detail about my future husband. I was thirteen, and this was serious business.
We were the junior high girls of the 80s, worshipping at the altar of River Phoenix, Michael J. Fox and Matthew Broderick, Jason Bateman and John Stamos, Kirk Cameron and Johnny Depp—the list goes on, the devotion endless. Okay, that isn’t true. The devotion pretty much went out the window around the time our fingers first grasped the car keys our parents handed us with trepidation, but I bet we all still hold a little spot in our hearts for those who adorned our walls before we could drive. Who was your crush?
If you’ll excuse me, I need to go crimp my hair and roll my jeans.