10 Things I Miss About The 80’s

Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that the 80’s were 40 years ago. Seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the purple shag carpet in my room making what I believed to be the greatest mix tape in the history of the world.

Here are 10 things I miss about the 80’s…

1. Being Unreachable

Are cell phones convenient? Of course they are, and I use mine a million times a day. But sometimes, I long for the days where people did not expect to be able to reach you 24/7. Between texting, email, and direct messages on social media, there is little escape. People expect answers and they expect them NOW. Even if it’s just my mom, whom I love dearly:

“Janene, I texted you. Where are you?”

“Janene, I left a message at the house. Why aren’t you answering your cell?”

“Janene, it’s mom again. Call me back.”

Mind you, this is the same woman, who in the 80’s, let me take off on my green banana seat bike for HOURS with my friends, with no way to get a hold of me.

Conversely, I did not interrupt my mom at the grocery store with text after text, as my family does to me. CAN I JUST GET DOWN THE CHIP AISLE IN PEACE PLEASE??

2. Gas Prices

I got my driver’s license in 1987 when gas was about 90 cents/gallon. I could fill up my little 1978 hatchback for like $13.00. That’s quite a few trips to Blockbuster Video…


3. Roller Rinks

There are no roller rinks where I live. My kids will never know the pure freedom and excitement of hanging out with friends at the rink on a Saturday night. I’ll never forget nervously wondering if anyone would ask me to skate when the announcer called, “Couples skate!” and then played, like, “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie LOL.

4. Less Entertainment Choices

You might be thinking, why would anyone want LESS entertainment choices?? But hear me out: when I was a kid in the 80’s, we had like 13 channels, as did all of my friends. There were only a handful of shows we could watch, so we ALL watched the same shows. You’d be hard pressed to find an 80’s kid that has never seen an episode of The Love Boat, Family Ties, Cheers, Three’s Company, or Little House on the Prairie.

These shows gave us common ground, something we could all talk and laugh about together. 

Today, we have hundreds and hundreds of shows and movies we can stream in a matter of seconds. I’ve noticed that now, whenever I’m in a group of people and TV shows come up, everybody is watching something different. That automatic commonality is gone.

Not to mention, sometimes I find the amount of choices overwhelming – sometimes it takes me so long to decide what to watch that I fall asleep 10 minutes in!

5. Libraries

Yes, I’m aware that libraries are still around…but with Google available it’s just not the same. Libraries hold a special place in my heart because I was such a bookworm as a child. My mom would drop me off and I’d grab stacks of Judy Blume books and lay in between the shelves, reading for hours. I think I read entire novels on the floor of the library. When I walk into a library today, the smell of all those books takes me right back to my childhood.

6. Mixtapes

OMG I just dug my memory box out of the garage and found these. I am SERIOUSLY wishing I had a cassette player right now. Half of these are me singing – which is horrifying – and which my husband and children would probably PAY to hear so they can make fun of me for the rest of time. I laughed when I saw “Joanie & Chachi” on my list – who remembers that “Happy Days” spin-off??

7. Pen Pals

Did you guys ever have a pen pal? I had a few growing up, and in that memory box I just unearthed, I found a bunch of old letters. Including one from my friend Allison, who wrote to tell me she had 180 Charlie’s Angels cards LOL…

8. The Sears Christmas Wish Books

Oh, the excitement of finding this in your mailbox on a cold November day. My brother and I would fight over who got to look through it first. I would lie on the floor in the living room, pencil in hand, circling all the things I hoped Santa would bring to me.


9. Record Albums

I’ll admit, it’s pretty convenient when I’m cooking dinner to say, “Alexa, play ‘The Beatles’ and seconds later I’m bopping along to Hard Days Night. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hold a special place in my heart for the records I grew up with. I still have a bunch of them…and yes, that is a legit autograph from Bruce Springsteen that says, “To Janene…my only true love, Bruce Springsteen”. But that’s a story for another day!

10. Backyard Birthday Parties

We didn’t have costly entertainment or special themes. My best birthdays were spent with my grandparents, my cousins, and the neighborhood kids. Add an ice cream cake from Carvel and some streamers and it was always a good time. That’s me, showing off my new Polaroid camera!

I hope you enjoyed this walk with me down memory lane…what do YOU miss about the 80’s?

You know what else happened in the 80’s when I was a teenager? I met my husband! Check out our story here: https://imightbefunny.com/marriage-humor/the-story-of-us/