Millennials’ Crush on Nostalgia

A lot of crushes featured on the show are based on fond memories, whether it’s the rebel singer Rachel McIntyre Smith sat by in middle school or the guys that made the ‘90s grand for Benjamin Carlton, who we first met when he was on promoting his book, ‘I’m Black, I’m a Minister, and I’m Gay.’ In those and others, you can hear a sense of heartfelt nostalgia that sweeps over them as they recount days past. So it was kismet the host of ‘Childlike At Best with Mike Valdes,’ Mike Valdes, came through with his crush on the entire idea of it all. Yes, we’re talking about why he crushes on nostalgia this week, and he had his reasons, but being the way that I am – I too have my own and some lined up perfectly with one another. Now before we dive into more with Mike later this week, let’s talk about why millennials romanticize the past so much to deal with, well, everything. 

Crushgasm just wrapped up over two months of ‘Crushin on the 90s,’ a series in which we looked back at every year of the ‘90s with former guests. As always I delivered my favorite thing, or rather crush, from every year, and in 1991 it was none other than ‘Drop Dead Fred.’ It’s not just because it is my #1 movie of all time, nor was it because I love the comedy and Phoebe Cates. It’s also about how it beautifully captures the breakdown of a 30-something. What did Cates’ character do when her world crumbles? She leaned back on her imaginary friend (AKA nostalgia) to get her through the end of a relationship, the lack of a career, and her parental woes. 

I always liken that to millennials spending their entire check on Funko Pops they’ll never open or consistently listen to the same pop-punk records from 2001 to help them combat not only the everyday stress of the world but all that’s stacked up over the years. All we’ve been through was mentioned before, right here. That’s not to say that every generation isn’t impacted because in 20 years we’re going to be dealing with a lot from the current youths because let’s be real; Zoom school while watching every adult around you fight over masks, toilet paper, and basic science…Let’s just say I cannot wait to see how that pans out, but back to my people. 

It’s like Kermit and Piggy sing in the banger of a theme song for ‘Muppet Babies:’

When your room looks kinda weird
And you wish that you weren’t there
Just close your eyes and make believe and you can be anywhere

We took that sentiment and ran with it for the rest of our lives, but that is because we have been gifted so much to look back on. I said I can’t wait to see how kids’ today pan out, but that’s because what are they going to look back on in trying times? ‘Bluey’ and Roblox can only take you so far. That’s where we differ from the generations that came after us. 

Those of us born at the tail end of the ‘80s and the start of the ‘90s were blessed strangely. We got to have childhood pretty much void of the internet. Unless you had money, then you were miles ahead of the majority. Nevertheless, we pretty much bridged the gap between a pre and post-online world, and in a lot of ways it is part of the reason we look back so fondly. We’re the last generation that can recall a world before technology took over every aspect as DVDs were the biggest thing we’d seen as kids, and as teens, we wanted nothing more than an iPod. Both of which are relics of the past now, but the memories of these bring instant smiles to our faces, along with so many other aspects that have helped ease the chaos of the world around us. 

As annoying as it may be to see Disney Adults spend every waking second at a theme park that changes as often as Halley’s Comet swings by, listen to them go on and on about how MTV was so much better with music, or read things such as this – just know we aren’t doing it because when the world is kinda fucked, and we wish that we weren’t here, we close our eyes and it takes us back to days where we felt more alive. 


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