So you want a good old fashioned 90s summer, huh? I don’t blame you. The 90s rocked! (Literally, thanks to Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder.) I’m not going to lie—I take slight offense to the use of “old fashioned” and “90s” in the same sentence, as I’m pretty sure the 90s were like 10 years ago, but I’ll still help you out. If you’re really doing this though, you’ll need to ditch some of your modern conveniences, like your phone. I know, I know, but it’s a requirement. You may bring a beeper or clunky flip-phone, but no internet allowed on those suckers. And certainly no social media. OK, if you’ve given up Snapchat and any hope for WiFi, you’re ready to step into my time machine. Whitney Houston, we’re coming for you, girl.

First, grab your CD player and favorite tube top, because we’re doing this 90s summer right. So you know what that means! We are headed to the beach to party. (Or a cornfield.) Either way, we’re gonna need some tunes because . . . 

It’s Summer summer summertime, girlfriends. Time to sit back and unwind . . . 

Next, go ahead and round up your favorite CDs. Top picks include TLC (No Scrubs and Waterfalls, obvs) and Good Vibrations by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. If you can’t find your Coolio CD, we can stop by Sam Goody really quick because you know we need Gangsta’s Paradise. Also make sure you’ve got that mix CD you made that has Boys II Men, Alanis Morissette, and Dave Matthews on it. That’s a good one. 

You definitely need to dress for the occasion, so I think you should totally wear those cut-off shorts you made from last winter’s French-rolled Gap jeans. You know, the ones you sewed patches on? And don’t tell your mom because those jeans were like 38 bucks. I’m also bringing a floral babydoll dress to change into later, and a giant flannel shirt and combat boots in case I get cold. With five scrunchies and butterfly clips to choose from, of course. A girl needs options. What if the Real World shows up looking for cast members?! We need to be ready.

And later, my parents promised to leave us alone in the basement so we can watch Dazed and Confused AND I Know What You Did Last Summer if we can get to Blockbuster before they close! But only if we call them and let them know where we are, so we need to bring some quarters to use the payphone at the corner store. 

Did you pack snacks for the beach/cornfield? I got some Fruit by the Foot, a Lunchable, and a Cherry Coke in my backpack, so I’m good for a while. 

And if you’re stopping for food, can you grab some disposable cameras so we can take super cute pics of all of us? Like of ourselves? Self-pictures, I guess we’ll call them? 

I’m bringing my rollerblades and Brittany says she has a Slip’N Slide in case we don’t make it to the beach. We need Super Soakers too, so we can spray the boys if they invade our party. I totally hope they do, especially Josh from homeroom—the one with the hyper-color t-shirt and JNCO jeans. He’s so fly. Ugh, they’ll probably just bring their hacky sacks and pretend to ignore us like they did in front of Spencer’s at the mall last weekend. Remember that? I was like Whatever. Talk to the hand.

I just got a new bathing suit from Fashion Bug that I cannot wait to wear. And if the party’s lame, I guess we can hit the tanning beds and then go to Six Flags instead. There’s also that Dave Matthews concert coming up, and we can still get lawn tickets I heard! So I’m saving babysitting money for that, too.

If you think of anything else, call me on the clear phone in your bedroom and makes sure your little sister doesn’t kick us off by dialing up AOL. Or page me 41 and I’ll call you back. All this planning has made me hungry, so I’m gonna heat up some Totinos Pizza Rolls and veg out in front of the TV. I think Buffy is on, but my brother wants to play Super Mario Bros. Ugh. As if!

Catch you later! This summer’s gonna be Da Bomb! 

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Why I Loved Being a Teen in the 90s

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Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson is a freelance writer who is known on social media as The 21st Century SAHM. She is an assistant editor at Sammiches and Psych Meds, staff writer and social media manager for Scary Mommy, and is the author of I Brushed My Hair Today, A Mom Journal for Mostly Together Moms. Follow Karen on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram