Swatch Your Mouth

Everything has its season, and I get that. I do. I know that we don’t have phone books, really, anymore – so my kids won’t have a frame of reference when I tell them I had to sit on one for my driver’s test.

They’ll never know the joys of burple, the adorable-ness of monchhichis (yes, that’s spelled correctly) or the exhilaration that comes with painting yourself different colors of Zinka sunblock. Same for leg warmers, back-combed bangs, and the freedom to ride without a seatbelt.

These are things we got to experience, as children growing up in the 80s and 90s, exclusively. And that’s where they’ll stay, for the most part. They’re a few decades old now, super fun to reminisce about, and when you do, you’ll probably find yourself dropping references to those canvas Esprit bags we all needed, the Girbaud jeans we had to have and the Swatch watches we loved to look at, as if we had somewhere we actually had to be.

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Likely part of my “Swatch” era, because I’m wearing velour. So. 

Remember those colorful, rubber, expensive watches?  The ones with the colored bumpers you could get to protect its fragile face? And you’d get different colored bumpers so you could coordinate with your outfit.

You did. Just stop trying to roll your eyes and distance yourself from that nonsense. We were all there, with the watch and the bag and the jeans and the phone. Remember the see-through phone? I do, because I had one….and felt SO COOL.

Remember the Swatch phone, though? Remember what it did? This’ll help. The awkwardness and high-volume hair are worth it.

You could talk on both ends, and basically ambush anyone about anything. I can’t remember if I ever did, but I’m willing to bet so.

Here’s the kicker – that phone is listed as an “antique” online. AN ANTIQUE. There’s no brass on it. There’s no crank handle. No slot to insert a nickel. No fabric dipped in oil that then needs a flame to function.


Not cool. At all. Yes, some of the songs we listened to back in the day have now migrated to the “classic” station, but come on. Antique is pushing it. Hard. I wouldn’t even consider anything from my parents’ adolescence as “antique.” Old, maybe. Outdated? Yeah. But not antique.

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Antique A/C at my grandparent’s house.

I hear that word and think of the generations-old earrings and necklaces sitting in my jewelry box, previously worn by my great-grandmothers. That’s antique.

A corded phone from the 90s? No.

I don’t want to go start a fight with a younger generation, which is likely responsible for this label, but I think it’s this type of linguistic maneuver that drives people to the point of standing in their yard with a hose telling others to keep off the grass.

Just slow down with the antique bologna. By that measure, I’d be antique in a few years. But maybe that’d mean I’d be a hot commodity?