Nineties, Netflix and Neverland

Published 10:09 am Thursday, March 10, 2016

Is it me, or have we traveled back to the 1990s?

“Full House” is back, the Spice Girls are on tour, a Clinton is running for president, O.J. Simpson is in court and those awful tattoo necklaces are making a comeback.

Maybe it’s just Peter Pan syndrome paying me a visit. Instead of facing reality, maybe I’m stamping my foot like Wendy Darling and refusing to grow up — at least for a little while.

I certainly can’t say I’m unhappy with the nostalgia (well, most of it anyway. I could do without O.J. filling the airwaves). When we were children we couldn’t wait to grow up, but now that I’m grown up, I’ll happily take a reprise of the show I used to watch as I ate my after-school snack to take me back in time.

It’s funny how the older we get and the more trials we face, the more we cling to our younger years. Think how many baby boomers you know who are still infatuated with Elvis, or Gen-Xers who know every bit of trivia there is to know about the Beatles. What about the ‘80s teens who still idolize Molly Ringwald and Tom Cruise?

As I visited my college town this weekend and saw “Kalamazoo Strong” billboards, signs, window paintings and T-shirts in response to the shooting spree a few weeks ago, that urge to return to my childhood was stronger than ever. After all, what better way is there to cope with adversity than to curl up on the couch and watch some “Friends” reruns while eating your favorite childhood meal?

Maybe the correlation between dealing with pain and uncovering old favorites isn’t as strong for everyone, but it seems to me the more time that passes and the more troubles we face, the more the trend of revisiting the past grows.

“#ThrowbackThursday” makes weekly visits on social media and the smartphone application TimeHop reminds us of memories on a daily basis. Sports teams don “throwback” jerseys and casts of popular TV shows host reunions for fans all the time. Even in this newspaper we share old photographs each Friday in our Almost Yesterday feature.

We’re constantly told not to live in the past and to focus on the present, but is returning to our roots really hurting us?

With so many scary things happening in the world right now, is it really all that unhealthy to embrace our inner child, remember fond memories and cherish the innocence that came with it? Maybe it’s true that history repeats itself — even in pop culture — but is that such a bad thing?

At the end of the day, as we work through divisive elections, controversy and crime, we share a common bond built by memories of characters and fashion trends of the past.

So, if you need me this weekend, you’ll likely find me curled up on the couch wearing leggings and an oversized sweater, eating peanut butter and jelly and Netflix-ing Julia Stiles movies, because sometimes, revisiting your inner-child isn’t so bad.


Ambrosia Neldon is the managing editor at Leader Publications. She can be reached by phone at (269) 687-7713, or by email at