The other night, I happened to come across a showing of “Clueless” on Comedy Central. At the start no less! So, of course, I settled in to watch.
Needless to say, I love that movie. As someone who loves to quote movies, I find “Clueless” to be a gold mine of quotable lines.
“She’s a full on Monet.”
“You should always have something baking when a boy comes over.”
And on and on and on. Plus, it makes me laugh out loud even nearly 20 years after it came out.
Yeah. That’s right. 1995. Almost 20 years ago. Cher and Dionne would now be in their mid-30s. Pick your jaw up off the floor.
While I always enjoyed “Clueless” on its merits as a movie, I think the passage of time has added one more facet to why I love it so: nostalgia for the 1990s.
Yes, I admit it. I miss the ’90s. I miss the music, the TV, the movies. I STILL have the urge to have an “Ally McBeal” marathon on a regular basis. And I still have a soft spot for songs by the Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, and the grunge bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
The ’90s was probably the biggest decade of change in my life: graduating from college, then grad school, starting my professional life, moving to DC…all of that in a 10-year period. It was an amazing, frustrating and exhilarating time in life. And I think I miss that sense of starting out with life ahead of me, as opposed to now, where, statistically, about half of it is now behind me.
Looking back now from 2014, I miss the ’90s for another reason: it seemed to be the last time that everything really worked as it was supposed to. The government worked, the economy worked, diplomacy worked. It was a long streak of peace and prosperity and a sense that maybe the world had turned a corner.
Now, we know that isn’t the case. The 2000s (or, as I like to call them, the “worst case scenario” decade – we’ll talk about that another time) followed with its stem-to-stern bad news. And here we are at a time when nothing works, no matter how loudly we demand it do so.
So maybe this nostalgia isn’t just wistful musing for a time gone by; perhaps it’s also a kind of mourning for something valuable that has been lost…and fear that it may never come back.