I am way behind on Stranger Things, which came out in 2016. I didn’t have Netflix. I only knew one person who watched the show early on. Had I known it was so good and has Winona Ryder in it maybe I would have watched it sooner.
The show happens in Hawkins, Indiana in 1983 inspired by the U.S. government Montauk Project experiment—that MK Ultra experiment on children. I’m loving the premise of the story already.
This is the time when I grew up and I was about the same age as the kids in the show. I didn’t grow up in a small poor town. Some of the show doesn’t feel like the 80s to me, but the more I watch I hear the music and see the food and they update the clothes it starts to feel more 80s. Now Renaissance Man can relate to the show quicker than me because he grew up in a small white town. I grew up in the suburbs where it was multicultural in an upper middle class Mexican/Spanish/Irish/Italian and the list goes on family.
But it is true we did eat a lot of waffles and pancakes on the weekends. Eleven or El, the main character, likes her waffles frozen. We didn’t eat Eggos. My mom made waffles. Really good waffles. In fact, her waffle maker broke at the hinges after about 40 years of having it. Back then her appliances were from the 60s and 70s and they were made out of steal not partly plastic. Oh and there were donuts after church. And I remember after dance class on a rare occasion my mom would take me to Winchell’s and buy me a donut and orange juice. When I went to slumber parties my friends’ dads would make pancakes. And they’d make them tiny as silver dollars.
As Stranger Things goes along in Season 1 it reminds me of other movies. When the kids are riding their bikes trying to escape the vans they pedal over lawns. It reminds me of the E.T. scene as the kids escape the police. Renaissance Man said that was just how it was. We all rode our bike through our neighborhood. True. Also the horror part reminds me of all the movies we watched at slumber parties like the 1960 movie Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock. We thought it was so scary, but it was more suspenseful. I didn’t watch all the Stephen King movies like Christine, but Stranger Things font has that King vibe.
And of course, the music takes me back to 1983. I loved listening to “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane because my mom loved that song and she probably sang it in her band in the 1960s. I remember listening to Modern English’s “I Melt With You” every time it came on the radio, which was daily.
1983 wasn’t a bad year. I think that was the year I became a vegetarian. My mom became vegetarian before the rest of the family at the nudging of Old Hippie. I remember BBQ chicken and ribs phasing out of our house being replaced with tofu burgers that had those carrot chunks or we would make our own out of tofu and oatmeal and shredded carrots. Wheatgrass was becoming a thing in my world. Renaissance Man said he thought his friend’s dad who drank wheatgrass was weird. I came from a weird family. And we didn’t worry about it. We just accepted each other for who we were. And we found other weird people.
Now that I think about it, 1983 was a good year, but I wouldn’t want to go back. I like my life now even in the Upside Down we seem to be living in.
From blog of melissacrismon.com
Copyright 2022 Melissa Crismon