By: Gabriela Yareliz
[Written by a 90s child]
Do you remember sitting in the back of the family car waiting for your Happy Meal. Then, suddenly your bag would come, a parent would open it and rummage through your meal to make sure you had everything (including ketchup packets and BBQ sauce), and then the tan cup tray would come through the window and your bag would be passed back to you. You would open the Happy Meal bag, and the first thing to come out would be: the toy.
I probably have boxes full of McDonalds toys. There were the Flintstones, Hot Wheels, mini Barbies, mini Beanie Babies, new movie action figurines–I didn’t always care whether it was a girl or boy toy. As long as there was a toy, I was okay. When Beanie Babies were all the rage people would go to McDonalds just to buy the mini animals filled with plastic beads.
I was in Tribeca recently, where I saw a Happy Meal toy display, and everything came back to me. Also, my family was cleaning the shed, and they would share with my the little treasures they found from my spoiled childhood. All of this combined, reminded me of: my rock collection, my plastic bins with many compartments filled with beads, clear fish wire and plastic thread lanyards; birthday party goodie bags filled with the bright orange notepad that would erase everything when you’d lift the bright orange plastic, candy necklaces and Polly Pockets. I thought of the pens filled with water and confetti, Scholastic Book Fairs, and the eagerly awaited book orders. There were the American Girl catalogs, which defined each season. I thought of Mary-Kate and Ashley shows and movies, Lizzie McGuire and Teen-Vogue-reading summers in junior high. There were so many things that made me smile.
Lately, my mind has been going back to these joys. I feel so blessed to have had such a full and glittery childhood. I know many are not so fortunate. I thank my parents for everything they provided for me.
I know I wouldn’t be standing exactly where I am without every piece and element adding to my essence.
For nostalgia’s sake, here is Hilary Duff’s new single (her comeback). When I heard it– her voice, lyrics and face, the song took me back; way back. I hope it takes you back, too.
/Love the life I live; and I will live the life I love/–Chasing the Sun, Hilary Duff