What Were You Obsessed with as a Kid?

My colleague’s two-year old has an extreme obsession with trains. As in, he plays choo-choo train non-stop and they occasionally have to take field trips to the nearby Metro station to watch the trains go by.

This kicked off a conversation about the stuff we were obsessed with as kids. There were your normal things—GI Joes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, He-Man (I LOVED that cartoon). But eventually this gave way to the less popular obsessions. Like an extreme fascination with construction equipment.

In the early years, my obsessions included:

  • Carebears (I still have them all at my parents house)
  • Rainbow Bright
  • My mom’s Barbies (from the 60s)
  • Dinosaurs*
  • Outerspace (so you can imagine the poor timing of this, which happened on my fourth birthday)
  • Tree climbing
  • Forts

Later, these obsessions expanded to include:

  • Boxelder bugs
  • Secret passageways
  • Woodworking
  • The color black (for part of third grade, I dressed entirely in black.)
  • The Amish (Facebook friends recall the recent discovery of my home movie, “The Amish Transvestite,” which I made with my best friend when we were about 12)
  • Rare and life-altering medical conditions (see Lurlene McDaniels)
  • Leaving the house when the clock was on an even number

I’ve outgrown most of this stuff (still obsessed with secret passageways and outerspace), but I still can’t understand how my parents look at me as a sane and rational adult after living with me as a child. Strangely, it makes me excited to think about what little personalities D and I have in our future.

So. What stuff were you obsessed with as a kid?

And while were talking about kid stuff, I loved this kids’ choir performance of Jonathan Coulton’s “Still Alive.”

* My early obsession with dinosaurs led me to enroll in “The Age of Dinosaurs” at the University of Iowa. It ended up being a class about biology and focused largely on plants. I ended up dropping the class. Because of that, I ended up having to take a summer course in earth science, which I actually kind of enjoyed. Honestly, if I could do college all over again, I’d take a lot more summer courses. A condensed schedule, smaller classes and a more laid back environment.  And being on campus when everyone else was back home for the summer was really enjoyable for reasons I can’t totally explain.

Wow, did I digress.

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3 responses to “What Were You Obsessed with as a Kid?

  1. He-Man! I loved He-Man! Do you still have the leaving-the-house-when-the-clock-is-on-an-even-number thing happenin’ – cause wow! How insane did you drive your folks?! (I give parents credit for all the weird obsessions they had to put up with, and I have a feeling that I will get repaid with my future children – especially since I married the king of weird obsessions :))

    Remember Cabbage Patch Kids and Jem and the Rockers!? I also recall a crazy obsession with Paula Abdul – back when she was cool and ‘Cold Hearted Snake’ was the raddest song on the radio. Oh, forgot to mention my obsession with anything neon. My clothing was blinding.

  2. YES! I loved Paula Abdul and our third grade dance trio Hot Stuff performed a very serious dance to “Cold Hearted Snake.” What I wouldn’t give for a video of that.

    Loved Cabbage Patch Kids! Although I somehow missed the Jem boat. Hilarious about the neon–was definitely into that for awhile as well. There may or may not be a fourth grade class photo of me neon pink/leopard print stretch pants. Yowza.

    I got over the clock-on-an-even-number thing, though. And my use of copious hairspray. I’m lucky I have any loofs left.

    Oh, man. Parenthood could be pretty hilarious. 🙂

  3. Loofs! Yes! I am glad you and I both didn’t lose our loofs to the tin can!

    I would give anything to see the ‘Cold Hearted Snake’ routine as well – that is awesome 🙂

    Neon/leopard stretch pants sounds like something that’s almost back in fashion now – scary! I really hope some things stay in the 80s.

    Parenthood is going to be awesomely hilarious – especially if a dog/cat can crack us up this much!

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