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What was your childhood bedroom like?

by Amanda Cruz on May 13, 2022.

I grew up in the era of lava lamps, boy bands, butterfly hair clips, black lights and boomboxes, all of which HAD to be in my childhood room. Being one of five kids meant, you shared a room. My sister, sidekick and partner in crime and I shared the BIG room located at the top of the stairs directly to the left. Our room was a ‘new millennium’ kids dream. It represented everything ‘cool’ happening in that era.

Let’s start with how to enter the room, to enter the room you must first pass through long strings of beads that spanned the length of the door in various sparkled colors. These beads were critical to set the stage of our 2000’s kid oasis. Were these the most annoying thing to walk in and out of daily? Why yes, yes they were. Consistently, tangled into a webbed knot was a common occurrence. Once you passed the beaded fortress, you are hit in the face with a giant graffiti shrine across the main wall. My sisters and I’s names were artfully spray can painted across the entirety of the main wall (oh, and the name “Shaboo” that is what we called our childhood dog whose actual name was Millie…weird I know.). In addition to the street graffiti, our walls were covered in the best representation of the music at that time so…. boy band posters (like a LOT of them), Spice Girl posters (if you were not a Spice Girl fan, you were not my friend), and ‘rapper’ posters (my sister could out ‘rap’ anyone)

Having a TV in our room was quite a luxury. We had maybe a 16 inch TV that was longer in length backwards then the screen itself (basically as heavy and clunky as a boulder block). This boulder block of a TV unlocked a world of epic television that I would argue simply does not exist today. A nightly ritual of ours was to watch Forensic Files (yes the show that unearths terrible murder mystery details). This was what we fell asleep too (in retrospect, its a little odd but my love for crime stories apparently started young). TGIF and SNICK was a pre-teen to teen’s Friday night lineup. This lineup consisted of some of the most memorable TV of the time, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Boy Meets World. Are you Afraid of the Dark?, Full House, Step by Step and Sister Sister. A lot of time was spent going through the weekly paper TV guide to highlight our ‘must watch’ items for the week (no joke, we took a highlighter and flagged what we needed to watch) this was of course before any fancy TV guide or ‘on demand’ TV schedule.

I mentioned having a boombox. Boomboxes are not a ‘thing’ anymore but wow were you ‘cool’ if you had one. We had a very large black boombox that took up a great deal of space in retrospect, but space well deserved nonetheless. We had a case full of CD’s all perfectly classified in a plastic ‘filing’ like case. You wanted Spice World, O’town, Eminem, hand mixed ‘hits’ that we curated to bring the best of the best into a single CD, you got it! Before the world of digital music, listening on the radio for your favorite new ‘jam’ was critical. Inserting a blank tape, waiting god knows how long for the song you want to hear to come on to find yourself RUNNING to the boombox to hit ‘record’ so you could create your own mix tape was the norm. Patience was key if you wanted to capture your favorite songs to listen to over and over again.

The memories created in my childhood room will stick with me forever. From sleepovers to black light dance parties to sneaking in your first boyfriend. I can say my childhood room was nothing short of a kids dream room. "SPICE UP YOUR LIFE!" as the Spice Girls would say.

Amanda Cruz, May 13, 2022

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