Yes, I Guess I Do Love the 70s by Deb Jess

Over Memorial Day weekend VH1 aired a marathon of I Love the (Insert Decade Du Jour). My husband and I happened to catch I Love the 70’s Volume II, and it was just what I needed to catch my breath after a whirlwind launch week.

So yes! We journeyed down memory lane with Trapper John M.D., Mr. Whipple, Frank Zappa, Kristy McNichol, and Billy Joel, to name just a few icons of the latter half of the decade. But the feature I love most on those shows involves foods, toys, fads, and consumer goods from the decade, including:

Sears Toughskins
The Supercomb
Malibu Barbie
Nerf footballs
Charlie perfume
The Bedazzler
Sit ‘n’ Spin
Ginsu knives
McDonald’s happy meals
Sea monkeys
Shrinky Dinks
Easy Bake Oven
Connect Four
Pet rocks
The mood ring
Stretch Armstrong
Pop Rocks

I owned several of the toys and games mentioned above, and there’s just something about most of them that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (Despite the fact that many were probably later recalled for safety hazards.) I also remember the urban legend about how Mikey from the Life Cereal commercials died from eating Pop Rocks mixed with soda. (He didn’t, actually.) I distinctly remember watching and absolutely adoring The Muppet Movie, even building a shoebox diorama featuring Kermit the Frog floating in his swamp home. I also remember watching Land of the Lost, The Bad News Bears, The Hardy Boys Mysteries, Herbie the Love Bug, and Fantasy Island.

My mom was very into macramé décor and houseplants, which covered nearly every square inch of wall and surface space in the house. We moved quite a bit back then, but I do remember that most of our kitchens were either olive green or eye-searing orange and yellow. We had a Ford Pinto, my mom wore Charlie cologne, and we had many a family dinner featuring strange creamy noodle casseroles and sweet or savory molds featuring bits of foods that should never be suspended in gelatin, not even on a dare.

What do you remember from the seventies? (Or eighties, if you’re a member of Gen Y—oh, I’ll have to give THAT decade its very own post another time!)

Deb Jess

17 Replies to “Yes, I Guess I Do Love the 70s by Deb Jess”

  1. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Jess! I LOVED Shrinky Dinks and begged for them, even though my mother just didn’t ‘get’ why I loved them so much (looking back, neither do I). I also remember how awesome my taste in music was, thanks to my older brothers (I can still sing every word to Jethro Tull’s Aqualung and worshipped Elton John, although I never understood what a “Brown Dirt Cowboy” was). I remember that hot dogs and potato chips made a perfectly acceptable dinner and that Barbie ALWAYS initiated sex with Ken (in other words, never wait for good things to happen – make your own destiny).

  2. this morning at the gym the instructor played 70’s music on her iPod. i’m actually not a fan of much of the music from the 70’s. She played J. Giles band (remember them?), Emerson Lake & Palmer (straddling the 60’s/70’s) and Grand Funk Railroad. I could go on, but let’s just add a few more execrable songs from the 70’s: Seasons in the Sun and Muskrat Love. Need I say more?

    I way prefer music these days LOL

    I will say I so yearned for the game Mystery Date but my mother never got it for me (“Open the doors to you, bah bah, Mystery Date!”). Oh, also Colorforms. And the Easy Bake oven–she wouldn’t get me that either. My cousins got those things at Christmas time and I was green with envy. I did however have my share of Barbies (I was a fan of Francie, who I think was her cousin, right?). Of course 70’s TV and me…Brady Bunch. My walls were plastered with pictures of David Cassidy. I mean who wouldn’t yearn for him? Sad, that whole heroin addiction…

    Did you wear Garanamals? My brother worked at a men’s clothing store and he had to help find matching clothes for Mr. Rogers, who lived in our town and was color blind. I used to joke that poor Mr. Rogers needed Garanamals…

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane 😉

  3. One of my favorite memories (and one that also makes me wonder how we didn’t suffer from e. coli) is of my best friend and me making hamburgers (yes, we snuck ground beef from the fridge) in our easy bake oven. Yum, beef cooked under light bulb.

  4. Oh, this is fun! I love hearing everyone’s memories! Keep ’em coming! (Judy, I laughed SO HARD at your hamburgers in the Easy Bake Oven!!)

    I had Holly Hobby AND Dukes of Hazzard colorforms. Sad but true story: when I was in first grade, the whole class picked names at Christmas to give gifts to other kids…the student who picked my name was either too poor to buy a present (or forgot), so I ended up with the teacher’s “emergency gift for boy” of the Dukes of Hazzard colorforms. Pathos? Why yes, it’s my favorite! 🙂

    (Also, I LOVED the music from back then–that deserves its own post, for sure!!)

  5. Why didn’t anyone mention Grease and John Travolta? I remember watching that movie in the theater at least 5 or 6 times. I tried to set my hair so it looked like Olivia Newton John’s on the cover of the album and begged my mom for a pair of red Candies shoes like she wore at the end of the movie.(sigh)

  6. Olive green kitchen?? We had one of of those and orange shag carpet and I had Malibu Barbie and a mood ring. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  7. I had the Dorothy Hamill haircut!!

    And I have fond memories of “operation” and those Barbie you could give a haircut to. And Mr. Potatohead.

    And what about the Sweet Valley High books and the Judy Blume books? I read those alongside Paddington Bear, Lord of the Rings, V C Andrews, Jane Eyre and Go Ask Alice. (Any wonder I’m a bit warped?!)


  8. My hair was WAY too curly for The Dorothy Hamill, but oh, how I wanted that cut!

    I remember dying my Barbie Head’s hair purple–it stained her plastic face pretty badly.

    LOVE the Judy Blumes!! and Yep, adored Grease–I think I watched that one later, after VCRs came out 🙂

  9. A girl in my 4th grade class sported The Dorothy Hamill doo… I hope that my dubbing her “Flying Saucer Head” didn’t result in any lasting negative effects.

  10. Sure do! Born in ’63. If you don’t know the 70’s please come to my town, where we just saw a RE listing that was plucked out of (mired in) the 70’s. Macrame hangers? Check. Heavy meditteranean carved furniture? Check. Dark paneling? Check. Avocado green stove? Check. Gold glass lights everywhere? Check. Dead body of Keith Partridge? Possible, but I was afraid to go in the basement….. Yours for a mere %525. Welcome to CT! LOL!

  11. I remember dying my Barbie Head’s hair purple–it stained her plastic face pretty badly. LOVE the Judy Blumes!! and Yep, adored Grease–I think I watched that one later, after VCRs came out.

  12. Stumbled into this site by chance but I’m sure glad I clicked on that link. You definitely answered all the questions I’ve been dying to answer for some time now. Will definitely come back for more of this. Thank you so much

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