There's nothing that makes me able to touch the past more than seeing TV commercials from my youth. Since I see shows from growing up in syndication, they are not quite so uncanny and tied to the past. Here are a few that mean something to me.
I had a really rotten day at work today, just wretched all around. When I left school, the first thing I thought was "Calgon, take me away!" Little did I know between the work, commute, babies, and dog, I'd be living the life of an early 1980s career woman with a family.
I had cheap parents growing up, which meant I never got what I wanted for Christmas, and usually had to settle for something lower on the list. I would spend hours staring at the pictures of toys in the Sears catalog that I wanted, and imagined what it would be like to play with them. The one I wanted the most, of course, was the imperial AT-AT walker from Empire Strikes Back, although the micro Hoth set was a close second.
Beer commercials always fascinated me, since they seemed to offer a peek into an illicit adult world. I was especially interested in the ads for old Milwaukee, which showed manly men doing manly things outdoors, only to end their days by a roaring bonfire drinking an Old Mil and intoning, "it just doesn't get any better than this." Once I was of age to drink, I quickly learned that it very easily gets better than Old Swill, even if the commercials still amuse me.
Last but not least, Energizer didn't always have a bunny to sell their wares. Y'see, back in the 1980s, Americans couldn't get enough of Australia, whether it be the dewey eyes of Olivia Newton-John, the dulcet tones of Air Supply, the big rock sound of INXS, Mad Max going beyond the thunderdome, or multiple Crocodile Dundee flicks. To cash in on this rage for the antipodes, Energizer hired Jacko, a muscle-bound, bleach blonde Aussie with a kind of maniacal devotion to Energizer batteries. Because of my 80s childhood, I still long to take a trip down under.