Why Can’t We Revive That 80s Style Adult Swim?

Gen Xers Remember Adult Swim - we hated it... now we wish they had it!

In the past 30 years, many accepted practices have changed. What people considered normal and safe back then — transporting your newborn in the front-seat, having a latchkey kid at age 6, and letting them explore the woods with no parental guidance — is pretty much grounds for arrest these days. But, in that simpler time they call the ’80s, there were some great ideas that I’m thinkin’ we should totally revive — the way Disney Channel stars have brought back overly-sequined attire, off-the-shoulder shirts, and leopard print day-glow leggings!

Thanks, Shake It Up, I can barely look at my daughter without retinal strain!


In honor of the passing of Memorial Day, I’d like to start with re-instituting “adult swim” (not the one on Cartoon network).  No, I’m talking about that 15 minute span when anyone who wasn’t shaving yet, had to evacuate the water and allow the older generation to have a civilized dip? AKA the worst part about going to the pool when you were a kid.

Now, as an adult, I realize it was probably the best part of every parent’s day. They got a quarter hour (every hour) in a splash-less, Marco Polo free environment, to float on those un-recyclable Styrofoam chairs (remember those?), and talk about Reganomics (remember that?) or how amazingly wrinkle free polyester is — all while smoking a cigarette without worrying a hyper child would snuff it out.

Of course, nowadays we’d be on “Aqua Loungers” made with recyclable (yet toxic) PVC vinyl, and purchased from Frontgate or Brookstone for 200 bucks a pop. We’d be debating over whether the Jodi Arias trial was real or just a ploy for ratings and who would best play Hilary Clinton: Reese Witherspoon, Scarlet Johansson, Amanda Seyfried or Jessica Chastain? There wouldn’t be a cigarette in sight, but we’d be enjoying iced lattes (possibly intravenously) that we purchased from the satellite Starbucks by the snack bar.

I’m not gonna lie, that’s 15 minutes I’d enjoy. Though, let’s be honest, the following would most likely happen as well:

  • Our kids would completely disregard the rules and splash from the side of the pool.
  • They would try to throw noodles over our heads to the other side, or simply pretend to fall in — oops.
  • Those who were taking a break from swimming before the whistle blew, would immediately want back in.
  • “Mommmy ma, ma, MOM” would be the only sounds one could hear, a mere 45 seconds after being relegated to dry land.
  • Children would be running to the edge to show us their artwork, share proof of new high scores on electronic devices, and perform impromptu dance numbers for us to gush over and rave about. “Yes, honey, that was the best hip-hop ballet performed to Kesha’s Tik Tok I’ve ever seen! You’re a dance genius.”

OK, so millennium children may be a bit too over-stimulated, over-complimented, over-protected, and over-indulged to enable the revival of a true 80s style (ignore the children they’ll be fine) “adult swim.”

Our parents didn’t have necessary modern mandates like carseat and safety belt laws, but they had  obedient children. Sometimes ignored, sometimes left to fend for themselves — children, who grew into the independent, free thinking Gen X moms and dads who have me me me millennium kids.

I can’t judge, I’m a true millennium mom! I may not be able to resurrect “adult swim,” but I’m hoping to find new ways to revive independence … and free thinking … and less trophies (sheesh enough with the trophies)!  Oh, and leg warmers. G-d I loved leg warmers!

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Image via Joe Shlabotnik and Jenny From the Blog

8 thoughts on “Why Can’t We Revive That 80s Style Adult Swim?

  1. Mom off meth

    I graduated in 1989. A total child of the 80’s. When I was 12-14, my parents let me ride MILES away on a super sweet rust colored (like, the paint was rust colored) mo-ped. To the mall, off of jumps, where ever I wanted. No helmet. No anything. I look back at that, having 12 and 14 year olds living with me now and think that shit was CRAZY!

    I sometimes feel like making my kids wear helmets just for walking around.

    Adult swim would be grand. So would adult weekends, weeks,…you get my drift.
    Mom off meth recently posted…How do you know?My Profile

  2. Dana

    Our pool has adult swim, but I’m too busy hiding under my big hat reading my book to notice. Besides, adult swim is when the noodles ladies get in – a group of 80 year olds floating on their pool noodles yapping away. Now that I can finally go in during adult swim, I still feel like I’m still too young to be allowed in.
    Dana recently posted…Singing in the car, I’m a ROCKSTAR!My Profile

    1. Julie Gerstenblatt

      I totally agree with Dana! We have adult swim too but I never go in, because a, I prefer to read in the shade and have my kids away from me in the pool and b, because of the “noodle lady” faction also mentioned above, and c, now that I’m older, I realize I don’t actually enjoy swimming the way I did as a kid. I wade around like I’m 90 to get cool and then I’m out — don’t need 15 min… I’m in and out in 30 seconds. 😉

  3. PinotNinja

    I demand the resurrection of adult swim in the name of justice. I spent hours of my childhood every summer being banished to a lounge chair to “sit quietly and eat your snack and not touch your brothers OR ELSE” while my mom got to lazily float along in the pool with her friends while they sipped on their “medicine.” Whenever I tried to point out the unfairness of that situation, I was told “When you are an adult you will get adult swim. You just have to be earn it first by being good now.” And I was (mostly) good, so I earned my damn adult swim. You hear me, universe? I EARNED IT!
    PinotNinja recently posted…How to Make Home Depot Your B*tchMy Profile


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