What was Hot Then AKA the 80s and 90s Vs. What’s Hot After Marriage – Who Woulda Thought?

Then and Now

Last week, while running late for a vet appointment, I considered my options: 1. Call my husband to ask him to get the kitten ready and be on time or 2. Simply do it myself when I arrive home -- and be late.

Why question what to do? Well, I was pretty sure if I had my husband help it would go something like this...

Me: Honey, can you get the cat carrier out of the third garage, wipe it out, put something soft in it, then put the kitten in it, and have it ready so I can just beep? (Everything must be described in great detail.)

Hubby: We have a third garage?

Me: (At least he didn't say, "we have a kitten?") Yes, the one where we keep all the luggage and bikes and beach stuff.

5 minutes later, the hubs will call…

Hubby: I looked everywhere and it's not here. We must have thrown it away when Coco died.

Me: We didn't throw it away. Try looking up.

Hubby: Nope, it's not here, I'm telling you… I would see it. I'm positive, it's gone, oh well.

Me: OK, just humor me and look straight ahead this time.

Hubby: I will but there's no reason to… Oh there it is. So, now what do I do with it?


OK, slight exaggeration aside, I have some variation of this conversation DAILY!!! Whether he's looking for the brand of OJ we always buy, but they "must not sell it anymore," or socks for Ry, which "she must have given up for lent," or he's looking for clean laundry in the laundry room and I have to explain that the clean stuff is the stuff that smells as if it's been washed.

I think you get the picture, so when I went with option 1. and I called and he said, "OK, I'll do it," and didn't call back to ask a single follow up question, I was shocked. And when I arrived home and he simply handed me the crate with a pillow and a kitten inside, I was turned on. Nay, I was in love!

No, he didn't have roses or jewelry in his hands … he didn't say you are the most smokin' chick ever or I love your ass even though you complain about how it sags, or you should go get those Rag and Bone boots you want so badly, nope, he handed me a crate with a kitten and I was all "Damn, you're hot!"

You see, I love my husband, very dearly, it's just that the things I find attractive now are not the things I ever dreamed would've mattered back in the day.

What was hot in the 80s? You know, the really sexy stuff, like the perfect feathery mullet, the ability to quote any movie with Chevy Chase, Leslie Nielson, or Billy Murray (start to finish), and those indents at the bottom of a six pack that trace into a skinny guys jeans (not to be confused with a guy wearing skinny jeans, because frankly, parachute pants, or Jams or Z Cavariccis were more my speed). Oh and a guy with the ability to dance aka moonwalk, cabbage patch, grind, or do an MC Hammer impression … soooo hot.


In the 90′s, a guy in a Hanes type tee, which he overpaid for at Abercrombie or at a minimum, Structure, an untucked flannel and button flies would set off my radar. Add some Doc Martens, a canvas belt, and a heaping tablespoon of angst into the mix, and I was swooning. Well, swooning on the inside, the 90′s were definitely about playing it cool and repressing important emotions ... like joy. Sure, I did the 90s right, I spent hours on line at designer coffee joints and cappuccino stands, I dieted by eating high sugar - low fat foods, and fluctuating between crushes on the preps that treated you like play-toys and the man with no plan.

I met one of the preps in the 90s and before the new millennium was rung in, I married that man. I found many things sexy about him. I loved that he would surprise me with notes and flowers, his air of confidence, his ability to command a room - that seems fitting for the mid-nineties, no? Insert Glengary Glen Ross reference here.

But let me tell you, marriage changes things … soon, all that stuff became trite and what I really longed for was someone to put away the dishes without asking or not keep rerunning the same clothes in the dryer until I took them out and folded them, or to change a light bulb without me having to replenish the bulbs first and then tell him where we keep said bulbs.

Seriously, when did the definition of "hot" become a checklist of chores your spouse could do to alleviate your workload? If you had told me in the 80s my man wouldn't have a mullet or the 90′s my man wouldn't have a band, or before marriage that I would one day get giddy over the rare instances when my partner remembered to put out the recycling in it's specified container and not simply through all the stuff in with the regular trash (after I spent the week separating it out), I may have said, "shoot me now," or "where is Ashton Kutcher," or "you're high, can I have some?" But it's true, those little things are freakin' hot.

Those are the moments I looked at him all googly eyed. I guess I should look at the bright side, I still get googly eyed and butterflies still swim in my belly - it just takes a well placed trip to the pharmacy to grab a prescription for me, a glass of water on my nightstand or a pep talk about why I'm not screwing up our kids to get me going.

Eh mullets, Obsession for Men, and coffee stained flannel wearing drummers - can suck it.

OK, what was hot to you in the past and what is shockingly hot now? SPILL!



Jenny Isenman, AKA Jenny From the Blog is the humorist behind the award winning site, The Suburban Jungle. A caffeine addicted card carrying Gen Xer, on air lifestyle expert for NBC, and columnist at Huff Po and The Stir, her goal is to you keep herself sane. Oh, and to teach dolphins to read. She is failing at both.