The nineties may seem like only yesterday, but really, they were in a whole other millennium. Those years formed an era which marked the dawn of post-modernism, before the War on Terror and Farmville blighted our existence.
The decade was the time of the Congo Wars, the Y2K fuelled surge in tinned meat purchases, and Monica Lewinsky. Mobile phones were suddenly huge (literally) and we started burning CDs instead of making mix tapes. The World Wide Web was introduced, opening up a whole new sphere of possibilities and deviant behaviour.
Dolly the Sheep was cloned, we started using the term 'global warming' without knowing what it meant, and the World Health Organisation decided homosexuality wasn't actually a disease. Princess Diana and Mother Theresa died and Justin Bieber was born. OJ Simpson was found not guilty and, at the last minute, perhaps in a strange moment of sobriety, Boris Yeltsin decided to give up pretending to be a President.
It was when Jack announced he was the king of the world and Forrest got shot in the buttocks. We tuned in to Full House, Friends, Baywatch, and took Beverly Hills, 90210 very, very seriously.
We sang along to MMMBop and Wannabe and played Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog on consoles that gave two dimensional pictures. We Rollerbladed in our Wonderbras with blonde highlights in our 'Rachel' styled hair, pumped our Reeboks, and thought an oversized jumper paired with stirrup pants was sophisticated, and fluorescent overalls with slouch socks made us look incredibly attractive and cool.
Ten years ago, we didn't have enough distance to notice much progression. Five years ago, it seemed tragic. Today, the nineties have made it into the realm of nostalgia once reserved for Michael Jackson, spiral perms and Rubik's cubes.
Looking back now, we can see it was an important epoch in the development of our society, leading to better gender and sexuality egalitarianism, the rise in technology, and, Lord love it, the advent of Sex and the City.
We lived it, we survived it, and now we're far enough away from it to look upon the decade fondly. So what do we do? We celebrate. Seventies and eighties parties are old hat these days; it's time to be more modern and relive experiences just two decades into the past.
Sonic the Hedgehog - he's had some work done since the 90s
Spark the creative juices of your guests and get them 'hella' excited about the theme by using as much nineties slang as possible. You want them to know this part-ay is going to be all that and a bag of chips (as the saying went). It will be slammin', dude. You may wish to use quotes from films like Clueless and Wayne's World, or TV shows such as Ren and Stimpy and The Simpsons. (If you don't wish to use such quotes, then you can eat my shorts.)
The Costumes Instruct your invitees to come in costume, perhaps as an icon from the decade or just decked out in that bangin' nineties fashion. Encourage one person in particular, someone easily influenced, to come as Mr Squiggle, Captain Planet or Gumby. It's vital to have at least one of these characters present.
The Venue Dressing the venue is important to ensure the right vibe for the party, so you'll need to choose which style to go for. Grunge? Shiny and silvery? Allow only nineties music to be played. Loudly. It's easiest to use an iPod for this if you are organising the music yourself, though prepare to be labelled a hypocrite and/or cheat for bringing in noughties technology.
Food and Beverages
Cocktails, cocktails, cocktails. And more cocktails. Mind that you stick to the drinks though - delve into the realm of cocktail onions and cocktail frankfurts and you will be impinging on another decade's territory. A round of Cosmopolitans is a must! An idea for food is to serve cuisine that started gaining popularity in Australia in the nineties, such as sushi and bruschetta.
Give everyone a party bag at the door containing an assortment of toys that were popular in the nineties, such as Silly Putty, Sticky Hands, Bouncy Balls and yoyos, as well as lollies like Nerds and PushPops. Later, after someone has taken an eye out and all the women have Sticky Hands marks on their strappy dresses (worn over a crop top) in the region of their derrieres, you can have a Macarena dance off. Much, much later, start a game of spin the bottle for the people who want to 'get jiggy'.