I grew up in a ’90s kind of world.

It was my nanny Fran — a former cosmetics saleswoman — who taught me in the ins and outs of life in convenient 30-minute fragments. In short order, my British widower father fell in love with her, either because of or in spite of a laugh that sounded like the stammering engine of a go-kart.

My supernatural powers weren’t discovered until I was a teenager living with a pair of aunts and a talking cat. Witchcraft got me into innocent predicaments — homework spells gone awry, some good-natured relationship sabotage, friends turned into inanimate objects — but my troubles typically ended on the up and up in the allotted time.

While still in private school, my big-eared cousin Will moved in, to the initial chagrin of Geoffrey, the family butler. The rhyme-prone guy had a few bad encounters on the rough-and-tumble Philadelphia streets, and his mom opted to ship him our way. Bel-Air took some getting used to, but Uncle Phil treated Will like a son, Carlton offered comedic fodder, and Jazz made cameo appearances.

Things must’ve gone south with my parents, because next thing I know we’re doing the blue-collar thing out in Lanford, Ill. My mom, a loud and comfortably rotund woman, ran the house with equal parts sentiment and mockery. I’m fairly certain my sister Becky was swapped out with another sister Becky in a hushed dispute over family dynamics and contract negotiations, but I could never prove it. And then we won the lottery. But not really.

I eventually found myself in New York City, having bolted from a life of financial comfort to live in a rent-controlled, not-possible-in-real-life apartment with former gal-pal Monica. She’d lost a good deal of weight since high school, but her lovable anal retentiveness remained intact. A bunch of stuff happened over the years, but mostly her brother got me pregnant.

I settled down, as people often do, with a well-meaning but absent-minded fellow in the suburbs. Tim had his own home improvement TV show, though everyone knew Al really held things together. And always, our omnipresent neighbor offered sage advice from his side of our shared fence. (He may also have been on permanent house arrest for blowing up a river dam in an effort to free unjustly dammed-in salmon. But that’s neither here nor there.)

It’s been a good life.

Admittedly, some it has been lived vicariously, courtesy of ’90s television.

I am not “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” a relative of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” a child of “Roseanne” or hitched to Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor. But I grew up with those people, albeit in a strangely one-sided way.

I pined along with Angela Chace on “My So-Called Life,” gleaned wisdom about the dangers of open flame from Fire Marshall Bill on “In Living Color” and explored my fear of close talkers and women with man hands under the comedic tutelage of Jerry Seinfeld.

A lot of us did.

But despite all that the ’90s gave us, it’s become the forgotten decade, sandwiched between the fondly invoked ’80s and the decade that no one can come up with a decent name for. It’s the overlooked middle child.

Or it was, until Bubba’s Sulky Lounge in Portland decided to show it some overdue love with “My So-Called ’90s Nite,” a ’90s dance party and homage to ’90s television.

The ’90s dance music will be aplenty (think “No Diggity,” “Strike It Up” or that too-sexy gem from Right Said Fred) thanks to DJ JON. And attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite ’90s personality.

Bubba’s light-up dance floor will be crowded with the characters of yesteryear: Moesha; Blossom; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Walker, Texas Ranger; or the leopard-print suburban diva that was “Married With Children’s” Peg Bundy.

The best ’90s television-based costume will win $50. That’s like $55 in ’90s dollars.

But more importantly, attendees will restore honor to the era that gave us Ugly Naked Guy, the Soup Nazi and Homey the Clown.

Or as I like to call them: Family.

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at:

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