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Wednesday, June 29, 2011


What is it about Air Supply that can reignite the spent flame of pre-teen love? Hearing Lionel Ritchie belt out the chorus of "Truly" elicits an automated response of "Why doesn't anyone understand me?" which I loudly verbalize to no one in particular while driving the minivan.  To this day, I hold firm to the belief that my acid-washed Esprit jean mini-skirt was not too short and looked amazing with high-top Reeboks and a neon net shirt. Why couldn't my parents just trust my judgement? 

Decked in white high-heeled pumps that made me look so much older than my fifteen years, I stealthily walked into the eighties with an attitude and hair that could impale eagles.  In fact, I was armed with enough Alberto VO5 treatments to defrizz an army of Sun-In users a mile wide.  I reeked with a confidence that I had not felt before I knew it all.  Unfortunately, my parents did not share my understanding that high fashion involved white lip gloss, geometrically shaped neon earrings, and a tan that could rival anything George Hamilton might try to pull off. In fact, a major dillema I constantly experienced was deciding if I should go to the tanning bed before or after a six-hour UV bath at the beach. 

I was never without a full can of spray to completely restrict hair movement.  Further, I never faltered in my dream of marrying Rick Springfield or Simon LeBon.  With my perfectly coiffed Ogilvie home perm and jelly shoes in every imaginable color, who could resist me? My two-sided, magnified make-up mirror with lights that could blind a camel  reassured me that I was, indeed, like totally hot.  Symbolic of this transition was the packing away of my Shawn Cassidy tee. I was, after all, practically a woman in 1985 and that meant making a more mature fashion statement.

I embraced my Members Only jacket with a fervor unmatched by the bell-bottoms and silk jackets of yore.  Throw in parachute pants and Izod polos rolled up at the collar to enhance the rhinestone-clad Gloria Vanderbilts, and you would see a girl that was going places.  My "Seventeen" magazine assured me that a future as a Barbizon model was well within my grasp and I could feel it. 

But, those years were not without their lows.  The question of hair color on my newly earned drivers' license proved difficult, as there was a significant tone difference from root to tip. Black, frosted, or, yellow?  Eye color? Hmmm, do you mean with or without the purple contacts?  Height? Well, it depends on how much hairspray I used that morning. It varied daily with wind speed and humidity.  Another thorn in the proverbial side of my eighties ego were the girls from a much larger high school who preyed on our surfer boys like wolves in heat.  Sporting convertibles, updos, and gold chains the width of copperheads, they craftily pranced their way into the hearts of the boys who legitimately belonged to my friends and I. The spouting of empty claims of "true love always" forced me to up my game and invest in additional hair products. Calvin Klein soon replaced Gloria Vanderbilt and "Love's Baby Soft" perfume took an immediate backseat to "Obsession."  This was war and I realized that I'd need every banana clip and add-a-bead charm in my arsenal to reign triumphant. Although my life was totally over on several occasions and I was lulled to sleep many a night by reassurances quietly whispered by Peter Cetera, the ending is a happy one.  I got the guy.  Or actually, he got me. Lucky man.  But, I do have a pair of Jordache jeans hidden in the back of my closet just in case.

1 comment:

  1. In the eighties, I was a member of the "lay down to put on your jeans" crew. Literally, we laid down on the floor, strenuously pulled on our two-sizes-too-small jeans, and then did squats so that we could walk in them. We never went to the beach with out baby oil and iodine, and thought it was funny when a friend would fall asleep on her stomach at the beach and leave her bathing suit top tied in the back. One year, my sister burned enough to leave that emblazened bow on her back for the entire summer. In fact, we started calling her "Bow". We'd tromp up to the Scotch Bonnet Pier and swing our hips as we bought a coke and walked down the pier like we were on Project Runway. We listened to Bozz Scaggs and Steven Tyler; and I dreamed of marrying Elton John....who knew he buttered his bread on the other side?