I Love the 80s…Like Totally!
I was born in the very late seventies, and I do not have any recollection of that time period. In fact, my earliest memories go back to when I was four; that’s when my brother was born. What older sister wouldn’t remember that, right? So, that time was the start of the Eighties; I had about eight cognitive years of that era. I’m pretty certain it was that decade that made me into the person I am today.
As early as second grade, I was rockin’ the side ponytail. Why did we think that was cool? Maybe that’s why I have scoliosis and neck problems. Now, I wasn’t always “in” with the style of my clothes; I wore what my mom told me and that was usually ugly cotton pants and a t-shirt or bowling shirts…horrible. Now and then though, I would get a piece of clothing or an accessory that was in style. Like my jean jacket to which I attached pins and buttons. I remember my cool friends sitting me down on the playground and tight-rolling my jeans for me. It was cutting off my circulation, but I looked awesome. I wore fluffy pink leg warmers with white hearts, or two socks on each foot with my pants tucked into them. On one foot I might put on a red sock, then a black sock, and on the other foot I would reverse the order and then slouch them all down. I also had quite a collection of dangle earrings and plastic charms -all sorts of designs- from airplanes to bottle caps. I never tried to see how high I could hairspray my bangs into the air though, and I didn’t wear blue eyeshadow or anything too crazy. I’m very proud to say that I never had a perm, but I did crimp my hair.
The style was very eccentric and unique, and I still pull from that with my look today. I love the punk style, and just being different. I no longer double up on my socks, but I still wear jelly shoes, they’re just made by Skechers and have straps. Somewhere around my house, I still have my cool see-through Swatch watch. I need to start wearing that again.
Living in Delaware, in the middle of soybean and corn fields, about the only thing to do was watch television. My parents didn’t seem to care what I watched. So I remember ALF, which had to be the weirdest thing on TV at the time (Yo Gabba Gabba hadn’t been invented yet), and then every adult show from back then…you name it-I watched it at least once. Dramas and action shows like, Knots Landing, Cagney and Lacey, Dallas, St. Elsewhere, the A-Team, Miami vice, and 21 Jump Street. I was younger than ten, but I could follow them, I knew what was going on most of the time. Maybe that is why I matured so fast mentally. The comedies of the Eighties probably contributed to my sense of humor. I liked watching Cheers, Newhart, Golden Girls, Madame, Designing Women…see, not your typical child’s choice, but I loved the wit, and timing of the jokes. Today, I still thrive off of that comedic style.
The 80s also introduced Valley Girls and movies that are now cult classics. Along with that came great catch phrases. One wouldn’t say that something was gross, it was “Grody to the max!” or “Like gag me with a spoon!”. Pee-Wee Herman taught me, “I know you are, but what am I?”, but I’m not sure I ever used that. Two of my favorite movies, gave me, “Neo-Maxi Zoomdweebie” and “No one puts Baby in the corner!”. I can’t think of a time where I’ve been able to use those either, but they’re still cool. I still use “awesome”, for almost every situation, and the word “totally”, and I can’t help but to say that with a Valley accent. Those two terms will never die, at least not as long as I’m alive.
Eighties movies and shows also introduced the kind of men that I like. I loved the mystery of Jareth (David Bowie’s character in Labyrinth), the sexiness of Johnny Castle, and the bad boy type, played perfectly by Judd Nelson as John Bender. *wipes drool off of keyboard* The ingenuity and quick thinking of MacGyver caught my attention as well. You may be laughing, but deep down you know he was hot…admit it; there’s just something about a guy who wears a leather flight jacket and carries a flattened roll of duct tape in his inside jacket pocket.
Most importantly, the music from that time is what sticks with me the most. I LOVE music, and the music from the 80s was definitely original. Synthesizers, English accents, great beats, and catchy tunes were all major parts of that music. They bring back great memories of jumping into our CJ-7 and driving down to the beach. A-Ha’s Take on Me blasting out of the Jeep’s radio, and my dad drumming to the beat on the steering wheel. My dad also collected 45s and he would let me listen to them through the gigantic headphones that looked like I was wearing half a bowling ball on either side of my head…felt like it too. The Police, Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys, Cyndi Lauper, and yes…even Madonna, had my attention. Even today, if you were to walk into my house while I’m blaring my music, you will hear track after track of songs from the 80s. It’s something that I cherish; there aren’t many things that bring back good memories from my childhood.
So yes, I’m clutching onto pieces of an era that is long gone but not forgotten. The clothing even makes a revamped appearance here and there. Neon colors and spandex leggings are making a comeback; my daughter actually owns two pairs of shutter shades. I’m very thankful for the Eighties. That era pulled the world away from the hippies and out of the horrible disco phase, and made it something very different. I’m very different because of it, and I think that’s awesome. Thank you, 80s, you’re like totally gnarly!