Friday, October 29, 2010

Back In the Day

A few minutes ago, I was watching a video that a friend posted on Facebook of 38 Special singing "Caught Up In You" circa 1982.  Watching it was like opening a time capsule.  Oh, how the hairstyles, dance moves, clothes, and lip gloss have changed over the past (almost) thirty years. 

Hey kids!  Want to know how your 40 or 50 something folks looked back in the day?  Hit Youtube.  I'm so serious.

Girls today wouldn't be able to hang with those high waisted blue jeans.  They wear theirs so low that sometimes you wish they'd just say "no" to crack.  I've seen more thongs peeking out of the top of those things than I care to mention.  If WE had a thong can be sure that it was because our panties had gotten wedged most uncomfortably.  Frankly, we thought that bikini drawers were racy.  Not those string things the young ones wear...the ones that they think are "full coverage." 

Panty lines were a given.  Spanx had yet to be invented unless you just cut the feet off of your control top pantyhose.

SUNTAN pantyhose.  No "nude" for us!

The dance moves we did then really haven't changed a whole lot if you were to see us dance today.  We still play air guitar or waive our hands in the air spastically while getting into the music.  Yes, it is most assuredly painful to watch.  But, you know, we really didn't think a whole lot about it, and we certainly weren't grinding away on the dance floor either.  We just moved, snapped our fingers and jumped around a lot.  We mostly waited for slow songs because that was our real comfort zone.

And "Free Bird" was ALWAYS the last song of the night.

If you want to get us going, put on "Sweet Home Alabama," "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" or "YMCA."  The latter generally requires liquid libation...but for our group...that really was pretty much a "given" as our drinking age was a mere nineteen.  A few years before us...eighteen. 

We were the first to actually wear designer jeans.  We usually owned a pair of Candie's shoes although we rarely wore them.  We did wear excessive amounts of clear lip gloss - applied thickly - and generally scented strawberry or bubble gum because lipstick was for grandmas.  Our music was classic, and our hair was ridiculous.  Perms were the norm, and hairspray was as essential then as a hair straightener is today. 

Guys wore short shorts and we didn't think that it was weird...even if they also sported knee high sports socks to complete the "look."  They drove Trans Ams or old cars that they restored.  Big trucks were in vogue.  But not everybody had a car given to them when they turned 16.

I sometimes think back to how much simpler things were back then.  People didn't wait until they were forty to get married.  Kids actually had jobs. College was not necessarily a given.  MTV still played music videos.  We didn't have 350 channels with nothing on.  Sitcoms were standard fare as were reruns of "Gilligan's Island," "Brady Bunch," "The Andy Griffith Show," and "The Beverly Hillbillies."  At night, we watched "Dallas," "Dynasty," or "Magnum P.I."  Soap operas were followed by virtually everyone. 

Friday night television had Wolfman Jack on "Midnight Special," and "Saturday Night Live" was still in its infancy and the original cast was still there.  We rocked out to AC/DC...when the album was fresh off the presses...but we also embraced the theme to "Peter Gunn". 

Nobody ran for exercise unless it was during P.E., they were on the track team, or somebody was chasing them.

Girls waited by the telephone in case "he" called and five dollars worth of gas would be enough for us to "ride around" if we got tired of waiting.  Usually we'd figure out where everyone was headed and we'd all congregate wherever that was.  In the summer, that meant the pool.  Most of the time, though, it meant riding the loop between town and north of town.

The smell of green Jolly Ranchers will be forever etched in my memory as the scent of junior high school.  Close behind is Sweet Honesty perfume, musk oil, and "Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific!" shampoo.  I used to pair that with the pink "Tickle" deodorant while I poured over the "Back to School" issue of "Seventeen" magazine.  Nobody ever dressed like the girls in the magazine...but I read up on fashion trends just the same.

I know that every generation has "good old days" that seem to not be anything special until they turn into the distant past.  We are usually under the impression that we are past ready to move along when we actually do...and sometimes silently swear that we will never return to those days ever again by choice.  We keep moving forward...keeping the good memories and shredding the bad.  Becoming who we are meant to be...and less who we were trying out being before we found ourselves. 

Seeing the video tonight brought it all back.  I laughed to myself and thought of how grateful I am that I have moved on.  REALLY moved on.  Oh, I could have been dancing in that room once upon a time.  I wasn't, mind you, but it wouldn't have been a stretch.  I love that our music - including 38 Special, Journey, Def Leppard, Guns 'n Roses, Foreigner, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Talking Heads, Loverboy, and so many more are still loved today when our kids "discover" these for themselves.  I did my part, by the way, and made sure that the kids in my life were well aware of the best bands and songs.  We'd roll the car windows down, turn up the volume and sing at the top of our lungs.

I'm smiling now just thinking about it.   

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