It Was 1980 Something

I would like to dedicate a song to . . . who remembers the good ole days? How many hours did we spend dialing up and getting a busy signal to our local radio station on Friday night to request a song to the “love of our life?” When the line was finally clear it was a dedication of “Open Arm” or something by Boston. We spent just as much time waiting to hear, “Faithfully” going out to . . . from . . . and then our hearts burst at that special moment when we heard someone professing their undying love to us by way of an 80’s rock band.

I am so thankful I was a kid in the 80’s and a parent before the digital age.

I can’t recall a lot of memories from my childhood. Selective memory, I guess. Therapists would dub it as “repressing memories.” I can however tell you specifics regarding 80’s culture that shaped my life.

Rubik’s Cubes, fluorescent everything, Jellies, Trapper Keepers. Passing notes, slumber parties, skating rinks, the mall. MASH. PacMan, Ms. PacMan, Super Mario Bros. MTV! My first pair of Vans made possible by babysitting all summer long.

Pretty in Pink. Who didn’t idolize Molly Ringwold? The Breakfast Club. “Mess with the bull, you get the horns.” Ferris Buller’s Day Off. I have to say, I skipped a lot of school back in the day because of this movie! And how many teenage boys strapped bras to their heads and frantically tapped away at their keyboards with thoughts of Kelly LeBrock guiding them?

Saturday morning cartoons. Football in the empty neighborhood lots. Playing until it was too dark to see. Swimming in the creek. No parents. Just us kids, being kids. Riding bikes through the neighborhood with about ten of your buddies. No helmets.

I guess this ‘ole girls nostalgic heart and love for the era is the driving force behind many a late night viewing of “The Goldbergs.”

If you are a kid of the 80’s and you aren’t feeling all nostalgic right about now, check your pulse.

I feel for kids today and I have much empathy for young parents raising kids in this Facebook/Instagram culture. Hear me now, I am a Facebook Junkie. I love being able to keep up with the “kids” I grew up with. The students I taught. For goodness sake, I have a side business that is only successful because of Facebook and my ability to peddle my wares via the fiberoptic highway. I was fortunate to stay connected to people when I was so sick because of Facebook. My goodness, there are a multitude of positives. It’s the other stuff that gives rise to my empathetic self.

Gender reveal parties, milestone pictures, wedding proposals, homecoming invites. New houses. New cars. It would be exhausting to be 20 something again. It was bad enough when I was 20 something.

I would have had to made a conscience effort to limit “The Facebook” when my kids were little. I spend too much to on it now. Would I have been able to control myself then? Would I have been able to steer clear of “keeping up with the Jones” or would I have veered right into that shit, ninety to nothing?

I feel especially empathetic towards teenage boys! I’m a pretty creative gal and I, for the life of me have a hard time coming up with an Instagram or Facebook worthy idea for asking a girl to homecoming or prom. You feel me?

Then there is THIS! I get all grouchy when I see teenagers getting BRAND NEW cars and trucks for their sweet sixteen. First of all, I can’t imagine the pressure parents feel today BUT if those kids get it all new now, what the hell do they have to look forward to? To work towards? I was 23 years old when I sat my fluffy butt in my first brand new car. I appreciated that Honda Civic. I cherished it. I drove it for 8 years. I cried when we sold it.

My son drove a 1967 Dodge Dart that was as cantankerous as any teenage girl until he couldn’t take it anymore. My girl inherited her brothers no air conditioning having Chevy truck . Guess what it got her back and forth to school and she survived. I caught flack from my kids but they understand the value of a dollar today. Rest assured.

As a 47 year old woman, I get envious more than I should admit while perusing “the posts.” Human nature I guess. I have to remind myself that people aren’t as happy as they portray and filters are deceiving. I love running into women in public who feel it necessary to filter every picture they post. It makes me feel good! Maybe I shouldn’t admit that either. The admission makes me sound vapid but hey, I don’t filter my pics. What you see is what you get. Stubby, chunky and gray. No shame in my game. I need to have that printed on a T-Shirt!

My thoughts are scattered today but oh so well intentioned. I guess I could have just opened and closed with: You are enough. You don’t have to keep up with anyone. Filters are fake. No one is as happy as they portray on Facebook. Many of the vacationers and new car buyers are in debt up to their eyeballs. Let your kids be kids and when the time comes make them work hard for what they have.

Happy Saturday and “Don’t Stop Believing.” JP

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