The 8ties! Yes, these are the very words that make my 15 year old daughter cringe. Movies, songs, hair-do's, clothing, pretty much anything 80's-ish makes her want to gag. Of course her word would be "puke", but this is my blog and we will eighties it up in all ways possible. That said, my husband and I did get her to watch Ferris Bueller and she liked it. It was during a period of time when we knew we had to impart some of the pop culture of our decade on our children. In fact it came just in time for her to appreciate the Super Bowl commercial with Matthew Broderick in 2012. Our girls giggled and laughed and we felt successful as parents because we could share the inside joke.
I suppose she gets her disdain from me. The way she feels about the 80's is exactly the way I feel about the 70's. (Bell bottoms and paisley shirts are just icky.) And I don't want to offend anyone here but, personally, when they actually made a sitcom named after the decade of my disdain I was completely repelled. Perhaps it was the whole hippy part of the seventies. The drugs and the grooviness just turned me off. Although it was the decade of my birth, I was a toddler for most of it which means I can't be held responsible for what I was wearing.
Where to begin in a decade so diverse in trends and culture? Seeing that we are in the year of 2013 I will begin in the first month of the third year of the eighth decade of the 1900's. If that makes no sense to you, let me explain. I decided I would pick 1983 for a couple of reasons. The less important reason is that it ends in 3, as does our current year. The more important reason is that I was on the cusp of turning 12. A pre-teen with all the pertinent body parts fully formed. Okay, maybe minus the most important one, the BRAIN. I had been wearing a bra for a whole year already but I hadn't started my period. I lived in a small town and attended a middle school that had two grades, 6th and 7th. I was in the middle of my 6th grade year and it was a challenge. My best friend Lori had just moved back from Oklahoma. I had a new group of friends made up mostly of kids from a different elementary school. The junior football season had been over for two months and I was relieved. I was NOT a cheerleader and my best friend was.
I had been one the previous year. Our neighbor across Julian Street was the coach. I cheered for the Cardinals. There were 8 football teams that were comprised of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys. It was fun, I looked cute in my red and white cheer skirt and our bloomers had our names on the bottoms. Mine was spelled incorrectly, minus the E, but I felt a little bit sassy with a word printed on something that would draw attention to my butt. The following year I did not make the cut. So I focused on my new friends during football season because Lori was busy with Cheer, (that is the short hand you use when you are just "that cool") and waited for the return of my best friend.
I had my new Tiger Beat magazine that my mother had so graciously bought me, and it was a full issue dedicated to the cast of The Outsiders. This movie launched the boys that would later be known as members of the Brat Pack. The most successful members of this cast were not even the main characters. At least not when you measure long-term success. Tom Cruise is still around. Most people know him from jumping up and down on Oprah's couch and proclaiming his love for a young actress from Dawson's Creek. Emilio Estevez has a brother known more for his antics than his talents. (Charlie Sheen) Regardless of their future success they secured a place in pop culture history with that movie. Plus they were incredibly hot!
Our afternoons at the close of school included flipping through magazines as well as reading aloud from The Valley Girls Guide to Life by Mimi Pond. Which incidently i just purchased off of Amazon for 13.99! I wasn't in the budget for the $130 mint conidition copy. Lori and I were a bit obssessed with the whole valley girl thing. We were not allowed to see the movie but this was the closest thing we could get to help us seem cooler than two 11 year olds from a small town in New Mexico.
The radio was always on and it was usually playing Michael Jackson, The Police, or The Stray Cats. We spent a lot of time writing down song lyrics. Deciding ever so carefully which one we would dedicate to the boys we liked. Individually we had crushes on a few different boys. But we both had a huge crush on Brian Bibby.
Brian was our age. Actually he was in our grade but he had been held back a year therefore he was accessible to us as a crush. Duh! Like who didn't like him? He was adorable! Sandy blonde hair and dark chocolate eyes. Sooo totally hot! He was in our friend's homeroom. We drove her totally crazy with our daily questions about him. She had a plan to end all of that.
Lori and I arrived to Mrs. Knights classroom early one morning hoping to get a glimpse of Brian walking into his homeroom. We sat at the back of the room so we had a better view of the doorway and a clear shot across the hall. The bell rang and Mrs. Knight began taking roll. It was weird that Brian had not crossed the threshold of his room yet. We listened to the principal's morning announcements and then Mrs. Knight moved from her desk to her podium at the front. We were soooo clueless that her next announcement was going to be directed at us.
"Stacey and Lori?" we both looked up to the front of class and then glanced at each other with a confusion. She continued, " I have a letter that I found from your friend across the hall and it is addressed to both of you." Could it be from Brian? Why would Mrs. Knight have a letter declaring Brian's love for both of us? Or worse....what if only had a declaration for one of us??? And then Mrs. Knight, instead of walking over and handing us the letter..began to read it OUTLOUD.
The letter read:
Dear Stacey and Lori,
I am your friend but I am so sick and tired of you asking me about Brian Bibby. Just because you guys are like sooo in love with him does not mean I want to talk about him all the time. I think you guys are being chickens and if you want to ask him something you should do it yourself. So I am writing you this letter to like, tell you that you have to find another person to like, keep you updated on what Brian is doing.
We were mortified. No one laughed or giggled, our classmates were shocked. We were stunned and surprised that our teacher would read that letter aloud. Mrs. Knight was our favorite teacher and this was like so totally mean. I am not sure who, but someone let loose a chuckle and laughter exploded around the room. Mrs. Knight settled the class down and I can't remember what happened next. I just remember, on top of being embarrassed, I was furious with our friend. How could she do that to us? She pulled pranks before, but this was humiliating. Looking back it is not like everyone didn't already know that we LOVED Brian Bibby. But to have it laid out there in front of us and everyone else....and our teacher? Our TEACHER? How could she? I remember thinking I would cross her off as my favorite teacher. She was going to be replaced in my slam book by Mr. Perkowski. Until that day they had shared the number one spot on the favorite teacher page. No more of that! Mr. P would share that spot no more! We left class that day numb, the kind of numbness that comes from angst ridden puberty. We went on about the day and felt like everyone was watching us, talking about the letter, and our super major crush on Brian Bibby.
In reality, a few people were, but not the majority. The morning events were a pretty hot topic, but overall as mid school minds go, most of the school had moved on to something else. And Lori and I were left to try to devise a plan of our own to get back at our friend.
After school we went to Lori's house, made a plate of nachos, (Doritos micro-waved with shredded cheese on top) and discussed out next move. After less than 30 minutes we ourselves had moved on. Bored with the prospect of revenge we went across to the elementary school to climb trees and play Star Wars. Yes, Star Wars! The third movie in the trilogy was due out soon. I was always Princess Leia and we had created a character of Han Solo's sister for Lori. We played until dark and then I walked home for dinner. Our friend was spared from our cunning plans. We were not that witty when it came to pranks. We swallowed what we had been served up that morning in homeroom and put away our feelings for Mr. Bibby.