Sunday, August 23, 2009

What Did You Do With The 1980s?

PHOTOS: (top left) Me at a kegger party. (top right) me in my kitchen. (below left) headshot of me in my work clothes. (below middle) me ready for work. (below right) me in a neon green "inch worm" dress. (bottom) I got off work at Manhattan Village Mall and rushed to Manhattan Beach to see the sunset, still in my work clothes.

I’m going off the usual topic of ghosts/weird stuff to talk about the ghosts of our own past/our own weird stuff…the 1980s.

How did you use your 1980s? (probably the most singularly both embarrassing and fun-tastic decade)

I’m putting it out there. I modeled and did beauty pageants in the 80s, finished high school and college, moved to Redondo Beach, California, moved back to Arizona, had a child, found a new career in medical transcription.

My idol in the 80s:
Kelly LeBrock (see the green dress and big hair photo above?)

My favorite “look”:
Teased hair, lacy anklets with antique stiletto boots, antique jewelry, pastel colors, fingerless gloves, Cindy Lauper crooked with the shoulder straps falling off looks, and loads of shoulder pads and accessories—it was all about hair and accessories in the 80s.

My favorite music:
Huey Lewis and The News. Since I was a kid, it was Beach Boys because I dreamed of going to California. Now, I was there, it was the peak of ugly decadence and yuppie-dom and Huey Lewis and the News were my poster boys. God, I loved the music of the 80s, miss it horribly. We spat out so many stars and so much “synthetic” music, but it made me want to move and dancing is my favorite thing in the world! I still can’t hold still when I heard 80s music, even the big-haired rock bands with the sexy bad boys and their beautiful hair and the androgynous bands with their moody elusiveness. Jeez, the whole decade was wickedly awesome! (quote from that time period of Valley Girls).

My talents:
Dancing, imitating Valley Girl speak, raiding the malls for the best clothes, wearing outrageous combinations of clothing to shock and wow customers at the clothing store, doing front windows for the shop that drew people in with their craziness like mixing hot pink and bright orange together, knowing the lyrics to every song, a nasty volleyball spike on Manhattan Beach, kegger parties.

I didn’t squander the 80s. I admit I’m a child of the 70s, tree-hugging eco-weenie type liberal Pagan, but the 80s were something different and they came in a time in my life (pre-kid) when I could be decadent and acquire things and just enjoy myself without the big picture and my part in the cycle of life being a concern yet.

Everyone has to have a 1980s in their past. Hope yours was wickedly awesome and totally gnarly! Please comment to let me know.


  1. Funny you should mention that. I was looking at the ads in the Sunday paper this morning and was having 80's flashbacks. I was stunned to see how 80's-influenced the current fashions are. Some of the outfits they showed could have easily passed for authentic 1982 clothing. And they even had plaid skinny-legged jeans - Bay City Roller pants!

    The 1980's were one of my favorite decades. While I generally hated the music of the 70's, the music of the 80's really grabbed me. I loved New Wave in particular. My favorites were DEVO, The Cars, and Howard Jones. The clothing wasn't that aesthetically pleasing, but who cares? It was fun and exuberant. I am secretly happy to see leggings back in style. You can't beat them for comfort.

    Then on a personal level, it was a decade of great freedom. I was in college, then a young, singe adult all decade. Life had it's issues, but it was the first time that I was free to truly be myself.

  2. Bay City Rollers! Yahoo! I was a freestyle rollerskater, so I totally was involved in the disco era on wheels! You and I hit the 80s around the same time (I was turning 18 in late 1980). It makes me smile when I see the cheesy clothes and hear the music--makes me very nostalgic. Now, I know why my parents listened to 40s music and danced around the living room (that was pre-children).

  3. I was in HS in the late 80's. Loved: Duran Duran, Prince, jelly braclets and shoes, lots of make-up, neon, shoulder pads, pumps. I did some modeling too but I was not outgoing enough. When I was 16 I changed my drivers license with: make-up, an artists pencil and hairspray I then became 23. This got me into all the bars. This would never happen these days! :)

  4. Autumn, sounds like your ten years younger that me. I graduated H.S. in 1980. I was into punk music and my most seen bands were X, Dead Kennedys, TSOL ann The Dickies. We went to show every single weekend. The best decade of my life!

  5. Magikal; Did you have swatch watches? Hee hee. I love that era, I can't help it. It was such a contrast to the 70s!

    I was born in 62, but was supposed to enter first grade when I was 6, but my mom started me at 5. I graduated a semester early, so ended up officially graduating fall 1979 instead of spring 1981! I'm officially listed on the Class of 80's site since I graduated midterm after the 79 folks graduated. Confusing. Anyways, about to turn 47 and proud of it. I don't think there's any 80s music I didn't like. I kind of felt that way about the 70s, but I admit that the 70s music was usually too depressing and I loved disco cause I loved to dance, but hated to listen to it when I wasn't dancing. So, the 80s rule! Why can't the music industry be like that again? I have to admit, music videos made it turn from music to visual and sold images rather than voices, although I always thought Madonna was a horrible 80s singer!

  6. Oh, we're the same age then. I misread your post. I thought it said you were 18 in the late 80's. I'm a 1962 baby too!

    Thanks again for telling me about Tennessee. I'm sure I will love it, the shock of the news was a bit overwhelming at first.

  7. Yes I had some swatches! Reminds me of working at the mall! My 1st job make-up girl. I used to tackle women and beg them to let me make them over with too much make-up! I'm 40 soon to be 41! :)

  8. I was born in 1984 so most of the decade i resisted to people who tried to surgically remove me from my mom's pants! It is a very funny decade! I must confess i hate the music!

  9. So wonderful to see a post like this Autumnforest! I was also pretty much a child of the 70s but my teen years were spent in the 80s (born in 65) and for whatever else happened-and I did learn some very bad habits (drinking being one of them which I am a tee-totaller now) but sometimes of course this being Az I crave a Margarita some times! For a geeky kid my sophomore thru senior high school years were the happiest of my life pretty much, And the music-omg the music -for me you just cant beat the 70s for a certain feel-but I am so in love with 80s music because the stuff i loved back then and still do touched off emotions in me that are very precious memories!!
    It was a strange time for us tree hugging liberal types haha-but I was happy back then. I took a trip to Europe with a bunch of other high school kids in the summer of my jumior year -and that trip considering it happened in 82 has produced more lifelong memories for me than anything besides my own family who I am very close to!
    I was very comfortable with my Germany "homestay" famlily-during the trip the kids were divided up and one to two kids spent 5 to 6 days with a German family-then an Austrian family and an English family right at the very end.
    When news about Reagan would come on (the German family was a big one and Grandma lived with them) the grandmother would shout at the TV set on seeing the "Gipper" very bad man!! very bad man!! that was a kick! Yeah so many great and incredible memories from that time-I also love Huey-Duran Duran-New Order-Human League-Heaven 17-Fleetwood Mac (altho they are more thought of as 70s) and a boatload of other groups. I wouldnt trade that time in my life for anything-like i say except I wished I hadnt "learned" about drinking. Thanks for this post and bringing back so many precious memories I am surprised to still be here after some of the stuff I pulled but would hardly change anything! The 80s was also the decade I became hugely interested in the paranormal and subjects like that so that part was cool too! best to you and your family as always and BTW i loved the pics-you were and are a beautiful woman!!

  10. Sandra;
    Yeah, we're birds of a feather. I can't wait to hear about your voyage to the East. I'm confident you'll find a world you didn't know about and a new you that you didn't know was there.

    Magikal--I can totally picture that! I remember doing a horrible modeling gig as a musical toothbrush salesperson in a very fancy department store and all I got was a hundred men asking me on dates, but at least they bought the damned toothbrush before I turned them down. I hate sales!!!

    My siblings were all much older and they were into 60s music, but I was too young to care about music, so I really don't like 60s music (I'm the only person I know who hates the Beatles), but then I hate popcorn, potato chips, and french fries--I'm downright unamerican. Hee hee. I can understand you not taking to 80s music. I'm sentimental about the 70s myself because that's the music I had my first crushes to (Jeez,I had crushes on boys in first grade onward!)

    I can picture you in the 80s. Yeah, I was a weird bird in school. I was too smart so I acted stupid like a dumb blonde. I also put on a fake southern accent (I have a hint of one, but I put it on thick) and got tons of dates that way. I never had a group I fit in with, so I hung with everyone and the outcasts. I understood the geeks the best even though I was into how I looked and stuff. I didn't know myself yet, so the 70s were a weird time. By the 80s, I knew myself pretty well but hadn't discovered my true worth until the 90s. Thanks for your compliment. I always thought of myself as rather average and boring in the looks department, but I make up for it in charm. Hee hee :-)

  11. I got married in the 80's and had two kids. I had the permed hair, scrunchies, tights, big belts, listened to all those now classic songs and watch the great now classice movies. We were young, foolish and had fun. Some of the 80's was a blur, lol......jk.

  12. Julie;
    I have all the brat pack movies--"Sixteen Candles," "Breakfast Club," "Weird Science," et cetera! Scrunchies--hee hee! I was just remembering even more, like Candies shoes! I used to work 8-hour days in the mall in those (it's a wonder I can still walk!)

  13. How I miss the 80s too! Some movies bring me right back immediately and I think, "The clothes, the hair, the music, tghe fun...ah, those were the days!" Glad to know others feel the same. Fun post!