Friday, March 12, 2010

I wore my sunglasses at night before you did!

25 years ago, back when my siblings and I were busy being children of the 80s, we got caught up in a nationwide 50s fashion craze.  My girlfriends who had mothers who doted on their every clothing need (as opposed to my mom, who was frugal and practical and knew the trend would be over in roughly 12 minutes) suddenly began arriving at school in poodle skirts and saddle shoes.

Shortly thereafter, we all headed into 60s territory and donned tie dyed shirts and peace signs.  We still owned and loved our outrageous 80s fashions, but we had a lot of fun going retro.  Parents and teachers rolled their eyes and sighed at us, and we thought they were lame for shaking their heads at our newest craze.

You know, in the 80s, it didn't occur to me that the 60s had only happened 20 years previously.  I would laugh at my mother's consternation over one of her generation's songs making it onto the oldies station and wonder why she didn't realize how old she was.  Then I'd flash her a peace sign just to see her roll her eyes and sigh again.

Fast forward to 2010 and it's 80s, 80s everywhere.  I sat in my math class this morning and wondered if I'd been transported back in time when I saw this cute coed studying for the test.  She was kind enough to let me take her picture afterwards.

That's the unsure smile of someone who's just been accosted by an old person who told her she used to wear clothes like that when she was a kid.

Confession:  I loved 80s fashion.  LOVED it.  I've been waiting for it to come back for, well, for 25 years.  I loved the bright colors, the sophisticated styles, even the shoulder pads (because my broad and beefy shoulders didn't stand out so much).  I adored absolutely everything Alyssa Milano wore on "Who's the Boss" and secretly dreamed of the day I'd be an adult and the styles would come back and I'd actually have the money to go out and buy every pair of leggings and every oversized sweater I could ever want.

The only problem?  If I start dressing like the teens and the young adults, I'll look like one of those women who doesn't know when to stop dressing like teens and young adults.  I'll look like I'm trying too hard.

Everybody shout it out with me: "UNFAIR!"

Those were MY fashions.  That was MY style!  I wore it FIRST!  And now all the young folk are bringing it back, and I can't wear it unless I want to look ridiculous.  Oh, I know you're saying, "Just wear what you want, Sarah."  It's not as simple as that, and you know it.  You're not exactly sporting the parachute pants and the hypercolor t-shirt now, are you?

My mom didn't put on a poodle skirt when that fad came back around.  She didn't don the tie dye or pull her hippie shawl out of storage.  (Oh, she had one.  Believe you me, she had one.)  She just rolled her eyes and sighed.  I wonder if she was feeling everything I'm feeling now.  Maybe she looked at us in our silly clothes and wanted to cry foul too.  Maybe she wore her hippie shawl late at night when no one was around to see it and dreamed of days gone by.  These moments of motherly clarity always make me want to go and do something nice for my mom. 

I'll think I'll go buy her some saddle shoes.


Kendra said...

Sarah, you're hilarious!

Jenn said...

LOL!! I just live through my kids and dress them up (within frugal, reasonable limits) in the stuff, as it comes around.

BTW, your mom looks like a really fun person. Why it never occurred to me that she would be is beyond me. I guess we just don't think about our friends' mothers, when we're all adults and have never met them.