To the Depths of the Cedar Chest…
Since I’ve discovered that I’m off to EPICon in March after all, I’ve been eagerly in search of the perfect 80s outfit for the after-party, and boy has this brought back some memories! As a friend reminded me, I’m not actually a child of the 80s. Sigh. No, I’m a child of the 70s, but even better I was a teen in the 80s. I have fond memories of school dances where we swayed in a circle singing Def Leopard ballads and rockin’ out to Cinderella and Van Halen. I finally managed to attend a Duran Duran concert at the very end of the decade, and I missed out on Rick Springfield live until after my son was born.
So this quest for an outfit led me to raid my cedar chest. This is more complicated than it sounds, considering my heavy doll house (made by Dad) sits atop it along with books, blankets, and whatnot. Once cleared and opened, the first thing revealed was my Mexican blanket, which really should be out in the open decorating my home, but I’m afraid of ruining it. Under that is a layer of wedding albums and race t-shirts. (I used to run 10Ks.) Finally I discover my Wham muscle shirt. It doesn’t say Wham, but I distinctly remember it having something to do with one of their videos. Plus it glows in the dark.
A layer of concert t-shirts follow: Depeche Mode, U2, Duran Duran, Genesis, Chicago, and the 20th anniversary of The Monkees. Alas, no Live Aid tee, though I faithfully watched that landmark event on TV, first at my house then at my girlfriend Joy’s house. The glimpse of Rick Springfield was not nearly enough to satisfy. But some of the performances live long, like U2’s and Queen’s. (Happily I have the DVD set now.)
I tried on a couple of these tees to see if any of them would work for the party, and a couple did fit, but not well. My “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” half shirt did not cover the necessary chest elements. I was a much smaller person in the 80s. But my billowy black Sigue Sigue Sputnik shirt fit perfectly.
Deep down in the chest were my two Hardy Boys shirts, my elementary school shirt, and my Girl Scout uniform complete with beret and badges. A couple of honeymoon negligees and the dress I wore at the reception were tucked near the bottom. But I didn’t hit 80s paydirt. No leg warmers and only one fingerless Madonna glove. I did find a pair of lime green socks, yellow plaid pants, paisley pants, and polkadot gloves. Not quite what I had in mind. I’m wishing I still had my mullet, though at the time I called it my Rick Springfield look (or simply spiked hair). And I’m hoping to find some mondo earrings and tacky bracelets in my jewelry box. I know…most people clear out fashion from previous decades, and I’ve cleared out most of it, but some things I just can’t part with–even if I’ll never fit into them again.
I do think there’s hope for me yet, though, because I can finally look back at the 80s and see something other than “cool”. I can finally see “downright scary” and “what were they thinking?!”