(West End Girl)
To be fair, anyone born during or shortly before that particular decade technically is a child of the '80s. By that logic, I could call myself a child of the '60s, even though a "sit-in" was what I did in the corner when I was in trouble and the only Woodstock I knew was Snoopy's feathered friend. No, my true wonder years were the '70s and '80s.
You see, to be a true '80s child (according to the rules I just made up), one's age would have to have been in double digits by 1980. I'm not minimizing my colleague's '80s experience, but there's a big difference between experiencing the ‘80s as a mere tadpole and seeing them through teenage eyes. It’d be like comparing apples and oranges – or Papa Smurf and J.R. Ewing.
Gather around, young’uns, Grandma’s gonna tell you about life as an ‘80s teenager. Back then, when the working day was done, girls just wanted to have fun, so we popped in our Michael Jackson Thriller cassette tapes (I’ll explain later) and partied like it was 1999.
As Mr. Riazzi said, men were men in the ‘80s – like Hulk Hogan, for instance. But just as often, dude looked like a lady. Exhibit 1: Boy George. OK, dude looked like a bag lady on steroids. But we loved him, anyway. ‘Cos it takes diff’rent strokes to move the world.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of fashion. We wore slouch socks with mini-skirts and looked, like, totally awesome. We wore leg warmers with mini-skirts and looked, like, tubular to the max. We wore biker shorts with mini-skirts and looked like DA BOMB.
We’d put on our penny loafers, pegged jeans and fluorescent T-shirts, and boogie-oogie-oogie till we just couldn’t boogie no more at 1470 West – not the one that used to be downtown, but the original one in Kettering. When Whitney Houston wanted to dance with somebody, we were so excited we just couldn’t hide it.
On many a weekend – and summer weekdays – we’d gather in brat packs to hang out at the Arcade, buying the newest 45’s (I’ll explain later) and thumbing through the latest issues of 16 and Tiger Beat until the security guard chased us out of McCrory’s. Those were our "glory days," as Springsteen would say.
Well, kiddies, I’d love to regale you with more tales of the good ol’ days, but I can see by my Swatch watch that it’s time for my nap. Feel free to stick around and watch some videos – I’ve got VHS and Beta, take your pick. Just make sure to wake me up before you go-go.