Fun and Just Because

Purple Rain

We all have that one song that just transports us back in time. I’m sitting here deciding what to write and listening to 80’s rock ballads. I wonder why I torture myself. It’s just a reminder that I’m getting older. The days of my youth and the days of my older years and sitting right in the middle. I guess that’s why they call any age over 50 “over the hill”. You’ve officially left that spot where being in between the two is no longer. I’m 52, so I’ve just barely crested the top of the hill. I remember so many fun, amazing, and beautiful moments when these songs come on. I remember being a teenager in junior high when Prince came onto the scene. They were just starting to offer dances on Friday or Saturday nights. It was great because they were actually at the middle school in the front lobby area strangely enough. They would hire a DJ to come in and the entire front of the school was transformed into this magic dance club for all of us to enjoy. These were the days when we would meet our crushes, got to learn how to slow dance for the first time, and maybe even got to steal our first kisses in some dark corner where a teacher or chaperone wasn’t lurking around. All of us girls came dressed in our mini skirts and over-teased, aqua net sprayed hair. The guys were sporting their windbreaker pants and van sneakers. We can’t forget the tons of black stretchy bracelets so that we could imitate Madonna. Most of us girls wore our china doll shoes or jelly shoes. Our moms would take turns picking, and dropping us off. Sometimes there would be sleepovers, or you were left to go home and just lay in bed trying to calm down from the amount of fun that just transpired. These dances didn’t seem to last long until they stopped hosting them. We all moved on to high school and then got to participate in Jr/Sr prom. Homecoming dances and just being able to hang out with our friends on the weekends. The town close to where I grew up had a section of road that we all called “the circuit”. It was a stretch of road that was maybe 5 miles long around. It was one day, you would drive down through the city with your car windows down and radios blasting. You proceed to the end of the stretch where you could turn left and go back up the opposite street which was also a one-way. You did this over and over again until you got bored or another opportunity was presented. Sometimes, you would run into friends while driving, scream out the windows and plan to meet to discuss plans. See there weren’t any cell phones back then so calling each other wasn’t an option. We figured it out though. You could be sure that 80’s hair bands was the music blasting out of the cars though. Most of the time it was guys driving around to show off their cool rides. I remember one time we had an assignment for school that involved caring for a raw egg. They didn’t have those mechanical babies that they do now that cry. We had raw eggs that we decorated to look like kids. We each created a basket or box to carry them in. The goal was to record what we did with them, and most of all keep them “alive”. Some of us had “husbands” assigned to us, and others were single parents. I was assigned a “husband”. Well one Saturday evening, my assigned husband took our egg son to the circuit to ride around for the evening. At least he was taking the assignment seriously. We both received 100%, so I guess we did pretty good. I don’t know if kids today still drive the circuit. I believe the police and city have tried everything possible to end that tradition. I also, don’t know if it would be as cool today as it was then. Things have changed, the music has changed. This simple thing would probably be boring to kids today. The simple task of just driving around and looking cool. We weren’t bothering anyone, we weren’t drinking, we weren’t trying to cause problems. We were just entertaining ourselves. They say that each generation has their own moments that will stand the test of time. I think that the music of the 80’s is ours, and there will never be anything else like it.

Photo by rikka ameboshi: