This post is going to be more of a rolling train of thought than a literary masterpiece because, a) I’ve still got a travel hangover from our Spring Break trip and b) I’m depressed because I’ve been using Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator for almost two months and my lashes still look nothing like Zoey Deschanel’s. Thinking on it now, though, that may be for the best. Is it me, or in the commercials doesn’t it look like she’s having trouble keeping her eyes open? Those lashes must weigh a ton.
Anyway, the lack in flow will be more than made up for by the wealth of knowledge I will share with you now. If you’re young, it will lift you to a higher level of enlightenment (lie). If you're old, like me, it will make you nod nostalgically in remembrance (no lie).
Anyway here it is.
Our car looked like this. Sweet ride, huh?
When I was young, most of our family travelling was done between the mid-Seventies and mid-Eighties. Back then families rarely flew on a plane. In relative dollars, air fare was about twice as much as it is now and gas was a little cheaper. If you went on vacation, chances are you drove. That’s what my family did.
The car ride? Boy, it was different than now. First of all, we had freedom. Seat belts had been in cars for years, but people didn’t use them often. That began in 1984, when states started passing seat belt laws. There also weren’t many car seats. Those came in the mid Eighties, too. Young kids used something similar to a booster seat. When we were babies, our parents put us in little beds that were held steady by a big prong that nestled into the back seam of the seat.
While travelling, kids held reign over the entire area behind the car’s front seat. In our family, we got half of the cargo area of our station wagon, so we made a 'fort' and took turns using it. There were three of us, so the remaining two had to share the large back seat. It looked like a couch. There were no bucket seats. Up front, the seat was the same. There weren’t two seats with a break in the middle -- no cup holders or storage compartments. In fact, there were no cup holders at all. There were ash trays that went unused. When cup holders replaced them the world rejoiced, at least the non-smokers did.
As for what we did in the car? We didn’t have Gameboys, Nintendo DS, etc. There were no IPods or portable DVD players, either. (Heck, we didn’t have regular DVD players!) In fact, few cars had anything more than a radio, maybe an 8-track tape player. Later cars had cassette players. How luxurious. For fun we would read, write or draw, or look for license plates from other states. We would also play the Alphabet Game, where we’d hunt for letters of the alphabet in order on billboards, road signs and other cars.
Oops. Wrong 'billboard.'
Speaking of billboards, they were plastered all over. There are much fewer of them today. There were more because we didn’t have those blue ‘FOOD’ and ‘LODGING’ road signs that listed businesses at every exit. Not that there were tons of food options anyway. Highways had no fast food at every turn. There are twice as many McDonalds now as there were back then. We always had sandwiches in a cooler.
One thing we had more of was hitchhikers. The practice had not been outlawed. We never picked up one. Our car was full, plus a lot of them looked pretty scary. Still, there were a few that looked just fine. We hoped they made it to where they were going. I had a friend whose sister didn’t. That’s a story I’ll never forget.
One other thing I remember was all the trash alongside the road. People chucked their junk out the window. You’d even see garbage bags in the ditches. It was just plain gross. The Crying Indian changed all that. If you don’t know about this American icon, here is a commercial:
The “Keep American Beautiful” movement took off. No one wanted to be a ‘litter bug.’
But let’s get back to technology. There were no ATMs, though credit cards had become fairly prevalent. People used cash and Traveller’s Checks, both of which you got at your bank.
As for cell phones? I wish! If you broke down, things looked grim. Instead, there were pay phones at every major business. Hotel reservations were made in advance. That is, unless you wanted to try you luck. Many people did. One year, while my family was travelling home from Colorado we drove home without a plan. On the west side of Kansas, we started looking for a hotel. All of them were booked. It took three hours later and many miles before we found a motel. The seedy place charged by the hour. We didn't touch anything. My mom refused to let us crawl under the sheets. We spread our coats on the bed and slept on top.
GPS devices didn’t exist, either. Everyone used maps. There was no internet, so there was no MapQuest or a quick way to find hotels. Mobil, AAA and Fodor all had guidebooks with listings of hotels and attractions for every region. Hotel chains also had books of their own. That's the way we got information. One thing we did have that you don't see much now was a ‘fuzz buster,’ or radar detector. It detected when cop cars were near by, so drivers could slow down and not get caught speeding. (Don’t get any ideas, punk. They’re illegal, you know.)
Well, that’s the extent to what I remember. I’m sure there’s more info out there. I’d love to hear your travelling stories, be you young, old or in between.
Jon Bon Jovi now
Flashback to my last year in college:
I’m in a business class and we’re discussing job interviews. One of the students raises his hand and says, “It’s not fair. I’ve got great grades and I’m a hard worker, but as soon as I walk into an interview I know I don’t have a shot, all because of my hair.”
He was right. Why? He had Jon Bon Jovi hair. No, not the cool stylings of the present day Bon Jovi. This was the Eighties, people. His tresses looked like a teased out poodle with twenty-inch long hair extensions had exploded on his head.
Now a lot of girls thought Bon Jovi's hair was totally rad back then, but interviewers? Different story.
Anyway, the teacher looked at the guy and said, “Why don’t you just cut your hair?”
He said, “Because it’s me. Why can’t people just look passed it to see the kind of guy I am?”
Then the teacher said, “If people have to look passed your hair to see the real you, then maybe your hair really isn’t ‘you.’”
Long story short: the kid cut his hair and landed a job soon afterward. Ain’t it sweet when things wrap up so easily?
You know, we keep being told ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’? Still, we do it all the time. Why? Maybe because we can make certain judgements based on one’s appearance. After all, the way people dress reflects who they are, right? Just go through any high school in the U.S. and it's not too tough to point out the jocks, goths, preps, nerds and stoners pretty easily. As for the Eighties? I've got to tell you, even back then a guy with Bon Jovi hair would not have been pegged as a smart, hard working Business major. Looks like this case is closed.
Though sometimes the way people dress reflects who they are, sometimes it just doesn't. Some people hide behind their clothes as if they were wearing a mask. Others feel pressure to blend in and wear clothes for approval. Others just wear what's hanging in the closet without care for what message they're sending.
Isn't it funny how what one person feels totally comfortable wearing can make someone else feel totally uncomfortable? I still remember when Laura Ashley dresses were popular in the Eighties. If you don't know what one looked like back then, here's a 'vintage’ one available on eBay:
Girls wore them with hairbows, pearls, and -- here’s the really embarrassing part -- bobby socks and Keds. The look was hot. The look was cool. This meant, of course, I bought one.
When I wore it I felt like a moron.
Not that I didn’t look good. The dress was beautiful and I had all the proper accessories. But it wasn’t me. What many considered comfortable, I considered a costume. Even though I blended in, I felt like I stood out.
But back to the whole 'job' thing. Let's say there are two girls. One is wearing sweats, gym shoes, and the whole ponytail-with-a-rubber-band-around-the-head thing. Another is wearing a black leather jacket, matching lipstick, and a nose ring. If I needed someone to help me with an after school fitness program for kids, who do you think I'd hire first? For all I know, the goth chick is an awesome athlete and great with kids, but she sure not dressed for the part.
If you want a certain job you’ve got to dress for it. That's always been the case. We don’t see a lot of accountants running around in kimonos and bamboo flip flops, do we? Still, what about that lone accountant who really wants to wear one? What if wearing a kimono reflects who he or she really is?
I don’t know if I have any real answers here. I just know if you want to be taken seriously, you’ve got to dress that way. When it comes to work -- heck, when it comes to life -- sometimes you’re required to wear a costume. It sucks, but it's true.
So judging a book by it's cover? We have to recognize that people do it every day. As for how we use this information, that's up to the individual.
So take a look at yourself right now. I'm curious. Does what you’re wearing reflect the real you? If it does, how? If it doesn’t, why?
Just a point to ponder.
This post is on something very close to my heart. I think about it, dream about it -- it permeates my existence. I’m talking, of course, about shoes. They make life worth living. Sure, there’s the whole ‘great family, nice house, wonderful friends’ thing, too. Whatever. The word ‘shoes’ puts me on a whole other plane. With that, allow me to present…
BACK IN THE DAY
Shoes: That’s all I need to say. Shoes.
When it comes to my shoe obsession, I know I’m not alone. How else did the Beatles song, “All You Need is Shoes,” became such a classic? Women love shoes. It’s in our DNA. Sure, we can’t all afford to be all ‘Sex and the City’ and fill our closet with $900 Manolo Blahniks, but the clearance section at TJMaxx? Watch out.
To understand my own personal relationship with shoes, you need to go back to my teenage years in the Eighties (surprise!). During that time I loved trolling the malls. All the clothes, all the purses, all the shoes! Problem was, I got stares wherever I went. Was I a great beauty? No. A freak of some sort? Well, yes, but that’s not the point. People stared at me because I was incredibly tall. I say incredibly, people!!
I was, and still am, 5’11”.
I know, I know. That’s not gargantuan anymore. What historians say is true: the general population has grown taller with each generation. People keep getting bigger. As a matter of fact, Xerxes the Great stood only five inches tall. His chariot was actually a Rice-A-Roni box with bottle caps for wheels. True story!
Okay, so maybe I’m not that strong in history but I speak the truth when I say that whenever I walked somewhere alone, particularly in heels, at least one three year-old girl would yank on her mommy’s sleeve and point. Part of me thought it was cool. Another part thought it sucked. You know the whole ‘gotta blend in instead of stand out’ part? Anyway, that part won out and I gave up shoes that had any sort of heel.
Though classic pumps were popular then, a lot of girls wore flats. They came in every color imaginable so if you wore a red shirt, you could wear red flats. If you wore a pink shirt, you could wear pink flats. Color coordination was highly prized.
There were also Sperry top-siders, a.k.a. boat shoes, which went with the whole nautical/preppy phase. Everyone had to look like they’d just stepped a schooner.
When it was rainy (or not) we wore duck shoes, these incredibly bulky rubber things that weighed an absolute ton. Still, they did keep our feet dry.
I can’t forget Dr. Scholl’s Exercise Sandals (later to be ripped off by Candies). Featuring hard wooden soles, they hurt like blankety-blank if you landed on them wrong. Wooden-soled clogs made an appearance, too.
When it came to gym shoes, Nike and Adidas were in a heated market share battle, though plain white Keds (as well as red Keds, blue Keds, green Keds etc.), Tretorn, and K-Swiss had their followers, too.
The goofiest trend had to be jelly shoes. Made of PVC plastic, this mid-Eighties fad came in all sorts of colors and styles. They really made your feet sweat, so they died out quickly.
Back to the most important part of this post: me. J So there I was, lost in a sea of flat footwear. When I got my first job out of college, I went to work every day wearing low rise pumps. Fashionistas would have been appalled, but my passion for shoes had long since waned.
Then I saw them. Black leather stilettos with the coolest gold buckle and two and a half inch heels. I know, not a lot of 'wow' factor, but that was part of their charm. They were the Michael Cera of shoes: cute in their own way with just enough star quality to put a sparkle in your eye yet leave you with a feeling of accessibility. My guard immediately went down. “I can wear these, can't I?” I said to myself. “After all, it’s only one pair.”
When I wore them to work the next day, my boss looked at me and smiled. “Great!” she said. “You’re wearing big girl shoes now.” That’s when the big shift inside took place. I was a big girl. I didn’t care if I stood out anymore. I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!
I spent $400 on shoes that weekend. In today’s dollars, that would be at least $8000. (Okay, so not very good at math either.) Anyway, it felt wonderful and I never looked back. Today I wear heels with pride. Not that I wear them all that much -- my knees are shot and Merrells are so comfy -- but when the mood strikes me I’ll strap on a pair.
And dahling, when I do I feel mahvelous!
Hey, guys! Have you heard about the latest fashion trend? They’re called ‘jeggings,’ a cute jeans/leggings combo to be worn in lieu of pants. Stylish, huh? I would LOVE to find out who designed these super sassy things so I can hunt them down and burn them at the stake.
You heard me. I am not pleased.
Don’t get me wrong, I know they didn’t have me in mind when they created them. No one, and I mean no one, wants to see my thunder thighs sporting a pair. Jeggings were created for the typical American teenager. You know, the 5’10”, 100 lb. girl with big boobs, tiny waist and long, lean legs? She’s featured in all the magazines.... Oh, sorry. You don’t look like that? Well just whip out the lip gloss and mark a big ‘ole "L" in the middle of your forehead right now.
Anyway, just because the target market for these cool puppies is limited to the perfectly proportioned, don’t think others won’t wear them.
Because they will, my dears. THEY WILL.
I’m not talking about your fellow students. Teenagers have much prettier bodies than their fragile self-esteem allows them to believe. But there are other people out there, people who latch onto fashion trends despite their ability to wear them. These individuals must be protected from themselves or we, as a nation, will face an ocular doom of ungodly magnitude.
So begins my cautionary tale….
I know, no leggings. Just work with me here.
Now others may remember it differently, but for me things really started taking shape in 1983 with the movie Flashdance, a sweet tale starring Jennifer Beals about a beautiful welder/exotic dancer who dreamt of performing for a real ballet company. You should have seen her. She was a maniac, maniac on the floor! She was dancing like she’d never danced before! Then she dumped a bucket of water on herself and the crowd went wild.
But I digress. The important thing is what the dancers wore: leotards, LEGGINGS, and leg warmers. (Oh, man. A chill just went down my spine when I wrote "leg warmers.") In addition to all that, there was Jennifer’s signature piece, the over-sized sweatshirt. Anyway, after the movie came out everyone wanted to have "the look."
Now thanks to a national aerobics craze fueled by Jane make-it-burn Fonda's illustrious videos, leggings (and legwarmers) had already worked their way into the gym. Once Flashdance debuted and girls saw super stylish young women wearing them instead of just super old (yet admittedly buff) ones, leggings started popping up everywhere. They officially became cool.
In the beginning, people wore them with the signature sweatshirts. Then they moved on to tunics. Oh! I'd be remiss to omit Madonna's huge influence, too. She made the leggings/skirt combo very chic. As time moved on, big wide belts were added to the mix, fashionably cinched at the waist.
For many years leggings were incorporated into a number of looks, all reflections of the times. They all had one thing in common, though: one's butt was ALWAYS covered.
Then one day tragedy struck.
Quicker than Jimmy Dean could say “sausage links,” a horrifying practice emerged that left many fashion victims in its wake. People started thinking – no, dare I say believing – that leggings could be worn as plain old pants. I can’t remember the exact year when it happened (sorry, I’m still dazed from the experience) but one fair morning in the early Nineties we woke up and realized the leggings trend had transformed into this:
Frankly, that’s more than I needed to see. And now it’s happening again.
Leggings already made their mild comeback, our first cause of alarm. Plus watching jeans go from flared to skinny? Buttock-challenged females are still in a state of shock. And now we have jeggings. I ask you, do we really need to see and/or reveal every pucker and bulge again? I, for one, do not. Still, there will be those who blindly indulge, ending in results that will horrify.
So what do we do? Scorn the poor, unknowing fashion victims? No. Our wrath must be targeted at the real criminals: the lame-brained designers who brought jeggings to life. I mean, come on. We all come in different shapes and sizes. Why force an item which only 11.3% of the population looks good in? I know their job is to make us feel physically inadequate, but this is taking it way too far.
I, for one, am standing up to this injustice. I hope you will join me, too. Do everyone a favor: say no to jeggings.
Trust me, the world will thank you.
It’s been quite the incredible week for me: my husband came home from Iraq (woo hoo!), the kids had their last week of school (so cool!), and NetFlix finally delivered season #1 of Glee (YIPEE YAHOO HOORAY!!) Yep, I am a fan.
Sure, the plotlines can be a little outlandish and the characters are over the top, but what did you expect? In real life, teens who break into song usually ride the short bus.
I have to admit, though, one of my favorite things (besides raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens) is seeing the shock on teens’ faces when they discover their new favorite song from the show was actually written in 1981. I feel cooler than I actually am.
The epitome of 80s cool?
Still, I must say enough is enough. As one friend said, “I’m ready to Stop Believin’.” That’s right, you heard me. The classic 1981 single, ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,’ made famous by Journey? The one Glee brought to the forefront again? Frankly, I’m ready to put it to rest. I heard it too much the first time. So stop.Okay, okay. I hear boos from the crowd. But this is my blog, not steveperryfans.com. I have a right to my opinion. I wasn’t a huge Journey fan back then, and I’m not a big one right now. Not that they weren’t (aren’t?) good, they just weren’t really my thing. So as sweet as it is seeing a bunch of elementary school children singing the song during music class (I had to sing “I Write the Songs” by Barry Manilow. Ugh.) I kind of wish it had been another song. Something that spoke to me. Like maybe ‘I Melt with You’ by Modern English, or the Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven.’ Of course, anything by The Greatest Band of All Time – I’m speaking, of course, about U2 – would have been great. Even something by Michael Jackson. He wrote a lot of cool songs even after he became white.
So it is with great hubris that I list my Top 17 Favorite Songs as a Teen. They might not be the same as your parents’ -- you’ll find no country and just one with synthetic rock (not a fan, but one was too cool to pass up). And, sadly, I have no Madonna. (It was a tough call, I must say. The original Lady Gaga knew how to rock a cone-shaped bra.) Still, we’re all individuals aren’t we? One song list can’t define our generation, just like one can’t define yours.
A note before I start: Just like there’s no way I could list my children in order of favorites, I couldn’t bring myself to do it with my music. Therefore, they are listed in alphabetical order. And, yes, that sounds as pathetic as it is.
So here they are:
My TOP 17 FAVORITE SONGS AS A TEEN
Plus…The entire Thriller Album by Michael Jackson and, I repeat, EVERYTHING by U2. Except for ‘Lemon’ and that whole MacPhisto thing. That was stupid.
- ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ by Simple Minds
- ‘Everybody Hurts’ by R.E.M.
- ‘Fight for Your Right (to Party)’ by The Beastie Boys
- ‘I Love Rock and Roll’ by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
- ‘Just Like Heaven’ by The Cure
- ‘Kiss’ by Prince
- ‘My Perogative’ by Bobby Brown
- ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ by Janet Jackson
- ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ by Guns N’ Roses
- ‘Take My Breath Away’ by Berlin
- ‘The Boys of Summer’ by Don Henley
- ‘Under Pressure’ by David Bowie/Queen
- ‘Walk This Way’ by Aerosmith w/ Run DMC
- ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen
- ‘What I Like About You’ by The Romantics
- ‘Wild Thing’ by Tone Loc
- ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ by AC/DC
So there you have it. Think I’m a dork? Well, I don’t care. Know why? Cuz I heard you were singing ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ in the shower.
journey image link
Ahhh. The 1980s. They gave us three major inventions we still treasure today:
1. the cell phone
2. the personal computer
3. the ‘coming of age’ teen movie
Now stop it. I saw that face. Don't you dare scoff at #3. Sure, I admit the other two were a bit more monumental and, yes, there were a couple of teen flicks before the Eighties. But in the 1980s, teen angst transformed filmmaking. I kid you not.
As someone who grew up during that time, I had to ask myself, “Self, what are the most iconic teen movies of the 1980s?” But this question proved too big to be answered by one woman. I needed guidance -- guidance from others of my generation. So I slapped together an internet poll and asked those who were teens in the eighties to step forward and vote. Over (the square root of) 2500 people participated, each of the selecting their top three picks for “the most iconic 1980s teen flick.” The key word was ‘iconic,’ a.k.a. representative of the eighties, which means they weren’t asked to pick their favorites. E.T. and Raiders of the Lost Ark had to take a hike. Still, I gotta say, all of these movies are frickin’ cool. Dare I say ‘rad’ or ‘wicked?’
So now you’re wondering, why is this important to you? Because your mom more than likely spent a few of her teenaged years in the Eighties. To fully know the beast, you must understand it. Watch these movies and you’ll get a taste of what it was like while she was growing up. Kind of. I mean, come on, these are movies. But still, you get the idea.
So with that being said, allow me to present…
The Top Ten Most “Iconic” Teen Flicks of the 1980s:
#10: Better Off Dead (PG)
Of course we should start this list off with the king of the 1980s teen movie, John Cusak. He ruled the screen as the adolescent everyman unlucky in love. In this case, when his girlfriend dumps him for a more popular A-hole, he thinks he’s ‘better off dead’ – until he comes up with a ridiculous plan to win her back. Teen angst has never been so hilarious.
#9: Say Anything (PG-13)
Yep. Another John Cusak film, though with a little less funny and a little more feeling. This time, he falls for the school’s sweet, rich and beautiful valedictorian, and her dad’s not too happy about it. Her dad, however, is also a crook. This movie inspired legions of boys to one day, possibly, if they ever had the guts, stand outside a girl’s window with a boom box over their head and blare a romantic song. Classic.
#8: Dirty Dancing (PG-13)
“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” You said it, Patrick. Though set in the sixties, this drama earns iconic eighties status on its beautifully depicted struggle toward adulthood – and awesome dance scenes. Featuring Jennifer Grey as a privileged teenager on a long summer vacation and Patrick Swayze as her dance instructor from the ‘other side of the tracks,’ this movie has a whole lotta dancing and even more heart as she rebels against the world as taught by her father. Moving stuff (pun intended).
#7: Pretty in Pink (PG-13)
Okay, you’ve met the king of eighties teen flicks. Now it’s time to meet the queen, Molly Ringwald. She plays a poor girl trying to date a rich guy, and both of their social circles aren’t too happy about it. This movie gives a great glimpse of the 1980s high school cliques – not just their mindsets but their tragic fashion sense, too.
#6: Back to the Future (PG)
Who knew you could learn so much about the 1980s from a movie mostly set in the 1950s? That’s the genius of this time-travelling tale. Michael J. Fox, an Eighties icon all his own, plays teenager Marty McFly, who stumbles back to the Fifties only to be hit on by his own mom. Now, before he can get back home, he’s got to get his parents together first, forcing him to deal with their own teen issues. If he fails, he won’t be born. How’s that for inspiration?
#5: Sixteen Candles (PG-13)
Molly Ringwald strikes again. In this comedy, her parents get so caught up in her sister’s wedding they forget her sixteenth birthday. More misery is added when she not only has a crush on the most popular guy in school, but the geekiest one has a crush on her. Add some crazy grandparents, a goofy foreign exchange student, and an over-the-top party, and you’ve got one hilarious movie.
#4: Risky Business (well-earned R)
This film is not only iconic, but also features one of the most knocked-off scenes in movie history: Tom Cruise dancing to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll" in his undies. When his character’s parents leave for the weekend, he decides to let loose a little. When a call girl enters the picture, it doesn’t take long for things to get waaaaay out of control, putting everything he cares about into jeopardy.
#3: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (pretty well-earned R)
Duuuuude! Though this film focuses on teenagers looking for love in southern California, stoner Jeff Spicoli (played by Sean Penn) steals the show as a stoned-out surfer dude in constant battle with Mr. Hand, a high school teacher convinced that every kid is on drugs. Hysterical.
#2: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (PG-13)
You can’t help but love Matthew Broderick as the high school student who cuts class with style. On this particularly glorious day, he takes his perennially morose best friend and knock-out girlfriend to Chicago for day they’ll never forget. All the while, his furious sister and suspicious principal do their best to foil his plans. Not just a great teen movie, but a great movie, period.
#1: The Breakfast Club (R for some well-placed f-bombs)
Number One? There could really be no other. Just look at the premise alone: Five high school students from five different cliques spend an entire Saturday in school detention only to discover they have more in common than they realize. The cast of characters? Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Esteviz, Ally Sheedy, and Judd Nelson. Those names might not mean much to you, but to my generation they were part of the “Brat Pack,” a group of young actors who dominated teen movies. This movie is classic 1980s – the good, bad and ugly. Plus the soundtrack is still way cool.
So there you have it, the Eighties wrapped up in a bow. If you have a spare moment, watch a flick or two. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll have a cow. And you might understand your mom just a little bit more...maybe.
All movie posters found at http://www.imdb.com
Okay, so your mom doesn’t get it. But remember, she was once like you. Sure, it was back when being plucked from the sky by a Pterodactyl was a grim possibility, but still. I’ll tell you what - why don’t you just sit back and discover what life was like in the ‘olden days’. It may not help your mom understand you, but maybe you’ll be able to understand her. So here, for your edification, is my first installment of …
BACK IN THE DAY
Teen Idols: The Eight Pack vs. The Eight Track
Back in November, some friends and I went to see the latest Twilight movie, “New Moon,” at 11 a.m. on a Friday afternoon. As you may have guessed, there weren’t a lot of teenagers in the crowd. Instead, there were mostly moms like us who shared a love for the vampire series. Imagine my horror when half the middle-aged audience shrieked in delight when Taylor Lautner (a.k.a. Jacob) took off his shirt. Can we give a collective ‘ew’? I’m not saying the guy isn’t hot. He is beefcake at its finest. But jeez, he just turned eighteen!
Anyway, as we were leaving after the movie, my friends and I discussed the movie’s plot, some key scenes and, of course, Jacob’s abs. “Man,” one said. “He didn’t have a six-pack, he had an eight-pack!” Then another said, “When we were growing up, we never had teen idols like that.”
And we didn’t. Oh, boy, we didn’t. And I have to say I’m a little jealous. Look at the picture below. This was my teen idol growing up, Shaun Cassidy. I loved playing his 8-track tapes (were talking way before IPods, sweeties) and didn’t miss one episode of ‘The Hardy Boys’ on TV. As a matter of fact, one of my darkest moments involved a pink satin baseball jacket with his image silk screened on the back. My mom said I couldn’t have it, and it was so beautifully displayed on the Sears mannequin, too. Tragic.
Now in typical teen idol fashion, the guy was gorgeous - no denying that. But his bod was so skinny you could thread a needle with him. There were others like him, too. Leif Garrett, Scott Baio, and Andy Gibb to name a few. All of them had dreamy eyes, fabulous hair, and chests as flat as Brownie Girl Scouts.
What does this mean? I’m not really sure. But if you catch your mom gaping at a magazine spread of Taylor (Eight-Pack) Lautner while she’s in the check out aisle at the Piggly Wiggly, have pity. If, however, she squeals when he takes his shirt off in a movie, you have my permission to disown her.