Is it just me or have we all gone back in time? OMD and the Pet Shop Boys are in the charts, Michael Jackson is heading to Number One; students are rioting, the country is struggling its way out of a recession and a royal wedding has just been announced! All of a sudden I’m back in the early eighties.
Now don’t get me wrong, despite the recession, the strikes, the war and the riots I enjoyed the eighties. Put it down to the blissful ignorance of being a teenager but life certainly seemed easier. Well it was, I didn’t have to work and I wasn’t responsible for anything more complicated than getting my homework in on time, learning the lyrics to the new Eurythmics single and choosing what make up to wear.
Of course things were tough; girls had to choose between ra-ra skirts and pompom skirts and boys had to look at them without laughing. Mind you, the boys had their jumpers tucked into their trousers and wore jackets with rolled up sleeves. The Don Johnson look didn’t even work for Don Johnson. For those of you unaware of these “to die for” fashion items, a ra-ra skirt stopped several inches above your knees and had about as many ruffles on it as a Spanish castanet player’s sleeves. It was a rare girl that could avoid looking like someone’s loo roll cosy and I was not that girl. Still I did manage to avoid the pompom skirt. If the model on Just 17 failed to look cool then I knew that it was going to be a non- starter for me.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to exercise the same level of judgement when it came to make-up. I seriously thought gold, blue and pink eye shadow worn together with electric blue mascara and black eyeliner was really trendy. Well it may have looked trendy but it didn’t look good. I don’t know if it’s better or worse but I also had outfits to match the chromatic nightmare. A huge, fake, fur coat in electric blue, concealing a pencil skirt in fluorescent yellow cord and a satin effect blouse in shocking pink. Nicely finished off in patent black high heels. It’s almost impossible for me to imagine how bad I looked were it not for the fact that my parents took photos.
There we all are, beaming out at the camera, eyes and teeth as bright as our outfits, full of life and ready to take on the world. The fact that we looked awful and our parents must have been crying with laughter to themselves didn’t matter a jot. We thought we looked great and we were having fun.
So when my son tries to wander out of the house with his trousers slung so low it’s damn near indecent I can only be thankful that he doesn’t have any electric blue pants!