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Florida, United States

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Eighties Ladies

Were women better in the eighties? Families in general?

My mom's generation of women were something else. I remember them flipping their hair and wearing shorty shorts and tight tank tops to P.T.A. meetings, exercising while wearing their leg warmers and laying out in the sun in their string bikinis...

I think I was four years old when I first entered the girlscouts organization, meeting all these little girls, most of whom I still keep in touch with today. All of our mom's were involved and attended every single meeting, show, cookie sale that was arranged. Therefore, my mom knew their mom's, which made sleepovers a lot more likely than in today's times.

We would giggle over Michael Jackson videos, knew all of Debbie Gibson's songs and New Kids on the Block made 99% of our little hearts beat faster.

I was raised in a small town. By small, I mean, one caution light, located in front of the only school and across the street was a pizza parlor, next to the grocery and feed store. We also had a video store, where we would head after eating pizza on a Friday night and rent Lean On Me, The Goonies or if we were feeling really wild, Risky Business or Nightmare on Elm Street. We had our bikes with the pink tassels, our pony tails held with scrunchies and our whole lives ahead of us.

This was before the days when we were labeled the slut, the tom boy, the princess or the smart one. We loved one another and our moms made sure that our Keds were clean before we went to school. It was a wonderful time to be a child.

If we were playing in the street, we had to be in before the second street light came on, or we knew our asses were grass and our moms the lawnmower.

There was a little tiny bait shop before the edge of town where we would go and buy Dorito's and try to make a nickel into a little cup inside of a water jug to win a Yoo Hoo. We knew who had the best pools, a Nintendo or Sega with the best games and getting a game of kickball on a Saturday in the field across from K's house was a regular occurrence.

And at the center of all this were our moms. K's mom once saved me from drowning when I thought I had mastered the doggie paddle when I was five and had ran around the block to show her.

My mom was the cool mom. She drove a Trans Am and wasn't afraid of doing burn outs down the street. Once, she brought us to a neighboring town, a much larger town, and we went egging. Yes, egging. We missed more than we hit, as it was mostly road signs we were aiming at, but it was so FUN.

P.T.A. meetings were not dreaded events. It was almost like a town meeting, where all of our parents went to socialize, drink punch and we didn't have issues about prayer in school. If you went to church, a synagogue or temple, or chose to refrain completely, no one cared. At all. Once, my dad showed up in a shirt that said "Party Naked" on it. It was accidental, but it really livened things up.

I wish my kids could have experienced it. Now, I'm on the P.T.A committee and there are a handful, literally, of other parents involved. Everyone else is faculty. My boys play baseball and every year, they might have two other kids that have been on their teams in the past on the rosters. If they want to ride their bikes, I'm on the front porch, watching with an eagle eye, as we have multiple sexual offenders that live in a neighborhood not even a mile away.

Anyway, for your amusement factor, here is my Kindergarten class picture. I'm in the middle row, second from the right:


  1. ok, i'm guessing that you and I are very similar in age as I could relate to everything you just said. Hold on. You're a member of 20 something bloggers. I'm older. And yeah, the NKOTB reference did seem a touch young... but everything else....

    And PTA meetings are scary things to attend these days. So, not a fun social gathering with punch to drink.

    Oh, and my mom drove a corvette. Guess we both had 'cool' moms. :)

  2. I'm twenty nine, so I figure I should be getting sent off to pasture before too much longer. Or 30sb, whatever....

    Hope it's as entertaining over there.

  3. I'm 29, and my mother never wore leg-warmers. But, then again, I've never eaten fried okra and ranch dressing either and, if a bait-shop ever opened in the town where I was born, it would have been torched by the Orthodox Jews.

    Thank God for varied life experiences.

  4. I loved this post. I do remember those times. And yes, they were better. I wish the children I will one day have could have the childhood I had, but I know they won't.

  5. I am much older than you, but can totally relate to small town activities. However, my Mom was not a "cool" mom. Everyone knew everyone in my town and there were always nosy people and caring people looking out for the children. Anything you did got back to your Mom within the hour. My daughter wasn't able to roam carefree in the neighborhood like I could. Times have really changed.