We'll start this adventure with the dance party.
The 80's dance party...
You can take the girl out of the 80's but the hair remembers when...
My friend Jamie had a pal from business school coming into the city for the weekend and she wanted to go to the 80's dance party at the Canal Room with performances by the very special band, Rubix Kube.
Pause to enjoy the pithy 80's reference to the most frustrating toy ever made.
Incidentally, I chucked more cubes than I will admit across the room in utter disgust at how dumb the thing was - which was just an unhealthy projection of my own puzzle-solving inadequacies and a sign of my growing lack of patience in things I don't get the first or second time around, but since this is not a therapy session and frankly, there are more important issues to solve before we get to this one, I'll move on.
About 8 of us pulled out some retro duds, including florescent Ray-Ban sunglasses (specifically for Corey Hart's "I wear my sunglasses at night" - which of course came on, of course we wore them on the dance floor, and of course we screamed like we were 14 at a Bon Jovi concert). We got out the hairspray that is now reserved to hold the slick straight style in place and created the sky high cascading hair mountain we perfected in our youth.
In a nutshell, this dance party was almost more fun than the 80's itself. Especially because I spent the back half of the 80's in high school. High school was great, don't get me wrong. But all of that growing up, persistently renegotiating a curfew, needing to get that first job at McDonald's, and getting grounded (a lot) pretty much ruined what could've been a perfectly good era.
In fact, when seeing this outfit I pulled together for the event my sister commented, "Mom would've never let you out of the house dressed like that!"
Yeah, that pretty much sums up 1986-1990. Maybe the next decade too. Despite the fact that at that point I was out of the house, the dress code really didn't change much.
So back to the party - the DJ absolutely rocked. The mix was incredible. Michael Jackson's PYT segueing into Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Whitney's "I wanna dance with somebody" (during which we all nodded our heads in mutual sadness) backed by Toni Basil's "Mickey". Just like we did when we were pimple-fighting teenagers, we muddled through the words of "99 Luft Balloons" feeling both cool and very uncool at the same time.
Next was "You Spin Me Right Round", now slightly tainted by it's scrape with stardom in The Wedding Singer. Then The Cutting Crew's "I Just Died in your Arms"...ahhh, the melodramatic life-changing relationship in high school when you thought you might die because you had to say goodnight to your boyfriend (with his dad in the front seat dropping you off at home this was a swift, abrupt "See you at school Monday" moment.)
Of course, at this dance party we were drinking alcohol which also didn't happen to me in high school. Yes, I am absolutely telling the truth. My best friend and I embarked on that journey together at 18...a story for another day.
Here's Jamie, looking fashionable and chic in the neon yellow sunglasses. They glowed in the dark. With "yay! we are old enough alcoholic bevie"
The band finally came on at 11:30 and I wish I had pictures. I only have the pre-stage setup below. Just imagine the absolute worst of the 80's attire. Then imagine multiple wardrobe changes that continued to descend further down the rabbit hole. In a fun way of course, but wow - really? We actually thought shimmer pants on boys and Flock of Seagulls hair was hot? Parachute pants? Scrunchies? Leg warmers?
Some of the young ones at the club thought it was oldies night. I have nothing to say about that.
Alas, I leave you with a parting shot of THE HAIR. It only took 4 washes the next day to get the hair spray out. And about 3 decades to be able to love the 80's like we innocently did the first time around.