Sunday, January 22, 2006

elated in the eighties

The other night, I escaped my crazy toy-strewn home and drove to a friend's place across town. It was raining so hard that I had to drive with the windscreen-wipers set on 'frantic'. The few other cars that were game enough to be out driving were trailing each other like caterpillars. I swung in at the end of the column.

Happy as a clam in my car, I had the radio cranked up, and was half-bouncing in my seat as I drove. There was an eighties song playing, an the radio announcer remarked cheerily, "And we're up to our elbows in eighties tonight!". Fantastic! thought I. Up to our elbows in eighties! Now that sounds perfect for a trip to see my old high school friend, KP.

As I bopped to 'Walking on Sunshine', I wondered why I so adore 80's music. It's certainly not the awful electronic keyboard tunes, or the woeful lyrics. It's definitely not about the music itself (although there are some songs I swear are sheer genius...just can't think of an example right now... hang on....maybe later in the post....). I realised I love the way 80's music makes me feel... I recreate the time in my life when I was young, fresh, vital and almost obligation-free. The world held limitless possibilities. When I hear these familiar songs, I am awash with the emotions I felt 20 years ago... trepidation, excitement, the first tastes of freedom, yearning, a slow-building belief in myself, the beginnings of faith that one day someone would love me. Whew! It's a heady brew!

There is one REALLY trashy 80's song that just about makes me cry every time I hear it - Lionel Ritchie's 'Hello' (yes, embarrassing but true!). This was a song that my high school band rehearsed over & over at a music camp (This one time? At band camp?---ignore if you've never seen 'American Pie'). As the band rehearsed, the object of my unrequited love..whom we shall call Lincoln (because that was his name) sat watching the band over the other side of the room. I also watched the band, in between looking over at Lincoln. To my deep pleasure, I frequently caught Lincoln glancing at me, too. I was thrilled! Maybe this meant he had a crush on me, too! After 2 years of silently adoring him, perhaps Lincoln was finally noticing me!

Well, no. I now realise the poor boy was only looking over because a freckly, blushing girl in a lurid pink sweater kept staring at him. Nothing ever eventuated with Lincoln. (I met him again at Uni once, looking scruffy with a beard. I had blossomed in confidence, and our mutual friends were teasing me about how many different boys I had been dating. I was secretly glad Lincoln was witness to this conversation) But for those few moments, all those years ago, I had a hope of romance with this fascinating, reserved, handsome boy.

Now whenever I hear 'Hello' playing, I am swept by feelings of longing, elation, and just a tinge of sadness (because boo hoo, it didn't end in love!). How odd that a full-grown woman can be reduced to such silly emotions by a mere combination of musical notes.

I don't mind though, being silly and nostalgic. Because I love to feel. To me, life is all about experiencing emotions, of every kind. I know one day I will look back on this time of my life, and remember chubby arms around my neck, sticky faces and crayon drawings on the fridge. I'll probably smile with teary eyes. I fully expect this.

For now, I'll enjoy my eighties nostalgia to the full. Especially when cruising, with the music blaring, in my large sky-blue family sedan.


Motherkitty said...

The memories that are aroused by a particular aroma, taste, sound, piece of music, or picture are often the most poignant. Who can forget the thrill of our first "crush" or our first kiss? Or, a particularly happy memory, our parents, our siblings, or a long-dead pet.

The older I become, the more teary-eyed I get over the most innocuous things. I probably use more kleenex than a normal person would in a week.

I watched a movie last evening that I have seen at least five or six times and I STILL cried like a baby at the end.

Crying is good! And, happy 80s music is great! Dance on, friend, just forget about the polyester.

Heather said...

I have 80s nostalgia too. You and I would have so much fun together!

This was a very nice post, Jelly!

Anonymous said...

I just realized that it is summer where you are. I never paid attention to your location before tonight. Anywho...
We were suppose to get 6 inches of snow last night, but it rained most of the night and we ended up with 2 inches. Just thought I would share.
Next week at my blogplace should be fun.

Flossy said...

I could relate to this post so much! As an eighties child myself, i get much the same feelings when I hear the music - memories are made of this.

manababies said...

It really is funny how certain songs take you back to very specific instances. I'm the same way. Although a lot of times I think back and wonder how I could have been so stupid sometimes. hehe. But then again, back then it really didn't matter... which is why it was so much fun.

mackeydoodle said...

I was a teen in the 80's also but I am not a very big fan of '80s music. Maybe very early 80's but I wasn't a teen then(born in 1969) I was a headbanger in the 80's & could not stand the bee boppy stuff.

Garry said...

I loved the eighties I was a teenager and the music was (mostly) great.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I get nostalgic when I hear music of the past. Isn't it funny how you can bring back those wonderful feelings you had back then. I hope you had a terrific time with your friend.

shellyC said...

oh yes...i love 80's music brings me back to my teens so often!!

"hello" by Lionel Ritchie....1984 Camp Disco...dancing very close with Anthony.....ahhhhhhh.

shellyC said... was Year 8 Camp..1983!!

John Cowart said...

This is a lovely posting. Isn't it wonderful that such little things can trigger such feelings. I think it means we're alive.

Wendy A said...

I find driving with late 70's or early 80's music like therapy. It really makes me feel.

Love the post and knew a hot guy named Lincoln when I was in high school. I guess you didn't grow up in California did you?

jellyhead said...

Hey, great to hear everyone else feels the same (with music bringing back memories, even if it's NOT 80's music!).

Wendy A, that's so funny you also knew a dreamboat Lincoln! But no, this was an Aussie Lincoln.

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