Friday, November 21, 2008

Thinking back to the last year of high school as party prep

Last weekend, some friends invited us to a house party. Yes, an honest-to-goodness house party, with chips and dip, a few kegs and even California Coolers. How do they get away with being grownups and throwing this high-school level party? They gave it a theme.

The theme here was wear what you wore your last year in high school (it was originally wear what you wore when you graduated, but it soon came to light that not everyone graduated in the traditional way, so they changed the theme). I graduated high school in 1985 (yes, if you're doing the math, that does mean I finished a year early. Smartie-pants here skipped fourth grade [social suicide by the way, but that's a whole other post. In fact, I think it's probably a whole other blog!]), so I searched for 80s clothes, and found myself tripping back to the early days.

Am I nostalgic for high school? Not in the least. It was nice to be young and not have ripples where my tummy used to be, but otherwise high school was not a happy-go-lucky time (see above re: social suicide). But I liked the clothes and styles when I was living in the 80s. Somehow they seemed fun and flattering. Of course now, with my retrospective eyesight, they look goofy and outdated. But boy, was it fun to dig out the leg warmers (no, I didn't wear them) and the shoulder pads (yes, I did).

I discovered that I actually had got rid of most of my 80s clothes. I thought I'd kept more, but being married to a man who tosses thing out as a hobby, it's hard to be a hoarder forever. But I did have skinny-legged jeans (not from back then -- the chances of my fitting jeans from then was so out-of-this-world -- heck, the chances of fitting jeans from before my babies were born is just as remote!), and I have a lovely blouse with huge shoulder pads (why haven't I tossed that yet I don't know!), So I tucked my blouse into my pants and pulled it out so it ruffled over my pants. Then I added a great scarf that has come back into style so-I'm-told, but one I remember wearing in a song competition in grade 11. And I found penny loafers in the back of the closet.

But the most fun part was the hair. I hated my curly hair in high school, and used to blow it dry so it turned out fluffy instead of curly. It gave the effect of big hair, which of course we wanted then. So I styled my 80s hair, added a bow, and I think I achieved the perfect look.

The real downer came when I got to the party. Because besides my husband, for most of the party, I was the oldest person there, and in this case we were wearing it on our sleeves (literally for all those 90s grads wearing their lettermen jackets from their private schools). Eventually a few 80s grads showed up, but the whole thing left me feeling:

a) old
b) glad it's not the 80s anymore

c) nostalgic for 90s styles.

And no, I didn't take a photo of myself dressed up, sorry.

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