Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Demented Decades

It was bad enough when my daughter informed me it was “Decade Day” at school, and she had picked the 80s because the clothes were so funny. The eighties? Far too recent to warrant a “Day.” It was a little like hearing my era’s music on an oldies channel for the first time.

But being such a great sport, I quickly warmed to the idea. For instance, when she asked me what she should wear, I told her: Think big except for the jeans. Big, permed hair. Big, stick-out bangs. Big, padded shoulders.

“No, really,” she said. “I get to wear leg warmers, right?”

Turns out her view of the eighties was derived completely from the movie, “Flashdance.” She wanted to wear workout clothes. I explained to her that people didn’t wander around that entire era in workout attire. She was horrified.

Feeling proud of myself, I led her to the basement where I still happen to have authentic 80s clothes…well, really nineties, but they still had an eighties feel.

Horrified, she wanted to know why I still have those.

Honestly, I don’t know. Some of it was formal wear that I couldn’t stand to give away when I’d only worn it once. Some was so darned cute that I was sure it would come back in style. And some was just so tiny, I guess I needed to remember that I was once able to fit into it.

But the thing is, she didn’t want authentic. Too dorky. She wanted pretend 80s. Shoulder pads and giant bangs? Forget it. The only thing she wanted to be giant was her earrings. She wanted an off-the-shoulder sweatshirt and a side ponytail in a scrunchie. Never mind the fact that regular people wore those things…never. To me, there was no small amount of irony in the fact that she skipped off to school looking like a mismatched Trailer Trash Barbie because real 80s attire was just too clownish.

Later that evening, she told me that “everyone” was dressed pretty much exactly the way she was, other than the ones who had chosen the 70s. And then she said one kid came wrapped in one of those Snuggle Blankets. You know what I mean—those blankets with arms? Anyway, this kid, God love him, said he was from this decade.

Ha. I told my daughter I am going to purchase a Snuggle Blanket just to save for her children. When it’s “2009 Day” at their schools, I will have just the outfit for them.

Children are the only form of immortality that we can be sure of. ~Peter Ustinov

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