Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Eighties Girl

I went to an 80’s party last night. Jealous?

This is a picture of me when I was only 25, posing with my long-time best friend Kathy. We were 80's Girls and I think we were beautiful.

If you want to take the 80'S TEST, answer the following questions:

If you wore pantyhose every day of the week (males excluded for the most part) …
If you know how to make an origami straw out of a dollar bill …
If you had shoulder pads that looked like super maxi pads …
If you owned Ray-Ban Wayfarers in black and white …
If you tucked your pegged jeans behind the tongue of your red leather Reeboks ...
If your portable stereo was the size of your current home stereo …
If you rolled-up the sleeves of your dad’s suit jacket and wore it to the club …

You were an 80’s girl

As my two friends and I, who I will call Pat Benatar and Belinda Carlisle in the interest of describing their attire, drove two hours to the party last night, Simple Minds played from my stereo. Siouxsie and the Banshees were rocking my soul and good stories were told.

I was a “hair model” for Sebastian Hair Products in 1983. They were launching their new hair colors: Cellophane Primaries in Blue, Yellow, and Red. My friend Maria, a fabulously gorgeous model-friend, had to do a trunk show, so she got me in. I was 5’10” and weighed nothing. I was a New Wave chick and all about edgy style.

I got the job and showed up at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco early the next morning to begin my transformation. All us little models were shoved into a large ballroom and there were stations around the perimeter of the room. At the first station, I met with the Ms. L.A. She was wearing a button-up man-style shirt that went below her knees. It was buttoned all the way up to her neck, from which hung tons of necklaces. She was so avant-garde that it was the next year before I had a shirt just like it.

She never looked into my eyes, just grasped my skinny little head and twisted it back and forth like a cantaloupe, raking her fake nails though my hair with little regard. She made some notes and handed them to me on a card. “Go to the next table”. I obeyed Ms. L.A. and proceeded along the tables where they would bleach the shit out of my hair. I think I had to sit under a giant alien hairdryer for about an hour. When I returned to the table they were disappointed, I could tell. Not by any words that were said to me, because nobody has a conversation with a cantaloupe and clearly that was what I had become to the crew of Ms. L.A.

I was sent back to the Bleaching Torture Lab where they bleached my hair AGAIN and sat me under that oven helmet for another hour with no magazine. I was worried that the burning scalp could be a bad sign, but I could not make eye contact with anyone of importance, and because I was a cantaloupe I had no voice with which to talk.

After the second bleaching the entire city of Los Angeles was satisfied. Then they informed me about the colors. “We’re introducing our primary colors this year; you’ll be Yellow” I really wanted to be Red, but this is not exactly a salon where you get to have an opinion. So the next station was where they put some rinse in my hair for a while and it smelled kind of nice. I guess it smelled yellow.

I went to my final station to get dried and styled. Another nameless woman from L.A. slathered Sebastian Mousse Forte on my head like whipped cream on a banana split and blow dried my hair in a upward vertical line while simultaneously spraying it with some hairspray that N.A.S.A. probably created to hold their ships together when breaking the sound barrier.

I was not allowed to see a mirror up until the final point. At last I was allowed to use the bathroom and it was there that I first saw the new me. I looked like a Flock of Seagulls Groupie and I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!! We all rehearsed and performed for the big show with flashing lights and music from Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Wham! They gave me $250 and a load of free products, including eye make-up that I still wear, Ha!

Yesterday, when my young friend who is just 25 showed up at my house for costume and make-up, I had a blast telling her how it was done in the ‘80’s. “Put on a ton of make-up and when you think its enough, put on more”. I showed her how to dry her hair upside down, and how to make your eyebrows nice and thick.

The ‘80s were a time for indulgences in everything and it was fun to relive it all for a night. This morning when I had to race my little girl to the pool for her synchro class 10 minutes after I woke-up, I glanced in the car mirror and saw my eyeliner that had cracked and was chipping from my eyes, the Brooke Shields eyebrows still colored in, and my long locks still clinging to a few loose curls from the hot rollers I borrowed from Gina the day before, and I still felt just a little bit beautiful.

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