My name is Misti and I'm an 80s-aholic. It is a terrible addiction, afflicting....hundreds. What is an 80s-aholic? Well, in my case it's someone who physically lives in 2007, but emotionally exists between the years 1980 and 1989. I love all things 80s to the point of actually making my three year old watch Breaking 2: Electric Boogaloo. Although, I'm not a complete throw back, I have some control. I've managed to let the air out of my hair, given up electric blue eyeliner, and donated my leg warmers to needy ballerinas (even the super cool black ones with shots of silver thread running through them).
I console myself with the knowledge that I'm not the only one still daydreaming it's 1985. Matchbox 20 has just covered Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" and several T.V. shows seem to be written by folks with a similar preoccupation with all things 80s. I can tell when a show's writers are about my age because of the references to Superman 2 and Gopher from Love Boat. Here's a hint to television auteurs: make a Tootie from Facts of Life joke and peeps like me will keep you in the top of the ratings.
Speaking of television, how great was T.V. in the 80s? Remember Fame? I pretended to dance around that fountain wearing my super cool black leg warmers a bajillion times. I was also a featured dancer on Solid Gold (in my mind). I was particularly fascinated by the dancer with ass-length hair- didn't it hurt when she sat on it? And I really loved it when Madame the puppet made a guest appearance on SG. Ah, there's nothing like hosts with chicklet white teeth, sequined dancers, and a drag queen puppet to say "It's Saturday Night and You're a Fat Kid!" Loved it. But the best was the Love Boat/Fantasy Island Saturday night combo. Remember the Love Boat where Kristy McNichol guest starred and found love with Scott Baio. Sigh. And wasn't Fantasy Island down right creepy? Sometimes I dreamed Tatoo was standing over me with a knife while a possessed dummy with top hat and monocle laughed manically, but I loved it anyway!
Not only did the 80s keep me entertained and dressed to kill with feather earrings, Jellies, and friendship pins, but they also introduced me to love. My interest in boys went something like this: Sean Cassidy, Andy Gibb, Scott Baio as Chachi, Ralph Macchio, Jake from Sixteen Candles, and Scott Baio from Charles in Charge. Not bad for a chubby adolescent. Late at night I'd listen to Pat Benatar's wise words of love through my Walkman and dream of how a thirteen year old girl might meet Andy Gibb and begin a relationship that would land him in jail. Good times. Now that I'm thirty-five and trying to bring this addiction to heal, I have focused my fantasy life on George Clooney. Which is sort of cheating because I first loved him on Facts of Life. Oh, well. I'm not the Greatest American Hero!
The 80s also gave us radical movies and awesome music, often both in one. Top Gun gave us Tom Cruise (pre-crazy) and Berlin's "Take My Breath Away." Goonies was one of the greatest coming of age films of all time coupled with one of the greatest anthem's of youth in Lauper's "The Goonies R Good Enough." Need I mention the prolific John Hughes and his symbiotic relationship with totally rocking soundtracks? I think not.
Despite my efforts to resist the sweet nectar of Oingo Boingo and Anthony Michael Hall I remain an addict. Why do I love The Pirate Movie and all things Olivia Newton John? Because they're damn good, that's why! The 80s were sweet, poppy, teenage angst drowning in pastels and hairspray. Nothing wrong with that.
If you too are an 80s addict then it's time to come clean. Confess your sins and share your favorite 80s secret pleasure. I have too many to ever write about here so I'm sure we have some in common.
In the immortal words of Mr. Miagi, wax on, wax off. Peace out.