Flashback Friday – A Response to TBT

I couldn’t help myself…I found a Throw Back Thursday post that really took me back and basically incited a flashback. Thanks, Rob, over at Weight To Lose

Those music videos he shared brought back some serious memories for this old girl! The 80’s was my favorite decade, with the 90’s coming in a close second

The 80’s were a time of change for me. In January 1980, I was a freshman in high school. In December 1989, I was married with a five year old, and making a move from Lubbock, Texas to Clovis, New Mexico.

I have been seen wearing jellies shoes, padded shoulders, poofy hair, high waisted jeans (see gallery above), beaded moccasins, head bands, and prairie skirts. When I left home a married woman in February of 1984 and arrived in Lubbock, the first trend I noticed was twister beads. Where did these come from? How didI get my hands on them, and how come I didn’t see these back home? I still have my Minnetonka mocs, and wear them occasionally. The jellies? While comfortable, they made my feet sweat horribly, so I was kind of glad when those went out of style! And yes, I did, in fact, own an Izod alligator polo, because even *I* had a preppy side.

I listened to everything from Journey to The Tubes to the Pretenders to White Snake and Great White. I was a huge fan of new wave music and I loved The Smiths, The Cure, The Motels (remember them?) and Men at Work, although I don’t know if they were considered new wave, LOL.

I began the decade listening to music on a console hi-fi system (no, that really wasn’t a typo – short for high-fidelity), got my first part time job at *ahem* Taco Bell, and worked there long enough to earn enough money to purchase my very own Sanyo boom box before I got fired. It was at that time I found there was an easier way to make a mix tape than holding a tape recorder up to the radio speaker and recording songs through the speaker, hoping like hell the dog didn’t bark or my sister didn’t come in and say something that would require me to stop the recorder and wait for said song to be on the radio again. I ended the decade with a Pioneer component system with an actual 5 CD changer. THAT was something. The first CD I bought was Cheap Trick’s Lap of Luxury:

And technology? Obviously, cell phones were the stuff of sci-fi stories, as was video conferencing, and the Internet wasn’t something many people thought of back then. I don’t think I got cable TV until the mid-to-late 80’s, but we pretty much always had video games.

I remember playing Pong at my parents’ friends’ house back in the 70’s, and my sister scored an Atari 2600 while I was still in high school. I spent hours one weekend scoring a cool million points on PacMan, and walked around with “joystick thumb” for days after! :D When the ex and I got our Nintendo NES we were glued to Mario and friends for hours over the weekends. And then? OMG, Tetris….Need I say more? :D

Speaking of phones, at the beginning of the decade, at Mom & Dad’s house, we had one phone. It was mounted on the wall and had a short coiled cord, and was a rotary dial. Within ten years there was an AT&T 5000 Series cordless phone on my end table. THAT thing was amazing. I would walk outside to call someone just because I could!

Seriously. It WAS as hard as it looked!

Seriously. It WAS as hard as it looked!

Office work was different, then, too. I’d signed up with a temporary agency right after graduation in 1983 and did a gig at a car dealership working the front desk and switchboard and it actually utilized these pull-out plug-things that you had to put into the correct holes. No, reallyI I am so glad it was only for one day, because that was really just too much. Obviously I never really outgrew my inability to operate a multi-line phone system. We have these VOIP phones at work, and for whatever reason, I am only able to put a call on hold and start another call without hanging up on the first line about 50% of the time. And word processing? Not something that was put to use in my world until very early in the 90’s. I worked at the American Cancer Society in ’88 and we were still using IBM Selectrics to get the job done (over and over and over because my boss didn’t allow correction tape or Liquid paper). Yeah…good times.

Cameras have come a long way, too, baby…Back then, if you wanted instant photo gratification you had to get a Polaroid camera and packs of instant film. My parents had one; I think it was my Mom’s, as my dad used a 35mm Ricoh film camera. Since the advent of the digital camera, I have been hooked. No more wasted film or processing money spent on bad shots. :) Yeah, I’m cheap like that. I have a LOT of respect for portrait photographers back then. They didn’t have the ability to see that the entire family blinked at once. Yeah, I am kind of a spoiled thing, photographically speaking. And if you had told me back then that most of us would have little tiny phones that were like mini-computers that fit in our pockets that had cameras in them, too? I would have thought you were mad!

I think back to that decade and smile at the thought of the leg warmers I owned, Cherokee wedge sandals I coveted, and Gunne Sax dresses I was thin enough to pull off, and the ridiculous pastel “Miami Vice” colored clothes that I absolutely loved back then. I had a journal that I wrote in religiously until after I graduated from high school; it was paper, with a cover, and I used a pen to write my thoughts out long-hand. We also got our exercise by getting up to change the channels or adjust the volume on the television. Shortly before I moved away, the folks bought a VHS VCR (during the great Beta/VHS debate), and that sucker had a wired remote that allowed you to play and stop. It may have had a fast forward and rewind function, but honestly? I only really remember the little box with the room-length cord that plugged into the recorder.

Kids these days crack me up when they say that they’re bored and have nothing to do (while surrounded with cable/satellite TV, iPods, tablets, video games, smart phones, and laptops). Yeah, we got bored, too, but we had books and Atari (until joystick thumb kicked in, LOL), but we also had bikes and skates and chalk to make hopscotch and four-square lines on the sidewalks and in the driveways. Does anyone know if there is still such a thing as tether-ball?

I’m betting my kids wonder how we ever made it through, much in the same way I would look at my mom and ask, “How did you even LIVE without television?”

Yeah, I miss the 80’s…Thanks, Rob, for putting them right back out there. I really enjoyed perusing the web looking for images of stuff from the day.

What is your favorite decade and why? Was it the music, the fashion, the technology (or lack thereof), or just where you were in your life at that point?

Until Next Time…

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About Julie the Workaholic

Mom of three (grown) sons, wife of one, friend of many, and owned by seven 4-legged critters, writer, photographer, friend, huge fan of life, and most of all, lover of all things beautiful .….Getting healthy, and hoping to make a dent in the world in a most positive way! (And then there's my alter-ego, the Workaholic, who is me, just unfiltered.)
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7 Responses to Flashback Friday – A Response to TBT

  1. loved this trip down memory

  2. silverliningsanddustbunnies says:

    Ah, the 60’s and 70’s (I am, ahem, nearing ancient!) enjoying Donovan, the Mommas and the Poppas, Moody Blues, Cat Stevens, Janis Joplin, Bread, even Elvis, and oh so many icons like Hendrix, the Doors, Jefferson Airplane (before Starship), and more… but unlike most of my friends not so much the Beatles until Sgt Pepper, then on I liked ‘em. Music was the language of my generation, whether listening, playing, and always at the concerts. We had no video recorders let alone games, no play station, no internet, and in fact, no calculators let alone personal computers. (Dinosaur, like I said!)
    I remember a reel to reel recorder being finally replaced with 8 track, then cassette tapes. AM radio being replaced with FM. Life has gotten better electronically, for sure. But bored? Not often. Read a lot, went to movies (and the drive ins!) a lot, swimming, playing in the park (it was safe then), and taking the bus and transferring about 5 times to get across town… Every family did not have a TV or a car, so we shared. Those days are gone forever, except in memory and in old books and movies. Can’t say they were better or worse, though.

  3. I love the big shoulder look! Reminds of of something Greta Garbo would wear decades earlier. I can feel the kinetic energy that you had when you wrote this! lol So, this weekend is it going to be babysham bubbly and mtv? :-)

    • I am thinking, since it is the first weekend of vacation, AND the sun will be shining for it for the first time in almost three weeks, that I shall celebrate with my favorite 80’s mix on my iPod, and play it loud and proud poolside with some “mahhhh-velous” adult beverage and a good book! :)

  4. REDdog says:

    Great trip down memory lane Jules, as a ’66 baby I’m wid you on a lot of this stuff, except the shoulder pads maybe haa!

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