Thirteen Things I Miss From 1980s.

You know that feeling when you're having a conversation with someone and they have NO idea what you're talking about because they weren't alive in the 1980's? That's been happening to me a lot lately.

*Cough* It's probably going to happen to me a whole lot more as I get older.

Yeah, before I knew it, I'm going to be known as the crotchety old grandma who's going on and on about how awesome things were in the good ole days when girls licked their Purple Rain album covers and pretended they were making out with Prince.

A lot of things were BEYOND lame between 1980-89, but there are a few things I miss, so since it's Thursday that means it's time to play Thursday Thirteen.

Thirteen Things I Miss From the 1980's.

1) The Making of Michael Jackson:
I feel bad for people born after 1980. I mean, they think the hype over Justin Bieber is big.... They have NO idea. Justin Bieber ain't nothin' compared to the madness over Michael Jackson. Plus, today's kids missed seeing MJ's first moonwalk on TV. Wow, I remember everybody in my house screaming! They also don't know what it was like waiting for the Thriller video to come on MTV. When it came on it was so fun to yell for everybody in the house to RUN so they wouldn't miss it!

2) Rotary Phones: There is something about the dialing sound that rotary phones make that I will forever love. I just realized the other day that I haven't heard that sound in real life in many many years. I only hear it when I'm watching an old movie and one of the characters makes a phone call.

3) Knowing That I'm a Capricorn: In the 1980's I had no doubt I was a Capricorn. I even got used to the Capricorn symbol being a freakin' GOAT. There was no confusion whatsoever. Now I find out that the Zodiac's all wrong... and I'm really a Sagittarius. Pfft! What would Ronald Reagan say? Is this trickle down astrology or what?

4) Madonna Rolling in the Floor: "Like a Virgin" is probably the Madonna song I dislike most. But, I always associate it with her first performance of it at the 1984 MTV Music Awards. I remember watching the show with my mom--and my mom was on the phone with one of my aunts who was also watching the show. Around the 3:08 minute mark when Madonna started rolling in the floor my mom said something like, "Look at this poor girl rolling in the floor! What is WRONG with her?", and she began laughing uncontrollably. All these years later, the memory of my mom crying with laughter STILL makes me laugh.

Anyway, the awesome thing about the performance is that it's just Madonna with no backup dancers, singers, no autotune, no crazy choreography, no Kabbalah, and no fake British accent. Can you imagine such a thing now?

5) Miami Vice: When I was 13 I sprained my ankle running down the front stairs so I wouldn't miss the first images of Philip Michael Thomas in the intro of Miami Vice. The man was SO hot. In case you didn't know, that's him at the top of this post. Don Johnson? Meh. I'll pass.

6) The Official Preppy Handbook: I knew people who seriously thought The Official Preppy Handbook was a missing gospel from the Bible. I never owned a copy of the book, but I loved reading other people's copies because it was so very tongue-in-cheek and silly. The idea that you had to dress a certain way to be acceptable...yeah, this book was always good for a laugh.

7) Fantasy Island: I'm not a big TV person but this is still one of my favorite TV shows of all time. Mr. Roarke was so mysterious...and the plots for the show were always so exciting to me. I wish Joss Whedon would reboot this series.

8) Chicago House, Detroit Techno and NYC Freestyle. I really miss tracks like 1988's "Try Yaz" from Bronx duo Two Without Hats. They creatively combined the electronic stylings of British new wavers Yaz with a little acid house, a touch of hip hop flavor, and that hot Nuyorican sound. I still love this, and like much of the music in the '80s, it still sounds fresh.

Play that for anybody who grew up in the Chicagoland area in the '80s listening to WBMX and the Hot Mix Five, and they will go nuts when the "esta loca" part of the song comes on. If they don't, something's wrong with them.

9) Fifty Cent Candy Bars: (No, not that Fifty Cent!) In a sign of how infrequently I buy candy for my kids, the other day, one of my sons asked me for some money for a candy bar. I gave him $.50. This kid says, "Um, mom, I need $.85 for a candy bar." When did this happen? And how come gas prices have gone up more than 35 cents in the past 30 years?

10) Supermodels on Magazine Covers: My mom used to buy both Vogue and W magazines, and I have to say that the models back in the day were so much better looking than the actresses that are on today's covers. I mean, do I really need to see another Hilary Swank cover? Another JLo cover? And the Kardashian girls? Yawn. No, there was almost no diversity back then among the models--and there still isn't--but damn, at least back then they knew how to pose without making the stupid sexyface I see all over now.

11) Style with Elsa Klensch: For awhile there, Klensch made me want to get into some sort of fashion or design career. Her compelling CNN program covered the best of the runway shows, featured interviews with designers, and it took you inside the gorgeous homes of people who hired amazing decorators instead of having boring McMansion houses with boring McMansion furniture. For awhile there in the '80s, I never missed an episode.

12) Handwritten Letters
: Everybody who knew me back in the '80s could count on a multi-page missive from me at least once a month. I was the Queen of the Pen Pals back then. I miss the time I had to pen those notes. I also love seeing other people's handwriting. Nowadays you can know someone for quite awhile without ever seeing their handwriting, and that's weird to me.

13) Soul Train: I miss watching Soul Train on Saturday afternoons in the '80s. The lip-syncing. The Soul Train Scramble Board. Don Cornelius' voice. Watching black folks dance and have a good time without popping any silicone inflated azzes all up in the camera... yeah, if only THAT one can once again become the norm, I'll be a happy crotchety old woman.

So that's 13 things I miss from the 1980's. What do you miss? (Don't you dare say leg warmers!)

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!


Remnants of U said…
Ahh, I guess I'm also going to be the crotchety old grandma. LOL!
I can relate to most of the 13. I also recently realized how expensive candy bars are AND that they are smaller.
Jameil said…
Many of these went over my head seeing as I was born in 82 and had no interaction with my older siblings in the 80s. PMT guest taught acting at Hampton while I was there. It was very amusing to see him on campus amused by the reactions he got. I love rotary phones and thought pen pals were so cool!! i'm supposedly a leo instead of a virgo now. i was on the cusp so i always felt leo-ish anyway. i stopped reading fashion mags b/c they've become celeb-filled drivel w/the focus away from fashion. so irritating.
1969 said…
Esta Loca!!!!

I remember all of this. (Phillip Michael Thomas has been fine since Sparkle!!! Now I'm really dating myself.)

I loved all things neon. I really did. Don't judge.

I will always be a cancer. I define the sign.

I loved basement parties too and going to a club strictly to dance and not meet guys. Dancing till your clothes were saoked. Ahhh...good times.
Anonymous said…
Technically, I'm an 80s baby (born in 1988), but I know I can never claim it for real because Thriller did/does scare the crap out of me. I caught it on TV accidentally when I was around 4, and I was scarred for life.

Supposedly I'm now a Scorpio (originally Sagittarius woot!), but I just read an article saying the change doesn't apply to the West because we use different signs anyway. Whew!
davita said…
This is excellent!!! Michael Jackson! The Jackson 5 cartoon. I remember watching him do the Moonwalk!!! I loved him so much!!!

We used to watch The Monkeys tv show and sing along.
nick said…
I can't remember when I last wrote a handwritten letter. I either email or talk on the phone. I never even exchanged love letters with anyone for that matter. But I can remember writing thank-you letters to my relatives as a kid. They must have been embarrassingly stilted and clich├ęd.
DJ Black Adam said…
WOW, you brought back some serious memories.
Joy said…
Takes me back!
Liz Dwyer said…
We can sit on the stoop with our sweet tea and reminisce about the good ole days together!

OK, I'm glad it's NOT just me that thinks candy bars are pricey. I guess that's a good thing if it keeps kids from buying them...except I think they still buy 'em. Oh well.

OK, he guest taught an acting class? Whaaat??? I would've been up in there every day. Straight A's, yes ma'am!

Did you see the cover of this month's Vogue with the lame-o Twilight actress on it? It's the WORST cover I've seen in ages. It's like, yo, no wonder your circulation is down. Just trifling. And apparently that zodiac change thing was wrong. So I'm still a capricorn. You're still a virgo. ;)

Oh yes, he was SO hot in Sparkle. Nowadays, you talk about Sparkle and the kids will be like, "Oh you mean that brand of paper towels?"
Yeah, the days of just dancing and dancing and everybody having a good time and ACTUALLY the young bloods even do that anymore? It doesn't seem like it.

Neon pink, OK. Neon yellow? Nooo! ;)

Thriller scared me too and I was a teen when it came out!

Folks yesterday were about to have major breakdowns over the astrology thing. There may be some truth to it all, but the way some folks base their whole lives on it doesn't seem like the way to go.

I never saw a single episode of the Monkees. But if MJ was on TV, the world stopped for me! ;)

Hmm... you know, I don't think I've received a handwritten love letter in my entire adult life. You should write one to Jenny. I bet it would be easier than those thank you notes!

DJ Black Adam,
Oh I'm sure! You actually hung out with everybody who made all the house/techno tracks I loved back then. (I'm jealous!)

Wasn't she the bomb? Just so on point with her analysis, and so full of style too.
Other than the PMT love (ha) I'm feel you on this list.

I know there was a crack epidemic in the 80s but that era did seem more innocent to me.

MTV actually played videos back.

Several of my friends have recently said they're going to start writing letters. I think it's great. I love receiving them and I love stationary.
tattytiara said…
Oh your mom sounds like a hoot! Wow, I was watching when he moon walked for the first time too - seriously, that event is as frozen in time in people's memories as the first moon landing. What a moment.
BlackLiterature said…
I wonder whay happened to my copy of the preppy handbook? Preppy was the theme for the yearbook my freshman year. I saw an old polo at my mom's over Christmas. Geeze I was small. ;-)

I love your 13 and can totally relate. Thriller debuted on regular TV (solid gold? or star seach?), Miami Vice and shoes with no socks.... PMT was cute. Not as cute as Prince, but cute. Cosby on Thursday nights...
Faith said…
Girl, candy bars were 25 and 35 cents in the 80's!!! I loved this post by the way. Great selections. I'm writing a companion post and will ink to yours.
Liz Dwyer said…
Why no PMT love? ;)

I miss videos on MTV, too and wow, I used to spend so much time picking the perfect stationary. I should get back to that.

My mom is just awesome on so many levels. I have so many funny memories of her talking to her sisters.

Yes, the moonwalk is totally one of those moments for me.

Black Lit,
You should find it! If it's in good condition, you could get some $$ on ebay for it. SOLID GOLD...oh I loooved me some Solid Gold. Wow.

My mom didn't let us buy candy too much but I remember them being like 35 cents. I figured 50 cents would be enough money for today's kids, but nope.

Can't wait to see your post.

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