Monday, June 04, 2007

Memories Melodic

For some reason, I spent the better part of Saturday searching for and downloading music - mostly songs from the 80's and early 90's. Those were my years for music. I loves loves me some 80's and 90's tunage. Even if that makes me kind of pitiful and old.

I was jammin' out with my sweet air guitar and awesome air drums (yes, I'm that talented), to "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison and after she quit laughing at me and caught her breath, Kady said, "Hey Momma....I really like your old music!"

I called Tater at one point and held the phone up to the computer and hit the play button. The song I had cued for her was "I'll Be Loving You Forever" by NKOTB!! If you are a true fan, you already know what NKOTB is, but in case you aren't a fan - or an older sister of a fan, which is how I painfully know - it's New Kids on the Block. (Ohh ohh ohh OH oh! Hangin' Tough!) When I put the phone back up to my ear, I fully was expecting to hear gales of laughter from my younger sister, which is why I even downloaded the song in the first place. Instead, I got nothing but silence on the line. I kind of laughed nervously and said, "So.....what'd you think?" More silence then, "You are just kinda sad, Kristin." Well, see if I spend .88 on a stupid 80's boy band song for her ever again.

Later in the conversation, though, she did agree that hearing that little bit of the song brought back memories for her. For me, hearing that song makes me instantly envision her bedroom, which had kind of peach-colored walls, but you'd have never known it because virtually every square inch of her room was covered in posters from all the various teen rags and poster mags. I'd like to know how much money was spent on magazines of that sort. I subscribed to Teen and YM and my sister just bought Tiger Beat and its cohorts right from the shelves. Our poor mother's pocketbook. I also remember relishing in evil sisterly delight at her reaction the day I told her that every member of New Kids was gay. I was an evil older sister.

I downloaded "Never Say Goodbye" by Bon Jovi, too. I know that song was played at every prom I ever attended, but the copyright date on the song is 1986. I was 13 when it was released! Talk about a song being special - to be 4 years old and played at the prom. It was the song played at the end of school dances, proms, graduation parties, parties in general and of course, steamy-windowed cars on country roads. 
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper was released when I was 10. TEN! I have a ten year old! It blows my mind that there might be a song right now (Perish the thought that it might be to the tune of "Hey (Hey) You (You) I don't like your girlfriend") that will forever be engrained in her memory as perpetually awesome. I remember watching the video on MTV - back when MTV played videos- and trying to memorize every detail of Cyndi's outfit so that I could hit the mall and try to mimic it exactly. My parents were a little too uptight to let their 10/11 year old color strips of her hair Raggedy Ann Red, though. That song brings back memories of MTV in its infancy and slumber parties.

"Sister Christian" was also released when I was 10, but when I was in 7th grade, Brian Highfill sang it to me in Math almost every day, except he cleverly substituted Christian with Kristin. Be still my heart. (His wife reads my blog, but I think I can safely write this post and not have to worry about her hunting me down and kicking my butt. She knows that my marriage to her husband was over years ago, lol) All of us girls thought he was completely HOT when he came back that year - he had long, blonde hair and muscles! He swaggered into the classroom after school started and we all giggled into our English books and instantly the notes started circulating around the room. In our little aggie-laden school, all of the muscles were covered up by FFA jackets and those muscles were gotten from hauling hay all summer. We all fantasized that Brian had actually worked out to achieve his. Or maybe he'd rebuilt an engine, we'd muse, and the group would go silent and I imagine that we all collectively pictured him leaning into a car, shirtless, maybe with a cigarette dangling from his lower lip. Scandalous, eh? And the hair - all of the boys at our school had short haircuts because they were farm kids and that's just how it was - their dads wouldn't tolerate it if their hair touched their ears. We found Brian to be exhilarating and dangerous with his long hair. I, of course, had married him years ago, all the way back in 2nd grade at the school carnival, but I had competition when he came back to town with muscles. I lost. His long haired and muscled bad boy thing didn't mesh well with the nerd thing I had goin' on at the time. But him singing "Sister Christian" to me still made my heart flutter. I can't hear that song and not smile a little and find myself sitting in the 3rd row of the math room, with Brian in the seat behind me, singing. Hmmm...maybe now I know why my math grades were kind of low....

"Sweet Child O' Mine" was the song that was played repeatedly the night of my first date ever. The rule of the house was "No dates until you're 16" and that was law. But then my cousin's best friend had expressed interest in a date with me, so with much begging and pleading, Dad relented to letting me go on a double date with them. Then Claudia got grounded the day of the date and I was devastated. I remember Mom coming back to my room where I was lying on my rainbow comforter, face in the pillow, bawling because my dad was such a .... a..... JERK and Mom said, "Straighten up, now. I've talked to your dad and I think if you come up there and maturely ask him if you can go alone, he might say yes." Instantly the tears were gone and I was manically bouncing up the hall to beg and plead. Maturely, of course. I'm sure Mom worked the magic that allowed me to go, but I still put on a mature face and did my part. Brad picked me up in his brother's car that needed its own zip code. (I think it was a Thunderbird, but I'm not sure. All I know is that his brother and dad drove the largest cars I'd ever seen - his dad drove a Crown Victoria.) The headliner was sagging, but it had an amazing stereo and we played "Sweet Child O' Mine" over and over and over that night. I have worn out 3 Appetite for Destruction cassettes and 2 CDs over the years. When Kady was a baby and if her brother or sister weren't around to sing "K-K-K-Katie" to her when she got fussy, I just popped in some Guns N' Roses and she'd go right to sleep. She's good people, that Kady of mine.

CHOOSE LIFE the shirt said, and we didn't know if George Michael was telling us not to commit suicide or not to have abortions, but we danced like freaks to "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" anyway. We thought his scraggly bearded face was cute and sexy. And we all simply HAD to own a sweatshirt that the sleeves had been cut short and the neckline was enormous so that it hung off our shoulder. My mother was constantly pulling mine up and saying, "Really, Kristin." And the dancing - oh the dancing. Hyperactive bouncing like chihuahuas on meth, was that dancing. That dancing was a cardio workout from Hell. I only danced like that in the privacy of my bedroom or when I was acting silly to make Mom laugh, but I can remember my friends dancing for their lives on the gym floor and wondering if it was possible for a heart to explode. I refused to believe he was gay, even when my little sister came home and told me that he'd had to go to the hospital to have his stomach pumped because it was full of "....well, you know.....that stuff," she whispered. Evidently she'd forgotten that I'd told her that exact story about NKOTB a few years before.

11 comments:

Melessa said...

I was not at all disappointed to hear that Elton John or Lance Bass were gay, but I am still broken-hearted (and in significant denial) about George Michael-and I still love watching his "Faith" video.

Marshamarshamarsha said...

Dear God, we could be twins. My younger sister had a thing for the NKOTB too, and I graduated in 89, so of course, I have also tortured (somewhat) my children with songs of the 80s and 90s. And George Michael...what a shame that was. Good stuff, Diva, good stuff!

Stewed Hamm said...

All that jumping around you called dancing? It's got nothing on the Safety Dance.
But that's cool because, you know, you can dance if you want to.

Grace said...

Great songs you downloaded! I have so many of the same songs on my playlist.

Shannon said...

Right after my high school graduation (1984) I got in my car by myself and "Sister Christian" came on. Oh, the memories! Everytime I hear the 80's and yes, some of the late 70's I have great memories. I saw Cyndi Lauper at Mohawk park in Tulsa, and the Bangles opened for her. Great memories.

MrsCoach2U said...

You can tell our high schools were only 20 miles apart! Boys with short hair, hauling hay and coming to school ripped. NKOTB....sigh.... If they'd have only married me, they'd still be normal, I tried to tell them that but did they listen! No they did not. A 13 year old girl does TOO know what she's talking about!

jusdealem said...

LOL Your post brought back similar memories for me! It seems like yesterday, but sadly it's not.
Great post!

Mean Teacher said...

What year did you graduate?

My bedroom walls were covered with various posters-- NKOTB included. And I remember longing for the next issue of Tiger Beat or whatever teenie mag had the best picture of Kirk Cameron.

Mrs. E said...

I only remember those songs because I heard them at the numerous proms I got to attend. Poor Cap'n N grew up on 60s and 70s stuff. That's what we had and that's what he heard.

I seem to remember stories of some girls at a slumber party going outside and declaring their love for some guy singer...Yep, you were there

I still drive my students crazy with 60s and 70s music.

cedric said...

NKOTB. God I had fun making fun of them. How can you have an 80's song list without Pour Some Sugar on Me? That is the greatest song ever made. You were lucky with the "Sister Christian". At every function we had, we got to hear "Wind Beneath My Wings". God, I want to suck on a shotgun barrel just thinking about it.

beckie said...

Your pretty safe on the ass kicking thing, as far as ex wives go your not so bad- just dont start asking for alimony or anything. Our kids thought that was the funniest thing ever, although our youngest said "she is not talking about my dad cause dad is a tard" guess kids see you in a different light.