I Love the 80s

Now look at them yo-yo’s, that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV


"Does this hair make my nose look big?"

I believe the word “freakish” was recently used to describe the above photo, so, of course, I rushed to publish it for the world to see. That’s me, JD, in 1983 (OK, 1984, but that doesn’t sound as good.)

And, no, this isn’t the result of bedhead or electroshock therapy, nor has the picture been Photoshopped (using the “elongate hair” tool). There was actually a time when I chose to wear my hair like this. And that time was the 80s. (At least I didn’t post the picture of me rocking out to my Walkman while wearing egregious leg warmers. Over jeans. With matching mittens.)

The 80s were a time of gravity-defying hair, partying, MTV, and, apparently, wearing my pajamas outside, because that purple thing is definitely not outerwear.

But the 80s were so much more. I graduated from college (after changing my major 56 times) but had to be dragged from my college town to face the real world. I managed to avoid the real world for two years by running off to Ireland, where I moved in with a guy, waitressed, and went on the dole. Coming home, broke and with no prospects, the real world slapped me in the face with waitressing jobs, having to move in with my mom, and severe culture shock. By the end of the decade . . . oh, but why read about my 80s experience in boring paragraph form? Here’s a handy bulleted list with significant events in no particular order.

80 Things I Did in the 80s So You Don’t Have To:
  1. lived in Ireland for two years
  2. was dragged onstage by Dr. Bop and the Headliners for a rousing rendition of “Pretty Woman”
  3. joined the rest of the IU campus in tearing apart the town after the 1981 NCAA championship victory
  4. got kicked out of a motel with 7 other drunken idiots after a wild night in Lake Geneva
  5. finally got a “real” job . . .
  6. making, like, $14,000 a year
  7. drank poitin and lived
  8. met my future husband . . .
  9. and got engaged . . .
  10. but not before setting my hand on fire with a sparkler
  11. stalked and had my way with a Swedish exchange student named Lars
  12. was diagnosed with thyroid disease . . .
  13. after losing a ton of weight and eating whatever I wanted . . .
  14. followed by obnoxious weight gain and lethargy
  15. visited a Paris sex shop . . .
  16. and bought something!
  17. worked at a pub called The Horseshow House . . .
  18. where Irish people yelled at me for not being able to understand their stupid accents
  19. came very close to having sex in France. With a Frenchman!
  20. listened to my (straight male) neighbor confess his love for Boy George
  21. wandered off into Cabrini Green after a night at the bars . . .
  22. and was picked up by some cops, who probably saved my life
  23. was called a “mutt” by a stupid Irish kid
  24. may have seen Lauren Hutton at the Georges Pompidou museum in Paris
  25. ate my weight in happy hour make-your-own tacos
  26. visited the London Zoo
  27. worked at a bar called Campus Casino . . .
  28. where, after all the adult managers bailed, I became a shift supervisor . . .
  29. and gave out free game tokens and beer to my friends . . .
  30. causing the place to go out of business
  31. starred as an extra in an MTV commercial . . .
  32. and met John Cougar (as he was known then) during the shoot . . .
  33. but pretended not to think that was cool . . .
  34. tho it totally was
  35. lived next door to a house called The Roach Motel
  36. discovered P. G. Wodehouse
  37. was repeatedly referred to as a “punk rocker” because of my hair . . .
  38. even tho it was clearly a “new wave” style
  39. hid in terror as my roommate’s boyfriend’s wife banged on our door at 4 AM
  40. saw The Cure at Red Rocks
  41. saw Big Country in Indianapolis
  42. saw The Who in Indianapolis
  43. saw Public Image Ltd. in Chicago
  44. saw Todd Rundgren in Chicago
  45. worked as a door-to-door salesperson for a language learning program
  46. lived in a one-room flat with no electricity for 3 days . . .
  47. where I cooked grilled cheese over a fire . . .
  48. and discovered a large rat in my garbage
  49. accepted drugs and a motorcycle ride from a total stranger
  50. became obsessed with “Little House on the Prairie”
  51. knew someone named “Basher”
  52. had ankle surgery . . .
  53. was on crutches for a month . . .
  54. and in a walking/dancing cast for another month
  55. worked at an “Irish-Mexican” restaurant called Carlos Murphy’s
  56. celebrated my 21st birthday by throwing up out of a car window
  57. lived in an apartment complex called Motel Swell
  58. played in a pretend bandcalled ZA
  59. wrote a trivia book on MTV videos . . .
  60. as an excuse to watch hours and hours of MTV videos
  61. paid something like $500 for a new technology known as a “VCR”
  62. became addicted to the videogame Gorf
  63. discovered The Smiths
  64. saw the first of what would be about 15 chiropractors
  65. stole and drank massive amounts of booze from various employers
  66. saw Kool Ray and the Polaroids enough to qualify as a groupie
  67. saved the life of my roommate who OD’d on diet pills
  68. worked at an Irish steakhouse called Russell’s . . .
  69. where I was chased around the kitchen by a chef with a knife
  70. developed anxiety disorder
  71. played Pass-Out
  72. passed out
  73. ate chili in Cincinnati
  74. hid in my next-door neighbor’s shower from a guy I’d met at a bar the night before
  75. was dropped on my head by a “friend” . . .
  76. and had to wear one of those stupid cervical collars
  77. donated blood for money
  78. went on several diets (tho, amazingly, I weighed about 40 lbs. less than I do today)
  79. dreamed of a day, far in the future, when I would write a blog post about some really stupid stuff
If you want to love the 80s:
  • Check out this awesome 80s quiz from Magic Jelly
  • Try to guess who inspired my 80′s hair-don’t (hint: ALL)

stray_cats.jpg sheena_easton.jpg

prince.jpg bride.gif


They love the 80s at humor blogs.

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33 Responses to “I Love the 80s”

  1. 1 Canucklehead

    awesome picture. awesome list.
    in conclusion, awesome.

  2. 2 Corrina

    Your hair is TOTALLY New Wave and NOT Punk… and you saw The Cure too??!!! I have Galore in my music library and it’s one of the few albums where every song is fabulous!

    Oh and I’m glad you survived the 80′s because good GRIEF you were busy!

  3. 3 Kathy

    Oh my God, girl. Why couldn’t I have known you in the 80s? You had so much fun and didn’t get killed in the process. My 80s list would absolutely pale by comparison. I’m exhausted just reading that and I didn’t even live it. I agree with Canucklehead. Awesome, awesome list. Wow. What a decade you had!!!!

    Kathy’s last blog post..It’s the 21st Century, People

  4. 4 Jeff

    Love the picture. I always thought Sheena Easton was hot.

    Jeff’s last blog post..Dan Dan he’s our man!

  5. 5 fracas

    I love Magic Jelly. It’s on my fuelroll and I vote for it all the time… (sniff, no Magic Jelly vote for fracas though)!

    I may have to copy your idea and do a list of 80 things. I promise to fall all over myself making sure people know it was your idea though… okay?

    Seriously though… 80′s hair? LOL. I did the shaved-on-the-sides-very-short-at-the-back-long-at-the-front-parted-on-the-side-and-kind-of-flopped-over-the-forehead look.

    I also wore a lot of those dresses (I worked in a upper-scale restaurant) that are like a triangle. Big shoulder pads and extremely narrow at the knee, no waistline. With the hair, the shoes and the freaked out dresses, I was a fraccing fierce 80′s chick.

    (I’m a tad embarassed now)

    fracas’s last blog post..A naked picture of my cold hard nipples.

  6. 6 Sabrina

    Awesome list! What a great time you must have had, oh I hope you scrapbook!

    Sabrina’s last blog post..$100 Dream Valentine Date!

  7. 7 Carla @ WordPlay

    How I would have envied your hair in the 80s! I tried a succession of expensive perms to get my straight hair to do what yours did naturally. The results looked like a cross between a poodle and the Bride of Frankenstein (without the cool white stripes on the side).

  8. 8 cardiogirl

    Oh how I love The Smiths. Love Morrissey. I’m so impressed with your ability to throw caution to the wind and post old photos of yourself. Wow.

    cardiogirl’s last blog post..It all went my way yesterday

  9. 9 JD

    Canucklehead: Sir, I admire your succinctness!

    Corrina: THANK you. There is such a big difference. I, too, love Galore and actually got to see the Cure twice. I’m glad (and somewhat surprised) that I survived the 80s.

    Kathy: There were SO many times I should’ve been killed. I am lucky. But it was all fun. I wish I’d known you in the 80s–I bet I could’ve gotten you to try some Everclear Kool-Aid!

    Jeff: Why, thank you! You know, the more I think about it, it seems that my hairstyle came before Sheena Easton’s. So, apparently, I was an influence on her.

    Fracas! Copy away–as long as you promise to post a picture of yourself in the triangle dress with shaved-sides hair. I would LOVE to see that!

    Sabrina: No, I don’t scrapbook, but I may have to take it up to organize all my photos and junk. Thanks for stopping by!

    Carly: You’re so nice! I hate to burst your bubble, but that definitely was some permed-up hair. My hair is really straight and would NEVER do that without a perm. And there were plenty of days when I had the poodle/Bride of Frankenstein look going on, too.

    Cardiogirl: The Smiths!!! I regret never getting to see them in concert. I remember the first time I heard a Smiths song: “What Difference Does It Make.” Changed my life! Now, let’s seem some 80s photos of YOU!

    JD’s last blog post..I Love the 80s so you don’t have to

  10. 10 Ernie

    I, unfortunately, had to wait until the ’90′s before I could rock the mullet. My parents made me keep my hair short while I lived under their roof.

    Ernie’s last blog post..BoKlok: Swedish For House in A Box – From Ikea

  11. 11 Dave

    Dropped on your head? Cincinnati … when were you ever in Cincinnati? Sex with a Frenchman … hmmf.

  12. 12 JD

    Ernie: I know that hairstyle is, technically, a mullet, but since the term hadn’t been invented in the 80s, can we agree to call it a pompdour or something? Bouffant? Regardless, I’d love to see a picture of you rockin’ a mullet.

    Dave: (Yes, everyone, it’s that Dave.) I told you: a lot happened in the 80s before we met. And, no, the Frenchman wasn’t gay.

    JD’s last blog post..I Love the 80s so you don’t have to

  13. 13 JohnC


    You’ve been reviewed on Fuelmyblog, gotten some worthy linklove from their front page, and…whatever.

    Very good post, and bestestes to youses!

  14. 14 Daddy Papersurfer

    Why does JohnC always manage to mention his testes? ……… tsk.

    Anyway came over from FMB to see what he was wittering on about.
    JD – do you do anything so that I don’t have to bother? This could be very useful for a man of my advanced age ……. I’m thinking shopping, scratching my feet, thinking ………. oooo, could you complete this list? Thanks

    Daddy Papersurfer’s last blog post..TEST PAPER 2

  15. 15 JD

    JohnC: You and your testes are awesome! Thanks so much. Maybe now more people will be writing blogs about me so I don’t have to.

    Daddy Papersurfer: I do almost anything. I’d scratch your feet, but not with my own personal fingers. I can shop, but only online, and as for thinking, I like thinking about porn. Sound good so far?

    JD’s last blog post..I Love the 80s so you don’t have to

  16. 16 Daddy Papersurfer

    Do you mean ‘pawn’ as in chess or do you mean ………………? ooooo ………… you mean!!! …………. gosh

    Daddy Papersurfer’s last blog post..THE MISSING LINK

  17. 17 Tim

    I had quite the mullet action, myself. There might be a picture coming soon to a blog near you!
    You sure are lucky. I never got to melt cheese over a real fire! They always made me use the boring old stove for that kind of stuff. And we don’t have rats in Alberta, so we only ever found mice, which are like tiny little boring rats. And I definitely never got to meet anyone named “Basher” although maybe that’s a good thing!

    Tim’s last blog post..A Redneck Story: How Bucky Made it to the Big Time!

  18. 18 JD

    Daddy Papersurfer: Did I just shock you? Into silence? Impossible.

    Tim: Oh, I would love to see that picture. And, yes, I realize how lucky I am. Stoves are for babies. So are mice. And Basher wasn’t as bad as he sounds…once he passed out, anyway.

    JD’s last blog post..I Love the 80s so you don’t have to

  19. 19 RT Cunningham

    Blah… the 80s. I was in the USMC the entire decade, so there really wasn’t a whole lot going on that I’d like to remember, other that what I’ve already posted…

  20. 20 JohnC

    …that was meanestes as BESTestes…DP.

    Why does he keep the train going for my hmm hmm all the time?

  21. 21 Ernie

    Next you’re going to tell me you’re also opposed to the term, “femullet”.

    Ernie’s last blog post..Ah, The Glorious ’80’s

  22. 22 JD

    RT: Well, that’s what I’m here for, after all. You don’t need to remember, much less love the 80s, not as long as I’m in business.

    JohnC: I understood you, but some people have to make everything about testes. Luckily there aren’t too many of those people.

    Ernie: No! Not the “femullet”!!!

    JD’s last blog post..I Am Kind of a Big Deal (Confirmed!) so you don’t have to be

  23. 23 windyridge

    Where in Ireland were ya? I lived there for 13 years. I like your blog, it’s very amusing. I can relate…

    I found your blog because you visited my gizmos blog.

  24. 24 JD

    windyridge: Hi there, and welcome! I think I found your site from Kathy’s Junk Drawer, one of my favorite blogs.

    I lived in Dun Laoughaire from 1984-86. When were you there? And where? It’s such a small place; if we were in the same area at the same time, I probably met you!

    JD’s last blog post..I Am Easily Annoyed so you don’t have to be

  25. 25 chartroose

    The most disturbing thing you did was #51–become obsessed with “Little House on the Prairie.” Don’t you know that Little House obsession shows pathology? Yes, we’re talking psychosis here! You must get help immediately!

    Admit it, you also had Richard Thomas’ underwear stashed under your mattress, didn’t you? This is some scary stuff.

    chartroose’s last blog post..The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns

  26. 26 JD

    Chartroose: Welcome! Funny you picked up on the Little House obsession. It was disturbing. I remember sitting alone in my studio apartment–during COLLEGE–watching episode after episode and weeping uncontrollably. I had some problems. Luckily, Richard Thomas underwear was not one of them. I never liked him. That mole…disturbed me. Scary stuff inDEED!

    JD’s last blog post..I Am Easily Annoyed so you don’t have to be

  27. 27 Frank C

    In the early 80′s I was in the Marines, hoping to get sent to interesting places where I could meet interesting people and, well, you probably know the rest of the line. Instead, I got sent to a logistics base in Albany, GA to be a bean counter. Having a high and tight haircut did get me mistaken for a member of a punk rock band from time to time when I was hauling around my guitars though.

    Frank C’s last blog post..What Do You Make an Hour Blogging?

  28. 28 JD

    Hey, Frank C! Hello, and welcome. When I started reading your comment, I thought I was going to be ashamed and embarrassed at my stupid, frivolous 80s list after you started describing all the interesting places and people you got to experience. At least you can say you served our country. Bean counters are important! Almost as important as punk rockers…

    JD’s last blog post..I Am Honored so you don’t have to be

  29. 29 Jason A Clark

    Now my own memories bore me…

    Cool hair.

    Jason A Clark’s last blog post..Stallone To Do “Cliffhanger” Sequel?

  30. 30 JD

    Jason: Aww, I doubt it. Still, it’s hard to compete with the excitement of eating chili in Cincinnati.

    And thank you!

    JD’s last blog post..I Won’t Do These Things so you’re gonna have to do them yourselves

  31. 31 Cindy Lietz, The Polymer Clay Tutor

    Love the hair! Mine was pretty similar at one point, though I did bleach it Billy Idol White and then perm it. My hair didn’t respond so well to the punishment, and fell out in big chunks!… Rebel Yell!!!

    Cindy Lietz, The Polymer Clay Tutor’s last blog post..Luna Lovegood Radish Earrings – Love’em or Hate’em?

  32. 32 JD

    Cindy: Welcome! And thank you! Boy, I bet you let out a Rebel Yell when your hair fell out in chunks. I never had the nerve to bleach my hair, tho I once dyed it black—big mistake.

    And since you ask? I LOVE the Luna Lovegood radish earrings! Very cool site. Thanks for learning from your mistakes so I don’t have to!

    JD’s last blog post..I’m Finally Wrapping Up this Vocab Contest so you don’t have to

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