Posted in Freedom Friday

The Eighties

I grew up in the Eighties when the kids wore bright pastel colors, listened to music that had a happy vibe, and the girls wore outfits with shoulder pads as the de facto fashion statement. Our hair was tall and our walk was light. We didn’t have to worry about texting, messaging, blogging, skyping, tweeting, facebooking or pinning. We led simple lives and had simple dreams. I didn’t have Freedom Friday to write about this.

The Police
The Police

If we wanted to talk with anyone, we’d call them on the phone, land lines no less. If we wanted to have a more substantial conversation, we’d meet for coffee, sometimes until two or three in the morning. Our yes was yes and our no was no. Our principles meant something.

There was also an unwritten rule: take a penny, leave a penny. If you worked in a gas station in Canada, you already know what I mean. A little tray sat on the counter next to the register, sometimes empty, sometimes filled. If you needed a penny, you simply take one from the tray. If you had one or two to dump, place them in the tray. Some gas stations still have them to this day.

Our Christmases were easy to digest. There were no iPods, iPads, tablets, Kindles or Kobos. We’d received books, cassettes, CDs for gifts. The most we’d splurge on was the Sony Walkman. Tops.

Buying books cost a small fortune at the time. Luckily, I worked in a library giving me the ability to read newly released books for free.

We purchased our music on cassette tapes. If we really liked the album, we’d purchase it as a special edition chrome or metal tape. Many of my friends made a fuss over the quality of normal and chrome bias tapes. I could never hear the difference. Besides, LPs sounded better.

Culture Club's Boy George
Culture Club’s Boy George

Some of the bands that were hot were The Police (the hardest working band of the early Eighties and my favorite), Utravox, J. Geils Band, Culture ClubDuran Duran (incredibly hot), and Bobby McFerrin. Our anthem in our neighborhood was Sunshine Raggae by Laid Back. The radio was what brought us together and the concerts were what made our summers.

We wore baggy pants at the thighs with belt buckles that nearly covered our belly buttons. Our shoes were practical, designed to slip off easily.

Everything was expensive. For a student, it took so much to save for anything, but when we finally purchased it, we appreciated it more. At least the movies were cheap. Four people could go to a matinee for under twenty dollars. Unbelievable, isn’t it?

I suppose the best part about the Eighties was knowing we had our whole life ahead of us. Not much different from what it is today for those growing up.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.

If you lived through the Eighties, what is your favorite part?