Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Julia Sullivan

When I grew up in the Eighties, the girls wore large hair, wide shoulder pads and long dresses. The guys, on the other hand, sported small collars, huge dress pants and thin belts. Bringing the sexes together was the color. Bright primary colors dominated the scene, wild hats became the norm, and to see guys with makeup was not an exaggeration.

Drew Barrymore as Julia Sullivan
Drew Barrymore as Julia Sullivan

The Saturday night parties became something special to look forward to as well. The music by The Police, Duran Duran and David Bowie blew all us kids away. The dance floor became a place where we could make a statement about who we were. We danced without shirts. We danced with everyone. And we had fun playing dare games while admiring each other’s styles. It was one big party.

The movie The Wedding Singer captures that era perfectly.

Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore) just started her job as a waitress at a banquet hall when she meets wedding singer Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) in the 1998 movie appropriately called The Wedding Singer. Right from the outset, Julia displays attributes female characters ought to possess in order for them to be part of my Women Who Wow Wednesday series. She doesn’t kick butt, but she certainly has that warm and fuzzy feeling surrounding her.

The first time meeting Julia we find out about her engagement. The problem, though, is she’s not sure how serious the guy is with his proposal. She says, “I feel like I’m doomed to wander the planet alone forever.” Which Robbie replies, “Like the Incredible Hulk.” They agree that Robbie would sing at her wedding, if it ever takes place. Revealed later in the film is Robbie’s engagement to his own fiancée. He hopes they would last fifty years, much like one of his vocal students’ marriage.

Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore

Julia’s fiancée eventually springs the news that he wants to marry in Las Vegas, but he cedes to getting married where she wants to marry. That’s the first sign of trouble. In the meantime, Robbie has his own problems. His fiancée dumps him and his latest wedding gig turns into a dirge. He has nothing to live for but the thought of stringing his neck to a clothesline until his feet shake lifeless.

Throughout it all, Julia shows Robbie what a true friend is. She stands by Robbie in his darkest times in spite of him wanting to kill the bride and groom at his upcoming wedding gig. Julia appreciates Robbie by asking his opinion about things that matter to her. She also brings him into her world by introducing him to her friends and family. That’s a big step for a girl only having friendship on her mind.

The thing about Julia is her warmth. As bad as things get, she’s always ready with a kind word, a quirky smile and a timid laugh. Something about Julia makes her shine. She is the perfect example of support during bad times. She lifts the spirit, lends an ear and gives of herself in whole, regardless of what anyone thinks of her.

Is there anything more we need to know about Julia? No. Julia’s the perfect friend.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

If you’ve seen The Wedding Singer, what did you think of it?

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?