Sep 082008

I wish I could still get away with rockin’ sweater dresses. I’d try it, but I have a sinking suspicion I’d look more like a mountain of scrotum covered by a rumpled sack than a cute 80s throwback with whom you’d want to double dutch. Maybe if I crimped my hair and decked my crown with a neon green floppy bow, it might distract from my stumpy legs.

Finding this photo made me think about all the other dumb fashion trends I bought into (read: my aunt Sharon bought into and projected onto me). Along with side ponytails and Punky Brewster hi-tops, I used to collect these cute and colorful plastic charms.  They either were from Kinney’s or David Weiss, but each charm had a tiny bell and clip that allowed them to be attached to a strand of coordinating multi-colored plastic links. I took pride in my blooming collection of unnecessary trinkets, ranging from a cuckoo clock to a can of hair spray. When I wasn’t using the clunky strand of plastic as a whip or trying to garrot my baby brother with it,  I would belt a jean skirt with i and jingle my way through a day of Kindergarten.

I had forgotten all about that fucking annoying leash of neon plastic until my grandma unearthed it a few months ago. Most of the charms had fallen off years ago, being in the brutal hands of a destructive child, but about eight charms remained intact on a short fragment of the chain.

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Well, that was until I brought it home to Chooch’s lair. He’s since ripped every platsticized piece of 80’s nostalgia from the chain. Occasionally, I step on one and kick it under the couch in frustration because it’s like by having a child, I was duped into signing some secret contract, with a calligraphy pen wetted by afterbirth, stating that I will do nothing but pick up fucking toys all day long and that if I do not have a stooped back by my thirty-second birthday, I am fucking up my duty as a mother and will be relegated henceforth to the nearest Fantastic Sam’s where I will be drugged and supplied with the standard close-cropped Mom Bob.

Last night, we were chilling out on the couch, rubbing our meat fists together with fervor as we anticipated the start of the twenty-fifth VMAs, when Chooch (completely speaking out of turn, that little bastard will be mopping the basement floor tonight) said, “Mommy, look!”

Now, by seven in the PM, I have heard the pairing of the words “mommy” and “look” more times than my sanity is realistically able to comprehend, and I just don’t think any two words should ever commingle that much, unless they go by the names “sex” and “party”.  So, keeping my glazed eyes suctioned to the gyrating images and pornography of color and sonic diabetes that MTV spoon feeds me daily, I mumbled, “That’s great, Chooch.” But he kept chanting it over and over, louder and louder, angrier and angriest, until I began subconsciously flinching because I’ve grown so accustomed to having chunky pieces of toy parts chucked at my cheek bones. Fearing another bruise, I looked to see what he was desperate to show me.

A tiny plastic revolver charm.

I used to wear a cute little replica of a weapon around my waist. To school. To Kindergarten. I probably wore that to church at some point too. And how people probably wouldn’t have batted a lash at it. I mean, it was sold in kids’ clothing stores.

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So I laughed about that for awhile, and joked that it could have been the catalyst to my present obsession with death and murder and violence.  Then I laughed while thinking about a kid nowadays, in the year 2008, sporting the likeness of a revolver to school and not having it turn into a Very Big Deal.

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Tell me about YOUR childhood fashion style!

  19 Responses to “Sweater dresses and Revolvers”

  1. i’m just thankful you didn’t carry a real gun to skool…

    i had fluorescent shorts and my fav t-shirt was a wham tee that said GO-GO real big across it. that was before my NKOTB shirts…

  2. Am I the person standing next to you in that photo? I think I recognize the shorts (which, unsurprisingly, don’t really match with the red top). Anyway, I liked the charms a lot too. I sometimes benefited from Sharon’s generosity as well. I remember she gave me a sweet secret once and I was really happy.

    Can you email me your phone number?

    • That’s you! I cropped you out because I wasn’t sure if you’d get mad that I posted an old photo of you. Some people don’t like that, so I figured better safe than sorry! My grandma Kelly is in the picture too.

      I miss Sweet Secrets.

  3. I remember wearing scrunch socks. Two pairs at the same time, but alternating the colors so one foot would wear the pink one with the green over it and the other foot wore the green with the pink over it. Yesssssss. I also remember wearing bicycle shorts and really huge t-shirts. And like, tying one side of the bottom in a knot, or using one of those buckle things on it.

    Man, I was awesome.

    • I remember those shirt tie things, oh man! I used to wear the biker short/skirt combo, but stopped when I started getting fat. I remember being jealous of my friend Spring, because she was able to wear the shorts AND match spandex top, which was really just a glorified sports bra.

  4. I miss the styles from the 80’s so badly! except maybe the big hair, the clothes were cool though.

  5. I remember those charms!!


  6. 1984: gummy bracelets and jelly shoes.

    1985: got half of my hair (one side) chopped off and spiked the other half (with dep gel). I was New Wave, dammit.

    1986:started painting each of my nails a different colour. Drove my piano teacher crazy.

    1987: fluorescent was my middle name. Also wore multiple silver bangles so you could hear me jangling from a block away.

    1988: wore long johns under my skirts. Became VERY annoyed in 1990 when everyone, including the people who used to mock me VERY LOUDLY wore long johns under skirts, shorts, whatever.

    I don’t miss the styles from the 80s, and I find it incredibly depressing that the hipsters of the now think that crap is “cool”. If I see one more studded metal belt, I’ll smack someone with a Ramones LP. gabba gabba hey, little scenesters, gabba gabba hey.

  7. two words: repressed lesbian

    despite being a boy I managed to always look like a girl tomboy

    and I rocked it

  8. I don’t remember those charms, but I do remember having a side ponytail and layering socks of varying day-glo colors. And the requisite denim jacket with the Bedazzles and NKOTB pins.

  9. I’m an old fart, so you probably won’t recognize rainbow shirts with Dittos. If I wore those now everyone would think I’m a lez. I should wear those. Maybe it would score me a same-sex-curiosity-date.

  10. I’m probably even older than Kat. Our hot thing to wear in elementary school was gauchos. They were knee length shorts that were really flared and I had a pair my mom had fabric-painted. On one leg was a Mexican guy sleeping against a cactus and the other was a flamenco type dancer. They were all the rage. This predates the stupidity that is “political correctness”.

  11. I remember those charms! At my school, everybody wore plastic necklaces with charms attached all around. I was so envious of my friend Christine’s Statue of Liberty charm!!!

    My mom controlled my wardrobe so I never got to wear anything cool or stylish. She shopped at the local Older Persons store for us.

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