5 Things I Miss About My 1980's Summer

Five Reasons I'm Missing My 1980's Summer
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Let’s shed the shoulder pads, leg warmers and acid wash jeans to pay homage and remember some of the most rad things about those endless summer nights.

I was a teenager during the decade and now I’m trying to come up with camps, play dates and activities for my own kids. As I do this little things, moments, sights and smells can send me back to Clearwater Beach Florida, 1987, wearing my knock-off Body Glove bathing suit desperately trying to fight the humidity and keep my hair as gigantic as possible. You guys were doing that too, right?

Summer Fashion

The aforementioned highly coveted Body Glove bathing suit in neon green and black. OP. Jams. Rainbow flip flops. Panama Jack. Pastel Miami Vice style suits. Jelly Shoes. You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby. And good god, guys in half shirts — you didn’t realize how much you missed guys in half shirts until I said that, did you?

Summer Movies

Some of the best movies about summer were released between 1980 and 1989. Sure, they weren’t Oscar contenders but they were totally fun. Summer School with Mark Harmon as the coolest/foxiest teacher ever. Summer Rental. One Crazy Summer. Dirty Dancing. Vacation. The Flamingo Kid, who else loved Matt Dillon in The Flamingo Kid? Weekend at Bernie’s? Don’t get me started.

Summer Music

So many mix tapes were made during my ‘80s summers with titles such as “Slow Jams” “Beach Mix” and “Party Tunes.” These hits and more blasted from my little pink boom box throughout summer break.

“Rio” by Duran Duran - I will never, ever get tired of this song, this video, or Duran Duran in general.

“Some Like it Hot” by The Power Station - the drums at the beginning, I can’t even.

“When Dove’s Cry” by Prince - See “Rio” and replace Duran Duran with Prince.

“Our Lips Are Sealed” by The Go-Go’s - Because we all wanted to drive around in a convertible and splash in a fountain with Belinda Carlisle.

Summer Products

Who else ended up with brassy orange hair thanks to Sun-In? Did you enjoy Jello Pudding Pops by the box full? How about slathering yourself with Bain Du Soleil for that St. Tropez tan? To cool off did you reach for a big green glass of Hi-C Ecto Cooler that you poured out of a big metal can? Do you know what Planters Cheez Balls are? Then you were probably a teenager in the ‘80s.

Summer Activities

So here is the big one, where I begin to sound like I’m not just missing the ‘80s, but that I may also be 80. My teenage summers did not involve a ton of electronics. Well, maybe a few...like a VCR, an arcade and listening to those mix tapes on my Sony Walkman...but all of that somehow felt different and more connected to my friends and to other people. It involved me and my girl gang at the video store reading the backs of the boxes out loud to each other. Or waiting for film to get developed from a little drive up photo hut to show off pictures from my summer vacation and sharing them with my friends. Like, my friends were actually sitting there with me. It also involved lots and lots of TCBY yogurt.

Today as I took my boys up to the neighborhood pool I had to smile as I paid for our admission checking out the teenage crew who were hard at work. They were in their red shirts, pouring cherry Slush Puppies, totally flirting with each other...one hunky guy was wearing mirrored sunglasses, it was all too perfect.

I settled on a lounge chair and the boom box in front of me (I will forever call whatever portable device blasting music a boom box) blasted Madonna’s “Holiday.”

At that moment all was right in the world.

Lori’s website, Drawn to the ‘80s, is where her 5-year old drew the hit songs of the 1980’s. Her blog, Once Upon a Product, is where she writes about beauty products, growing up in the ‘80s and her ongoing Mick Jagger obsession.

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