EDIT: sonofabitch! Where did that extra “a” come from? I swear I know how to spell. Most days.
Growing up, my frame of pop culture reference was oddly skewed. I watched reruns of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. I listened to the local Oldies radio station, and could name the artist behind almost everything that was played. The 60s and 70s were my domain. When I went to school, and heard kids talking about 80s icons, I was lost.
I was only peripherally aware of the existence of Tiffany, and this only came after her remake of “I think we’re alone now.” I knew the song as a product of Tommy James and the Shondells, and when I played the original for my friends, they were the ones who were shocked that their favorite new song was a remake.
I wish that I could recall the precise moment that my interests shifted into the Current Era, but I can’t. Part of me wonders if this is because my primary interests still aren’t of Years Gone By. Still, a few memories come to mind:
- afternoons after school spent listening to Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”* on cassette tape at a friend’s house.
- performing homemade dance routines to dc Talk songs in a friend’s living room (different friend. VERY different friend)
- being temporarily enamored with “Losing My Religion.” Looking back, I think I was emo before emo was cool.
- making mixed tapes. That’s right, folks, genuine mixed tapes. One of my favorites included “The Humpty Dance” and the “I Want To Sex You Up” song (was that the actual title? Probably not.)
- Owning stirrup pants. One pair. My aunt bought them for me at an outlet mall. It was – duh – turquoise
- I also owned a t-shirt with what was probably fake Japanese (or otherwise Asian) characters on it that was meant to be knotted at the side with one of those plastic clip-things. Oh, Lord, I loved that shirt. Mostly because it was sparkly, I think.
- Owning neon socks. This has continued into my late 20s. Of course.
*I still like Alien Ant Farm’s better. Wrong? Probably.