More Than a Feeling
Allah said in the comments last night (see how handy the new comment permalink has become already!):
I've always pictured you that way. Late 1970s, beat-up car, proto-Benatar haircut, maybe a cigarette between your lips -- and "More Than a Feeling" coming through so damn sweetly on the 8-track.
Sometimes I imagine you're wearing a baseball shirt with a decal of the Boston album cover on it. It depends.
Well, I didn't drive until 1980 (didn't turn 18 until summer after graduation), but Allah sort of sums it up.
First car: 1973 Oldsmobile Omega. Beat up, dented and a hideous shade of space-age blue. I think I did a pass on the Benatar haircut, as she had that frizzy/curly Flashdance thing going on in 1980 (three years before Flashance even came out. Trendsetter!). What I was going for was pure Joan Jett, which was really like a feminine version of the Joey Ramone cut. I guess it worked because people often told me I looked just like Joan Jett. Although if they were really drunk, they mistook me for Joey Ramone.
Damn, I was so cool with those bangs plastered down to my face, cemented there by virtue of hair gel or, when the hair gel was empty, toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste. Did wonders for that sleeked down look. Interestingly enough, in the mid 80's toothpaste would be used to spike up hair, ala Billy Idol. Such a versatile product. Did you know that you could use white toothpaste to remove green ice pop stains from your kitchen counter? I kid you not.
Big digression. Sorry.
Anyhow. I was a big fan of the baseball jersey band tees. They made up about 90% of my wardrobe. I loved the way the iron-on pictures would crack after two or three washing, giving the shirt that lived-in look so no one would ever guess that you were a new (poser) fan of a band; the cracks in the shirt made it seem like you were there from the early days. You know, back when Joan Jett was a Runaway. Even though the only thing you knew about the Runaways was from the gossip you read about them in Cream Magazine, because there wasn't a record store within forty miles that sold that kind of music. Heavy metal? Yep. Disco? Sure. Bleach blonde tough chicks? Think of the children!! Damn. Cherrie Curry, Joan Jett and Lita Ford. I know some men who would give up their lives for a few minutes alone with that trio.
Where was I? Oh, the car. Granted, the Omega wasn't such a "cool" car but that's ok, because it didn't last long. When I was teaching my younger sister how to drive, she obviously forgot that a red light means you should stop, so she did not stop. Unfortunately, the woman coming at us from the right knew very well that her green light meant go and go she did. Right into us. We held a dignified memorial service for the Omega and I held a grudge against my sister for years.
Oh, I was wearing a ZZ Top baseball jersey the day the Omega was murdered.
I actually did have a jersey with the Boston album cover on it. It was one of those thick, cumbersome iron-on decals. Not the kind that cracked easily; it was the kind that never faded, never wore out. When you moved, the decal moved, as if it were an entity apart from the shirt. When you sat down, the decal would cause your shirt to sort of pop out, so it looked like you had boobs at your midriff. I could often be seen trying to push the decal part of the shirt up a bit, so I would appear to have some kind of bosom. I teased the boys with the warped spaceship of the Boston album cover. Anyone trying to cop a feel would only get a handful of iron-on.
Yea, I had no boobs back in the day. They used to call me flatsy, which was better than what they called my neighbor, who also had no boobs to speak of (hey, she's a carpenter's dream: flat as board and easy to screw!). Well, that was in junior high and my neighbor eventually grew a nice set of ta-tas that looked suspiciously like wadded up tissues. Me, I waited until the 90's to get my share of breasts, after I had kids. I might have been a really late bloomer, but at least I didn't go by the name Kleenex for years.
So what does all this have to do with anything? Nothing, really. Just reminiscing and wondering if it's too late in life to go get that Joan Jett haircut again.