— We welcome our guest writer, Jen Smith, from her mommy blog Hysterical Casserole.
It was a Tuesday night. The kids were in bed unusually early and my hubby was zoned out on the couch watching what appeared to be a zombie soap opera. Just as I sat down to join him, one of the main characters got her face eaten off. My husband hollered and shook his fist at the TV. Ew, gross. Rather than waste a perfectly good evening watching TV through my fingers as I hid behind my hands, I jumped at the chance to run errands all by myself. I grabbed the pile of ‘take-backs’ that had been gathering dust for a few months and headed out to Kohl’s department store to return them.
Going shopping without kids hanging on me is a luxury. I stopped shopping with them a long time ago when I couldn’t do things like duck behind a clothes rack to discreetly pull out my melvin without my tailgating toddler announcing, “Hey! Mom just pulled her underwear out of her butt in the store! Ha ha ha!”
Why not just use a dressing room, you ask? Well, kids that age need constant supervision, and taking them in with me is like asking Joan Rivers to verbally critique my undressed body for the neighboring shoppers: “Why do you have skin there? Why are you wearing that with that? Why is your bra dirty right there?” The gnarly teen in me wants to respond, “Look away you little dweeb!” but I would TOTALLY never do that. In public.
But still, I know I was cool once. I knew what to wear, how to talk, and how to style my hair. The acid-washed jeans I wore back then had an inseam so long that the only way it could go up your butt is if you put it there. Tops were so billowy there wasn’t even so much as a hint of a muffin top, and the super-stiff shoulder pads corrected even the slouchiest of postures.
Daydreaming about my former cool self, I wandered back to the customer service desk. The head cashier’s name was Ashley; she looked to be in her 20s. Beck, the new girl in training, looked like she was ten, but was probably closer to seventeen. The fact that I even thought that made me feel old. They glanced at the pile of clothes and receipts, and without missing a beat in their conversation got to work entering numbers into the computer. Overhead, the song “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue was playing.
Beck: I love this song! La la la la la la…
Ashley: I love Kylie! I think she sounds just like Demi Lovato, you know, with the airy breathy kind of singing?
Beck: Oh yeah, they are totes the same!
Me: [With a snort] Except for the part about Kylie being old enough to be Demi’s mom.
[They both stopped talking and looked up.]
Beck: No, we are talking about Kylie Minogue, she’s a modern singer.
Ashley: Yeah, this song came out in 2009.
Me: Actually, it came out in 2007, but she first became popular in the 1980s. She was also on that Australian show… what’s the name?
Beck: Kylie Minogue didn’t sing 80’s music though.
I sang a few verses and danced around, stepping back and forth while jerking my head from side to side. My arms flapped at the elbow in the opposite direction of my body.
Ashley: Yeah… I don’t think we are talking about the same person.
Me: Eh, just Google it when you get home — you’ll see.
Ashley: Okay, you have $113.00 back on your card, will there be anything else?
Me: Just one thing. Promise me that you will YouTube Kylie Minogue.
Ashley: Yeah, totally.
Me: Oh, and the word “totally” is also from the 80s. *wink*
As I drove home, I blasted 80’s music trying to re-live just a few seconds of my cool kids days. The warm night air circulated through the car and blew my hair in all directions. My bangs tangled and frizzed in the most righteous way; it was as if they were trying to reach the heavens above. For a moment, I thought I smelled Aqua Net. It crossed my mind how much of the 80s made its way back into our modern culture and how much I missed it. The 80’s punk rock attitude was “Go Big or Go Bigger.” There was no “Go Home.”
Feeling inspired, I decided that I WAS GOING BIG, (wherever that was) because I wasn’t ready to return home. I sang out loud to the song playing, “Don’t you forget about me… Something something something… I say laaaa la la la la!” I pumped my fist in the air. The van swerved a little and I giggled at my bad self.
Blue and red lights popped up behind me. Nooooo!!! If I got a ticket my husband would totally have a cow! I threw on some lip gloss and tried to reposition my boobs for a more perky cleavage look. My bra refused to hold the left side up because the wire had gone missing. I grabbed them again and heaved up. Nope, it plopped back down and shuddered like an out of control pendulum. Apparently, my chest didn’t get the memo that it was 80’s night! I gave up on my cockeyed boobs and instead tried to comb through my wild hair with no luck.
Oh, for the love… If I ever look that cool again…
I should be so lucky.