22 January 2012

Anywhere you go

You know I'll still be waiting

Heliocentric time and my time are not presently in synchrony. I'm trying to wrest some sort of schedule out of chaos.

The daughter was invited to an '80s-themed dance party. Of course, a goodly number of the dance parties of my youth were '80s-themed, too.

I discovered that I still have a frightening number of outfits from that era, along with boots and lace gloves. While trying on a Maggie London dress that I bought when I was 21, the daughter was annoyed to discover that I had a much smaller waist before I had babies than she does now. She was not mollified when I explained that my easily-broken body is proportioned completely wrong and hers is lovely, slim and strong. The Maggie London was set aside, and we came up with a boxy black jacket to go over a pair of her black trousers, the aforementioned lace gloves, and a large collection of necklaces a la mode. When the time came, I painstakingly scrunched her long hair into voluminous '80s waves and tied it up with a pearl and silk scarf from the 1950s (something I appropriated from my mother in the '80s). I brushed on eyeshadow and slashes of plum-colored blush and gave her a rosy-violet lipstick.

Her father was completely taken aback by her transformation. "My God," he said, startled. "You really do look like you just stepped out of 1984."

I was taken aback at how much she looked like a younger me. People always comment on the resemblance, which I have difficulty seeing, but last night, I saw it in her hair, the tilt of her head, the way she looked at us out of the corner of her eye. It was like time travel.

I dropped her off at the party venue and spoke briefly with some of the other parents before taking myself off to a nearby coffee house to wait out the evening. It occurred to me then that my mother must have felt a similar pang to see me playing dress-up '50s style when I went to sock hops in junior high. How very strange, not to mention nostalgic in the truest sense of the word, to see our progeny costuming themselves as us when we were young.

Go listen to some music: "All the Things She Said" from the album Glittering Prize: Simple Minds 81/92 by Simple Minds. Never look back.

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