If the shoe fits…

I was busy researching the hottest styles for summer shoes, and despite what my husband might think, it actually WAS research for a reason other than shopping. I have more than enough shoes, really. In fact, I probably have too many shoes, but since I’m not (yet) rivaling Imelda Marcos, I think I am fine.

It got me thinking about shoe styles from the Eighties. I didn’t have that many shoes, probably because I was a kid and it’s expensive to keep up with all that growth. My own children, I should note, have two pairs of running shoes each (indoor and outdoor), one pair of sandals, and winter boots. That said, I did have some of these hot styles, and I coveted the rest.

Jelly Shoes

Pros: They came in many colours, so they could match any outfit. I had pale pink jellies to match a pastel striped dress. The dress itself was pale pink, mint green, yellow, and light blue, so I could have chosen jelly shoes in any of those shades, really, and would have still come out a pastel winner.

Cons: Jelly shoes were infamous for being uncomfortable. Wearing them for more than a few hours, especially on a hot, sweaty day, meant your feet would be a mess of blisters and redness.

Desert Boots

Pros: Everyone loved these boots and as I recall, they were pretty comfortable. And so versatile! You could wear them with jeans, skirts, stirrup pants…the sky was the limit.

Cons: They were actually pretty unattractive.

Those Little Flat Shoes With Bows On The Toe

Pros: These were actually pretty cute! Slippery, but cute. Again, very versatile, except that they didn’t go that well with stirrup pants. Skirts and rolled up jeans, though, were a perfect match.

Cons: Their cuteness was diminished with the propensity of our generation to wear them with giant slouch socks. That’s not really the SHOE’s fault, though.

Keds

Pros: If my grade seven yearbook is any indication, 75% of the population was wearing Keds or a knockoff at any given time in the late 80s. They were comfortable! Slip-on! You could wear them with slouch socks and bubble skirts!

Cons: They were mostly worn with NO socks which resulted in terrible foot odour. Not for the first time, I feel sympathy towards junior high teachers.

Cougar Boots

Pros: These were the go-to winter boots in my neck of the woods. There were many knockoff brands as well, but the general look stayed the same. They were comfortable, warm, and waterproof.

Cons: I can’t actually think of any. I find them unattractive, but no more unattractive than the average winter boot.

Duck Boots

Pros: These ankle boots were relatively practical on wet, rainy days.

Cons: They were ugly AF, as the kids say these days.

China Doll Shoes

Pros: Of all Eighties footwear, this is my favourite. I loved the look of these shoes, and I still do. I love Mary Jane style, I like that they are black, flat, and relatively comfortable. I had always thought they were called “Chinese Shoes” which seemed vaguely racially insensitive and weird. Yesterday, however, I found out that they are actually CHINA DOLL SHOES which makes so much more sense. All of my many china dolls had shoes like this.

Cons: The buckle was always breaking. They were cheap, in all senses of the word.

Did I miss anything? What did you wear on your feet in the 80s?

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Lady in Red

On the weekend I was visiting with friends whose teenage daughter had just graduated high school. I looked at the photos and she looked absolutely gorgeous, with her flowing curls and her clingy, floor length lace gown.

“Grad dresses have changed a lot,” my friend said to me in what must be one of the truest statements of all time. Have they ever.

It’s grad season, and last Friday my husband and I were trying to figure out why in the world there was so much traffic on the way out to dinner, in the small city my in-laws live in. It was impossible to get parking, and it finally dawned on me when I saw a gaggle of teen boys in tuxedos and suits, that it was grad night. Smiling faces taking selfies, girls in sparkling gowns with their dates in matching accessories, it was a delight to behold.

When I was in high school, wrist corsages were a relatively new thing. No one really wanted to pin a flower onto their fancy dresses; it was much preferred to have the prickly elasticized lace wrist band with a coordinating flower. I am happy to say that girls still get wrist corsages; I was wondering if it was a thing of the past or not. I mean, I have no horse in this particular race, it’s not like I have a vested interest in the floral industry, but it was nice to see all the same.

But the dresses! The dresses. The dresses the girls are wearing now are red-carpet worthy. Perhaps they could even be described as Beyonce-worthy. The dresses we wore for graduation were certainly not of that caliber. My own graduation dress was a satiny red off-the-shoulder number; it was cocktail length and I completed the look with dyed-to-match satin shoes and handbag. It seemed very important at the time to have red shoes and purse that exactly matched my dress. Why, I am not sure. I can say for certain that girls don’t get dyed-to-match shoes and handbags anymore, and that is definitely not a bad thing.

Looking back on it, my red dress was just one in a long line of single-occasion-never-to-be-worn-again dresses – between that, bridesmaid gowns, and my own wedding dress, I have quite a collection of one trick ponies. All of those dresses – with the exception of my wedding dress – I had high expectations of; I thought that I would somehow incorporate them into future outfits. I’m not sure if I thought that I would have a much more gala-oriented life wherein long gowns would actually be required, or if I would somehow develop advanced seamstress skills to create them into something else entirely, but I have – needless to say – never again taken them out of the plastic bags in which they reside.

And so, as I looked at the girls in their lovely long and likely expensive dresses, I wondered if they had the same expectations. I wondered if they justified the money spent on their gowns by thinking that they would somehow, somewhere, wear them again. I hate to disappoint you, girls of today, but it is very unlikely.

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So tell me: what did your grad dress look like? Do you have a collection of dresses that were worn once and then banished to the closet? 

The Times They Are A-Changing

My older son got braces last week, and has been basking in the glory of having “teeth bling” ever since. He has received myriad compliments about how cool his new braces look; I expected them from the adults in his life, but was surprised to hear that his peers have also been commenting on his awesome new metallic smile. It made me think about how braces have morphed into an exciting status symbol/ rite of passage for young teenagers, when back in my day they were considered a curse.

It seems like half the population of tweens and teens are showing off their shiny metal grins, whereas when I was in junior high I knew a girl who refused to show her teeth for the two years she was undergoing orthodontic treatment. Brace Face and Metal Mouth were actual insults, whereas now braces are so commonplace and, frankly, desired, that no one would think of making fun of a child with braces.

It really made me think of all the things that have changed in perception from when I was young.

Nerds

Remember how people would dress up like a nerd for Halloween? Revenge of the Nerds? Can’t Buy Me Love? Being a nerd was considered to be social suicide, whereas now I think we can all agree that being nerdy is where it’s at. After all, those nerds can really make the big bucks, and with computers being so deeply entrenched in our society, acceptance of the nerd is now at an all-time high.

Smoking

It’s not like anyone thought smoking was a particularly good idea back in 1990, but it was certainly acceptable. At high school, there were designated Smoke Doors and even a part of the compound that was the Smoking Section. When I got my first office job as a summer student in 1997 some people still smoked in their offices, and I remember one professor telling me about the days when he and his students would smoke in class. I think someone would get pelted with rotten tomatoes if they tried lighting up in a lecture hall now, and at a school? Forget about it.

Mohawks

When I was a teenager I went to school with some real punks: the big boots, the leather and chains, and the Mohawk haircuts. These guys – and some girls – were badass and maybe even a little bit scary to a princess-type like me; they threw parties with lots of booze and drugs, some of them didn’t live with their parents, and there were always a few hanging out at the Smoke Doors. Only people who were very cutting edge and part of the punk culture had a Mohawk; now you see it on any given toddler coming out of Beaners’ with a lollipop.

Hair Colour

Speaking of punks, the only people who had hair colour that wasn’t a natural shade were the same people wearing Mohawks and chains. In fact, I don’t really remember anyone in junior high who coloured their hair; there might have been a few highlights and perhaps a Body Shop henna shade on some girls, but it certainly wasn’t common. And green, pink, purple, or blue hair colour? That was not for the pedestrian. Nowadays, though, it’s completely mainstream and even on fleek to have at least a streak of bright colour. Walk into any junior high class and you’re guaranteed to see several rainbow shades of hair.

Piercings

I have three earrings in my right ear and one in my left, and let me tell you, people, back in 1989, in my house, that was a scandal indeed. I had my ears pierced courtesy of an aunt on my ninth birthday, but when I was 13 I got a double piercing, followed by my third the next year. I snuck out to a salon in Estevan, Saskatchewan while visiting my grandparents that summer. My grandma knew and vowed to keep it a secret from my father who would flip out at such wanton behaviour. I had successfully hidden it for eight months until one unlucky day when I had pulled my hair into a ponytail. “NICOLE. What is with the DUAL PIERCED EARRINGS?” he said in his Scary Dad voice, and because I was evidently not very savvy, I said, “Actually, Dad, it’s three earrings, I just don’t have the bottom ones in.” With the brou-ha-ha that ensued, you would have thought I would have come home with a prison neck tattoo or something. I mean, it’s not like I had a tongue stud, which I think we all can agree has but one connotation. My dad might have been conservative even at the time, but he wasn’t totally alone in this. I knew several men of his age who would have fainted if their sons had come home with an earring, let alone two. I mean, think of the guys now who have those circular earrings that stretch their lobes out. THAT’S a crazy fad, to me, but maybe in 20 years everyone will have them. Or, those guys will just have droopy earlobes and deep regrets.

Uncomfortably Numb

The other day, my 11 year old walked home from school – about a fifteen minute walk – with his winter jacket unzipped, and his hat, gloves, and neck warmer securely in his backpack. It was minus ten and his hands were purple by the time he walked in the door. I sighed about this behaviour to my husband, who said, “Isn’t that just what teens do?”

Gasp.

It’s true, although I wasn’t quite ready for it. Although strictly speaking he’s not a teen, it seems that he’s gearing up for those years, winter clothing-wise. And suddenly I sympathize with my mother, thinking of all those times I shunned my winter clothing in an effort to be fashionable.

The problem is that I grew up in Calgary, land of windchill factors and icy cold winters, while reading fashion magazines from much milder climes. Even the Junior Miss section in the Sears catalogue didn’t feature the kind of winter wear that is necessary when you are walking home from school and it’s minus 30. I clearly recall wearing a wool pea coat with a Sears catalogue-esque fuchsia scarf, gloves, and beret set that I received for Christmas. Cute, yes. As I recall, matching scarf, gloves, and beret sets were all the rage in the late 80s, and while that might have been sufficient for hovering-around-zero temperatures, it was insufficient for recess in the howling wind and blowing snow.

As a person who recently donned snow pants, a calf-length down coat, ear muffs AND hood, gloves AND mittens, and the warmest boots money could buy just to take the dog for a walk, I cannot understand my younger self. Why be purple-skinned and uncomfortable when you can be a walking pillow?

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I’m wearing ALL the clothes.

The world has become more accepting of differences; this is true. But when it comes to cold weather, teens are no more accepting of appropriate winter wear than they were back in my day, as evidenced not only by my son, but also by the hordes of teen girls I see walking to the bus in frigid temperatures, with their sternums exposed and their ears turning purple. I’m sure their mothers lecture them, as my mother lectured me, on what should be worn when the mercury drops. And I’m sure they dismiss those suggestions as tragically uncool, as I did.

Things I Did To Avoid Being Comfortably Warm In The Winter

To avoid a “you’re going to get frostbite” lecture, put on my earmuffs – since a hat would never fit over my four-inch-high teased bangs – until I turned the corner and was out of my mother’s sightline; ripped them off and stuffed them in my school bag.

Wore tiny short skirts with tights and loafers in the middle of winter, becoming frozen from the waist down.

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In lieu of actual gloves, wore “magic gloves” – the thin, tiny knit gloves that do literally nothing to keep your hands warm.

Walked to school in loafers with no socks, when there was snow on the ground.

Wore cutoff denim shorts with tights and army boots, because the boots would “be warm enough, MOTHER.”

There are things I did as a teen that objectively did not make sense: squinting all the time instead of wearing my glasses, going through an entire bottle of Salon Selectives twice monthly so that my bangs would be sufficiently vertical and immovable, wearing a Garfield sweatshirt with my astrological sign on it.

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But the thing that really didn’t make sense was my – and all my friends’ – constant refusal to acknowledge that winter had arrived, and that we would all be a lot more comfortable and attractive if we weren’t purple-faced and shaking with cold. Looking like you’re constantly on the verge of frostbite really only works for one person.

 

Roll With It

I love fashion, but I am not – as evidenced by my feelings on army boots and rompers – entirely convinced about fashion repeats. Embrace the fashion repeats! my friend Jen said to me, but sometimes, I just can’t.

However, this week something happened that made me change my mind, just slightly, about something that I had been holding firm: jean rolling. My friend Ashley, who is my fashionista colleague over at YMC and who is the most stylish person I know, said that rolling jeans is what’s done these days. Rolling jeans is cool. EVERYBODY is rolling their jeans. I was swayed by her persuasive arguments regarding rolling skinny jeans and wearing ankle boots, since I have been unsatisfied with how my own jeans look with my new (non-army) ankle boots.

Honestly, the pressure reminded me a little bit of Billy Madison.

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If we substitute “rolling jeans” for “peeing in your pants,” then I am that little old lady.

Embrace the fashion repeats, Nicole. Embrace it.

Does anyone else struggle with this? I’m certainly not ready to start wearing housedresses and lisle stockings, or – less dramatically – start shopping at Tan Jay, but as I get older I feel it is harder and harder to reconcile my inner youthfulness with my outer appearance. It’s really hard to strike that balance between “hip and stylish” and “GRANDMA, NO.”

I suppose I find some fashion repeats so hard to embrace because I didn’t really like the way I looked back when I first embraced the style. I rolled up my jeans along with everyone, but that was less because I thought it looked good than I lacked the confidence to be different. There is a photo of me, on the first day of school in 1988, in which I am wearing a black t-shirt emblazoned with the word BENETTON in bright colours, tucked into my high-waist acid-wash jeans that are tightly rolled up above the ankle, and white Keds. I also have insanely teased spiral permed hair and Sally Jesse Raphael glasses to complete the look. Back then, when I saw the picture, I didn’t think Damn girl, you look GOOD, I thought I looked awful. I still do.

After the rolling fad was over, the pinning fad began. No one rolled their jeans anymore. That was as passé as acid wash. No, instead we would buy jeans several sizes too large, cut the hems off and fray them, and then fold the calves and frayed bottoms tightly and SAFETY PIN THEM TOGETHER. In other words, the girls in my grade nine class were wearing jeans that were gigantically baggy around the butt and thighs and skin tight around the calves and ankles. Do I need to point out this was a very unflattering look? Unflattering or not, we did it, because that’s what EVERYBODY who was ANYBODY was doing.

Of course I peed my pants, EVERYONE my age pees their pants, it’s the coolest!

But as I said, I’ve been a bit unhappy about how my skinny jeans look with my new ankle boots. I should have just listened to Hannah and Allison and bought the army boots. Too late now, so I thought I’d try Ashley’s rolling trick. After all, it’s different now. I’m not wearing men’s jeans two sizes too big for me, I’m wearing flattering jeans that I chose for myself without any peer pressure or frenemies telling me what to do. I’m not tightly folding my jeans and rolling them up, I’m just tweaking them a little. And I have to say – this is a trend that I am going to embrace. It’s cute. It’s comfortable. It’s not a velour track suit with floral embroidery from the Sears catalogue NOR a faux leather onesie from Forever 21.

rolledjeans

If shoulder pads come back in style, though, I’m out.

History, doomed to repeating itself.

I wish that Fashion Anthropologist was an actual occupation. If it was, it would be the career opportunity for me. If you were to show me an outfit, any outfit, I could predict with 95% accuracy the year – or years – that particular outfit was popular. From crinolined skirts to outsized bomber jackets, I could tell you when they peaked in popularity. As a former economist, I would probably be able to graph it out for you, with the date on the x axis and the popularity on the y.

Alas, I am forced to study Fashion Anthropology simply as an educational and mind-broadening exercise. It’s not an employable talent.

Do you ever wonder how trends get started, or how old fashions become new again? I certainly do, particularly with fashions that are either extremely impractical or extremely unattractive. In particular, these days I’m curious about the return of the romper and the jumpsuit.

Remember back in the 1980s when jumpsuits and rompers were all the rage? I clearly remember my one-piece strapless pale pink velour romper, circa 1984. It was not attractive, nor particularly comfortable, but I wore it because it was in my closet, and I was nine. I wore clothes that were in my closet. It was very similar to this:

romper

As I recall, the most awkward thing about it was that rompers – not unlike one piece bathing suits – are not kind to tall girls, particularly ones with long torsos.

Rompers and jumpsuits hit peak popularity in the mid-eighties, as evidenced by the number of Butterick and McCalls patterns, for sewing your own. Frankly, I’m somewhat surprised that we weren’t forced to do this in Home Ec class, but on further reflection rompers and jumpsuits were on their way out by then. Also, the sheer amount of fabric required would probably be economically out of reach for parents of the surly Junior High Home Economics students, not to mention time was of the essence.

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Gosh, I feel like I could write an entire post about the hairstyles on this pattern. I coveted that middle hairstyle like no one has ever coveted a hairstyle in the history of the world. I did not covet the outfit, however. These three outfits outline the most significant problem with jumpsuits and rompers, namely, what happens when you have to use the ladies’ room? I will tell you what happens. You need to completely undress. Now, if you happen to be out and about – which these ladies MUST be, because who would wear such a fancy outfit when you are just hanging out on the couch – there is a very good chance that the top of your outfit will end up on the floor. On the floor of a PUBLIC BATHROOM. And then, once the top grazes the appalling floor of a public bathroom, you will be required to PUT THE TOP BACK ON YOUR BODY.

I feel faint just typing that.

 

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That blue striped one looks familiar. I’m pretty sure one of my aunts had one of those outfits back in the eighties. Check out the wild floral print! That feels like something one of the more youthful ladies would have worn to my family’s church in 1985.

 

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You know what’s worse than a jumpsuit? A jumpsuit with a halter top. Also, these flatter no one. There is no way that bubbly poof of material looks good on anyone in the world. I would like to call your attention to the hairstyles, jewelry, and belts. If that doesn’t scream 1984 to you, nothing will – unless it’s a discussion about Big Brother and rat phobias.

 

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This poor model. She seems to be the saddest of all. There is something desperate in her eyes. Maybe it’s the ruffled sleeveless-ness. Maybe it’s the bubble shaped shorts. Maybe it’s the culottes. Maybe it’s her Scott Baio hairstyle, which – tragically and regrettably – I myself had at one sad, misguided point in my life. We will never know for sure which option spurred the McCall’s Model Depression of 1982.

But the year is 2015! Those ignorant about history are doomed to repeat it, but we are not ignorant. We know what we wore back in the 1980s. However, that doesn’t stop society from being doomed. I saw many, many women in jumpsuits and rompers of all kinds this summer, from denim to gauzy nylon, from crisp cotton, to this:

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History, repeating itself.

and three more

I had a doctor’s appointment earlier this week, and on the fifteen-minute drive to the clinic I passed three yoga studios. THREE.

It got me thinking about how workout styles go through cycles and trends, just like fashion. Right now it’s yoga. Not too many years ago it was Pilates; before that was spinning; and the 80s was all about aerobicizing.

Aerobics were so popular in the 80s that here in Canada we had a daily show that aired on City TV / CTV, after all the morning kids’ programming but before the afternoon soaps. Anyone remember The 20-Minute Workout? Because I’d had it all forgotten until Allison reminded me of it today, and now I can’t stop thinking about how bloody damn weird it was.

In case you don’t remember 20-Minute, here’s a full episode. Watch the first couple of minutes at least, just to get the idea:

This is probably the most 80s film clip on the internet. The spiral perms! The leg warmers! The synthesizer music!

THE UNITARDS.

I remember trying to do all twenty minutes. Even as a bouncy energetic kid, it was tough. The choreography was tricky. There is a warning at the beginning of every episode, warning you not to go hard, but I’ve been a perfectionist my whole life, so of course I did not “take it at my own pace”. I tried like hell to keep up with those slim perfect ladies and their heavy eyeshadow, and by the end I’d be gasping.

I wanted a unitard, but I didn’t have one. I used to pull my shorts up really high on the sides to try and approximate the look. One day it dawned on me that a unitard was basically a bathing suit, so I would run to my room after Sesame Street and change into my elderly Speedo before the workout started. I had leg warmers too – meant for winter, not the gym, but I didn’t care! – and I’d put those on, too.

I’d follow along, murmuring “and four more… and three more… two… one…” as I pulled my stomach in and lifted my knees up high.

I couldn’t have been the only kid obsessed with 20-Minute, because the 80s also brought us Hasbro’s “Get In Shape, Girl!” line of toys. I apologize for the quality of this clip, but oh man, does THIS take me back:

Weighted bracelets! Ribbons for rhythmic gymnastics! A pink cassette tape with scribbly 80s font!

And we wonder why as adult women we all have body-image issues???

I’m pretty sure I asked for this for Christmas, and I’m also pretty sure I didn’t get it. I don’t remember ever owning a ribbon-stick, although you’d better believe I would twirl the hell out of one if I had it right now.

It’s funny, but 20-Minute was the birth of my lifelong love/hate relationship with exercise classes. I still will try to do them every so often. I still struggle to get the choreography down. I still push myself too hard and wind up gasping on the floor.

And I still don’t have a unitard.

 

Your mother wears army boots.

It’s back-to-school time, so of course I found myself in the mall the other day, shopping for shoes for me. What? Moms need new back-to-school looks too, even if they are not actually going to school.

Truthfully, I needed some new shoulder season shoes, because mine were worn down and in bad shape, and I needed something to bridge that month between strappy sandals and full-on boots. So, I found myself attracted to a large Sale sign on the window of Steve Madden. Now, I had never shopped there before, mostly because Steve Madden reminds me of The Wolf of Wall Street, which was the most disgusting book I have ever read in my life, and which I regret reading and therefore contributing to the wealth of one of the worst people on earth.

My disgust about The Wolf of Wall Street notwithstanding, I wandered into the shop, thinking that a nice pair of ankle boots would be just the ticket for me. Since I walk a lot, I need boots that are very comfortable, with a good rubber sole, but I also like to be at least a little on-trend. After picking up and trying on a few pairs, the very young salesgirl brought me the latest trendy ankle boot.

Dear Readers, it was an army boot.

Despite my misgivings about them being exactly like a pair I wore almost daily from 1990-91, I tried them on. They were comfortable. They had a good rubber sole. They were – if the cute young salesgirl was to be believed – very on-trend.

Dear Reader, I bought them.

Before buying them the salesgirl reassured me that I was totally not too old to wear them and I was way younger than her mom! With that somewhat unsettling reassurance, I carried the box to the car and went home.

I fretted the entire way home. What’s next, I thought to myself, am I going to start wearing them with babydoll dresses? Am I going to wear them with tights, ripped denim shorts, and oversized sweaters? What am I trying to prove? Am I going to be a living monument to Mutton Dressed As Lamb?

It’s not that I didn’t love the look of army boots, back in 1990-91. It’s not that I didn’t rock them out with my floral and black babydoll dresses, with my tights and ripped denim shorts that had peace symbols embroidered on them. But it’s not 1990-91, and I am no longer in high school.

I got them home and tried them on again. My husband, who has likely never noticed my footwear before, and likely never will again, looked askance at them. My kids, running through the kitchen, stopped and looked at me quizzically. I looked at myself in my full-length mirror, wearing my regular clothes that did not go with army boots in any way. The bottom half of me was 16-year-old punk rock. The top half was 40-year-old mom.

The next day I took them back to the store, something I have actually never done before, and vowed to stick to the fashion rule that if you wore it the first time around, think really hard about the second time.

Of course, if babydoll dresses come back in style, I’m going to be very tempted.

Life Lessons From Top Gun

I grew up in Calgary, but spent large chunks of my summer vacation visiting relatives in Estevan, Saskatchewan. During those summers, I was allowed freedoms I never would have had in the city, and one of those freedoms was the ability to go to the movies with my cousins and older brother, unaccompanied by adults. Unlike the city with its giant multiplexes and summer blockbusters that ran all summer long, Estevan had one movie theatre – largely celebrated for its air conditioning – that played one movie for a set number of days, then switched to the next movie. If you wanted to see a particular movie, you had to see it during its short run, and in the summer of 1986 I walked over to the theatre to see Top Gun.

It was a coming-of-age experience, and to this day, it remains one of my favourite movies. I remember every single detail about that night: I was wearing light blue high-waisted jeans, despite the heat (did I mention the air conditioning in the theatre? Hell freezing over.), a pale pink tie-dyed short-sleeved sweatshirt a la Flashdance, and my short, Papa-Don’t-Preach haircut that was fashionably messy. After viewing the movie, I took to wearing sweaters tied by the sleeves around my neck, I grew my hair out to a fluffy, just-below-the-ear style like Kelly McGillis, and I desperately wanted to be serenaded in a bar, one day, when I grew up.

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Digression: dreams do come true. At my recent 40th birthday party, one of my husband’s friends borrowed my husband’s Top Gun aviator costume (What? Doesn’t everyone have a Top Gun aviator costume hanging in their front closet?) and instigated a You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling serenade in my kitchen. All of my husband’s friends sang along and they are now my favourite people in the whole world. This was my face when the singing started:

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In related news, I want to invite that group of guys to every single party until the end of time.

But back to Top Gun! How I loved that movie, then and now. How I developed a crush on Ice – “Cold as ice, that’s how he flies, no mistakes.” – how it started my deep love of Otis Redding, how I wished I could learn to play Great Balls of Fire on the piano. That movie is perfection: action, romance, great scenery. It’s Tom Cruise before he went off the deep end, it’s Val Kilmer before he went to pot, it’s Anthony Edwards before he was on ER, and it was Meg Ryan, adorable, sweet, Meg Ryan. It was moustaches and military and a gratuitous, sweaty, beach volleyball scene. Who plays volleyball in jeans and nothing else? Who cares? It’s perfect. Who shows up to a woman’s house, late for dinner, sweaty and gross from playing beach volleyball in jeans and nothing else, then asks to take a shower? Who cares?

But Top Gun is more than just a perfect movie. There are many life lessons to be taken from it.

Life Lessons From Top Gun

1) Never Fire Unless Fired Upon

The world is not out to get you, so stop believing the worst of people. Believe that people are inherently good and treat everyone with loving kindness, unless they are total mean jerks. Then you have permission to fire.

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2) Hey Goose, You Big Stud, Take Me To Bed Or Lose Me Forever

The busyness of everyday life can take a toll on your libido, but make time for sexual intimacy. It is very important to have that connection with your partner – a loving sexual relationship can make a partnership long-lasting.

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3) Son, Your Ego Is Writing Cheques Your Body Can’t Cash

Letting go of ego is difficult but good for your soul; rather than feed an inflated sense of self, come face-to-face with reality. Remember pride goes before a fall.

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4) And You, Asshole, You’re Lucky To Be Here!

We are all lucky to be here. Every day on Earth is a good day; embrace your luckiness and count your blessings.

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5) Talk To Me, Goose.

Cultivate the art of conversation, and remember to listen as well.

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6) Are You A Good Pilot?

     I Can Hold My Own.

     Good, Then I Don’t Have To Worry About You Making Your Living As A Singer.

Making a living in the arts is very difficult; it’s a good idea to have something to fall back upon in case your dream of becoming a famous singer/ actor/ artist does not pan out.

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7) Hey Slider, You Stink. Take A Shower.

Never underestimate the importance of personal hygiene.

SLider2

8) You’re Everyone’s Problem. That’s Because Every Time You Go Up In The Air, You’re Unsafe. I Don’t Like You Because You’re Dangerous.

Safety is of utmost importance. When we live in a society, we are all responsible for making good decisions that take the safety and well-being of our fellow citizens into consideration.

ice

9) She’s Lost That Loving Feeling.

See #2.

kelly3

10) You Can Be My Wingman Anytime.

       Bullshit. You Can Be Mine.

People with whom you have an adversarial relationship can, in time, become people that you can trust and rely on if you show them that YOU can be trusted and relied upon.

iceandmav