God, I’m freaking old

I graduated high school on this date in 1986. I wrote a rendition of Forever Young called Forever Friends, changing the lyrics can you imagine when this race is won to something like can you imagine when high school’s done. I also changed the chorus of Addicted to Love, to Might as well face it I hate Mr. Whartenbee.

That’s when I knew I was destined to be a professional writer.

Also, I looked like this:

Me and the BFF, hopelessly Breakfast Club. Note the turquoise shoes and shiny, happy braces.

I just wanted to put both of those factoids out there for every 17 year-old who is convinced that she is awesome and life will never get better than this.

Also, if you think your hair is cool now? It’s not. It sucks.

So what were you doing in 86? And please don’t say “being born.”


103 thoughts on “God, I’m freaking old”

  1. i…. wasn't born 🙂 i'm sorry. i love that pic tho…. i have pictures like that from years ago, and i wonder what exactly was i thinking as a middle schooler…. not that i'm much smarter in college lol

  2. I was in 9th grade, writing thousands of drivel-filled notes back and forth to my best friend at the time. And folding them all up envelope-like to pass them to her. Oh, and I believe I wore blue AND pink eyeshadow. At the same time. Hoo boy, those were the days…

  3. I too was in L-O-V-E with blue mascara and routinely paired it was max factor's navy eyeliner…And yes I lined the INSIDE of my eyelids. I also love Units and the Wet Seal. Fer Sure!

  4. I was a graduating 8th grade and fighting with my mom to let me wear the blue mascara!!

  5. 1986…wow that was actually a decent year in high school for me. We had great movies like the Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles. Then there was the music. Favorite band of all time was {and still is} Duran Duran.
    Those were some good times. A life without many responsibilities.

    Wishing you a scent-sational trip down memory lane!

  6. Two years after graduating from an Ivy League university, I was handing out bumperstickers for a rock'n'roll radio station. That's what I was doing in 1986. It was a year or so later that I agreed to the most ridiculous hairstyle (an asymmetrical perm), pictures of which I wouldn't dare to post as bravely as you've posted yours.

  7. I was a freshman. My eyeliner was SILVER and I had the most horrid mullet haircut ever (and I knew it at the time). My favorite “ensemble” was a shiny white shirt with a long tail down the back and purple and black capri pants. Sadly, not preserved on film like yours.

  8. I was born, but I was 3 soooo… I don't remember much. I think I was in love with the Snorks then.

    On another note, I did some of that song-changing stuff in high school also. I thought I was the hotness. I know, I wasn't.

  9. Just to make you feel better, I was finishing my sophomore year of college (graduated high school 1984)…

  10. I was finishing my junior year of high school and more than ready to be a senior and blow the proverbial popsicle stand.

    And as for my look? More Judd Nelson than Molly Ringwald, if we're sticking to the Breakfast Club analogy.

    I'm turning forty in eleven days. How did that happen exactly?

  11. I was nine, that would have been fourth grade with Mrs. Meisenheimer. Reading Gone with the Wind because it was the biggest book in the library.

  12. Just to make you feel better I graduated in '84 with the Preppy Handbook as my bible. Love the turquoise shoes. Might have to dig up an old photo of me in a Fair Isle Sweater and Topsiders.

  13. I was repeating the 11th grade back in Germany and I thought that wearing a polo shirt with a thin leather tie was super cool. And of course, jacket sleeves had to be rolled up!

  14. Wow, you were so trendy in 1986! I was a junior in high school and while I coveted the look you had, I was much more on the preppy side of the spectrum. Let's see–1986, spent most of my lunch hours in the library hallway studying SAT words with my also-geeky friends… 🙂

  15. I was a junior in high school. And I pretty much looked exactly like you. The white leggings, the oversized shirts that look like I stole them from the Mens XXXL store, and my own shame… the unbelievable amount of make-up in colors never found in the natural world.

  16. I was enjoying 8th grade “graduation” otherwise known as “Moving up Day” so as not to steal the glory from anyone who was graduating at the same time.

    I had a mullet.
    And curly hair.
    Pink tinted classes.
    And braces.

  17. OMG–you totally looked like Claire! I'm so jealous. I'm just a little behind you–I was a freshman in high school. Writing notes with hearts dotting the i's, in total and complete love with Kevin Calloway–a senior! My sister loved Duran Duran. Me, not so much. But Sixteen Candles and Breakfast club are still two of my all-time favorite movies ever. I got drunk a bunch that year–orange wine coolers were my favorite. The 80s–what a decade! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  18. I was 11, in Phoenix, cried every day of 6th grade, had a sexist male teacher who thought I should buck up and accept the boys' teasing me because it meant they liked me. 7th and 8th got worse. Then I moved to SF and went to a tiny hippy private high school and everything improved.

  19. In June 1986, I had just finished my freshman year of high school and was enjoying one of my last “work-free” summers by riding everywhere on my 10 speed. Since I was JUNE, I was definitely lamenting the humidity and AquaNet's lack of effect.

  20. Well, I was beginning school, does that count? And despite the age difference, I have a picture of myself with almost the exact same hairstyle.

  21. Duuude! We are the same age. On this date in 1986, I was just getting back from an all night bender at Golf 'N Stuff (miniature golf + water park) where they had a free party to keep all us kids from driving around the city drunk and killing their family members.

    My how times change.

  22. 86? Rockin' some stand-up collars and a tragic Western Mass do while working out my awkward Sophmore year. Your hair was awesome. Mine morphed into some crazy teased Aqua Net monster.

    (A lesson to the young-ins: Don't go tanning. I attended my 20th high school reunion last fall and holy hell, did some of the ladies look leathery.)

  23. I was graduating middle-school…
    -I used a round brush to curl my bangs UP and my hair style was shaved on one side and long on the other… I was hot
    -I traded one florescent Converse high-top sneaker with my BFF so we each wore one of the other's sneak
    – I was in love with a boy named Drew Romeo… still can't find him ANYWHERE

  24. In 1986, I was running away from a disastrous freshman year of college by moving to NYC for a few years to act professionally.

  25. I'm freakin older. I graduated in 85 so I was away at college having “wake and bakes” and missing a lot of classes. Omg I miss those days. And the pot. I just take xanax now instead.

  26. Awesome.

    I was a freshman with a major perm and neon socks. I wonder if I kept the orange neon fishnets for costuming purposes?

  27. June 1986…I was 2 and a half, so potty training I guess? And trying to get my mom to take my sister back to the store.

  28. I was finishing my Freshman year, wishing I could get a spiral perm that would stick and cursing my fine hair. I had mastered the layered look, upturned collars, and was looking forward to getting contacts (gas-perm of course) and losing the braces. Yeah, I remember the 80's. That music is the soundtrack to my growing-up years!

  29. I was a 5th grader, living in West Berlin and worshiping at the altars of Boy George, A-ha and the Pet Shop Boys.

    My favorite outfit was a purple and red polka dot oversized sweater with matching leggings and ballet flats.

    And I had a perm.

  30. I was at the skating rink, praying some boy would try and kiss me. Or at the very least, ask me to couple skate to Glory of Love by Peter Cetera.

  31. I looked exactly as you did, permed hair, very breakfast club 🙂

  32. Oh darling Anon, that's not a perm.

    Not by a longshot.

    Keep these coming! They're awesome. (If depressing, in all sorts of ways.)

    Remarkable how blue mascara figures so prominently into 1986.

  33. I freaking love you for posting that photo. L-O-V-E.

    June 1986: I had just finished eighth grade, which was only surpassed by sixth grade as my suckiest year of school. However, I'd been free of my braces for over a year.

  34. I was pegging my jeans and layering brightly colored socks (I think–it's a time period I've tried hard to black out).

  35. I had mega bangs, and wore fluorescent coloured suspenders (each strap a different glowing colour, of course!)with my cut off jean shorts and jelly shoes. Ahhh, the good old days!

  36. kindergarten, but with equally horrible hair. 80s styles were bad for everyone, not just high schoolers.

  37. I was GRADUATING…with YOU!!! Then you came to my house and we had our hair and make-up done. We went to the prom in a navy blue limo then we went to the beach. Today? I am going to see Aerosmith at Jones Beach. In a limo. What's that they say about the more things change?! xo

  38. Aw, Other Liz G – am thinking of you lots tonight.

    Although still annoyed that I was the only one of the six of us that came through with champagne that night. It was a long freaking nearly dry night, wasn't it.

  39. I wasn't being born I was moving to a new town ans starting grade one – HATING that we had left the city and were in some hicksville small town. Now I HATE the city and avoid it at all costs and LOVE my hicksville!!

  40. I graduated the year before, and was now in college but still I was so much cooler thatn you, because my hair was bleached bond and spiked.

    I'd kind of like to have those Reeboks agains.

  41. Well, while you (and my husband!) were graduating in 1986…I was in 1st grade. Probably sitting in homeroom, next to Dane Entzminger, who teased me incessantly about the home perm my mother decided to give me. She permed my bangs, the wretched woman!

  42. I was graduating by the skin of my teeth and driving auto parts around for a living (I totally faked knowing how to drive a stick but learned fast), then moving to Connecticut to be with my horse turd of a boyfriend. My look was more of a poor impression of Joan Jett. lol

  43. If it makes you feel better, I was graduating Jr. High, wearing my FIRST pair of heels and attempting to wear eyeliner. 9th grade was awesome!

  44. 1986 marked the start of my senior year of high school…and suddenly feeling like I knew who I was. That didn't last long though.

  45. I like the shoes. In a, let me crack up over here way.

    I was six. Sorry.

    I thought I was the shit though, because my mom let me watch Dirty Dancing. Knew the words to every song.

  46. The funny thing is that I had the same haircut in 1986 that I have now. Just plain, straight hair. I went to visit my old high school and they have a pic of every class, and every year on the wall. I was ridiculed in high school for my hair and I am the only one in that photo who does not look completely ridiculous.

  47. I was 7 and desperately trying to convince my mom to let me dress like you and perm my hair. Ooh, I so wanted to be like you 🙂

  48. '86? Wow… I thought you were younger than me. Guess not. 🙂

    Um… I was getting my period. Getting my braces. Learning that junior high really does suck, big time.

    I had excellent finger-in-the-electric-socket hair, though – satellite bangs and all. And perhaps there was still neon involved.

    (Just bought my Sparklecorn outfit – so I guess I have to bring the hair back for that event, too.)

  49. In 1986 I graduated from college and started my first full-time job at a teeny tiny advertising agency making. I wore a much smaller size than I do now and spent my weekends visiting my boyfriend in medical school two hours away from home.

    That was the summer I realized I no longer got “summers off.”

  50. I wasn't being born, but I was being six. We were living in Abu Dhabi, where I attended a school that made me learn songs about camels in Arabic.

    Also, I once changed the lyrics of “Give Peace a Chance” to “Give Green a Chance” when I was eleven — my school was doing an assembly about recycling. I'd give my left eye for a copy of them now. Man, I could have been the next Al Gore.

  51. That would be 7th grade, which meant an asymmetrical bob (like every other girl in school), Guess jeans with the zipper on the side, HUGE sweatshirts. Saw my first concert, The Thompson Twins, and spent a lot of time at school gathered around a tape player listening to someone's copy of Eddie Murphy's Delirious. Most of it went WAY over my head.

  52. I was nine with layered and permed hair. I looked like a freaking poodle, and you know what's worse? I knew it was awful, but my grandmother kept taking me back to the damn beautician (that's what she called the butcher) and telling her to do various versions of the same cut. I used to sit there and clench and unclench my fists underneath the little cape I had to wear, but there was nothing I could do.

    My high school hair was nothing compared to that disaster.

  53. Finishing my freshman year of high school and cursing my hair for not being able to do what you have going on right there (awesome by the way). I did however own mascara that matched your teal shoes.

  54. Oh man, I could have been a matched set with you two.

    I think I had those exact same shoes.

    We were smoking hot back then, weren't we?


  55. I was in my first year of college. Does that make you feel better??!!!

  56. Alphaville?!?!?! OMG!!! I love it! In 86 I was finishing my junior year at Ohio State and thinking I'd marry my boyfriend. Thank God I didn't, but it was a nice ride! I loved the 80s and I'm proud of my stylish ways back then. You rocked it,too, sister!

  57. Isn't it always the way. People with straight hair want curly, people with curly want straight.

    At this pt in my life I just don't want gray. Luckily it is in my power, and that of my hair stylist, to prevent that.

    1986? I was working for some pissant company that didn't appreciate me and laid me off a year later. They're probably all dead now anyway so no harm in mentioning.

  58. Hee, hee, I was graduating and going to prom with you! And I remember that Sumo sweatshirt, because I had one too. Singing along to Alphaville and thinking this was the best … it … gets comes back to me in a flash as well. 🙂

  59. I was preparing to spend my senior year of HS in Finland as an exchange student. I was twig thin and had bleached spiked hair–a la Billy Idol. Rocked the blue mascara, but escaped the braces. Good times.

  60. Let's see. I was 10 yrs old, either listening to The Beastie Boys (Licensed to Ill album), Michael Jackson (Thriller album), or Prince (Purple Rain album) with braces and scrunchies in my hair. 🙂

  61. I'll make you feel better—in June of '86, I was finishing my Freshman year of college. And had hair surprisingly similar to yours!

    Love those outfits! I clearly remember having matching turquoise bobby sox that matched my oversized turquoise sweater vest that I wore over a crisp white blouse (collar up) and white capris with white ballet flats.

  62. Yes, I was right there with you graduating from MHS on that blazingly hot football field with the recently crossed out, “Never get enough of Stenzler's mom!” graffitti on that brick admin building! Now here I am 3 kids later living in Austin…
    Love the pic of you and Hally!

  63. I was still in high school in 86. Sophomore year – the beginning of dating and wishing I was able to dress like I was in The Breakfast Club. I did have some pretty kickin' hair though!

  64. I was trying to remember not to take personally the strange animal who inhabited my home and the language that accompanied those turquoise sneakers

  65. I was 8 going on 16, thanks to my 3 teenage sisters. I believe that was the year I got a second degree burn on my forehead, thanks to a mishap that involved my 15 year old sister and a curling iron. I still have a tiny bald spot from that, dammit.

    With five sisters approaching or enduring adolescence in the eighties, I think our family used enough AquaNet to put our very own hole in the ozone layer.

    Lots of blue mascara, too. 😉

  66. In 1986, I was in my second year of college.

    And that change in the lyrics is hilarious!

    There's a Eurythmics song that begins with “Love is a stranger in an open car, to tempt you in and drive you far away”. But I add another line, so that it goes like this:

    Love is a stranger in an open car, to tempt you in and drive you far away–then dump you on the side of the highway!

  67. 1986 was also the year I graduated high school. I didn't actually feel old until I read your post title. Now I'm going to go yell at kids to get off my lawn.

  68. in 1986, I gave birth to my second child, having graduated high school several (ahem!) years earlier. So don't be telling me about how freaking old YOU are!

    (OTOH, child #3 showed up in 2007, so, life can be strange.)

    PS: I'm a girl, so child #3 was no mid-life guy with a new young wife baby!

  69. I don't know what I was doing in 1986 but I was shocked to hear today that a subway ride is going up to $2.25. I remember when it was a nickel – the ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty was the same.

  70. I was born a year ago.. so i really did not know anything… Butr i am reading your blog for the first time and i must say you are very interesting writer. I love it! I got your blog page from metrodad. He is an awesome blogger too. All i have to say is that Age is just a number!

  71. Hmm…, in 86 I was wearing acid wash, I presume, wearing my Michael Jackson watch (no, I'm not kidding), and mourning the loss of my Duran Duran pin someone stole in the change room at dancing….

  72. I was a sophmore in HS and I was probably watching 16 candles for the 16th billionth time. I had big poofy bangs that reached up and up and up and up. Oh boy, I probably caused the whole global warming thing with my hair spray.

  73. I was in junior high school and I so loved the 80s. I miss them still. It was so much more innocent then. I love your song lyrics, totally cracked me up. And I totally agree about “being born.” When I was working in PR, our interns were all born when I was in high school. Most had never seen “Titantic” either. I was horrified. Ha.

  74. In 1986 I was working in a record store when we still sold (gasp!) records. While in high school I'm sad to report that I was also of the misguided belief that my rat tail was the coolest thing EVER! Looking back I see that I was clearly blinded by watching too much Night Tracks. A friend of mine who saw me a couple of years after high school greeted me with this, “You turned out so much better than I thought you would!” What am I supposed to do with that?!


  75. I'm trying to figure out if I should, or should not, tell you that I was born in May. Of 1984.

  76. Damn, that is awesome. And I frikkin' loved Alphaville.

    I believe in '86 I was pairing leggings with sweater vests. Oh yes I was.


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