AH it’s Friday! The weekend beckons!
Back in the day the weekend meant a trip to town on the bus to buy a record (45 or an LP depending on the budget), a roller ball lip-gloss, a lemon face pack, a sachet of Harmony Shaders and Toners (rich mahogany was my preferred choice-I was light years ahead of Cheryl Cole) and a copy of Jackie Magazine (or Blue Jeans or even both if I was particularly flush). When we got a bit older the highlight of the day became the fashion retail experience of Chelsea Girl. The whole process had a certain amount of ceremony attached to it, and signalled the beginning of a teenage weekend of cheap make up, secret smoking and kissing boys at discos.
Simple pleasures that any woman of a certain age will no doubt recount with a certain amount of rose tinted nostalgia. Saturday afternoon was generally spent in a friend’s bedroom listening to the recent additions to the growing collection of eighties vinyl, (plus a select number of records borrowed from parents-mostly Helen Reddy, Fleetwood Mac and Rita Coolidge as I recall…) while crimping hair, applying face packs and making big decisions about what colour leg warmers go best with the electric blue batwing top and pink ra ra skirt….and discussing the biggest and most vital topic of all….BOYS!
A disco in a village hall inevitably beckoned, in my case it was a Smokey Haze disco at Prestwood Village Hall that armies of pixie-boot clad crimped girls flocked to along with hoards of boys who either did the scruffy hair, leather jacket look, a la David Coverdale (my preferred choice) or who had made the adventurous journey on the Metropolitan Line to Carnaby Street to stock up on ‘Tonic’ trousers, Jam shoes and Harrington jackets. There was always at least one decent fight that ended with girls sobbing in the loos while boys ‘roared’ off on their Vespas my boyfriends were always older, of course, and sometimes even had proper motorbikes or cars….although for the first year I was transported there in my Dad’s Volvo…
The excitement and anticipation of these big nights out was almost overwhelming, and dominated the conversation at school from Wednesday onwards. Obviously, the conversation from Monday morning until Wednesday lunchtime was what had happened the weekend before. We managed to dine out on the inevitable fight/cheating boyfriend/caught with fags by the parents drama for a good few days. This was primarily because the dramas continued and even increased (or was it improved!) during the school week.
Weekends were all about going out, what to wear and who to snog. It was planned like a military campaign and rarely disappointed. So now I find myself 42 years old with a couple of children and looking forward to the cliché of a nice bottle of red, a comfy sofa and Strictly, X Factor and Apprentice (thank god for Sky Plus.)
I can’t remember the last time I ‘planned a snog’ let alone had one and my weekend shopping trips these days involve buying food or dog biscuits. When it comes to products we are talking ‘boy’ deodorant, facial products and hair gel. I do indulge in the odd glossy mag but all that achieves is a wave of depression as I realise that I am never going to be able to wear skinny jeans or jumper dresses.
While I am eager to never look like ‘mutton’, a return to the sheer teenage excitement of a school disco in a draughty village hall is sorely missing from my social life these days. Don’t get me wrong, I do still go out but somehow getting all dolled up for a night at the theatre or an expensive restaurant just doesn’t evoke the same level of giddy, girly anticipation as those eighties disco nights did..maybe it’s time to go retro and satisfy this yearning…so…can you still get roller ball lipgloss….?