Recently, my roommates and I (all of whom are over 30 and single) went to a 90s roller skating party. At first, we couldn’t think of what to wear. We decided to look online for inspiration. Suddenly many bad fashion memories came back to us. The Jennifer Anniston haircut. The little plastic circle that you could slip onto your t-shirt to make it look almost like you tied it, but not quite. The hat with the big sunflower it that could have come right off the show “Blossom.”
My roommate Jess decided to go for the mid 90’s grunge look. She had a morose spirit hanging over her that was obviously inspired by Pearl Jam. Jess dressed the part perfectly with cotton leggings, converse, and an oversized flannel shirt. (I recently learned that the flannel shirt craze was inspired by Kurt Cobain. When Cobain was asked why he wore them, he said “I live in Seattle. I get cold.”) The little detail that pulled Jess’ look together was a velvet ribbon choker with a cross on it. She parted her bangs down the middle, put some black makeup around her eyes, and wore bright red lipstick.
At first I was amused when I saw her outfit. I thought to myself ” that looks just like what I wore almost every day when I was in college.”
Then, I had my first freak out of the night. ” THAT LOOKS JUST LIKE WHAT I WORE ALMOST EVERY DAY WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE!” What? How could this be? How could we be going to a decade theme party and I was having flashbacks of my high school and college days?
I started counting backward. Twenty years since the early 90’s. TWENTY YEARS? Is it possible? I began to realize that going to this party was the equivalent of my mom going to a “Remember the 60’s” party when I was growing up. I honestly couldn’t believe it.
I calmed myself down, gathered up my courage, put on my florescent orange shirt, applied a ridiculous amount of hairspray, and headed off to the party.
I got even more freaked out once we got there. This rollerskating joint looked like every single rollerskating place I ever went to when I was in middle school.
The orange carpet. The disco balls and lights that put patterns on the dance floor. The brown roller skates that have dangerous orange shoelaces that are way too long. (Doesn’t anyone even TEST those roller skates? There are CHILDREN wearing these things, for heaven’s sake!) The people going at very high speeds who suddenly swerve around the gateway on the verge of crashing, flashing a smile at you to cover up the fact that they are about to knock six people over. The couples holding hands. The awkward people inching forward very slowly along the walls, trying to pretend they have some semblance of balance. The inevitable game of crack the whip where a line of people skate around in circles, forgetting that the unfortunate person at the end of the line is rolling so fast that they could at any moment be propelled against the wall.
I went out to skate and found myself wondering (in a very teen-agery way) if anyone was watching me. I was quite cognizant of the way I smoothly ran my wheels across the floor, how hot I probably looked in my 90’s shirt with one sleeve, how all the 25 year old guys there probably had no idea that I was in High School in the 90s because I still looked so young and vivacious. But those thoughts all stopped abruptly because my too long shoe laces got caught up in my wheels and I fell flat on my face.
Just like in middle school.
After I brushed myself off and started making another lap, I started listening to the music that was playing.
Even. More. Freaked. Out.
I know Ice Ice Baby was from the 90’s It seems like it belongs in the 90’s. The same goes for Milli Vanilli and Can’t Touch This. But what about Mr. Jones by Counting Crows? Semi Charmed Kinda Life? One Headlight by the Wallflowers? It does not seem like fifteen plus years since I first heard those songs.
I came home from that party feeling pretty old.
People say to me all the time “Well, age doesn’t matter. It’s just a number.”
You know what my response always is?
“Tell that to my uterus. ”
….To Be Continued