My 1980’s Memoir Mix

Over 30 years ago in the month of March, a little girl was born with Bette Davis’ eyes on Friday the 13th. The golden hair, precocious child would be walking by the following year. In Ashland, Kentucky, she would stand facing a tall wooden fence with one determination. She had an eye of the tiger, and knew delicious blackberries awaited her toddler grasp through the fence’s wooden planks. This was a feat she had mastered by the age of one.

In 1983, the little girl was given a ‘Lucky Star’ in the form of a little sister. It was the final star to shine bright starlight upon the little family. A year later, the little girl’s mother asked her to not sing “Like a Virgin” anymore. Madonna was no longer family friendly. The family had moved to Huntington, West Virginia, with their two little west end girls.

The eldest strawberry blonde haired girl would start kindergarten in 1986. On a fateful day within her first year of public education, she stayed home for a week sick with Scarlet Fever. It was during this illness she was introduced to her first music video, “We Built this City (on Rock and Roll.)” Once the fever subsided and she returned to school, she had learned a valuable lesson. If you are going to get anywhere in life, (You Gotta) Fight for your Right (To Party). So, she began to kick it hard at the playground.

On a memorable weekday night, the two little girls wanted to dance with somebody. At the local pizza parlor the sound of guitars and synthesizers strummed heavy on the jukebox, and the sisters began to ‘Walk Like an Egyptian.’ It was here in this childhood innocence surrounded by white and red plastic checkered table cloths; a little girl thought to herself ‘I’ve had the time of my life.’ Heaven is a place on earth.

Boys came into the picture the following year. Love existed only in the little girl’s mind. Her over-sized red Sally Jesse Raphael glasses left her wondering, ‘Where do Broken Hearts Go?’ Each time she befriended a male classmate, her desire to have a boyfriend made her want to scream at every little boy, ‘The Way you Make Me Feel’ and ‘I love you’ and ‘Please Date Me!’ As a new decade came, the little girl’s body would change forever. She would get her period. Every rose has it’s thorn.

Fire, hormones, and overwhelming awkwardness began to rage inside the young girl. Every month she blamed the world, and every month the world answered by telling her ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire.’ It was always burning, since the world’s been turning. Many days were spent slamming doors as the girl told her parents ‘they just didn’t understand.’ Her mom responded with, “She drives me crazy.” But, all mothers remember those days. You are straight up hangin’ tough.

The mother looked at her little girl who was born on Friday the 13th and said, “I’ll be there for you. And, I still don’t want you listening to that Madonna, ‘Like a Prayer’ is not appropriate either.”

This piece was obviously inspired by the music I grew up with. If you have an outdated device like a double cassette player, and would like to make a “mix-tape”, I have provided a list of every song title I used:

1. Bette Davis Eyes-Kim Carnes 2. Eye of the Tiger-Survivor 3. Lucky Star-Madonna 4. Like a Virgin-Madonna 5. West End Girls-Pet Shop Boys 6. We Built this City (on Rock & Roll)- Starship 7. (You Gotta) Fight for your Right (To Party)- Beastie Boys 8. I wanna Dance with Somebody-Whitney Houston 9. Walk Like an Egyptian-The Bangles 10. I’ve Had the Time of My Life-Bill Medley 11. Heaven is Place on Earth-Belinda Carlisle 12. Where do Broken Hearts Go-Whitney Houston 13. The Way You Make Me Feel- Michael Jackson 14. Every Rose has it’s Thorn-Poison 15. We Didn’t Start the Fire-Billy Joel 16. Parents just Don’t Understand- DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince 17. She Drives Me Crazy- Fine Young Cannibals 18. Straight Up- Paula Abdul 19. Hangin Tough- New Kids on the Block 20. I’ll Be There For You-Bon Jovi 21. Like a Prayer- Madonna

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Originally published at on July 21, 2015.