Rock of Ages

I have a serious problem.

Tripp and I are going with another couple tonight to see Def Leppard and Heart at the BOk Center and my question is this – what should a 43 year-old wife and mother wear to a rock concert? I’m thinking my khaki capris and Ann Taylor Loft top just won’t cut it.  But I don’t want to look like a hootchie momma or a grown-ass woman trying to look like her much younger daughter.  Or the 80’s version of herself.

If it wasn’t for all this stress about what to wear, I would probably be giddy with excitement.  Next to Journey, Def Leppard is one of my all time, favorite rock groups – up there with Hall & Oates, REO Speedwagon, and U2.  It’s one of those groups that when I hear one of their songs, I am instantly transported back in time.

***Warning! Nostalgia Alert!!!***

It was 1983 and I was on a band trip headed for Washington D.C.   As our band of buses (I’m so punny) cruised along the highway toward the east coast, we all found various ways to pass the time during the 26 hour bus ride. Some read or listened to Walkmans – I mostly just talked with my girlfriends. With the parent/teacher chaperones on board each bus sitting near the front, no one really got too rowdy.

That is until around 2:00 in the morning when, from the back of the bus, these seminal lyrics blared out of a rogue boom box-

Gunter Glieben Glauchen Globen*

*The opening lyrics to Rock of Ages…confirmed by the authority in all things random – Wikipedia.

Like little groundhogs, everyone on the bus started popping their heads up, looking toward the back where the insurgent and his posse were snickering and giggling.  Our chaperone promptly marched down the center aisle of the bus and put an end to the insurrection. 

Later that summer when my mom heard the song, she forbade me to listen to Def Leppard because of the sacrilegious manner in which they had used the title of her beloved gospel hymn for a rock song. Plus she was just sure that played backwards, “Gunter glieben glauchen globen” was some kind of subliminal satanic message a la Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.”

And Kelsey wonders where I get it.

Anyway, thankfully the ban on all things Def Leppard didn’t last long because their album Hysteria was my soundtrack to 1988.  Every morning I would haul ass up 46th Street North on the way to the Northeast campus of TJC blaring “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”  After school I would go to A Day For You and fall asleep to the soothing whir of the tanning bed fan while listening to “Love Bites.”  And it was probably driving back and forth to work at the movie theater where I wore out the cassette player of my Datsun B-310 continually rewinding and playing “Hysteria” and “Animal.”

Ahhh….those were the days.  I was twenty years old, and I had a flat belly and perfect skin.  I was also quite the fashionista (at least in my mind) rockin’ my two favorite articles of clothing – my button-front Guess jeans and my pink Outback Red henley sweater.  But it was also in 1998 that I discovered the fashion statement that would change my life forever.

God rest it’s soul – can we please have a moment of silence for…

The spiral perm.


My God that’s a lot of hair. 

Really…who perms naturally curly hair?

Also in this photo, I would like to pay homage to:

  1. the country-blue wallpaper fan that my mom made for my bedroom wall (I know it might be hard to detect against the nauseating country-blue walls)
  2. the stuffed KU koala and mug – gifts from my boyfriend at the time who went to KU
  3. the stereo rack system I saved up for and bought at Soundtrack.

OK.  Wow. I think I might have just OD’d on nostalgia. 

So with that little trip down memory lane I think I’ll wrap things up here.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go see if I can find my hot rollers and Swatch watch.

Like Totally,



About Minding My Nest

wife, mom, not-so-empty nester.
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