Best of the 1980’s Fads

Given that we talk on the phone multiple times each day, we tend to cover a wide variety of topics. We might start out talking about what happened on Big Brother (the fact that Frankie is THE WORST and we are DEVASTATED that Donny is gone!!) but by the end of the conversation we could be lamenting the lack of drive-thru Starbucks in our general area. (Only two…and neither of them are even that close *sob*)

Earlier this week we found ourselves taking a trip down memory lane–’80s style (because y’all, seriously, the Trapper Keeper people tweeted us!!). Hold on to your neon leg warmers (over pegged jeans of course). It went something like this…

Lisa: What should we write about on Monday? I feel like we need something fun for to start off September.

Ashley: Totally. Nothing’s coming to mind. I’ll ask my Magic 8 Ball.

Lisa: OMG….MAGIC 8 BALL!! “Signs point to yes” that I’ll be getting Lucy one for Christmas! They were so much fun. I could get Bobby a Rubik’s Cube, too.

Ashley: Dude, I spent hours not solving the Rubik’s Cube. My sister, on the other hand, could do it in an hour. No, I’m not bitter or anything.

Lisa: Hate to break it to you, but I was a Rubik’s Cube master. I could solve it in minutes. I used to time myself to try to beat my own records.

Ashley: Of course you did.

Lisa: I was on a quest to make the Guinness Book of World Records in Rubik’s Cubing. I timed myself with my Swatch watch collection. That made it much cooler.

Ashley: If you say so. Although I did have a Swatch and loved it, it was really the plastic charm bracelet that defined ’80s accessorizing for me.

Lisa: What? Plastic charm bracelets? Was this a gumball machine prize or something? My mom would never, ever give me a nickel to get stuff out of those.

Ashley: NOOOOOOOOOOO! They were the bracelets with the clips and all the charms that were awesome. There was a phone, a lipstick, animals, and of course my favorite…the whistle!

Lisa: No, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Ashley: Oh, please. You do too. Hold on. I’ll send you a picture. The second you see it, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Lisa: Oh, hmmmm. Yeah, I guess that looks familiar. I’ve certainly seen that tennis racket before. Wait, weren’t those the bracelets that would get stuck in your big hair when you tried to pick it (not comb…you cannot comb through Aqua Net) in the girls’ bathroom between classes?

Ashley: HA! I knew you’d know what they were. Remember how the clips would break and you’d lose your best hairdryer charm? That was the worst! For birthdays, I used to go to “Gifts N’ Decor” because they had the biggest selection of charms. They also wrapped for free, which my mom loved.

Lisa: My friends and I always gave each other Swatch Guards. Remember those twisty pieces of rubber that you’d put on the face of your Swatch to color coordinate with your outfit?

Ashley: Did they serve any actual purpose?

Lisa: You mean other than to make your watch totally awesome? No, I guess not.  We used to stack up two or three Swatches on our wrists at a time. I loved my plaid Swatch. I’d totally wear it now if I still had it.

Ashley: I don’t think I was ever able to stack, because I think I only had one Swatch.

Lisa: Oh, you poor thing! I thought your parents loved you.

Ashley: They might have had more money for Swatches if they had gone with a drug store Halloween costume and didn’t have to keep replacing all of my lost charms.

Lisa: …or buy all the Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. Did you love the 7 Up or watermelon the best?

Ashley: I’m from Texas. It was Dr. Pepper all the way for me.

We could have gone on and on all day about our love for the ’80s (we hadn’t even touched on Teddy Ruxpin, Chia Pets, or the California Raisins after all), but we still needed time for cleaning our houses grocery shopping watching hours of Hal Sparks on “I Love the ’80s”.

So slip on your jelly shoes, spritz on some Jean Naté body splash, pop that collar, and let the memories sweep you away. Weigh in with your favorite 1980’s fads in the comments!


Head to Head: The Living Legends–Barry Manilow vs. Neil Diamond

There is nothing we look forward to at the end of a long week more than the chance to catch up and relax. Little did we know that *this* conversation was going to lead to a new Head to Head post and an epic battle not seen since the time Krystle Carrington toppled Alexis Carrington-Colby into the pond on Dynasty.

It all started innocently enough as we were headed to Starbucks. Ashley was driving (of course) and as passenger, Lisa was in charge of selecting the tunes. It went something like this:

Lisa: Oh, man. This is my jam. I love me some Barry Manilow. Would you rather hear some Looks Like We Made It or I Write the Songs next? 

Ashley: Gee, no Copacabana today? [She totally said this with a tone. -Lisa] Let’s try to at least attempt to be cool and go for some Love on the Rocks.

Lisa: Barry Manilow didn’t sing Love on the Rocks. What’s wrong with you?

Ashley: I’ve seen Neil Diamond 8 times in concert. I know exactly who sings Love on the Rocks and every other classic from The Jazz Singer.

Lisa: I’ve seen Neil Diamond in concert, too. He’s great. But you can’t seriously be implying that he is cooler than one Mr. Barry Manilow. I haven’t even played Mandy yet.

Ashley: I’ve seen Barry Manilow in concert, too. But let’s be real. You cannot honestly tell me Barry is cooler than Neil. They play Neil Diamond at Fenway Park for God’s sake.

Lisa: Yes. I am honestly saying exactly that. It says so right here on my Fanilow International Fan Club membership card. Take it back.

Ashley: No. I won’t take it back.

Lisa: Listen, Barry played the piano and sang in bath houses with Bette Midler.  It doesn’t get any cooler than that. He is a LEGEND.

Ashley: Two words—Barbra Streisand. I win.

Photo Credit: and

Lisa: I’ll take your Barbra Streisand and raise you a Donna Summer and Dionne Warwick. Oh, and he wrote The Bandstand Boogie for Dick Clark.

Ashley: But did he write America? Make our beds and we say our grace. Freedom’s light burning warm…FREEDOM’S LIGHT BURNING WARMMMMMM!!!!

Lisa: If I stipulate that America is a good song will you please stop singing? It soars, okay. It’s better than the Lee Greenwood song they foist upon us every 4th of July. But did it make 8 year-old Lisa beg for piano lessons like the Barry classic Could it Be Magic did? No. It did not.

Ashley: Is that the one that starts out with a symphony and melds into Barry playing the song? Yeah, that’s a good one. But 7 year-old Ashley was far more inspired to turn on my Heartlight like Neil advised.

Lisa: Look, I have plenty of Neil Diamond on my iPod. You know I like him. It’s just Barry…he really gets it…you know? He speaks to me. Did you know that you can even get a Barry Manilow Visa card if you are a fan club member? 

Ashley: I wonder what the rewards are that come with that! Do they fly you to Vegas?

Lisa: OMG…now I *have* to get one.

Ashley: Seem like a *real* Fanilow would have one already. But okay.

Lisa: You know…I think he’s actually touring the US right now. In fact I think he’s going to be near Charlotte right around my birthday. Maybe we should go.

Ashley: Of COURSE we should. We saw Neil Diamond in concert together, we’ve GOT to see Barry together, too.

Lisa: Yes! You know… there’s room enough in this car for more than one dreamy singer/songwriter who appeals to all generations.

Ashley: Agreed. Now hit me with some September Morn.

Lisa: Gladly!

Okay, so it ended a bit more friendly than Krystle and Alexis going head over heels into the water, but it was tense for a minute there.

Photo credits: and

So tell us…are you a Fanilow or a Super Diamond? Do you crank up the radio when you hear “Forever in Blue Jeans” or is it “Can’t Smile Without You” that puts pep in your step?  [I’ve totally got this one in the bag. -Lisa] [Dream on. -Ashley]


Head To Head: The ’80’s Edition

Let’s have some fun on this Friday, shall we? Summer is winding down, back-to-shopping is beginning to commence, and the luster of the Olympics is starting to wear off (even with my super, amazing, “fancy” big screen).

What better way to kick-off the weekend than a battle between two of the most iconic ’80’s movie heartthrob characters of all time?

Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. Oh John Hughes, we miss you so. No one was able to capture the angst of being a teenager better than you (and Molly Ringwald, of course).

Let’s go head to head on this one, shall we? Jake Ryan vs. John Bender in the battle for your teenage heart. Who shall be crowned the ultimate ’80’s heartthrob of these two choices? This won’t be easy.

Jake Ryan vs. John Bender

First we have Jake Ryan. Oh Jake, you had it all, didn’t you? The perfect hair, the best preppy clothes, the sensitive soul, and of course those eyes, that smile, I am practically swooning while I write this. You didn’t need that Barbie doll girlfriend Caroline when you had Samantha waiting for you, just hoping that you would for once notice her. And notice her you did. When you leaned against your red Porsche waiting outside the wedding, my teenage heart almost burst.

But this is no cakewalk for you Jake. You have a worthy opponent in John Bender.

Bender, I can see you now with your smoldering, half-smile, half-sneer as you pretended to be so above it all. Your slightly dirty, but somehow still perfectly arranged bad boy hair, wearing your combat boots acting as if nothing mattered to you. Except for Claire, of course, because there was no denying the connection when you looked at her. Could a bad boy and a prom queen actually make it work? My teenage heart certainly wanted to think so.

So which one made your high school pulse race? Were you someone who went after the strait-laced, jock type or did you have a bit of an edge and look for the guy who would help you break some rules?

Not to leave out the many few men who read this blog (most of them related to me), what type of guy were you in high school (or which type did you wish to be)? Would we have found you hanging out with the cool crowd or in detention on Saturdays?

Tell me your choice in the comments and if you have a picture of yourself from high school, head on over to my Facebook page and share it. Think of that as your “extra credit” assignment!