Thursday, October 28, 2010

Online Internet Dating | What Did We Do Before The Web?

Whenever I read anniversary announcements featuring older couples, the stories about how they met are so sweet. They usually involve neighborhood dances, classmate crushes or family friend hook ups. Does this happen today? Do they even have dances anymore?

I'm not shy when it comes to admitting that I met my husband online through an Internet dating website. Although some still shy away from finding love online, I have to say I tried the bar scene, Starbucks and work. It just wasn't happening.

How did our parents and grandparents do it? I had a high school boyfriend and a college boyfriend. I would have married my college boyfriend whom I met at school. Many of the people I graduated with went on to marry their school boyfriends. I was dumped a few weeks after college graduation.

I moved to New Jersey seven years ago and again turned to the Internet to meet someone; only this time I was on the hunt for new gal pals. I scoured MySpace and Friendster -- obviously before the Facebook days. I made sure to explain how I moved here for my boyfriend and although he's fun to be with, I was missing gal pals. My mother-in-law wasn't really into doing dinner, coffee, shopping or manicure/pedicures.  My efforts worked and I met about five women with similar career goals and interests. Those Jersey girls remain some of my closest friends to this day.

The point of this post is to say, if it weren't for the Internet, I wouldn't be celebrating my 2nd wedding anniversary in two weeks. How did you meet your significant other? How did your parents meet?

Monday, October 25, 2010

1980s Accessories: Banana Clips

Banana Clips came in an array of colors

Today, my good friend Rene mentioned how she wants to bring back the 1980s Banana Clips and I couldn't help but chuckle. First it was my buddy Tracey and her silly EG Smith slouch socks. Now Rene will be shopping eBay for colorful Banana Clips (not to be confused with the banana seat bikes) for her side ponies.

Did you own a Banana Clip in the '80s?
For those of you who are too young or too old to remember, Banana Clips were popular in the mid to late 1980s. Named after their obvious shape, these over-sized clips were used as offbeat ponytail holders.  The hair comb type teeth kept the hair from slipping out while providing a loose ponytail.

Unfortunately, I never had hair thick or long enough to sport one, most of the girls in class wore them in colors that matched their stirrups or leggins. To be honest, my most favorite hair accessory to this day are those braided ribbon clips made from different colored ribbons. Yes, 1983 was a great year!

Click here to purchase a Banana Clip for $5.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Before Facebook We Had Friendship Books or FBs

Example of a Friendship Book page - from the 
Friendship Book Facebook group

Friendship Books or "FBs" were a big part of my life back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These small to medium sized "books" were created by stapling pieces of paper together and including a "To" and "From" page which included an address. Once the book was filled, it would be returned to the pen pal it was intended for. It was common to make FBs for other pen pals. Kids who knew that particular pen pal would often write "ICR" on their page meaning, "I can return the friendship book - I'm pen pals with this person."

Each page would be a work of art and include the names of our favorite bands. We used colorful paints, markers, stickers and more to try and outdo the last pen pal's work. The more offbeat, the better. People would experiment with BINGO markers, tin foil, Saran wrap, you name it. I remember even burning the edges of paper with a candle and applying it to the page. By the way, this was all way before scrap booking became all the rage.

We all had nicknames from songs or bands -- for example I was "Sally Cinnamon" for a while. I stole the name from a Stone Roses song. There was a printing company that made these awesome address labels for us featuring a photo of our choice and typically friends would share the cost with a pen pal and include both of their addresses or just their names.

From the Facebook Friendship Book group

My high school boyfriend became fascinated with the Friendship Book scene and he too had labels made up and found himself a handful of pen pals. While most of our high school classmates were out getting wasted on a Friday night, we would sit at my parent's kitchen table with art supplies strewn everywhere and work on our week's worth of Friendship Books. My dad never understood what it was we were doing -- "You doing your art projects again, kids?" He'd say.

Friendship Books began as a way to meet new Gothic or new wave pen pals from all over the country who liked the same music.  Sadly, much like today's Facebook and teens - some of the pen pals were cruel and would spread rumors throughout the pen pal circuit. I remember getting prank calls and hurtful letters from pen pals I had confided in. It was devastating because the reason we all obviously turned to Friendship Books and pen pals was because we couldn't relate to the bullies at school who made fun of our Doc boots and all black. Now the pen pal you've bonded with is calling you a poseur or making fun of you for one reason or another. It was a bummer, but luckily I only experienced it with a few kids who were of course from my own tri-state area.

By the time I got to college, I began to fade out of the Friendship Book scene. Between school, work and partying, I no longer had time to keep up with my massive amount of pen pals and the Friendship Books. It was in college that I began meeting real-life friends who had common interests and didn't think my shoes or hair was strange at all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

E.G. Smiths Famous 1980s Slouch Socks

E.G. Smith Socks

My high school buddy, Tracey recently purchased a pair of E.G. Smith socks on eBay for over $22.  Teen or tween girls growing up in the mid to late 1980s are sure to agree, you just weren't cool unless you sported slouchy, baggy socks. The E.G. Smith brand, priced at a hefty $10-$12 back in 1986, were somewhat of a status symbol like the Benetton polo or Swatch watch.  Although baggy, slouchy socks came in a variety of colors and styles, I personally preferred the white E.G. Smith socks.

Between 1986-1987, I attended a Catholic high school where every girl in school paired the white slouchy socks (folded over once at the top) with their penny loafers and uniform skirts. These cute socks didn't work for me and my chubby ankles and calves. Not to mention, my feet were already wide, so the super thick socks made my preppy penny loafers even tighter. Baggy E.G. Smith socks looked simply adorable and flattering on girls with slender calves. I remember longing for that look at age 13.

 Tracey sports her slouchy socks.

If you're looking to relive your youth with classic pair of these slouchy socks, like Tracey, you will have to turn to eBay. Although E.G. Smith still sells socks, they no longer carry the over-sized slouch socks we girls of the '80s adored.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Words & Phrases From The 1950s | '50s Slang

For some reason blog posts focused on old-school slang seem to get lots of hits. I've covered the '70s, '80s and '90s, so here are some fun phrases from the 1950s. Obviously the '50s era is before my time so I'm depending on web research for this list. Yes, some of these words are still commonly used today.

Bread: Cash, money, dough. Example: "Gimme some bread so I can buy the new Elvis album!"

Crumb: Jerk, creep, idiot. Example: "Stay away from that guy, he's a real crumb!"

Daddy-o: Hip way of addressing a male. Example: "What's shakin' Daddy-o?!"

Flip your lid: Go crazy or lose it. Example: "Dad, I'm only five minutes past curfew, don't flip your lid!"

Out of this world: Great, amazing. Example: "This apple pie is out of this world!"

Out to lunch: Not all there. Example: "The receptionist at my doctor's office is totally out to lunch."

Pad: House, home, place of residence. Example: "I just got a new pad downtown."

Sharp: Snazzy, fashionable. Example: "You're looking sharp!"

Take five: Take a break. Example: "Why not take five and we'll regroup in a bit."

Wig out: Same as Flip your lid.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Burger King's Original Chicken Sandwich

This weekend, we went up to Westchester to visit friends who were celebrating their child's second birthday. Once the kids were tucked in, the adults chatted over beers, which of course induced hunger. One of our friends was fixated on taking a ride to a local Burger King. As thirty-somethings, our friends are healthy eaters and rarely consume fast-food. I don't drink, so I offered to take everyone's order and escort a friend to come along. He hadn't seen a Burger King menu in a while and wanted the full-on drive-thru experience.

As we crept toward the drive-thru box, he asked for a few minutes to review the latest and greatest Burger King offerings. After placing the order, we approached the window. There he insisted on adding an "Original Chicken Sandwich" to the order. The cashier began to rattle off toppings such as lettuce, tomato, mayo, etc. I agreed to everything when suddenly my buddy stopped me. "NO! There is never tomato on the Original Chicken Sandwich," he exclaimed. He was right. I had totally forgotten about that, though I didn't think it mattered.

The Original Chicken Sandwich was introduced in 1978 as part of Burger King's "Specialty Sandwich" line and successfully helped Burger King increase sales by 15%. As we drove back to our friend's house, I realized that it had been more than 20 years since I had ordered one of these signature chicken sandwiches from Burger King. The Original Chicken Sandwich is unique compared to the other fast food chicken sandwiches -- unlike most fast-food chains' chicken sandwiches Burger King's resembles a chicken cutlet in length and shape and isn't round or shaped like a patty.

Remember the long seeded bun, mayo and the shredded lettuce? How about when Burger King would spice things up and serve the Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich with slices of ham and Swiss cheese or the Italian Chicken Sandwich, their idea of Chicken Parmesan, which came with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Although I've never ordered these varieties, I do remember them.

I'm sure most of you no longer eat Burger King and I expect a flood of nasty comments. I'm not promoting that you all run to your local BK, but the idea that this friend ordered this sandwich brought back memories. We joked about how it's the only fast-food chicken sandwich with that unique shape and he sliced a sample for each of us to savor as we reminisced about the old days of Burger King and their traditional menu items.


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