To break up the monotony of a slower summer work schedule, some of our ingenious Library staff recently decided to implement spirit days every Tuesday. I don’t think I’ve voluntarily participated in such frivolity since high school (Little Kid Day and Red & Gray Day – go Bulldogs!) and college (Overalls Day, when non-farmer overalls were still hip, and Sexy Sweater Day were favorites), so I was long overdue in being able to come to work with an excuse to look slightly ridiculous.
Last Tuesday kicked off the summer-long event with “Tacky Tourist Day.” Due to the fact that I had a meeting last Tuesday morning with someone from another department on campus, I decided I didn’t want to look quite so bedraggled. But yesterday, I had no obligations to look presentable to outside sources and heartily embraced the theme of “Let’s Go Retro.” Each person could decide which decade best suited them and then dress accordingly. Since I still possess quite a few items from my 1980s childhood, from head to toe my fun outfit came together.
First the hair: crimped, of course, with portions of it pulled back in side ponytails. These were tied back with colored hair baubles that I still keep in my mini Caboodle.
I would’ve used a banana clip, but unfortunately got rid of those a long time ago. Also leaving my possession was my big Caboodle, which looked like this one. I think I must have given it away during one of my more recent moves.
Next the makeup and accessories: heavier blush and extra heavy blue eye shadow gave me just the right over the top touch. Though I didn’t have my ears pierced in the 80s, I donned my big gold hoop earrings that have since come into my possession. A couple of friendship bracelets that I faithfully wore in elementary school adorned my wrist.
I contemplated wearing my old Swatch watch, but its plastic strap cracked a long time ago, making it hard to hold a normal shape. And what outfit isn’t complete unless you have a rad pair of shades? My Back to the Future II sunglasses, purchased at Pizza Hut during the promotion for the movie (circa 1989), were the perfect touch to bring it all together. As I drove to work with New Kids on the Block songs coursing through my mind, I couldn’t help but notice I garnered a few strange stares along the way.
Other external accessories I brought to work with me included my California Raisins lunchbox and my Michael Jackson microphone. I still don’t know why, but always had bad luck with leaky thermoses that came with my lunchbox… Somewhere I still have a small collection of California Raisin action figurines, which I always hoped would come alive and start singing, like they did in this commercial. As for the Michael Jackson microphone, it was one of my most frequently used toys for a significant number of childhood and adolescent years. This would have been shortly after Thriller was released, a.k.a. when MJ was still really cool, still had a nose, and still had a uniform skin color. Most girls grow up singing and dancing around their room using a hairbrush. Thanks to my Michael Jackson microphone, not I.
As for the outfit itself: though I wasn’t aware of U2 in the 80s (hello? New Kids on the Block!), I’ve since become a fan of Bono & The Edge, thus wore my U2 t-shirt, tightrolled my jeans, donned a double pair of neon orange and blue socks, and paired these with my white Keds to complete the ensemble.
Once I arrived at work, I was pleased to see there were several others dressed from various decades. Monday, over lunch, my new friend Alyssa and I discussed ideas of how we were going to dress up. When I walked in the door yesterday morning I was so excited to see how she channeled Olivia Newton John in her “Physical” phase. Here we are, in all our 80s splendor.
Upon talking with my friend Joe last night on the phone I told him, “Today at work we were able to dress up in clothes from our favorite era.” His reply, “Oh, I thought you said ‘we were able to dress up like your favorite Arab.” Hmmm, maybe next time.
In less tacky news, last week was filled with some noteworthy moments. Sunday evening I was invited to partake in some 4th of July festivities with a family I met at a local Nazarene church. They made me feel very welcome and the fireworks they shot off were amazing. I always love taking pictures during firework celebrations, even when I know they probably aren’t going to turn out like I wish they would. Regardless, I had a lovely time eating, playing croquet, and celebrating our nation’s independence.
Last Monday evening I met my friends Aaron, Sarah, and Rebecca for a late dinner as they passed through the area. Since last seeing each other Aaron and Sarah have returned from deployments in the Middle East, so the four of us had a wonderful time catching up, telling fun stories, eating, and laughing together.
This past Saturday I took a little drive into the Arkansas Ozarks and celebrated with my childhood friend Kristin as she got married. It was a simple ceremony in a gorgeous location. This was the view from the reception site.
Throughout the summer, the downtown association sponsors a free movie in the park. Last night was the first one I attended, along with my friend Alyssa and her husband Brian. They are both new to the University, having moved here from out of state a few weeks ago. Their friendship helps me remember I’m not the only newcomer to Oklahoma. We had fun watching National Velvet, eating fruit and cheese, meeting new people, and enjoying the summer breeze.
As I begin my day, I give thanks for fun days and fun friends, and am already planning for how I can dress up next Tuesday for “Super Hero Day.”