Flashback to 1985. Ghostbusters was the blockbuster movie of the previous year and three sisters were primed for a roller-skating adventure. But there was something strange in the neighborhood…
If you’re a millennial, you might think the strange thing is the fact that a 5 year old was being baby-sat by her 10 and 12 year old sisters at a roller-rink. Good guess, but that’s not it. Siblings equaled free baby-sitting in the 80’s. Ohhhh, the 80’s.
At the roller rink, when the lights went down and the disco ball began to spin, a certain song was always played.
You guessed it…
This moment meant everything to a little sister who was trying to prove she was a big kid. Every ‘cool’ roller skater knew how to do a certain move which consisted of skating on one bent knee while the other leg was extended.
It was now or never, so I took to the rink and assumed position in the dress I’d insisted on wearing. Yes, I was wearing a dress. Yes, my sisters and Mother had tried to talk me out of it, but I just wanted to look pretty dammit! Besides, I was wearing tights. What could go wrong?
I was off! I was sure I was gliding as gracefully as one of those “Reading Rainbow” butterflies, but then I heard a rip, followed by
peels of laughter one kid laughing. As I looked down I was horrified to see the Ruffles of the matching panties I’d also insisted on wearing, peeking through the hole of my torn tights. As the blood was rushing to my cheeks, hot tears were threatening to spring from my eyes, but only babies cried, so I willed myself not to sob. My resolve lasted for about 2 seconds and then I was outright wailing, like a baby.
I’m not sure how I made it from the rink to a carpeted bench, but I think I remember being air-lifted by helicopter or something as dramatically befitting to my dire situation.
What I clearly remember is the compassion of my big sisters. They were making funny faces and telling jokes, and they even bought me Reese’s Pieces with their allowance money. I thought they would use my embarrassment to call me a baby (again) but they just wanted to cheer me up. It was the first time that I’d truly felt a part of their “big girl’s club”.
After that, I roller skated practically every weekend and I got pretty good!
As I progressed, I worked my way up the roller skate totem pole…
I had my first “dance” while couple-skating, and developed many crushes while at the rink. The boys were just an added bonus. By the time I was 13, I could out-skate most of them. I could criss-cross, skate backwards AND do that skating-on-one-knee maneuver.
The eighties turned into the 90’s, and WHAM! songs were now replaced by Color Me Badd and Boys 2 Men, but one thing didn’t change.
As the lights dimmed, and the disco ball began to spin, The Ghostbusters theme song always played!
Some new Ghostbusters are coming to a theater near you, and the hook is that it’s an all female-cast. That’s great! I’ll probably go see it. Just know that they’re not the first to bring Girl-power to the Ghostbusters!
Proudly girl-powering since 1985.
Please chime in with your 80’s/90’s stories.