05 July 2012

Women of 1987: Smarter Than Our Phones














An '86 hit sung for Princess Diana in '89

They all made more money. The account executive at Edelman. The FBI agent who wiretapped Mafia thugs. The divorcee with a dress shop. The MBA accountant. The MBA brand manager. And that red head from Shearson Lehman.

They dressed conservatively. That is, for work: Brooks Brothers. Anne Taylor. Laura Ashley. At night, they took off the floppy paisley tie, slipped off their slip-ons and, under a restaurant table, gently placed their stocking feet on your crotch.

They always seemed to live on the Upper East Side. Some had a car service. Others had an answering service. They all drank white wine and took their ear ring off when they answered the phone. I see their ghosts on the street and in the bars.

The clubs? They're all gone. Except for Sounds of Brazil. Years ago I brought my ex-wife to NYC on a business trip. I asked the concierge at the Markham Hotel, a plump and fast talking woman from, I'm guessing Queens, if SOBs was still open.

I tell her I went there when I was single and lived in Chelsea. I tell her how I'd drink a couple shots of 151 rum at the bar, order a Brahma beer and take it out on the packed dance floor and gyrate by myself to Samba. She looked at me, cocked her head and said, "Honey, you don't want to take your wife to no club you went to when you was single. What the Hell's wrong with you?" What, indeed.

12 comments:

Alice Olive said...

Ha - great advice!

NB: Swing Out Sister's Breakout is still on high rotation on my iPod.

gentleman mac said...

I didn't know Cockroach was one of their back-up singers. Awesome!

Anonymous said...

"...and took their ear ring off when they answered the phone."

That brought back a flood of memories. Thank you.

Paul said...

As usual, I get a chuckle that rises from my gut up to my throat on the last line of your post. Nice writing sir!

Anonymous said...

I didn't see ghosts. I saw the real thing. I was in Joseph A. Banks recently and saw two young women like the ones in the first photo. They were very tall and very lean but dressed in shorts and fitted t-shirts. Maybe they were sisters. They were very...coltish.

My first impression was of a distinct class structure of which I was not ever to be privy. The pair were striding smoothly and briskly, the way one would from miles of workouts on a treadmill, from the back towards the front exit and excitedly conversing, I guessed, about some sort of wedding clothing arrangements for the lucky groom.

Anyway, that's the vibe I got. I was there to pick up a humble pair of tailored dress slacks. All five foot seven of me. I knew right then that I would never be "of their world." Fortunately for me - and this is where I'm happy to be a happy ignorant - it had never occurred to me before.

Nice post. As usual.

-DB

heavy tweed jacket said...

Funny your mentioning Swing Out Sister, I have a CD of an FM broadcast (12.03.89 Royalty Theatre, London, England) in the car. Can't believe it was 25 years ago. Lots of memories, some good, some...meh. However, classic sounds and classic looks remain classic.

KSB said...

Is it me or do those Brooks Brothers offerings from the 80s have a matronly feel to them? Of course I rarely saw a girl who wasnt in a Catholic school uniform until college and when I did she was usually in some outlandish outfit that girls from Brooklyn and Queens wore in the 80s. There were some notable exceptions though. But more importantly on to the music.....

Swing Out Sister is from the sweet spot of British pop, 83-88, before the Second Summer of Love sent British music much more in the direction of electronic dance music.

While I Breakout is fantastic I prefer their Waiting Game from 1989

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDcRCJGV3Lk

phosil said...

love the title :D

Kathy said...

Oh the shoulder pads. Don't miss them.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, I used to dress like that! Bow ties, big collars, shoulder pads.

Cathleen said...

None of this looks fabulous on 5'3'ish women, which I am, but I wore it all anyway. The sailor collars are still ridiculous.

Joe said...

This is just scary. Please, make it stop.