I have a new little guilty pleasure. Every Monday night I sit down and watch “The Carrie Diaries” with my two teenage daughters. You know it’s that sort of pre-Sex and the City “Carrie Bradshaw – The Wonder Years” kind of thing. Her in her teens in 1984. The girls like it because it involves teenagers and it shows them what life was like for Mom when she was in high school and college.
For me… it reminds me that I’ve actually lead a pretty interesting life. For instance, in the show Carrie somehow finagles an internship at Interview magazine. Interview magazine was founded in 1969 by Andy Warhol. Very artsy, very hip. Now Interview magazine was my bible when I was in college 1983-1987. I had a subscription and used to save all the issues under my bed. I had stacks of them. I must have thrown them out when moving out of college. 🙁 The same thing with the Village Voice, the iconic New York City newspaper. Had stacks under my bed. No idea where they went. Even though I was in college in Maine, I was a New York City hipster at heart.
I would have given my left nut (wait, what?) to live Carrie’s life back then. Sans, the fabulousness because I was a punk/new wave hipster back in the day. The days before hipster became douchie. However today I could do the fabulous, I already do. Hey girl hey! Yes, Carrie is a fictional character but that’s the life I dreamed of back then. I won’t lie, I still dream about it. If I hit it big right now, I’d move to NY in a heartbeat. Live in the Village but try to avoid my son at NYU so I wouldn’t cramp his style. It would be a little creepy for Mom to crash his fraternity kegger.
So yea, once upon a time I was cutting edge. I was a radio DJ. The name of my show was “Soaking in it with Madge”. The ole Madge the Manicurist Palmolive reference, get it? Ok, back then it was relevant. I went to gay clubs before it was cool because they had the best music. Dude, seriously nowhere else could you dance to “Kiss Me” by Tin Tin? They didn’t even play that on the radio!
Speaking of gay clubs… did I ever tell you about the first (and only) time I was introduced to a hardcore gay club?
So, I worked at a summer camp near Pittsfield, MA in the Berkshires during college. Which in itself is a whole other slew of stories. It was a camp for young Jewish girls from the NYC area (and FL), none of us counselors were Jewish. The girls were all wealthy self-proclaimed JAPs (Jewish American Princesses). Again, for another time…
So on one of our nights off one of our friends took a few days off and we needed to go pick her up at the train station in Springfield at like 11pm. Turns out her train was late and we needed to kill some time. So there were about I think 6 of us girls and one obviously gay guy (Larry the theater counselor). We girls all had funky asymmetrical haircuts and wore boxer shorts for shorts and had boxer shoes with scrunchy socks. I’m sure we looked like freaks.
We were walking down the street looking for a place to sit and have a drink. So we ask this very friendly black guy with a giant afro with a fro pick sticking out the back what was open for a drink. He says “Oh oh yea, I know what you guys are looking for”. So we follow him to this restaurant, and we figure oh great perfect. No, he says follow me. We go down a back hallway, turn a corner, go down a flight of stairs, down another hall, 2 more flights of stairs, hallway… and enter a dank basement. I’m thinking we’re going to die, but we turn a corner and what’s there? A bar with a tranny bartender, a makeshift dance floor with bare lightbulbs hanging down, bare chested men in biker and S&M gear with thick mustaches grinding on each other. It sounds cliche’ but I thought I was in a Village People video. We were actually kind of in heaven because it was a buffet of people watching.
Then somebody grabs us and says, “Oh no we think you want to be back here”. We follow them down another hallway, passed a guy pressing another guy dressed as a woman up against the wall and fondling his/her junk (it wasn’t such a good tuck and tape job). We get to this back room and it’s all women. Yup, very butchy, shaved head, Members Only jacket wearing women. Uhhhh, I guess we’ve been brought to the lesbian room. Funny, we alterna-girls did look a bit like the crowd in that room but none of us were lesbians. There was lots of masculine-type posturing and leering. No offense ladies, but the other room was a bit more entertaining.
Finally we decide we need to go pick up our friend. Our one friend Jill from Texas who was quite goofy and loud was like “No y’all I’m havin’ fun!” She kept asking people to dance, I thought we were going to get our asses kicked. Not sure if she thought it was a novelty or was kind of mocking the lesbians in asking them to dance, but either way you just don’t want to mess with that. We drag her out. A tranny starts to follow us, I think he/she wanted to hang. He/she was strung out on something, we didn’t want to be saddled with that so we ran.
And ran all the way to the train station. Laughing our asses off. It was only 1984, that story probably doesn’t sound like much by today’s standards but it was a complete freak show that people didn’t know existed by 1984 standards.
When I think about it… my life still consists of some pretty strange/fun events like that. I was hesitant to tell about them, having kids and all. But then my friends started asking me “How come you never mention us in your blog?”. Hmmmm, maybe because you all belong to a country club, own companies or are CEOs, have children and don’t really think it’s right to talk about the time we all went swimming in our underwear at a party, or parked the car in the bushes, or drunkenly tried to crawl on top of a golf cart and hit a shot from there, or during a golf outing stole a cart and took off down East Ave. to visit a friend across the street, or broke several glasses at the club trying to do the “pull the tablecloth out from under the dishes” trick. (that was a huge run-on sentence, but for effect) But ok, I’ll mention all that stuff if you want? Next time… 🙂
However it does beg the question… if I write for entertainment and have some great juicy stories, at what point can I/should I tell them without worrying about my kids? 16? 18? 21? You tell me…