When I was in fifth grade, it was 1979 and disco was king. Unlike my older sister, I didn’t yet realize that fashions come and go. I thought disco was forever. I loved the clothes – the shiny shirts, the halter tops and the terry cloth short shorts. But my favorite thing to wear were my Boogie Jeans.
They were dark blue with a flared leg, and had “Boogie” written in rhinestones on the right back pocket. I wore them every Friday, my favorite jeans for my favorite day. They made me feel so cool, and though I wasn’t one of the popular girls, I knew those girls envied my jeans.
So I wore them throughout fifth grade, and well into sixth. One Friday I was leaving for school and my mom stopped me at the door.
“Go change,” she said, arms crossed.
“Those jeans are too small. You can’t wear them anymore.”
“But they’re my favorite!” I wailed. I was ready to go to battle for these jeans. Mom needed to leave for work and didn’t have time to fight, so I had a good shot at winning.
Then she surprised me. She pulled me close and hugged me. Bewildered by this new tactic, I dissolved into tears. She used her most soothing voice. “Oh, honey. We’ll go shopping and find another favorite pair.”
“But I want these!” I sobbed. “Can you be sure we’ll find these?”
“Sweetie, they don’t make them anymore.”
“Huh?” It didn’t make sense that they would ever stop making such fantastic jeans.
She said, “Disco is out of style now. Wouldn’t you rather have something in style?”
Things in style change? This was such a revelation, I completely stopped crying to think it over. I saw my future ahead of me, and I was right. I have been playing fashion catch-up ever since.
But when I shop, I buy clothes that make me feel great, just like my Boogie Jeans did.
[Note: I originally wrote this as a two-minute monologue to audition for a role in Love, Loss, and What I Wore, a play by Nora and Delia Ephron. The production will run in mid-July at the CAST Theater in Hood River. And yes, I miraculously landed a part! As with all writing on my site, if you would like to use or reproduce this, it’s covered by copyright laws and you must first request my permission. Thanks.]