The party

My friend Guida called inviting me for her birthday party the following Saturday. As things go, my friends tend to celebrate their birthdays less and less. I guess we are all getting old but I do miss some fun in my life, so I was happy to say yes I’d be there; especially when she told me the party’s theme would be “the eighties” so we’d all be expected to show up dressed in something related to that happiest of all times!

I was thrilled, and immediately started thinking of what I would wear. I opened my shelves and found some of the fake jewellery I used to wear in the early eighties when I went to the disco and I laughed as I pictured myself with those huge earrings and colourful necklaces. Then I remembered seeing a photograph of myself and Guida in one of those parties, so I looked in the boxes under my bed and after sorting out old letters and teenage diaries I found it!

It was a picture taken during my twentieth birthday party and oh my God we looked so happy. It was a group photo and there was the fashion of the eighties – the boys were wearing jeans and sweaters with geometrical drawings; they were actually quite discreet, but as for us girls – it was a diferent story. I was wearing a golden brown ruffled blouse with a matching necklace and huge earrings, with black corduroy trousers, and to complete the look a golden ribbon around my head. My friend Beli had a ruffled blouse too and golden makeup and there she was as well – Guida, looking somewhat demure in a black top and grey shorts. All of us wearing tons of golden fake jewellery! We had our arms around each other and the party look was unmistakeable –  even today one  can see that we were having a great time. The photo was taken at my home, where we were having dinner, and later on we’d all to to “Whispers”, the most fashionable – and fun – disco in Lisbon at the time. And what a time we had, dancing all night and coming back home at dawn when the first rays of the sun coloured the sky in pale shades of pink and blue…

Back to the present day, I thought I would make a copy of that photo and give it to Guida; it was only appropriate given the theme of her party. I took the photo with me to the office the following day and enjoyed a few laughs with a few of my closest colleagues while showing them my eighties look.

I prepared for the party with some trepidation and even bought a ruffled white blouse that would go perfectly well with my long ago necklace and some huge golden ring shaped earrings. I cursed the day when I gave away that much loved golden brown blouse, as it would have been perfect for wearing today, but not having a huge house I have to get rid of clothes I don’t wear. Even if I have religiously kept one or two “historical” dresses that carry too many good memories…

Nuno was of course coming with me and I asked him to see if he could find a sweater with geometrical drawings like those won by my friends on the photo. He called and laughed as he said he had found a very old one, with some holes on it (moths, no doubt!) but still passable. I was ecstatic that he could also bring something form the eighties.

I also told the boys about it and they smiled somewhat condescendingly and said “Wow, Mom, it seems you are in for some fun!” At their age they cannot understand this fascination for the past. They are so much focused on the present and looking to the future.

In the end, the party was nice but not extraordinary. We listened to some good music, we danced a few songs, we laughed as we saw how people had differently interpreted “how to dress for an eighties party”. As we came out to a cold rainy night I thought – of course it could never be like those parties of long ago, when anything could happen, when there was always an adventure around each corner, a stronger heartbeat as a stranger’s eyes met ours across the dancing floor . Those days were so much fun, but they are long gone. As I held Nuno’s hand and walked carefully trying not to ruin my kitten heels on the cobblestones I smiled and thought the best thing about this party had been all the anticipation, finding old things kept it in drawers for years, discovering our group photo and remembering how happy we felt and talking to my friends about our memories of the eighties…after all, the party itself was only a pretext. That definitely contributed to bring back some great memories, and some laughs too.

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