Girls Still Wanna Have Fun
The wife and I got out of the house last night to see Cyndi Lauper perform at the Oregon Zoo. It was my wife’s idea, and she talked two friends into going, too, and we made a gay old foursome spread out on the lawn with our moisture-proof blankets and low chairs from REI and efficiently packaged food to devour during the two-hour wait while the audience settled before Cyndi took the stage.
What I hadn’t realized, getting into this outing, was that we’d be surrounded by former “Material Girls” who had been getting up to no good back when I was dancing atop platforms in bars, and that they’d be all about having fun. Every square inch of organically fertilized lawn was filled with forty- and fifty-something women (a good third of them lesbians) wearing something dragged from the back of the closet, remainders from the eighties.
There were more twirly skirts in that audience than in a drag queen square dance. And most of them were on women. Naturally, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence made a visit (oh, how I remember them sparkling in ’86), and a lot of pretty-young-thangs who dressed the part but weren’t even born when Cyndi was urging us all to She-Bop.
I am sorry to say that I didn’t fulfill my quota of eighties paraphernalia, despite a leftover blazer with shoulder pads, a spandex black dress and hair that can be teased up really BIG. It had been raining torrents earlier, and I’d been sure we’d be huddled under golf umbrellas or REI ponchos, our teeth chattering, while Cyndi pranced around in Polar Tec or a rain slicker. But no, the sun came out and blinded us during the pre-concert picnic (people in the Northwest shy from the sun like vampires after September), and I should have brought that umbrella for shade.
The gaggle of gals behind us, one in leg warmers, another one tattooed across the chest with ripped arms and bleached blonde hair (you know she was having a really good time in 1984), and another in a vintage hat, were drinking and riffing on their daughters’ Facebook habits before the show. All around were a scattering of small children, some babes in arms, some running preschoolers, a couple of pre-teens glued to their phones.
Most were wearing feather boas or tutus. It reminded me of going out to dinner the night Lady Gaga was in town, and the restaurant was filled with women and girls of all ages dressed in wigs and tiaras, platform heels and zebra-print dresses, girls just wanting to have fun. A multi-generational game of dress-up.
Cyndi Lauper just released a blues album, Memphis Blues, so those were the tunes she belted out, the audience appreciative and whistling between songs. She’s still pretty darned unusual. And then, at the end, the crowd got up as one and sang along to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “She-Bop”, dancing like the pretty-young-thangs they once were and still are at heart.
Blogger Bio: Beren deMotier is a Carol Brady in Levis/tattooed lesbian mama in a mini-van, obsessed with safety, doing the right thing and the amount of dog hair on her wood floors. She is a regular contributor to both Curve and Black Lamb, and has written for Hip Mama, And Baby, Pride Parenting, ehow.com, and for her blog, “That Lesbian Mom Next Door.” Her multi-award-winning book, The Brides of March: Memoir of a Same-Sex Marriage, recounts her giddy leap through a legal window, straight onto the barbeque pit of public debate when she and her partner married in Oregon in 2004, their three children along for the raucous ride. (berendemotier.com)