By Rick Kaempfer
On the rare nights that all five of us are home for dinner time, we like to put on the iPod and listen to music while we eat. Since I'm the dad, we use my iPod. Sometimes the boys hear new songs that they really love, and other times they cringe. Last night they cringed.
The song "I Woke Up in Love This Morning" by the Partridge Family came on.
Tommy looked at me and said: "What in the world is this?"
I tried to explain the Partridge Family phenomenon, and the kitschy quality of the songs on that show, and how it brings back childhood memories for me, but he couldn't believe I wasn't embarrassed to have that song on my iPod. To tell you the truth, I'm a little surprised I wasn't embarrassed either.
In fact, it inspired me to put together a list of other things that used to embarrass me, but no longer do.
Buckle up. This is going to get ugly.
(NOTE: Those of you born after 1985 or so may not get these references)
*I once had a blue velvet tuxedo. Didn’t rent it. Owned it. It still hangs in my mom’s closet. I wore it in my high school graduation picture.
*The theme song for my prom was “Theme from Mahogany” (Do you know where you’re going to). I thought it was a good idea.
*I wore a gold chain for a decade (1972-1982). That’s right. And it had a “Leo” charm at the end of it, too. If a girl had asked me my sign, I wouldn’t have had to say a word. I could have shown her my necklace.
*I loved shiny clothing. Neon Yellow “Chicago Sting” shirt, jacket, and shorts? Yup. Fire-Engine-Red Satin Jacket? Yup.
*The photo of the high school soccer coach picking his butt that mysteriously appeared on the school bulletin board? Guilty, your honor. You have no idea how much film I wasted before I got the perfect shot of the man that cut me from the team.
*Earth shoes? Wore ‘em. Although I felt oddly off-balance when I did, just like I did when I drove my olive green 1971 Duster.
*I loved Starsky and Hutch so much I taped the theme song off the television with my hand-held tape-recorder microphone. And I listened to it. Often.
*I had a giant belt buckle with my name (”Ricky”) on it.
*My father once told me that I wasn’t welcome back in the house until I got my hair cut, and I seriously contemplated living in the wilderness instead. I was foiled by an insufficiently stocked pantry.
*”Disco Demolition Army” t-shirt? Owned one. I also had not one, but two “Death before Disco” shirts. Ironically, they were shiny.
*My friends and I used to giggle as we listened to Ted Nugent records in front of my mother because she had no idea what “Wango Tango” was about.
*My college girlfriend asked me how often I washed my towels. I said: “What do you mean wash them? I’m totally clean every time I use them.”
There. I'm sure I have many other embarrassing things I'm forgetting, but that's a pretty good start.
I should note that not only did I convince a few women to date me during this time, I even eventually managed to find one to marry me. As far as I know, she was not drugged at the time.
That should prove that there is hope for everyone.
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