Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Story from the Ancient Past... 1983

Days have been very Hot around the Philly area of late.  High 90s with high humidity.  Typical Philly summer weather.

Messages on the Support group I attend died off only to blossom again this weekend.  Seems that one of our number was feeling isolated from loved ones.  Than it turns out she wasn't alone.  Then a third.  It led to a long exchange of emails, and it was a good thing.

In other Sophie news, I have a new corset!  A while ago, My old one threw a spine after 3 1/2 years of hard usage.  (I bought it custom made at Delicious Corsets, and they did a Great job!  I recommend them!)  Let's face it- it had a hard job making MY figure look feminine!  It's still usable, but I felt it was time to invest in a new one.

As it turns out, an old friend of mine makes corsets.  Not just makes, but is a LEADING maker of corsets.  All handmade.  She specializes in tight lacing, but also does "normal" corsets as well.  Her business is Contour Corsets.  They aren't cheap, but WELL worth it.  She made a summer corset for me, and I couldn't be happier!  Maybe I'll get brave and post pics of it.  Maybe.

So this weekend, I'm hosting another party.  This time it's in honor of a couple of friends who are back from Turkey for a week.  They teach there now.  In any case, it will be another costume party.  This time the theme is "Dress like your favorite Holiday."  So if you want to come dressed as a Christmas elf, that's cool.  Come dressed like a tree for Arbor Day (not by coincidence, this is also the theme for Costume night at the upcoming "Beauty at the Beach" this November.  I suggested it!)

I'll tell you next time how I'm dressed (I haven't decided yet.)  It WON'T be as a woman, unfortunately.  To my co-workers, I've "retired" from "drag."  That is until I come out for good.  Assuming I'm still there.

"Retired" costume at last party

In any case, the Heat Wave will continue through the weekend, so it'll be steamy.

This will be my bazillionth party.  But the Hot weather reminds me of my first. 

July 1983.  I was sixteen, and between my junior and senior years in high school.  Back then I was a skinny kid, a "late bloomer," and far from popular.  Now I'm no longer skinny.  I worked at Burger King, and had been there for over a year.  That summer, many of the "popular" guys came to work at BK as well.  In our small town, it was the best job a teen could get, really. 

My coworkers and I became friendly.  Turns out most of the "popular guys" were actually pretty nice.  They included in me in after-work activities, like jumping the fence at the local swim club for late night dips in the pool.

My parents often went away in the summer to the house they were fixing up at the beach.  Usually I'd stay home alone as I had to work.  (Oh and that's when I dressed up as well, as I mentioned previously)  One time, I decided to throw a party with my co-workers.  I don't remember if it was my idea or theirs.

Problems included the fact that I couldn't get beer as I was only 16.  Then there was the neighbors.  I forget how I got the beer (Lowenbrau and Moosehead)- it may even have been one of the managers.  But the neighbors were easier.  I asked everyone to park in a church parking lot down the street.  And we actually kept things a bit quiet. 

Soon enough it was party time.  And the popular people were there!  The guys invited a few of the popular girls and they came as well.  We put WMMR on the radio, drank and hung out.  the night was hot and sticky, but we had an air conditioner, so it was ok. 

And exactly that went right.  There were maybe twenty people there, including two of the managers- including the head manager.  Looking back, I wonder why twenty-somethings would come to the party, but then I was flattered.  Hell, I was amazed anyone showed up!

So, two of my classmates showed up, grabbed a six pack and left to "go driving." They went out drinking while driving.  I'll call these two J and T.

So, the music played, people drank- almost all of us high school kids. 

I remember only one of the conversations.  We were discussing how music seemed to have turned upside down with all the new acts packing concerts (like Men at Work) and supposed has-beens like David Bowie suddenly being the hottest ticket in town (this was  right when he released Let's Dance and was on his "Serious Moonlight" tour.  He filmed the video for "Modern Love" at the Spectrum in Philly.)

Everyone was having a great time and getting drunk.  It didn't take much for any of us back then- we were high school kids after all- yet to be seasoned by life and/or college.

Ready for the Party!  (Halloween 2011)

That's when J & T returned.  They could hardly walk, and were empty handed.

"We through the empties out the window at parked cars.  It was cool!"

Everyone laughed except me.  I was afraid that the bottles would be traced back to me.  And I was worried that they were driving drunk.

That's when the head manager sat on an antique mahogany table one that had a central shaft down to the four legged stand (like a lamp.)  And then two girls sat in his lap.  And the table crashed down to the floor, shattered.

Laughter, again from everyone but me.  I was horrified!

That's when the manager swung into action.  He slurred badly as he sent one of my fellow employees to the 7-11 for Krazy Glue.  Twenty minutes later, he was doing his best to glue the table back together... and it was working!

By this point, the popular girls had left.  A couple of the popular guys as well- the ones who didn't work with me.  The party was pretty much BK people, J, and T now.

Around midnight, the inevitable happened: we ran out of beer. 

Bottles everywhere.  Pizza boxes. 

Most people left.  A couple stayed to clean up.  J & T stayed over as they were WAY too drunk to drive.

I woke up late the next morning, and they were gone as well.  I finished the last of the cleanup and opened windows to air out the house.

And a day later, my parents came home. 

I thought I'd gotten away with it. 

What I didn't know was that J & T had saved ALL the bottle caps... and hidden them around the living room and kitchen. 

And my mom found them.  And kept finding them.  Then a week later, the table fell apart.  that's when she questioned me about the party the neighbors said I had.

Umm uhhh...

I was grounded for two weeks.  Not that I cared.  I worked all the time in the summer. 

That was Twenty Nine years ago. 

So this weekend is a party.  A party in the sweltering summer heat.  I won't have to worry about bottle caps or underage drinkers.

But Grounded?  Maybe.  My wife hates it when I am out all night.

I hope all of my readers in the US have a great July 4th Holiday.  And everyone else has a great week!


  1. Sophie
    I hope you had a great Independence Day. It is a favorite holiday of mine.

    This east coast heat wave is rough.
    I would love to come dressed as Betsy Ross. As an alternative the traditional men's attire from the Patriot era with the heeled buckled, shoes, white hose, wigs, flouncy shirts, etc. could be a passable alternative.
    I am still not sure how our ancestors handled the heat in those clothes.


  2. I actually asked this question of a Revolutionary War re-enactor a couple years back.

    His reply was threefold: 1) that most Colonial clothes were cotton and wool, so they breathed better 2) They were simply used to it 3) the world was cooler then. Average summer temps in the low 80s (in our area) while now it's high 80s low 90s.