So why was I wearing parachute pants and playing basketball?
Like many kids in the 80s, I needed parachute pants. Supposedly they were very cool. Why? Beats the hell out of me. Seriously, they were ill-fitting and covered with zippers. Why did an 11 year-old need so many pockets? I always imagined putting an individual stick of gum in each one so as not to be weighted down by those cumbersome and unruly packets they normally come in.
But I knew they were cool because I was the only dude at Crosby Middle School not wearing them. And that’s a serious offense.
In the 1980s, Crosby Middle School was the fashion center of the country. These kids chose life years before George Michael did. Our mascot was a pair of Ray-Ban wearing leg warmers. Duran Duran’s “Rio” video was actually a student made film about our sixth grade field day.
So everyone at Crosby wore parachute pants, and, full disclosure, most of them sort of looked like idiots. Once again – they are really stupid looking pants. But as a transplanted Fern Creekian, I needed to establish my street cred.
After much ass kissing, I convinced my mom to buy me a pair. We had to drive all the way to the Galleria to get them because Jefferson Mall couldn’t keep them in stock and Bashford Manor just sold sweatpants with zippers drawn on them in silver Sharpie.
I found a glorious pair of black ones at Merry-Go-Round for the low price of $50, which if my understanding of economics is as solid as I believe it is, translates to something like $7 million dollars today.
For the record, those are the most expensive pants ever purchased by or for me. As someone who has already admitted to a total lack of fashion awareness, I don’t really know if that last statement is as outrageous as I think it is.
Once we got home, I greased my way into my new status symbols and headed over to my friend Branton’s house, where I’d be spending the night.
Branton was a good dude who loved INXS but was still grounded enough to once buy me a Dokken tape for my birthday. I loved sleeping over at Branton’s because A) his parents had the board game Passout, which we would play late at night pretending we were drunk, B) he had this older sister who was the most mysterious woman in all of J-Town and who I was totally infatuated with, and C) they had a pet rabbit named April Bunny, which to this day is the cutest f**king thing I’ve ever seen or heard.