General Mish Mash

Teenage Parties Gone Wild

I was a teenager through the late 1970’s and into the early 1980’s.  For my 15th birthday my parents allowed me to have a birthday party – with BOYS invited!   I was so excited!

I decided it was to be a fancy dress party, a ‘P’ party.  I went as Pinky Tuscadero.  Pinky Tuscadero was a character from the tv show ‘Happy Days’.  She was a former girlfriend of Fonzie and a travelling demolition derby driver.  I thought she was super cool and sexy and for the party I dressed much the same as she is in these pictures!

I invited some girlfriends from school, some girlfriends I had outside of school, some boys who lived locally who were friends, and some boys from the brother school to my catholic high school.  One of my girlfriends had a brother who went to our school’s brother school and he was going to bring a couple of his friends.  They were a grade above us – oh older men – how cool is that!  I bought one of those pads of invitations that you write on and rip off the individual invitations, seal in an envelope and send off in the mail.  You know – envelopes, stamps – all that jazz!  Snail mail it is referred to as these days.  My invitations were sent and the RSVPs came in and all was looking good.

We had a rumpus room downstairs and I madly went about decorating it for the occasion.  I put red cellophane over the fluoro lights to create the right *atmosphere*.  In those days of course there were no mobile phones or internet and no DVDs, CD’s or IPods etc.  I set up the record player with my LP’s and singles all piled up ready.  I recall one of my favourite songs of the time that I played over and over.  It was the Split Enz song, “I got You”.  Other favourites of the time were Plastic Bertrand with “Ca Plane Pour Moi”, Blondie’s “One Way or Another”, Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America” and “The Logical Song”….oh and so many more!

Anyhoo, I got a little carried away with the music.  Isn’t it amazing how listening to a certain song can transport you back to a certain time, place, event – even to a certain boy who you may have had a crush on at the time that song was big.  So … my party was all set up.  Mum and dad and siblings were safely ensconced upstairs out of sight and mind.  Mum had arranged pizzas and plenty of snack food and soft drinks.  I sat waiting in my beautifully decorated room, playing the music to get myself into the party mood, convinced that no-one would come!!  Of course, they did come and it was great.  It was the party I’d always dreamed of.  I would be so much more cool and popular at school now that I was having a cool party with BOYS at it.  Actually, it was funny how much more popular than usual at school I became when the girls learnt that I was having a party!!

There was a certain boy at my party that caught my eye and my heart was all a flutter.  He was one of the boys my friend’s brother invited.  The attraction went both ways – as I said – DREAM.PARTY!!  Oh the romance of it all – be still my fluttering heart!  It was like the movies – eyes locking across a crowded room.  He did actually become my boyfriend and we were *going steady* on and off over many years.  I often wonder what became of him, but like to think he is happily married with children and life turned out well for him.  He was such a spunk!  I mean…Tall.Dark.Handsome *teenage sigh*.   Do they even say spunk anymore??  I know they do on Kath and Kim – well they say hunk of spunk but that’s ok because in my day it was either hunk or spunk so joining them together is just fine with me!

I digress again!  So the party was going well.  Great music, romance in the air, lots of dancing and dark corner pashing.  Then one of my KID sisters came running in ruining the atmosphere and I was about to tell her to high tail it out of my party when I could see she was all aflush with obvious drama and it put the fear of god into me as I could tell from her face that I was in trouble from mum and dad but I didn’t yet know why.  The words came bursting out of her – there were ‘GATECRASHERS’ <insert dramatic and scary music here> and mum and dad are SO mad!  Oh my god!   Now I don’t know what they call them these days but in those days gatecrashers were people trying to get into a party that they weren’t invited to.  So I ran upstairs to find my appalled and outraged parents standing at the front door talking to policemen.  Oh my god – the police were called.  Outside on the street were about half a dozen teenage boys, unknown to me, on their pushbikes (LOL).  They were very cheeky and rebellious and I had never seen them before in my life.  They brown-eyed my parents!!  I saw it – it happened!  What is a brown-eye?  Um…it’s where they turn their back to you, bend over and pull their dacks down.  You can work the rest out. Is this term still used today?

So the police confiscated the pushbikes and herded the boys into their cars and off they went.  Now how did these boys find out about my party?  WORD OF MOUTH – there was no internet, there were no mobile phones.  At the time, this was outrageous!  A whole half dozen unknown, rude brown-eye’ing teenage boys attempting to come to my party AND they had alcohol!  My parents were mortified.  Whatever would the neighbours have thought!   I never did have another party … until my engagement party which you will be pleased to know was not gatecrashed 😉

So, I read in the paper last week about a party that a teenager threw in a Brisbane suburb that got out of control.  He created an event on Facebook!  His parents were away.  He says he invited 200 people!!  Righty-O well 200 people does seem alot, but he also created the event on Facebook!  Was it a private and closed group event? … and so with today’s social media and mobile phones the word got out a little.  Take a look here and see how out of control HIS party got.  And this is not the first out of control teenage party of recent years.  Remember Corey Worthington!  I’m sure texting and social media contributed to his party getting out of control too…and um his attitude wouldn’t have helped!

Makes my half a dozen rude gatecrashers, their bicycles and brown-eyes seem a little tame now doesn’t it?  My parents were actually very lucky I was teenager in that era and not this one!

This being my inaugural Talk to me Tuesday post – here’s some possible discussion point starters:  Do you have any teenage party stories to tell?  Do you think teenage parties should be organised via Facebook events?  Do you think they would be better controlled if sticking to old fashioned invitations via snail mail?  Would the mobile phone and internet still intervene to create gatecrasher havoc?  Here in Queensland Australia, the Queensland Police have a Party Safe Program.  Do you think it is widely known about…are enough parents aware of it?  Do you know anyone that has used it?  Is it worthwhile going to the bother?

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