Wednesday, July 8, 2009

No longer content to blog about blogging, I am now posting about posters.

So I realize this happened awhile ago, so I’m coming to this party rather late – but Farrah and MJ dying on the same day was weird, huh? Two huge entertainment icons to be sure, but more importantly, two huge POSTER icons.

Remember posters? Not like reproductions or framed art prints. Posters. Like stupid cheap pictures you plastered on your walls to decorate along with fishnets with those glass balls and Greg Brady beads. Do kids even have posters now? My kids have framed stuff on their walls that I put there, because if I hadn’t put stuff there, there would be nothing there but flicked boogers and thrown shoe marks. Pottery Barn Teen and Restoration Hardware have pretty much ruined it for modern parents who can no longer just ignore children’s living spaces – we’re forced to make every room look like either Martha Stewart or Vern Yip just got done with them.

When I was in junior high and high school, EVERYONE had posters. Loads of ‘em. The more you had, the cooler you were. My friend Sheila had posters overlapping posters overlapping TigerBeat pages of Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevinson and (gag) Scot Baio. I never really understood the Scot Baio thing. He was like a shorter version of Henry Winkler, and seriously? Henry Winkler as a teenage dreamboat? Uh, not working for me.

My friends Dorothy and Tracy had the most anal-y hung posters you would ever see. Whereas I slapped tape across the corners, these guys carefully reinforced the corners with invisible tape, then, after double-checking with a level, measured with a micrometer to exactly insert a pushpin in the precise corner of the tape reinforcement. I skirted the leveling issue by placing all my posters at jaunty angles, as if to say, “Screw authority, man! I hang my posters all crookedy on purpose! Mob rules!”

My best pal Pam had the quintessential poster of the 70s: A kitty hanging helpless by its front legs from a tree branch, her fuzzy little pink belly exposed to the whole world for the whole world’s amusement. What better relaxing sentiment for sleeping quarters? A young animal, inches from death. CUTE! Of course reading the caption “Hang on – Friday’s coming’” only reinforced the outright damned adorability. Decades later, I’d learn that my husband had the exact same poster in his room as a child. Only Pam’s was the nice rolled version, probably from Spencer Gifts, whereas my husband’s was the Scholastic Book Club version, which meant it had fold lines. Okay for kitty posters, not so good for Lynda Carter, which is who my high school boyfriend had on his wall, all decked out in her bitchin’ Wonder Woman costume. He also had Farrah, because every male child born from 1965 to 1983 had Farrah.

My poster inventory, circa 1983, consisted of this gem… preppy Michael, pre-extreme-plastic surgery and wearing Mom-jeans...

Also, a Rocky Horror picture show poster with this image and the caption “Don’t dream it, be it.” I totally had no idea what they meant by that.

I was also the proud owner of a Walter Payton poster made specially for the Post Office to encourage 18 year old boys to register for the draft…I got it at, well, um…the Post Office. Oh hey - is it a federal offense to steal a poster from the Post Office? Because if it is, Pam did it.

Lastly, I had a Prince poster whereon he sprawled across a pile of purple satin sheets, his diminutive bare ass crawling towards the edge as if to say, “Hey! Buy this poster or I’ll stand up!” If I had a daughter who hung it in her room I’d probably accidentally use it as a drop cloth.

So my “artwork” was three black guys (one butt naked) and a transvestite movie. It is so hard to be a rebel in a small town. Without, actually, you know…being rebellious.

I always wanted the poster of the guy sitting in a chair being blown away by his own speakers but never got it. Now THAT is art, man. Seriously, even the lamp was at an angle. So how about you fives of people who read this? What adorned the walls of your teenaged lair? What did you want but never get? Yearning for a "If life hands you lemons..." or an autographed Joni loves Chachi? Still hanging on to a Nagel in your storage unit hopin’ they’ll become popular again? P.S. They won't.


  1. I had that Michael Jackson poster. I also had an entire wall devoted to Depeche Mode. Yeah, I was got AND geeky.

  2. I had the Dukes of Hazard(the guys, daisy and the car). I also had Michael Jackson, Madonna, a slew of English bands (remember the dead milkman?) and a playgirl male centerfold that I hid between my matresses. But none of them made it on my walls. I grew up in a decorated bedroom and wasn't allowed to put holes in the heavily embossed ivory wallpaper that clad my walls. In fact, I can remember only one thing being hung on my walls. An oil painting that my mom purchased of a girl and a horse in a dark wood frame.

  3. Oh gosh, I had a kind of fake tapestry thing with a unicorn or something? That was a whole other level of geeky. Also, let's see, Rick Astley? I should just end this confession here.

  4. I did the whole "anti-establishment" thing and hung all my posters crooked. I had Guns N Roses, Maddonna and when I was in high school I had Nirvana and Deion Sanders. My kids both have posters in their rooms (Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers for my daughter and Tony Romo and Spiderman for my son), but I think it's more because I told them they were cool. Wishful thinking, I suppose :(

  5. LGBG neglected to mention that the very best part of her crib’s walls wasn’t MJ or Tim Currry’s lips. She already had the super cool attic room with sloped walls and secret hiding places in an old farmhouse. Imagine now how one day, I stopped by after basketball practice to find her wallpapering all of her walls with red, yellow, blue and black electrical tape cut into tiny geometrical shapes. Holy s*#t! The only spots not covered with tape had one of the aforementioned posters. I was blown away given that her mom usually wouldn’t let her go anywhere after dark, but she let her totally trash her walls. (Of course now that I’m the mother of teenage daughters, I totally get it – let ‘em make their room cool so they want to spend time there rather than at the party down the street. And I recently read Randy Pausch’s book in which he implored parents to let kids express their creative selves on their bedroom walls.) So LG’s Mom was actually an awesome parent, even though I didn’t know it at the time. But anyway, LGBG had the absolutely coolest room of anyone I know. Can’t imagine getting all that tape off, but that’s a different post I’m sure. Come on LG – show us some pictures.

  6. I never understood why my Mom didn't want me plastering my walls with Shaun Cassidy and ANdy Gibb posters with whatever means of stick I could find. (Read: Masking tape, strapping tape, duct tape....gum!) She actually had my closet doors fitted with cork so that I could push pin my collection of hearthrobs be it New Edition, Prince or the the Snoopy poster I hadn't gotten rid of from earlier days. I further cluttered my lair with my collection of buttons. The ones I swapped on a daily basis with friends and adorned my PePe jean jacket with. One of which was no other than MJ. I should list it on will probably get me enough to send the kids to college? (NOT!)

  7. Menudo, Tiffany, and Debbie Gibson. With a little Too Short thrown in for good measure, til my dad said no way on Too Short. But whatever. As an adult, I am still not over the poster thing, because it was so short lived at my house. So now I have a huge Bob Marley in my living room. Take that padre!

  8. I had Rick Springfield. And that other soap opera guy that tried to be a singer, Jack something or other. Wagner, maybe? Obviously a major influence into my adulthood. And many, many versions of the kitten posters. All from Scholastic book orders with the signature creases. But I remember drooling over the uncreased versions in mall shops. Do they even sell posters in mall shops anymore? Maybe right next door to Pottery Barn?

  9. Silkscreen - Jim Morrison - above the bead! He was so cool and mysterious until I saw the movie with Val Kilmer in the early 90's and it ruined everything - loser!

  10. Okay. Let's see... I had MJ, but the poster of the Thriller album cover. Also Depeche Mode, and Wham! Other than those, my room was basically wallpapered with fold-outs from teen mags of the day (oh god, I just remembered the Ricky Schroeder Teen Mag centerfold!) and cool pictures I ripped out of my mom's Vogue.I really wanted a huge Madonna poster and the guy with the speaker, but my mom wouldn't spring for them.

  11. I remember that lip poster. Wow, talk about old times

    Jessica - tmh



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