guilty pleasure monday: things can only get better (HoJo)

i need to be an equal opportunity decade offender, but somehow, the 1980s gave me a lot of fodder that makes it into this category. and howard jones, he of the fluffy cockatiel hair (which i ended up with circa 1986) (there are pictures, i’m mortified to state), fits the bill with things can only get better.

this is a great song when you’re on the elliptical, i must tell you — crank the resistance up to 12 and try to dance around. but back in the day, when my hair was well on its way to its biggest and scariest incarnation, i loved this song. why? well, in 1985/6, i felt like things were in a bit of a shambles. i was transferring back home to rutgers (motto: no one wants to call it new jersey university) because i missed the seasons and because i felt like a part of me was losing my mind living in a place where i really, really didn’t belong. (meaning miami. not the people i went to school with. i am still close with several people from UM, some of whom actually live in and around miami to this day.) i don’t regret my time in miami for a second — it was a world i don’t think i would have otherwise experienced, and i learned a lot while there about people, places, and things that wash up on the beach at night that smell funny.

in short, i traded a beach for a blizzard.

i also was knee-deep in a relationship with a person i would call hamlet. he’s really a good person; he just didn’t know what he wanted at the time, rendering me a bit of a wreck. i was hopeful i could figure out whether things would work from a closer distance, though that wasn’t the driving force of returning to NJ. i just missed the place; and the english department at RU was (and still is) top-notch.

so, i packed my teeny canary yellow toyota tercel (with black pleather interior and no A/C in miami — talk about a great car to have in the heat!) and shifted my way up to the auto train with my mom in tow. after my car was completely saturated with dead love bugs on the FL Turnpike, we boarded the auto train (the two youngest people on board, and she was a little older than 40 ;-), and i planned to start over again in the garden spot of new brunswick, nj.

yep. things. can. only. get. better.

only no one told me they’d get worse before they got better. i felt really alienated my first semester, though i thrived academically and was accepted into the honors english program. and hamlet? well, that didn’t work out, and i was a bit of a human disaster for a few months.

but things DID get better after that. a LOT better.

so every time i listen to howard jones, i always remember that things can always get better. you just have to wait some times. and other times, you have to hit a lower bottom before things are on the up-and-up. and other times…

well. you get the picture.


7 Responses to “guilty pleasure monday: things can only get better (HoJo)”

  1. For me, the quintessential 80s song that takes *me* back to my days in Miami is Naked Eyes’ “Always Something There To Remind Me”. Of course, Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” is the track to my first year of law school at UM (a hellhole).

  2. Oh oh oh-oh-oh, oh oh oh-oh-oh, Things can only get better…

    What about what about what about–She Blinded Me With Science? Fooled Me With Technology? Love the Big80s! Cockatiel hair and boys with eyeliner. Flock of Seagulls. Thompson Twins. Yaz, and the rumored transgenderism of Alison Moyet.


  3. i love it. i love it all 🙂

    and yes, “wake me up before you go go” was HUGE in miami in ’84. you couldn’t throw a jar on suntan lotion without hitting someone listening to wham. the only thing that may remind me more of the place was the doofy dance song “A E I O U (and sometimes Y)” by Ebn-Ozn. i used to wonder whether that was a remedial class for the UM football team 😉

  4. Now I’ve been reading your blog too much to know this – I feel like a JEOPARDY contestant – but didn’t you post a while back about how OLD everyone was on the auto train to Disney? And here you reveal that you KNEW that 20+ years ago! Pretty funny….

  5. Thanks for the song virus, man.

    And do you feel scared? I do.

  6. but i won’t stop and falter 😉

  7. Sing it sista!!!

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