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Runnin' with the Devil

This is a picture of me in 1985:

Okay, no. That's actually Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen in 1984. But to be fair, it took a while for styles to reach Mississippi. So this was was effectively me in 1985. When I worked at the mall.

Translation for post-GenX readers:

  • Google the original One Day at a Time, the late70s-early 80s television show in which Valerie set all our hearts aflutter as the younger sister with perfectly feathered hair.

  • Then look up the band Van Halen. Might as well JUMP.

  • Finally, watch Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which is a bit more of a time investment but will help you grasp the "working at the mall" part.

Valerie's face is 100% my makeup in the mid-80s. We wore A LOT of makeup back then. I hold Alexis Colby responsible for that trend. The grunge rock era of the 90s was totally a backlash against the overly made-up 80s. I look at Valerie and I can still smell the L'Oreal lipstick.

(AquaNet and Sea Breeze are too easy; TRUE GenXers will remember the fragrance of that old-school L'Oreal lipstick.)

In the summer of 1986 I worked at the cosmetics counters in D.H. Holmes in a Jackson, Mississippi, mall. My sales manager often used to tell me to put on more makeup. Later that year, I moved to Memphis and got on at the Elizabeth Arden counter at Goldsmith's.

Valerie and Eddie were attending the premiere MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). This first one is famous for Madonna rolling around on the floor in lingerie singing "Like a Virgin." But what I need you to notice is Eddie's rock star garb versus Valerie's more stylish ensemble. Relationship goals in 1985. I did love the bad boy and there's nothing that appealed to me more than being the fashionable classy girl with a bad boy rocker.

See also these 80s couples:

Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova (Lead singer of the Cars and the $6 million face of Estee Lauder)

Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear (Bon Jovi's guitarist and the star of Melrose Place)

Paul Stanley and Lisa Hartman (lead singer of KISS and star of Knots Landing)

Purposely Not Pictured: Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee. There is a clear line of demarcation here. Once you venture into Hair Band territory, the women lose that high-class, stylish air that was the whole point. Rockers have always hooked up with strippers. There's nothing fun about that. That's what made the stylish girl-bad boy couple uniquely 80s.

Anyway. Eddie Van Halen died last week and I thought it was a good time to pull this out of my drafts folder. I listened to my favorite Van Halen album when I heard the news - their self-titled debut, and it still holds up 42 years later.

Valerie's make-up job? Not so much.

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