Monday 20 June 2022

'Eleven Going on Eighteen' by Jo Derrick

You won’t find another fool like me. We all make mistakes, but I made one that summer of 1973. I danced with Steve Bates at the pony club disco and my best friend fell out with me. I didn’t even kiss him, but Sharon said I’d betrayed her and she was right. The smell of saddle soap and horse shit always reminds me of him. Put me off men with brown eyes ever since.

Steve had the cheek to invite me to the Halloween Disco. I went, of course. I’d be an idiot to refuse. Smoochy dances and snogs outside in the car park with a crafty bottle of cider smuggled in by the bad boys. The Monster Mash was a big hit that year and we loved it. I can’t help dancing to it to this day. I was working in the lab late one night. Who knew back then that I would be actually working in a lab late one night when I met my husband? Life has a funny way of throwing you coincidences and bizarre connections.

The Ballroom Blitz was the hit of my birthday party. It was the most original party ever back then! We played Sweet and Marc Bolan records, then Dad set up a projector and screen in our lounge so that we could watch old Laurel and Hardy films. It sounds weird now, but everyone loved it. Steve brought his records over and insisted on playing The Ying Tong Song about ten times. We girls got our own back by doing our dance routine to You Can Do Magic.

In bed that night I drifted off to sleep with burning eyes from Mum and Dad’s cigarette smoke, listening to Perry Como’s The Good Times. And I knew they wouldn’t split up now.

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