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The Shoulder Pad Incident

Apr 11, 2013 | Blog, Parenting, Personal | 0 comments

While attending the Celebration of Life for Mr. Musser, my Mom ran into the former, possibly current owners of the original and mainstay gelato store of Los Gatos, Dolce Spazio.  Dolce, as we refered to it, has been in Los Gatos since the 1980’s.  It’s former location, which is where I knew it mostly, was along Main Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 6.15.02 PMStreet near the intersection at College Avenue.  After discussing this at length as to why Dolce moved to N.Santa Cruz Avenue, I think we nailed it down to a relocation due to the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. She told me that she talked to the owners and told them of THE SHOULDER PAD INCIDENT! All we could do was start howling…


We went to Dolce for many special occasions such as after violin recitals that had been held just up the hill at the Convent of the Holy Names, a fun night out with friends’ families, etc.  At that point in time, going out for dessert was a really special treat and Dolce’s gelato was INCREDIBLE.  The cups were small, but you could pick two flavors and use these fancy little spoons and it seemed so new and exciting.  By senior year in high school, my Mom and I decided that we should go to Dolce as many days as we could fit in after school.  It became our special routine for my last year at home..well that AND going to Lunardi’s so I could Ooo and Ahhhh over the cute bagger that I was totally in love with. My Mom COMPLETELY indulged me, no doubt!


But what of the Shoulder Pad?  I know, Shoulder Pads and ice cream really don’t go together, do they?  That’s what I thought too.  It makes no sense at all.  It was shoulder_padsthe Eighties, however, let’s not forget…AND shoulder pads were BIGTIME! I mean RAD! And my Mom LOVED shoulder pads.  For those of you unfamiliar with this bizarre fashion trend.  Shoulder pads were these special pads you could tuck into any shirt to puff your shoulders up, kind of that big football player look, but more feminine.  It had the effect of making your waist look slimmer supposedly.  Shoulder pads were often times sewn into shirts or dresses, but as I mentioned, you could put them into your shirt yourself if you wanted to.  My Mom had lots of extra shoulder pad inserts that she would put into a variety of tops.


I believe we were going to Dolce after a violin recital with another family or two whom had children that performed.  We had all ordered our ice cream and had sat down, when I looked across the beautiful little marble table at my Mom and noticed that her shoulders were lopsided.  “Where’s your shoulder pad?” I asked worried for my own embarrassment. “What do you mean? ” she asked.  “I mean, you clearly only have one shoulder pad in your jacket.  What happened to the other one?” We scan the room around us.  No, no, no,no, no…it can’t be! It’s on the FLOOR! I am feeling the twinges of massive humiliation building, wondering what my Mother is going to do next.  She looks at me and blushes.  She walks calmly over with slow careful steps, as if people brahave shoulder pads drop out of their clothes everyday.  She gets to where the shoulder pad is, which is right where everyone jumbles up in line to order.  Suddenly, a man in line STEPS on it.  Oh man!  Now what is she going to do?  Is she going to ask him to kindly move so she can reclaim her shoulder pad?  I am FREAKING OUT and laughing inside so HARD.  Who loses a shoulder pad?  Thankfully, my Mom was equally as embarassed as me and she stood there next to this man, as if she waits in lines all the time, just for fun.  She would look over at me every now and again and our eyes would lock and we could barely hold back the laughter.  It was soooo absurd.


Finally after an eternity, in eighties speak, “like FOREVER”, the man moved his foot and the lovely fluffy but firm shoulder pad was released from the  hold that his shoe had upon it.  Oh so suave, she bent down and swiftly scooped up the shoulder pad and rescued it back to our table.  I can’t remember if she put it back in her jacket or not.  I can’t remember how it was secured or NOT secured…sometimes there were snaps, other times it was velcro and occassionally it was secured by the grip of a bra strap (Check out the pic to the right Mom…that’s what you really needed.  Whichever the case and whatever happened after, melts into a blur.  I can only recall the Shoulder Pad Incident with great laughter verging on tears.


As with any great fashion trend, apparently even shoulder pads are making a come back.  Watch out!

The only song that came to mind that had shoulder pads invovled was Annie Lennox with the Eurythmics singing Sweet Dreams.  This video will take you back to the bizarre darker side of the eighties where we young women dressed as men for a time.  CRAZY!  What is up with the cow in this video?

I love you Mom.  Thank you for this fantastic memory that we get to share and keep forever.

Margaret, Yin-care®’s Mother Rising

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