Daily Prompt: New Sensation. Members Only

In the early part of the 1980s, Members Only jackets were very, very popular. All my school-mates had them, and I wanted one too.

Members Only

Members Only Jacket

But my family was very poor and those jackets were not very cheap. We didn’t have much money for necessities like food, much less a fashion statement for the youngest child.

One day, I was walking through Walmart, and I saw one, a grey one, and it was only $30.00. The only problem was that it was a copy; not a branded Members Only. That didn’t matter to me, so I put it on lay-a-way with my last $5.00.

The next two months I did every dirty job around the neighborhood. Every cent I made went to my jacket.

I remember clearly the day I went to pay it off. I was so happy, I was skipping down the aisle to the lay-a-away department. I remember they brought it out and laid it on the counter and I stared, transfixed, as they unwrapped it from the plastic.

It was 90 degrees outside, but I didn’t care, I was going to wear that jacket as much as possible. I remember thinking how cool I was going to be at school the next day, and a smile never left my face.

I walked into the school sporting my new jacket thinking everyone was looking at me. I walked right up to a group of the coolest kids in school (who all had Members Only jackets) and tried to get their attention.

In the group was Trent, the coolest and richest kid in school, and as soon as he saw me, he started laughing.

“That’s not a Members Only jacket! Where did you get it, Walmart?”

Everybody was laughing at me. I didn’t say anything, I just walked away to be alone. I took my new jacket off and put it in my locker. This is one of the first times I remember being hopelessly depressed in my life.

I never wore the jacket again.


This post was a response to the Daily Prompt: New Sensation.

Ah, sweet youth. No matter whether you grew up sporting a fedora, penny loafers, poodle skirts, bell-bottoms, leg-warmers, skinny jeans, Madonna-inspired net shirts and rosaries, goth garb, a spikey mohawk, or even a wave that would put the Bieber to shame, you made a fashion statement, unique to you. Describe your favorite fashions from days of yore or current trends you think are stylin’.




7 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: New Sensation. Members Only

  1. Kids are cruel, and downright evil sometimes. My honest opinion, is you need to quit letting those voices and the voices of others get to you. Do those voices really KNOW you? No, absolutely not. All they care about, are making you feel weak. You aren’t weak, you’re a human being capable of taking on more than anything else on this planet. You sir, are awesome and a miracle. Start telling yourself that. If you do, one day you’ll believe it. 🙂

  2. I remember Trent, too. I never met him, per se, but I know the kind. Why do we let them take up so much space in our memories? Listen, I want you to say something with me. It’s going to make all of us who ever had to deal with an oaf like Trent feel better. Ready? OK…

    FUCK YOU, Trent.

    There, better, right?

  3. I remember the sorts of kids too…hyper obsessed with designer labels on everything and quick to character-assassinate someone by saying “so-and-so’s jeans (or sunglasses or whatever) are imitations, not the real thing!” I was never fashion-savvy enough to tell the difference or care. My mom dressed us in hand-me-downs from neighbors who’s kids outgrew them, so I was teased unmercifully by the snotty kids for having “last year’s styles”. At the same time my mother would chastise me for not being more “popular”, claiming if I was just more “self-confident” these kids would like me regardless of what I wore. Please. We all know the “Trents” of the world only liked EACH OTHER for what they wore and had!!!

    Eventually I decided it was all “rich-kid crap” (my adolescent way to articulate the concept of consumerism) and developed a personal style that seemed to involve a lot of thrift store clothes and black/purple Tintex fabric dye from the drugstore. And my opinion of the kids judging each other over their designer labels became:

    FUCK YOU TRENT!!!! (And all the other people who think like him!)

    • Yeah, I wore all my brothers hand-me-downs and the jacket was the only new thing I ever remember having. I was so proud of it.

      Now, I don’t much care about fashions, I just wear whatever is cool…it’s freaking hot here!

  4. I actually work at Members Only… there has always been a level of pretension among “real” Members Only jackets… probably has something to do our the brand name. Sorry to hear you had this experience – our jackets are decently affordable now if you’d like to check out our current selection 🙂

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