If I could do it again, I probably wouldn’t have chosen for my birthday to coincide with Japan’s hugest national crisis since WWII. But since if anyone could have predicted the earthquake, the information would have been used to save the lives of 10,000 innocent people and keep two nuclear reactors from blowing up rather than to divert my day of birth to a week earlier, I suppose that all we could do here in Okinawa this weekend was celebrate still being alive. So we partied, exactly the way Prince told us to do before running out of time in two thousand zero zero… in tribute of the 1990s!
First to unveil my outfit for the night! As you’ll remember from last week, I had a really hard time choosing which signature 90s look I wanted to capture. In the end, this is what I decided on… and honestly, I was really happy with the way it turned out:
You might recognize the overall look as matching closest to the last outfit I tried on at Manga Souko (same vest, different dress… crushed velvet really isn’t my cup of tea). With Alicia Silverstone as my muse, I really wanted to channel the 90s girly-girl who’s all about pretty frocks but has a bad girl side to her too. I was gonna finish off the ensemble with my Chuck Taylors, but they didn’t look quite right with the paisley black tights, so I threw on some heels at the last minute.
Did I get right??
As a finishing touch, I was DETERMINED to achieve Kelly Kapowski hair: aka, huge, poofy bangs!
To emulate Bayside’s favorite cheerleader, I brushed about half of my bangs (which I usually wear swept to the side) straight down, teased the remaining bangs, and doused it with about half a can of hairspray. Didn’t turn out quite as large as Kelly’s ‘do, but I think it looked ok:
Moving on: song selection! Oh, did I mention that I had my party at a karaoke box? Not to be confused with a karaoke bar, which is all the rage in the West but is so not how Japan rolls with tha karaoke (pronounced kah-ra-o-kay, mmmmkay?). Now, part of the fun of it being your birthday is forcing your guests to sing their favorite hits from the 90s… the trick is, getting them to sing ONLY their favorite hits from the 90s. Be ruthless if you have to! Straight up cancel songs from incorrect eras with the remote–they’ll thank you later. Because what’s a 90s party without a little TLC, Aaliyah, Spice Girls, Nirvana, Radiohead, and Alanis Morissette? Or a lot of them… take your pick.
Here is my perfect 90s karaoke playlist, which I wrote on the back of an envelope throughout the week and brought with me that night, though unfortunately quite a few of the songs weren’t available (understandably, since the English song selection at Japanese karaoke places is decent but never complete):
- All Cried Out – Allure feat. 112
- Stay – Lisa Loeb
- Sittin’ Up In My Room – Brandy
- I Touch Myself – The Divinyls
- Cryin’ – Aerosmith
- Killing Me Softly – The Fugees
- Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-a-lot
- Finally – CeCe Peniston
- What is Love – Haddaway
- Remember Me This Way – Jordan Hill (aka the song from Casper)
- Hold On – Wilson Phillips
- Criminal – Fiona Apple
- Sweat – Inner Circle (they did have this one but someone made me cancel it one minute in! Boo :( )
- Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
- Waterfalls – TLC
- Barbie Girl – Aqua
Last, I’ll leave you with more pictures of the party, which was definitely The Bomb.
90s jams and beer were flowin’, 90s style we were struttin’. It was seriously a blast from the past. Special thanks to カラオケマイム for hosting, The Eager Beaver for the birthday cake, all my crazy teacher friends in attendance for droppin’ it like it’s hot for me at karaoke, and my Mom and Dad for having me in the mid-1980s so I could enjoy the entire decade of the 1990s!