Veronica Lord, Guardian.
When Veronica was almost 20, she was given an exciting opportunity. Her favourite pop group, The Eurythmics, were in town and she scored some tickets that were eight rows from the stage. On the floor, among the true fangirls and boys, in an era when a ‘mosh pit’ was simply a sweat box.
The year was 1987.
After much encouragement, Veronica’s mother O’Meh Lord allowed her youngest daughter to attend the concert too. Laura Lord was so excited. She had the perfect hairstyle for the day (self-cut, mohawk-buffed, with long, swanky sides) and a fabulous over-shirt that could be belted at the waist above her jeans. Massive earrings, chunky costume jewelry and the white court shoe for dancing.
She was set. Veronica took considerably less time to get ready, choosing a lurid blue silk shirt (over-sized, belted, of course) to wear with her groovy white pants. They were going to see The Annie Lennox.
In the tradition of Mothers & Daughters, O’Meh spent considerable time schooling Veronica about the fact that Laura Lord was only sixteen, hadn’t been out much in large groups and would be the youngest attendee in a concert-going mass from Veronica’s part-time job at Pizza R Us. In other words, ‘you are her older sister and you need to look after her.’
Now I’ve mentioned before that O’Meh Lord is a smart woman. However, there are several aspects of Laura Lord’s social life that she didn’t know at that stage – and probably doesn’t know now! It’s not to say young Laura Lord was sneaky! No. Merely creative. While Veronica Lord was too busy playing netball, touch football, spinning records and enjoying her own social life to worry much about her younger sister and her habits.
Being the responsible near-20 year old that Veronica was, she listened to O’Meh. She nodded, eyes glazing over slightly when curfew, alcohol and transport were discussed – Veronica assured O’Meh she had it all down pat. Taxi to Pizza R Us, share a lift into the venue, see the concert, get a lift back to the restaurant, find a cab.
Released of parental guidance and homely surroundings, Laura Lord went mad. As temporary guardian, Veronica found she had little control over a younger sister who was more worldly than her – so Veronica being Veronica went along for the ride.
As soon as The Eurythmics hit the stage, Laura Lord was one of the first out of her seat, rushing forward in front of a crowd of thousands! Ok, it may have been hundreds, but she was VERY assertive. Veronica followed her, fearing that she would be taking a Sister Pancake home to O’Meh and Lordy that night. Showing signs that she wanted to mount the stage with Annie, Dave and the band, Laura was cautioned by beefy security, so Veronica went in to protective mode.
Fearing a reprisal of Altamont, Veronica buffered her body between Laura’s, the stage, the surge of the crowd and the bodyguards. She was almost like Kevin Costner, although not so receding of hair! Veronica and Laura stood and danced like that the entire concert – sweating – but Laura nearly pulled Annie Lennox off stage when she bent down to take a flower from someone in our group.
Veronica was wishing she had left her guardian duties at home.
After the concert, Veronica spoke to her work colleagues, suggesting she couldn’t ‘party on’ due to having her younger sister along. In 1987, there were no mobile phones to call home, night clubs/bars had a strict (ish) over 18 policy and Veronica was still a little afraid of the Wrath of O’Meh. Apparently, she is in 2009, fictionally speaking.
Laura Lord stamped her feet. Sort of. She demanded to be invited along to the closest nightclub – the salubriously named ‘Drongo’* – and Veronica, fearing a tantrum of hair-gel proportions, had no choice but to acquiesce.
This was turning out to be a harder gig than Veronica Lord had anticipated. No wonder O’Meh and Lordy had such passionate interactions with Laura on a regular basis. She was a handful.
The group boogied for hours on the dance floor of Drongo. Arms were flung in the air, heels clunked against the parquetry floors, perspiration sizzled from streaks of diamentes and eventually wrecked the BOOF of all hair styles.
It was a huge night, but by the end of it Veronica knew there would be a shite/fan interface – 80s style. O’Meh would be furious about the time and the ‘state of her girls’ – sweaty, disheveled, a tiny bit intoxicated *hiccup*, but home in one piece and happy . . .
until they met their mother at the door.
In Veronica’s defense, she didn’t let Laura pash a boy (or a girl) against the wall in Drongo. Nor did she let her younger sister drive, strip, inject, have a fist fight or tattoo her face. She was perfectly safe! Even if, as older women, Veronica and Laura discovered that Drongo had been an ‘underworld’ venue during the 80s, and was the site of a fatal stabbing sometime in 1987!
Veronica Lord, Guardian! An oxymoron? Or just a moron?
* The real name of the night club has not been used to protect the miscreants.