"If writers possess a common temperament, it's that they tend to be shy egomaniacs; publicity is the spotlight they suffer for the recognition they crave." Gail Caldwell, from her book "Let's Take The Long Way Around"

"To look life in the face, always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. . .always the years. Always the love. Always the hours." From the movie "The Hours", based on the book of the same name by Michael Cunningham

"Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly." Baz Luhrman, "Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)"

"A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls." Walt Whitman

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant or talented?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” Marianne Williamson

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Valley Girl

As I prepared for my entrance into Sequoia Junior High, I was excited to get my long straight hair done in a more fashionable style.  I was a huge fan of "Love Boat" at the time, and I loved Vicki, the Captain's daughter.  I loved her hair, more specifically - a very feathery, big hair look that was starting to become the signature hair of the '80's, and that's what I wanted.  Of course, there was no internet to find a decent picture and even if there would have been a photo, I didn't know about hair magazines (if they existed), and I couldn't be sure that everyone watched "Love Boat" (I don't know why. . .?), so my best attempt at getting a picture was using the Poloroid camera to take a picture of the television screen (in the event that she had a decent close-up).

For some reason, my mom was all hot on perms at the time and we decided that that's what we would do with my hair to attain this "Vicki" look.  Remember, this is 1983 and hair styling was nothing like it is today.  I look back at old TV shows and pictures and think "damn, that girl needs some product in her big hair to catch the fly-aways!).  Mom had found a hairstylist to cut my hair (and Matt and Julie's) - I guess we were all of the age where we needed someone other than Mom to trim our hair.  We went to the salon for the cut and then she came to our condo to do the perm.  During the process, she would disappear into the bathroom several times.  I, naturally, didn't think anything of it, but afterward Mom felt compelled to share with her 13 year old daughter that she thought that the girl was doing drugs (probably snorting coke) during her many bathroom breaks.  What makes a parent think that's necessary information to an adolescent?  I'm not one for being overprotective of children and hiding them from the realities of the world, but it's just another example of how my parents - both of them - shared way too much with their children.  I didn't need to know that my chemical curls were being rinsed out by a cokehead.  Goes to show society's understanding and/or acceptance of recreational drug use (barring heroin, I guess) during the '80's was naive in itself.

Sadly, my hair did not turn out like Vicki's.  And I really didn't know how to style it.  It was not a pretty, spiral perm that came along later in the decade.  It was just really curly, with a life of its own.  Just look back at my 8th grade photo of me in the purple top.  Hideous.  As it turned out, my curly hair was one of the things that Tami proclaimed to love about me.  That, and the fact that I wore make-up (meaning 3 colors of eyeshadow and color coordinating eyeliner).  Her mom wouldn't even let her wear mascara at that age or do anything with her hair.

As a last hurrah before school started, I had my friends from Santa Monica carpool over to spend the night.  We rented a VCR (Beta probably) and movies, one of which was "Valley Girl" with Nicholas Cage.  In that condo, there was missing the feeling of our famous slumber parties, maybe because we had been apart too long, maybe I was apprehensive about the hair thing.  Come to think of it, I had never actually hosted one of our slumber parties because of Direll so maybe that was what made it different.  I got mad at them for being too loud, for fear of waking the rest of the house.  I don't know why.  No one ever came downstairs and told us to be quiet.  My little Nazi had come out.  Everyone had fun, I guess, in the end, but I never saw any of them again.  I was in a whole new world.  The Valley really was different from Santa Monica, which was much more LA-ish, more city-like than the suburb we had moved to.  Gag me with a spoon.  Like, totally.

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