I just (well a few hours ago.) saw the movie “beaches” again and it was really sad at the end. It’s about this friendship that these two girls have and one of them dies at the end (that’s why it’s so sad). It got me thinking about friendship and how I would feel if one of my good (or even best!) friends died. I would be so depressed and miserable, I don’t know what I would do.
Well let’s move on to a happier subject. Like my date with Mitch (which is tomorrow by the way.) I hope it goes all right.
Also my birthday is coming up and my party is going to have a horror theme. We are going to see a horror movie then tell ghost stories, have some food then play with my Ouija board.
In case it’s still not clear, it’s sad because of the death in the movie. Of the friend. At the end.
Ah, Beaches. For those not up on their chick flicks, Bette Midler plays a bold and brassy gal (I know, so very unlike her other characters) who forges a lifelong friendship with a sensible and cautious gal (Barbara Hershey). What could they possibly have in common, you ask? Well, not a whole lot, but you know what they say about opposites (“they,” in the late 80′s, being Paula Abdul and a cartoon cat). There’s fighting, singing, crying, dying, and more crying. All to the tune of a soundtrack sung by the Diving Miss M herself, who made us take stock and ask who the wind beneath our wings might be. Despite its somber conclusion, the film has moments of levity, plus plenty of shoulder pads, big hair, and a musical sequence about the invention of the bra (you owe it to yourself to hear “Otto Titsling” at least once in your life if you never have).
To me, Beaches is a scary movie because it shows the fragility of friendship and of life itself. However, others out there might consider it to be a horror movie because of its abundance of female emotion and sentimentality. Either way, it was not part of my impending birthday’s theme.
As I previously mentioned, my parents let me immerse myself in all kinds of media related to paranormal phenomena, but they didn’t let me watch scary movies. Nothing with Freddy or Jason or Michael Myers or anything of that ilk. Initially they forbade horror movies until I was 13, but decided to loosen up and end the moratorium a year early. Clearly, I decided to really run with the theme.
What better way to celebrate the anniversary of your birth than seeing a bunch of people die onscreen, tell stories about dead people, and then try to actually talk to dead people using a toy/instrument of the occult? Sounds like my idea of a good time!
Mitchell asked me out! I’m going to the movies with him on Saturday. I’m so happy. I know that I still like J.D. but I don’t think it will work out with him. Gotta go!
So much for J.D. and all of Anna’s “work.”
This is the same Mitch who, back in September I said, “got a new hairstyle and looks cool” and weeks later decided was full-on cute. Behold the power of a good hair. The right cut can make any preteen drop her schemes of making a far away older boy fall in love with her and decide to keep her heart local.
While personality and smarts were important, I’ll be honest: When I was young I was all about the pretty boys with “cool hair.” I particularly like spiked hair, heavily moussed/gelled hair, or bleached/dyed hair. (Exhibit A: Corey Haim) A few snips and a boy could go from being invisible to the top of my crush list or go from being my main heartthrob to mayor of WhatWasIThinkingVille. Superficial? You bet. But the heart wants what it wants and mine wanted a cute face with a hip coif.
While I would learn to look beyond the surface as the years went on, as a kid I had better things to do that wonder whether Mitchell had a good heart or if he was funny or kind. I was too busy planning an outfit for our date and figuring out what I was going to do with my hair (spoiler alert: it involved lots of Aqua Net, mousse, and teasing my permed tresses into something birds could have lived in).
I got my perm after all and I have a few letters that I want to write to fill you in on what has been happening to me lately…
Remember the sleepover we had when we went to Alana’s party at the roller skating rink the next day? Well I just wanted to tell you that I think your friend Peter is a bad influence on you because whenever he’s around and even when he’s not around you act like a very imature person. All of the sudden you start cursing in Russian and acting like a fool.
Also I am grateful that you did so many nice things for me like helping me with my campain for president (really my flyers). But every time I don’t want to do something for you, you act as if you gave me a million dollars and I had to be your slave forever to pay you back. I don’t like it atall.
Although you helped me materialy I helped you too but non-materialy like listening to your problems and giving you advice.
I hope you change fast because the way you are acting if you don’t change soon, you will lose me as a friend.
Make the choice.
Either you change your attitude or you have one less friend.
… … …
Dear 11-year-old Damiella,
At least this time it wasn’t bad poetry.
Tolya was entering his teenage years, so cursing, acting like a fool, and having an attitude is not out of the ordinary. You should see the attitude you’ll be sporting in a couple of years.
P.S. That perm was a really bad idea.
I was supposed to get a perm today but I’m not! Because some of the Beauty Salonists said I was to young and it was to dangerous and my dad didn’t want me to so I’m not getting it.
He was even willing to pay me but I don’t need his stupid money!
Now my mom is going to the salon (for a trim) and then we will stop by Kings Highway for me to get some tapes. (my Idea.)
Maybe that will cheer me up. I DOUBT IT.
It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: the 1980′s were all about big hair. Being burdened with pin straight hair as a young girl, I did everything I could to get extra volume: crimping, curling, abusing mousse and hairspray, you name it.
My mother got regular perms and I was quite envious of the way her hair puffed out at the sides. When I look at photos from back then, I can now laugh at the pyramid-like shape the chin-length curls gave her head. But at the time I was desperate for a permanent solution to my flat hair dilemma (sorry, bad puns are one of my guilty pleasures).
Obtaining permission from Mom and Dad to get a perm took hours of pleading and coercing. When they finally said yes and I made it to the salon it was utterly heartbreaking to be told that the strong chemicals in the curling agents might hurt my young head of hair. I was furious and beyond disappointed. Stupid beauty salonists!
Over the course of the last ten years, my hair has mysteriously developed a natural wave. This is something that would have thrilled me as a little girl, but instead of embracing my hair’s new texture, these days I prefer to wear it straight and frequently use a flat iron to get it that way. Maybe it’s human nature to fight against what you were born with. Or maybe it’s just me.
Second day of school, I got the Blob (Mrs. Feinstein). She’s o.k.
Nisa’s a BITCH!
She’s a f@#in’ $%HOLE. I saw her the first day of school and ignored her. Now she’s getting the hint and ignoring me. GOOD! I’m glad we are in separate classes. Rose is also in another class but it’s not that bad.
Since Elaine and me are in the same class we have to start the cool group.
I think Penny should be in it. Also Chen-chi. I’m not sure about Yanmei. (she should kinda clean up her act.)
Mitchell got a new hair-style and looks cool. Gotta go. —Bye—
I haven’t the foggiest idea what inspired such vitriol towards Nisa, the girl I considered my elementary school best friend. Maybe it had something to do with her mother. The important thing is that I had enough strength and courage remaining to start “the cool group.”
If you have to ask what the qualifies one for being in the cool group, you probably aren’t cool enough to be in it. Also, I don’t remember the criteria Elaine and I set. Having big hair and awesome clothes probably had something to do with it. Being smart was cool, but being a nerd was not. There were probably other guidelines, which evidently Yanmei was falling short of (poor Yanmei).
In case you’re wondering, no, I can’t recall what the fringe benefits of being in “the cool group” were. Probably just a sense of clueless superiority over the other sixth graders.
Francis asked me out!
One of his friends is coming but I don’t mind.
We are going to the movies and they will pick me up.
I’m going tomorrow. I can’t wait.
[Addendum, no date] The date was great
I was so thrilled to be asked out on a date by a boy I liked that I didn’t question the fact that he brought a friend along.
For some reason my parents did not find it dubious either, and let me see a Saturday matinee of Batman with these two.
I wore what I thought was a terribly cool outfit: a neon green t-shirt and matching short pants with a pattern of abstract tribesmen across the hem and pant cuffs. Crimped hair and big plastic earrings were undoubtedly involved. Possibly some bangle bracelets, too.
I don’t remember anything about Francis’ friend or what the three of us talked about on the walk to the theater. At the movies, I was so nervous, I said yes to everything the boys asked. Did I want a soda? Popcorn? A hotdog? Yes, yes, and yes (it was the first and only time I ate a hotdog at the movies).
I was blown away by Tim Burton’s vision of Batman, and went to see it a second time with my parents. Later on I got a Batman t-shirt and listened to the soundtrack by Prince ad nauseam. A local video store had a Batman pinball machine and I spent many hours hunched over it that summer, playing badly.
As for the rest of the date, after the movie, the boys walked me home and I never saw either of them again. I always wondered if it was because I said yes to that hotdog.
Yesterday I went shopping and got these cool bangles and earings, plus Sun In. It turns your hair lighter with the sun.
The only thing I didn’t love was how young I was at the time, and therefore how limited I was in my hair experimentation. It took ages just to convince Mom to let me use hairspray, though once I got the green light I used enough Aqua Net to make my bangs virtually bulletproof. Crimping was also okay, but I had yet to convince her to allow me to get a perm. (My hair was pin-straight as a kid and I was desperate for it to be curly. Today, my hair has a natural wave to it and and I blow dry and flatiron it straight. Why are human beings so contrary???)
Bleaching or dying my hair was out of the question, but luckily Sun-In was allowed. Plain old lemon juice was never effective at lightening my hair in the summertime, but this stuff did the trick. Whenever we’d go to the beach, Mom would allow me to spray a moderate amount of this seemingly-magical concoction into my hair, and after a day of roasting outside, my naturally dirty blonde hair would have more golden highlights.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that every time Mom was distracted I’d sneak in a few extra sprays. I figured the blonder the better. I don’t know how it worked, but Sun-In did harness the sun’s power to lighten hair, at the cost of giving it a straw-like consistency, especially when sprayed in great quantities (what was the point of using only a little bit and getting a subtle effect?). Between the Sun-In, the crimping iron, and the hairspray, it was a wonder that I didn’t have a mane like Tina Turner or the Cowardly Lion, and that I didn’t fry all the hair on my preteen head.
In retrospect, I think Mom was pretty cool to allow me to torture my hair within the boundaries she had set. While I was still eager for more extreme chemical transformation to my tresses, for the time being I was happier being a little bit blonder.
A few days ago I saw the movie Beaches with Rose and it was the best. My favorite movies are: Flowers in the Attic, Beaches, Big and License to Drive.
[Written in the margin:] I ♥ COREY Haim
How I wish I made a list of favorite movies like this every year while growing up. And books, at the top of which would have also been Flowers in the Attic (even though it was adapted into a sub-par movie, I still enjoyed it).
Reading V.C. Andrews novels was a rite of passage for young girls in the 1980′s (and maybe beyond?). The first time I came across these books I was nine and overheard a couple of girls talking about the plot of one of the sequels to Flowers in the Attic– either Petals on the Wind or If There be Thorns (gotta love the melodramatic garden-themed titles). When I expressed curiosity about the story, they said I was too young for those books. Which of course led me to seek out all of Andrews’ novels during my next library visit.
The books of V.C. Andrews have a haunting charm but also a creepiness in their themes. There’s usually a rags-to-riches story chock full of dark family secrets (rape, torture, murder, you name it). Then there is often some incest thrown in for good measure. Sometimes it’s unintentional, like cousins falling in love who don’t realize they’re related until one of the aforementioned family secrets is exposed. Sometimes it’s a flat out we’re-related-but-I-have-the-hots-for-you-anyway thing.
All the sex, murder, and mayhem chronicled in these books was probably not appropriate for young girls, and yet I can’t think of anyone who read the novels beyond their early teens. Flowers in the Attic is something of a coming-of-age guilty pleasure classic. The plot revolves around four siblings who are hidden away in their wealthy grandmother’s enormous attic for several years. There’s something fascinating and oddly romantic about their imprisonment, the way they cope with being locked up, and (spoiler alert) the way they ultimately escape. I always wanted to play around in an attic full of trunks containing old clothes and other antique accouterments (though not as much as I wanted to be a Goonie and hunt for buried treasure).
As for Corey Haim, what can I say… the eleven-year-old heart wants what it wants. After being thoroughly charmed by the him in The Lost Boys and License to Drive I developed a massive crush on the young actor. While his wise-cracking best friend Corey Feldman was arguably funnier, I found his habit of dressing like Michael Jackson bizarre and did not find him cute at all. My heart belonged to one Corey only and his name was Haim. This childhood obsession devotion led me to wallpaper a wall of my room with dozens of pictures of the teen heart-throb with carefully-torn pages from Tiger Beat, Bop, and other magazines dedicated to the worship of pretty young pop culture icons.
One of the things I loved best about Corey was his penchant for changing hair colors (a habit I would pick up within the next few years). In one photo he might have gelled back brown hair; in another he’d be edgier with black spiky hair; in yet another picture the hair would be red and artfully coiffed. The colors changed but the presence of copious amounts of hair product was a common thread. As we know, in the 198o’s cool hair equaled BIG hair, and Haim’s tresses defied gravity with the best of them. Oh, and his acting wasn’t bad either.
It wouldn’t be long before rumors of Corey Haim’s drug use started floating around. I wrote him a fan letter telling him that I was concerned about these rumors, and that my love would help him through any dark days, but he either did not read my letter or chose to ignore it. In later years, his addiction would lead to him selling his hair and teeth on eBay which I frankly still can’t bear to think about.
Instead, let’s focus on early 1989, when my wall of Corey was still glossy and my innocence was being only mildly tarnished by reading books I shouldn’t have been reading. It was a simpler time, a happier time.
My birthday passed and it was great. I got a phone, crimper, and my mom is making a dress for me.
Marcela walked out on me on my birthday party just because she didn’t like the color of the game. I swear, I will never forgive that f@#$ed up bitch, nomater what she does.
I still really like Damian and think he’s absolutely georgeos, so does Rose.
I got sick and did not go to school for 4 days.
This is all the things Marcela is:
3) fair-weatherd friend
MORE TO COME
I don’t know what game we played, but presumably Marcela did not get the color token she wanted. I remember feeling like she was trying to control the party and bring the spotlight on herself. Eventually, I told her to either play along or leave, and the rest is badly-spelled history. It was a battle of the 11-year-old divas, and neither of us won.
A few notes on those birthday presents. I didn’t get an ordinary old phone, I got a red heart-shaped phone (if I’m not mistaken, Staci Keanan’s character on My Two Dads had a similar one). And the crimper, oh, the crimper! No longer did I have to put damp hair into tiny braids before bed whenever I craved that lionesque 80′s hair! How many delightful days of fried zigzaggy hair did that miraculous hair tool give me! How many beauty supply stores have I checked since then in the hopes that I would find that the crimper has made its long overdue comeback? (The answer is many. Alas, no dice.)
As for Damian, the only thing I remember about him is that he wore black jeans a lot and resembled a pre-teen version of David Copperfield. While I never found the famous magician particularly “georgeos” (though I thought I’d faint from awe when he walked right through the Great Wall of China and made the Statue of Liberty disappear), a younger version who happened to be in my fourth grade class was easier to go weak in the knees for. At least for a week or two. Then the new year would come and undoubtedly bring new crushes with it.
So far my day is not the greatest. First of all, my mother probably won’t let me get bangs. I really really want to get them.
And I am not Marcela’s friend any more because she is such a fair-weathered friend and very much a bitch! I hate her, she always expects me to call her and Marcela started acting really stuck up because she skipped a grade.
She is definitely not coming to my party. I am beginning to hate Marcela even more than I hate Yanmei.
But when I went home for lunch my mom cut my bangs and they look great!
So much for Marcela being a lifesaver, those 50 names she helped obtain for my election petition now long forgotten. I didn’t think it was possible to hate anyone more than Yanmei at the time, but Marcela proved me wrong. In restrospect, I wonder how much of my ill will was caused by her being snobbish and wanting to distance herself from her former classmates and how much of it was my jealousy. I was offered the chance to skip fifth grade as well, but didn’t want to leave my friends and face a greater academic challenge, so I stayed where I was. It’s quite possible I felt some resentment toward Marcela for having the guts to do something I did not. It’s also possible that she was “very much a bitch.”
At least I was able to take comfort in the fact that I was able to finally convince my mother to allow me to get bangs. I don’t know why she resisted as long as it did. It might have had something to do with wanting to protect me from bad hair choices or from ruining the ozone layer with the copious amounts of hairspray I’d end up using in the late 1980′s. Whatever the reason, I managed to wear her down.
I was eager to get the bangs so that I could tease them up real big into a shrub-like curve on top of my head and tame them with tons (and tons, and tons) of Aqua Net. The look was even more, um… effective when the rest of my hair was crimped.
It’s nice to see that despite all the hostility toward Marcela, I was able to set aside my hatred long enough to rejoice over my new hair. All’s well that ends in embarrassing elementary school photos and the greenhouse effect.
I still have my eye on Charles, in other words I still have a crush on him and I still think he is very cute. He’s a great dresser and he has a nice personaloty, yesterday he even talked to me! I definitely hope he asks me out, it would be like a dream come true.
While I was well aware that my journal was an inanimate object, I addressed it like a person, which I understand. What I don’t understand is why I addressed it like a stupid person and felt a need to spell out my crush on Charles, despite not being able to spell words like “personality.”
Though let’s face it, this Charles fellow sounds like quite the catch, no? Not only is he attractive and pleasant, but according to my report he also has a wardrobe that passes muster with my discerning tastes. And I considered myself quite the fashion authority back then, being in possession of such stylish items as tiger-print Spandex leggings, pre-shredded acid-washed denim shorts, and enough tops with shoulder pads to outfit several football teams. And did I mention the neon?
I don’t remember a single outfit Charles wore, but I do remember he had poufy hair. As did many (most?) of us back then. With all his positive traits, I knew something must be done to catch the attention of this Charles character, something that would involve more than crimping my hair and using extra hairspray. I was on the verge of hatching just the right plan…