Thursday, March 4, 2010

Our Own Private Idaho

This weekend Bob and I went to a wedding of someone who has been very special in my life.  She is almost a second daughter.  I worked with her on my first pilot, and for 4 seasons of a TV show about a "girl and her horse."  When we met on that show this beautiful young lady and I would develop a deep lifelong bond.  Only for her would I have gotten out of bed after being sick (still sick) with bronchitis all week.  I was too sick to shop for my perfect ensemble. For me...that's sick!   So I packed all my meds, inhaler, and some recycled wedding clothes at 10pm the night before we left.  I really had no business getting on a plane.  "I'm going even if it kills me." I had told the doctor the day before.  When Bob and I got married, this young woman had come all the way to Rome.  So what was Sun Valley in February, with bronchitis compared to that?

Bob and I flew to Boise.  We could have flown to Sun Valley, but we were told weather canceled 50% of flights.  It was my first trip to Idaho, except for the movie. :-)  The rental car office had all of one employee in Boise Idaho.  She told us to "take the long way" as it had snowed and she wasn't sure about the roads.  We got into our Chevy Equinox (what kind of name is that for a car?) and headed to the only mall in Boise, Idaho.  We had to buy Bob a tie.  My dear husband didn't own one, which he proudly told to every Dillards employee who would listen.  I had to get pantyhose.  I had a pleasant surprise of running into a full sized, fully dressed skeleton in the makeup department.  

Our 4 hour trip began from Boise to Sun Valley.  It was gray and brown, and dismal.  In the distance we could see white peaks.  I learned they had lots of cattle farms.  Some not up to Temple Grandin's standard of care, or mine.  There was a wind advisory...and we saw many a "wind break" of trees.  It was desolate in parts.  I am always thankful when I drive through rough country that I was born in the time of history where I can drive or fly.  I had visions of wagons stuck in the mud, and long skirts, and cold cold nights.  The last 75 miles was like driving through molasses.  25 miles an hour on a 2 lane road.  I was texting my friend Claudia who was waiting for us there, and staying in the same hotel.   We got to Hailey.  Claudia was a welcome face to see after so many years.  The last time I had seen her was at her wedding in Vegas at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. 

So here we were, together again.  No Elvis this time to walk the bride down the isle.  No "Love Me Tender" sung by an Elvis Impersonator. When Claudia got married we were being picked up by a limo from the Wedding Chapel.  We stood in the busy drive of the Vegas hotel.  Claudia pointed to the white stretch limo....we all hopped into the limo.  Then someone realized it was the WRONG limo (they kinda look alike) and we all had to get out and into a different white limo!!! This one was a bit smaller and we were told by our driver that there were too many of us.  Oh Boy.  As you can tell by the photos above...we worked it out and we got to the chapel.

This Idaho wedding was a complete winter motif.  From the "save the date" postcard of a couple sledding down a snowy mountain, to the letter press invitations, ski lift tickets were our place cards, and table assignments named after Sun Valley ski runs.  Yes, at the lodge there was a moose head over the fireplace.  We were asked to sit in a heated clear enclosure that faced the snowy landscape.  The groomsmen filed in, and the groom followed and turned to see where his bride was.

As Gen came around the corner I was watching Jared's face.  He had tears in his eyes.  When their eyes met they both began to cry.  At that moment it was clear what all the songs are written about.  There wasn't a person in the room who couldn't feel their love for each other.  I cried through the entire ceremony.  I cried on and off all evening.  Because I was so happy for Gen. She didn't "settle", she picked.  There's a big difference.  I am so glad to be included and to witness their marriage.  Jared is an amazing man, and they are so good together. 

The evening flew by.  Below are photos of dancing.  The band even played a Black Eyed Peas song that Bob and I danced to: "I got a feeling."  Bob and Claudia danced.  One of the last songs the band played was Amy Winehouse's "I don't want to go to rehab!" Pretty funny, and we had a blast. Bob made sure he told everyone he'd never wear his polkadot silk tie again. Don't ask me what Bob is doing in the picture dancing with Claudia.  He's having a great time! As you can see in the last photo, it was time for me to go home and to sleep. 

Our time was too short together.  I wanted to talk to everyone more.  I am told they are coming through town this spring.  I can't wait.  Jared had to go back to finish shooting the rest of his TV show. Claudia was working on a commercial on Monday.  Our "own private Idaho" came to a bittersweet close.

Gen, Clauds, Jared, Bob:   LULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                           (love you long time is what we always text to eachother)



Thanks for reading.  I'm still amazed that you do.

Next blog will be about the Groomsman Knives.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Good Hair: Don't say the "N" word.

My Father at 19, with hair.

At about eight years old I heard the word... "Nappy".  Irma said: "you got the nappiest hair for a white girl.  I think some of my people musta mix up with the massa."  From that day on- my quest began.
I was looking for that long and silky straight hair.  Peggy Lipton had the straight blonde shoulder length hair.  The kind that has a wide brush stroke of highlight.  I wanted long, straight and shiny hair.  Run your fingers through it, turn my head and it swirls through the air. I wanted to be the Breck Girl, Lady Clairol, and Lady Godiva.

It started long before I would be sent home from school for wearing corn rows.  Long before cream rinse had been invented.  My mother pasted my short curls to my head.  There are a few baby pictures of my curls.  But for as long as I can remember she was trying to "relax" it.   She gave up and pulled it as tight as she could into a pony tail.

I hated having my hair washed.  Afterword, the painful comb out using a tiny toothed black comb. This certainly is a form of torture that is under used. I'd beg my Mom at breakfast to leave the rubber band in and I'd smooth down the fuzz around my face. One day I took matters into my own hands.  I took the kitchen shears and cut off my pony tail at the rubber band.  Yes, the green or red rubber band that came wrapped around the newspaper every morning.  I was sent to my room "until it grows back."  That seemed like it might be an eternity even if it only lasted for one night.  But I was liberated!!!

When my Mom would do the comb out, I would hear the same litany.  "You got your hair from your Father's side of the family.  You were a bald baby cause it was hard for this kinky coarse hair to poke through your scalp.  Get over your tender scalp.  Some day you will be grown up and have your own hair dresser to manage this."  "Comb your hair!" She'd say when she picked my up from school.  Was she crazy?  The last thing I wanted to do was run a comb through this dry kinked up blonde mess.  She spoke to me as if I had a deformity of some kind.

Mom and Dad back in the Day!

As I got older I tried ironing it with a clothes irons, on the ironing board.  I had Irma bring me a jar of "relaxer"(sodium hydroxide).  Put that stuff on, and burned the living daylights out of my scalp.  I spent most of high school and college with a pony tail on top of my head, and a large empty frozen orange juice can  with my hair wrapped around it.  I left it in until the last second before I met my public. My father would say: "How many stations you get on that thing?"  :-)

1982 a "good hair" day

Occasionally I had my Jimmy Hendrix and Janis Joplin natural woman moments.  But they always felt bad.  I'd catch myself with some strange shaped shredded wheat looking stuff on my head. Recently I let it be curly for a few weeks.  I'd get that glimpse in the mirror and gasp.  It's not my best look.

Turns out Irma was a little bit right.  A genealogy search found me to be about 1.5% black.  And not from my Father's side.  I guess I knew it all a long.  Don't be fooled by the blonde hair and blue eyes.  My black friends called me "the dropper."  That cracks me up.

My Aunt with her French Bob 1920ish

Bob always says: "I never had good hair."  He's talking about himself.  In the days of having hair, it was brown and curly...not much different than my father's look at that age.  Things really haven't changed over the years.  Look at the models in today's magazines, they all have straight long shiny hair.  The same stuff I coveted in my youth, 30's, 40's, and now in my 50's.  I have a flat iron today...that does the trick.  Don't think I haven't thought of getting a weave.  But my budget won't allow me to buy that kind of ticket that needs maintenance and upkeep.  I like water far too much to get a weave.  Living in the dry Southwest has helped greatly.

When my daughter was about 3, my Mother took ownership of her hair: "thank God she has hair like me."  And breathed a sigh of relief.  Below is a silhouette my mom had made of me at 12.  She asked the artist to "smooth out' my hair. 

I saw Chris Rock's "Good Hair" special and it brought it all home again.  I recommend this HBO special to all with nappy hair like mine.

So I wonder: will today be a "good hair" day?  We'll see.

Thanks for reading.  I'm amazed that you do.



PS. Those who read this post know "N" is for "Nappy."