When I was a kid, my parents used to pile us four girls into our 1989 Mazda MPV minivan (i.e. the original minivan sold in the U.S. – no sliding doors and definitely no anti-lock brakes, as I learned the hard way when I eventually started driving and “made friends” with a neighbor’s mailbox) and drove up from Virginia Beach to visit family in New York. At some point, my parents bought a 13 inch TV with an adapter that plugged into the cigarette lighter so that we could watch movies on the drive up. Nowadays that technology may seem antiquated, but back then, it was fancy shmancy.
My parents would wedge the TV between the driver and passenger seats and prop it in place with various pieces of luggage. Probably not the safest, but hey, we’ve all made it to adulthood (don’t even get me started on see-saws now being illegal). I’m told that, as soon as the TV started making the journey with us, the trip went from taking 8 ½ hours to 6 hours. We were no longer bored and so stopped asking to go to the bathroom constantly.
My older sister and I maintained a predictable list of movies for the trip, many of which we (or our parents) taped from HBO. One of those movies was a classic called Earth Girls Are Easy. (You’ve never heard of it? That’s weird. It’s definitely a classic; I’m sure of it. I mean with a title like that…) Actors included Geena Davis, Jim Carrey, Jeff Goldblum, and Damon Wayans, among others. The short summary is that three furry aliens crash land in a woman’s pool, and the woman makes friends with them.
During one trip up to New York, we were watching this, and my mom suddenly tuned in to what was being said in the movie. Out of nowhere, her Stretch Armstrong Mom Arm reached back, ejected the tape from the built-in VCR, and proceeded to pull all of the tape from the beleaguered VHS as she yelled something along the lines of “What is this terrible crap you’re watching? This is completely inappropriate!” It was one of those slow motion, “my life flashed before my eyes” types of moments. A moment that will live in infamy.
One of the sincerest tragedies of my childhood. OK, not really, but I did love that movie. And in fact one scene from it in particular has always stayed with me. I’m pretty sure it was during a musical number (didn’t you know it was a musical?) that the aliens are given a makeover by the Geena Davis character’s hair stylist friend. And the friend has a program where the characters can see what they’ll look like with a different hairstyle. I always wanted that!
Now you might be thinking that I’m obsessing over cutting all my hair off (see previous post), but it’s kind of fun to think about what I’ll look like. And 20 years later, I’ve finally had the presence of mind to do the obvious: enlist the services of The Google. Of course! The Google knows everything. And guess what I found? Only the most entertaining “what will I look like” website I’ve ever seen! (Incidentally the only one I’ve ever seen too.) I’m not sure; I may be way late to the party here, but this is super fun. Go to http://www.ivillage.com/virtual-makeover. Or perhaps as a second option check out http://www.thehairstyler.com/hairstyles on recommendation from Lillie at http://wildwestquest.com/ (thanks for the idea, Lillie!). You just have to upload a headshot, click a few buttons to verify the boundaries of your face, and start mixing and matching hair styles and color. No fuss, no muss.
Don’t say I never taught you anything.