Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Prettier Than Elizabeth Taylor: Part 2

There she was! Taking her victory walk.

Teasing long before Dita: Natalie as Gypsy.

So not Mary Anne.

I wanted to be a pretty little girl. I hoped to grow up to be a siren. It is with amusement and a pinch of shame that I reveal to you that my mom got me to take baths through playing up a rivalry (one-sided, needless to say) that I had with Elizabeth Taylor. I aspired to be the prettiest girl in the world. Mom would tell me that I was, except when I needed washing, then the title of the prettiest went to Elizabeth. So, I'd get myself clean and check with Mom, "Am I prettier than Elizabeth Taylor?" "Prettier than Elizabeth Taylor."

No wonder I'm such a wreck now.

I had a crush on, and wanted to be Ginger on Gilligan's Island played by the lovely Tina Louise. To heck with the wholesome Mary Anne, Ginger was a real glamour girl. She had the heavy lids, heavier makeup and slinky wardrobe that I wished to grow into. I cut her picture out of the TV guide and colored her hair red with my orange marker. I cherished the secret hope that my third grade teacher, Mrs. Y, also a redhead, was Tina Louise in disguise. In retrospect, she probably wasn't.

Career wise, I really thought that I would be a ballerina, but my ambitions also ran to both Miss America and Gypsy Rose Lee as played by Natalie Wood in Gypsy. I dressed up and practiced for both positions in front of my bedroom mirror. Rosebud printed flannel jammies were covered by my grandma's nylon nighties, lots of costume jewelry and an air of triumph, as I paraded down imaginary stages.

Who knew what adulthood really had in store? Can you imagine me telling Nellie that she would be a librarian someday?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved your blog today! I don't think that there is a woman out there who didn't at some point want to be Ginger too! Your stories of you as a little girl as so sweet and make me think of my own girlhood. Great posting!!! Mona


Guinan 1990?-2009

Griffin ?-2010