Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Big hugs to you today...

By Blogger Amie, at 11:28 AM  

P.S. MY bicycle was named "Sapphire" and was also really a horse!

By Blogger Amie, at 11:31 AM  

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Monday, February 21, 2005  

Sandra Dee has died. She was 63, a year older than BD. Who would have thought? Liver damage.

Now, for the BoomerBabe I am, smack at the peak of the bell curve, she was about as close to an icon as any media produced image could be. I have always been sensitive to pop culture, though slightly repulsed by it, be it the Consumeristic California Girl or the frizzled Woodstock Woman. Fairy tales appealed to me, not because handsome princes (rich, of course) swept away all life's problems, but because the girls wore pretty dresses and spun on spinning wheels, played lutes, and knew about herbal magic. I’m far more witch woman than Stepford, um, daughter. When my generation swung from Gidget to Janice Joplin, I was appalled by the drug scene, rather despised the music, but was grateful that the uniform was so easy to procure. Knowing how to be undetectable is a wonderful thing, being able to afford it is even better.

But long before I threw away my bra (for those brief years before LD) I was enchanted by Sandra Dee. I wasn’t really a tom boy, but I was not either a squealing sissy girl. Though I knew that, to win at Red Rover you ran between two girls, I resented any games that required hitting balls with sticks, or having my shins bruised. Still, I loved most of the rolls brought to life by Sandra Dee; Gidget, Tammy, Molly. I suspect she shaped my hopes, and guaranteed my disappointments more than any other media image. I really yearned to be able to wear stylish clothes with her panache. I ached to have script writers put the perfect words in my mouth. And I sparked with the hardly latent sexuality of the raging hormones set. I believe that sexuality was the thing I really zeroed in on, all wrapped up in teenage love. La, as I type this, the theme from Summer Place is dancing through my head. What 14-19 year old hasn’t burned with the fire of summer love? Do you remember yours?

Still, I knew I wasn’t the stuff of California Girlz, and I didn’t have either rich parents or the type of freedom depicted in her movies. My life was very strictly regulated and I knew TheFearOfDad. Besides, I had such a fun mother, I was hardly likely to be all that rebellious. It was more fun to laugh with Mama than to fight. And I remember us laughing till we wept when we watched my favorite of all Sandra Dee movies, If A Man Answers.

It was just the two of us. In my memory, there are so many times it was just the two of us, watching something really uproariously funny ; Tiny Tim, on the Laugh-in Show, Zero Mostell in The Producers, and Sandra Dee (with Bobby Darin and Caesar Romero) in the silliest story about keeping your husband interested in you by making him think you had a lover. That was the first time I realized that an older guy could be, well, sexy. Mama pointed out how dashing Mr. Romero was and suddenly I didn’t think “eeew gross, who would want to kiss him?” Mind now, as a little girl I had had crushes on older guys - but the fantasy then was to be their sister or daughter, not their girlfriend. And even acknowledging the attractions of Mr. Romero, I understood that my generation was still at that “be guided by your elders” stage. But I remember suddenly thinking that one day I would be “like them” - and by that I ment, in charge, not either rich, manipulative, or materialistic, or any of the other attributes displayed in the media. Just in charge. Boss of my own world. One of the old guys - the grown ups.

Well, I suppose Sandra Dee and her not-quite-yet Valley Girl roles shaped a whole generation. She can’t have been any worse as a role mold than Bart Simpson or Reese Witherspoon. And she is gone now. It’s hard to remember, sometimes, how many calendar sheets have been torn away since those days. I can tell, sometimes, when I look in the mirror. I can tell, when I realize I can no longer wear Wool of the Andes tams. I can tell when I hear that Sandra Dee has died at 63 of liver damage.

posted by Bess | 7:32 AM