The conversation starts with hair. And people obsessed with their hair.
“Why is that?” I ask and tell her, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back with dead straight tresses. She understands. We both have a curly mop with a mind of its own, especially in the summer heat and humidity. We are chatting on the phone, her with her coffee and me at the other end with mine, gabbing about everything like we do in Coffee Shop.
“I always wanted Ann Blyth’s hair,” she says. “She was beautiful, a porcelain doll in Mildred Pierce.”
“In my early teens I went through a Lesley Gore stage, styled mine like hers.”
She’s never heard of Lesley Gore or her hairstyles. Or, “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.”-Lesley Gore. Album: I’ll Cry If I Want To (1963)
Flashback to movie stars from the past: Grace Kelly, elegant with perfect hair. Lana Turner, hair spray queen, always played a tormented woman, like Susan Haywood. Rita Hayworth, the most gorgeous hair in Hollywood. Doris Day, a lovely voice, girl next-door type. “I loved Doris Day’s hair when she had the duck tail,” I say. “I had mine cut like that in my early twenties.”
Flashback to old television shows: Father Knows Best. The Donna Reed Show. Patty Duke Show. The Dick Van Dyke Show. Leave it to Beaver. We have our favourite mothers from those shows. “I didn’t like Donna Reed or Mary Tyler Moore as mothers,” I say. “Jane Wyatt of Father Knows Best was better.”
“Mary Tyler Moore had the most natural hairstyle of all of them,” she says.
Flashback to the seventies: Gilda Radner, fabulous curly, wild hair. “I wore my hair like Farrah Fawcett’s twisting it with the curling iron to make it curl the way hers did at the sides,” she says.
“I was all over the place with mine,” I say. “Short, shoulder length, to the neck, hennaed, streaked, frosted. At one time I had the Jaclyn Smith look.”
She laughs. “We were obsessed.”
“Why is that?” I ask.