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(Play Things--Bobby Darrin (Lyrics) while reading)

Diane Dean--OHS '65


Evening in Paris, Tangerine Lipstick and Sandra Dee

by Diane Dean White


There were three of us who became friends in fourth grade, continuing our friendship through adult years. Junior high was a time when much was changing around the world and also in our own exciting lives. Too young to date, we had plenty to talk about when we’d finally arrive at that special and romantic time.

The telephone lines were bustling after homework was done. We didn't have three-way calling, but we had our own conference line all figured out. At 8 PM sharp we each called the Time Lady. Now, she wasn't real; it was just a recording of “At the tone the time will be...” We had our conference line talking over the Time Lady and if anyone else came on the line to get the time, they never said anything. Or maybe they just listened in, thinking our conversation was more interesting.

We discussed our classes, what we would each wear the next day, and anything else we felt needed discussing before first hour when we'd meet at our lockers. The Time Lady was easy to talk over. We continued with this neat idea until one day the operator called my mother. I was grounded and no longer able to make conference calls with my friends. When I did call for the time, I discovered the Time Lady had been turned up. Oops.
Saturdays were ours to enjoy. After my room was cleaned, I joined my friends, and we made tracks for the local drug store. Now this may seem boring in comparison to the malls of today, but this store had the greatest selection of Hollywood movie magazines imaginable. We kept up with our teen idols and what they were wearing and any new movies they were in. We had been with Sandra Dee since her “Gidget” days, and felt we were right there on the beach with her and Moondoggie, surfing the waves with the whole gang. Never mind that we lived in Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with no ocean in sight. We were official members of the “Gidget,” and thus Sandra Dee, fan club.

We oohed and aahed at Sandra and her tiny waist and beautiful blonde hair. Straight out of a bottle, to be sure! Naturally we were all hurt to the core when she eloped with Bobby Darrin who was much older, and there would be no wedding pictures in the teen movie magazines.

After that we changed gears. Annette was a former Mouseketeer and started to make beach party movies. She had her own T-Bird and perfume collection to boot. Yes, Annette was a striking dark-haired beauty; she would go far. We joined her fan club. 

The Five and Dime store was our next stop. It always contained abundant supplies of the latest in new perfumes and make-up. Evening in Paris was all the rage in a tiny little cobalt blue bottle; it was what every movie star wore. We'd dab a bit on our wrists and wave it through the air to catch the breath-taking fragrance. Tangerine was the most beautiful shade of lipstick, and we each bought a tube, vowing to keep it in our lockers at school just in case we needed to freshen up our “natural” look during the day.

After a hot fudge sundae we’d ride our bikes home and head for my bedroom, where we’d spin the 45's, listening to our favorite songs while talking, giggling, and squealing. Sometimes we’d wash our hair, and depending on the styles there were rollers for each size. If they didn't work, empty soup or orange juice cans with both ends out were great. We'd stick a clip on to hold the can until our hair dried, and pray nobody saw us!

We looked through fashion magazines and decided we loved the angora sweaters in the peach color. And wouldn't it be cool, if you were going steady to wear the matching color yarn around your boyfriend’s high school ring? We'd screech and the laughter could go on forever.  

Little did we know then, those years and the days ahead would be some of the happiest times of our early teen years.  After all, how much trouble can you get into with perfume, Tangerine lipstick, and Sandra Dee or Annette? Now, the time-lady was something else! ©Diane Dean White 2000

Taken from the ebook, Stories from a Porch Swing, on Amazon.com

Please post your comments to Diane's Profile page at OkemosAlumni.Org