Monday, February 27, 2012

On the Red Carpet, Oscar Night

(No known copyright)



    Norma stood before her mother's full length mirror, assessing her outfit. Mother took great umbrage at her young daughter rifling through her closet, and disheveling her evening gowns. The formal dresses were much to big on Norma, and as she traipsed around the upstairs in mother's finest and high heels, she was in the process of ruining the hem.

    Strands of pearls and matching earrings and gobs of rouge and make-up made Norma look older in a ridiculous sort of way. But in her mind, she was a movie star; a Hollywood starlet, glamorous and slinky in a nine year old kind of way.

    "Dahling" she would say, "I'm ready for my close-up"

    And she'd smile. She was Bette Davis, and Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergmann rolled into one. Saavy and demure, sure of herself and her future. Sure of her talent. And very sure Mother will have a conniption when she finds the gown she had set out for the Academy Award ceremony in disarray. So much for the "Red Carpet" look, Norma was in dutch, and she knew it.

    "Norma Jean Desmond!" mother vented. "What were you thinking? Now my gown is ruined. I have nothing to wear to the theater!"

    "I wanted to act like you. I am a movie star too! Norma said tearfully confident.

    "Damn it Norma, how many time must I tell you, you're too little to be a star! The business is too large for you; you'll be eaten alive" Mother scolded.

    Norma Desmond thought about Mother's admonition for a moment. "I am big. It's the pictures that got small!"

    1. I love this, Walt! What a terrific interpretation of the prompt!

  2. Dress-Up

    Johnny Dumont was my best friend.

    Debbie Kurtin said that was really dumb – and also icky – because Johnny was a boy and I was a girl and girls didn't have boys as their best friends. So there.

    Yeah? Well too bad, I told Debbie, because I did. And also, because you’re just jealous, I said. So there.

    But anyway...

    ...Johnny Dumont really was my best friend. And back then I had this wonderful box of dress-up clothes that my mom and dad gave me. It was full of some of their old things which they called ‘formals’ which they didn’t want anymore, but which I thought were just grand.

    Johnny liked to come over to my house, and on top of our regular clothes we’d put on all the fancy stuff (because they were too big for us) and then we’d do a dance that Johnny called the Charleston, but which I later found out wasn’t really the Charleston but some other dance whose name I forget now.

    One time when we were playing with my dress-up box, I wanted to switch places with Johnny and be the boy for a while because I thought it might be fun to do something different. After thinking on it for a couple of minutes, Johnny agreed. He put on the gown and fake-mink stole and gloves and I put on the tails and top hat.

    When we were all ready, I placed the needle on the record and we started doing our Charleston dance. We were having tons of fun, when all of a sudden, just when I was about to swing Johnny around, my mom and Johnny’s mom walked into the playroom. It was probably because they heard us giggling so much.

    But they didn’t giggle with us. Instead, they both made strange noises and both of their faces looked kind of like fishes who were trying way too hard to take in big gulps of air.

    “What are you doing?!” Johnny’s mom shrieked.

    I would have been scared of how mad she sounded but she was wearing this ugly pink-purple lipstick which went out above and below her lips - and looked sort of funny. So instead of being scared, I started to laugh. This made Johnny’s mom REALLY mad.

    But before she could shriek again, my mom suggested in a real soft voice that maybe we both should take off the fancy clothes and put them back into the box. That was the thing that worked for me, because then I got scared.

    Without another word, as soon as Johnny took off the gown and gloves, his mom grabbed his arm and practically dragged him out of our house.

    What did we do that was wrong? I asked my mom after they were gone. She shook her head and said I’d understand when I was older.

    After that, Johnny never came to my house to play again. Debbie said it was just as well because boys were stupid – and Johnny was especially stupid. Then Debbie asked me if she could play with my dress-up box.

    I picked up the box and shoved it at Debbie – and told her to take it and go home.