Thursday, June 28, 2007

When the Day Smells Like Bonnie Bell Giant Lip Smacker on a Rope

There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap. - Cynthia Helmel

I was sitting in traffic when a song I haven't heard since I was a kid just floated over to me. Olivia Newton John's Magic - do you remember that one? Good times. I scanned the cars around me until I found its source. It was a beat-up ancient orange Corvette, driven by a putzy middle-aged guy complete with moustache, and he was just chilling, tapping his hands on his steering wheel to the beat of a song I used to listen to more than twenty years ago.

When I shared this with my cousin, we were swept by nostalgia. She started singing songs from the Xanadu track, and I could distinctly smell scented erasers and grape Bubble Yum as she serenaded me with Whenever You're Away From Me.

This led to a discussion on our shared childhood obsession with stickers, and then suddenly my cousin interrupted and demanded, "Where can we find those tins? You know, those tins with the lids that slide across and have lipgloss in them?"

I remember those tins! I told her of this amazing store I used to frequent as a pre-preteen. It was called "Things Things Things" and it had not only the lipgloss, but EVERYTHING Sanrio. And, I kid you not, an entire wall that housed ceramic unicorns. I'll give you a moment to collect yourself. They were the Cadillac of ceramic unicorns, too. Not the cheap, shiny glass kind. They were made of some sort of matte ceramic, and the flowers (because there were always flowers) were formed so perfectly it just made your heart ache. You could buy a standing unicorn, the kneeling unicorn pointing his horn into the ceramic bed of pink flowers and glass or perhaps you wanted a bit of the whimsy and liked the unicorn in mid-leap. There wasn't a unicorn pose they didn't have.

One Christmas, I saved enough money to buy a kneeling unicorn for my friend, Tara. I was jumping out of my skin to give it to her, and called her house over Christmas break.

"Tara! I have a present for you! Come over!"

"I don't know. Is it bigger than a breadbox?"

I was speechless. Bigger than a breadbox? What good thing could possibly be larger than bread, other than a stuffed unicorn, of course.

It was a wonderful trip down memory lane, and nice to know that I've always been a woman who understands that the best gifts come in small packages.


slouching mom said...

Oh, did I love those Bonnie Bells.

BOSSY said...

Olivia Newton John. Brings back memories of Bossy and her friends - fresh from a screening of Grease! - running around her parent's living room unwittingly yelling in the direction of Bossy's father, "How's It Hangin', Stud?"

Joanie said...

Your cousin would like to say:

A place where nobody dared to go, the love that we came to know
They call it Xanadu

And now, open your eyes and see, what we have made is real
We are in Xanadu

A million lights are dancing and there you are, a shooting star
An everlasting world and you're here with me, eternally

Xanadu, Xanadu, (now we are here) in Xanadu
Xanadu, Xanadu, (now we are here) in Xanadu

Xanadu, your neon lights will shine for you, Xanadu

The love, the echoes of long ago, you needed the world to know
They are in Xanadu

The dream that came through a million years
That lived on through all the tears, it came to Xanadu

A million lights are dancing and there you are, a shooting star
An everlasting world and you're here with me, eternally

Now that I'm here, now that you're near in Xanadu
Now that I'm here, now that you're near in Xanadu, Xanadu

Annie said...

You know I'm going to be humming that song all day now! Thankyou!!! :) I might have to go pinch one of my daughter's (unused) LipSmackers to really complete the picture. If I'm never seen again... it's because I'm lost in the jungle that is her pre-teen bedroom!!!

Lawyer Mama said...

Now I'm singing Xanadu.

Great post!

And I was wondering why I suddenly had 24 new posts from you in my Bloglines. LOL!

Nancy said...

Bonnie Bell ... I miss the eye concealer "White White" !
I was never an Olivia fan ... but I did like Grease ... once she became the naughty Sandy, lol

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Interesting that I just wrote a 'retro' post as well----must be a feeling that is going around.

I remember those GIANT tubes of lip gloss---they were like an inch in diameter. Also, those huge combs that you wore in your back pocket. . .

BTW, I also thought you had gone on a writing binge and was feeling like SUCH a slacker (why can't I have 20 new posts in 3 days???) lol

MP said...

I loved the Dr Pepper lip gloss..and those tins were AWESOME. I had some red hot one that I LOVED!

I'm going to see Grease tonight at an outdoor theater, it won't be the same w/out Olivia....I loved everything she did...

You got me thinking about what I never left home without..well 2 things. My comb and spritzing myself w/ Loves Baby Soft..that was the BEST!

MP said...

...GO to this website!!!!
Here are the lip glosses!

Andi said...

I love the quote at the beginning of this post.

Thanks for visiting my site. I'll be back to visit yours, too. :)

Andi said...

That was bizarre - the last comment I left didn't link to my blog. It's me - andi from Poot and Cubby.

Jen M. said...

MP you so TOTALLY rock - thank you!!

AKG said...

hahahahaha! this is my first time commenting and I SUPERLOVE OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN! I have downloaded her Xanadu songs onto a CD for my car, and my husband thinks Im crazy! Good to know I am not the only one who knows all the words! I, too- had the big glasses and big hair! AKG said...

I'm checking out your earrings in foto next to this post. Those are the most gorgeous diamond hoops I've ever seen. Note to self: must have..

I remember Bonnie Bell too... ha ha.

Jen M. said...

Sorry, Rony. The earrings are borrowed from my daughter, and she shops exclusively at Claire's :) They're just shimmery silver disks. Maybe ten dollars? said...

ha ha. Don't tell anyone they're not "real", they're gorgeous girl!!