I have written about this experience before. But at that time I didn’t have photographic proof. This week Lisa sent me evidence that we really did this wacky thing.
Lisa is a natural blond and absolutely head-turning. She also knows how to flirt. She would slide her hand over a man’s sleeve and say, in a sexy voice, “This is the best looking shirt. Where did you ever find it? You are handsome no matter what, but especially in this shirt”
Here’s what kills me. The guys had no clue they were being played. They were putty in her well-manicured hands. I would watch this and think, “Not fair. If I were BLONDE, I would know how to flirt like that!” But I never could. I had some notion that any self-respecting man would see right through that nonsense. I kept right on believing that even after guys bought her one drink after another. Meanwhile, I stood on the sidelines, gaping.
So, in the early nineties, when Lisa and I were invited to go to Delaware to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday, I told her, “I’ll be damned if I’m flying with you as a blond and getting ignored the entire weekend!” Lisa, always game for any crazy adventure, agreed to go to Carson Pirie Scott and buy wigs. I insisted she was absolutely NOT allowed to be a blond.
She drove her big fancy black Mercedes (with a CAR PHONE! in the console) to the Woodfield Mall. The wig department was on the second floor. Our budget? $100 bucks each. You could buy a lot of plastic hair for $100 bucks in the early 90’s.
We found the wigs, explained our needs and the wig woman said, “These will be perfect for you.” She continued, “But just don’t stand too close to any hot grills or your hair will melt.”
Travel day arrived. I put on a very short, very tight black skirt and tucked my red locks into my Barbie Bubble Cut blonde wig. Darling! Meanwhile, Lisa had been forbidden from wearing a skirt. She donned a pantsuit and topped it off with a dark brown bob.
We arrived at the airport and while we were awaiting boarding I noticed a gentleman wearing a pilot’s uniform. I approached him and asked, “Are you our pilot?”
But something extraordinary overcame me when I spoke. Suddenly I was talking in a breathy Marilyn Monroe little girl drawl. A crazed blonde demon had taken over my soul!
My pilot looked flustered and responded, “I am a pilot. I’m not flying today, just a passenger. And I’m divorced.”
Me, still channeling Marilyn, “Oh no. That is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard!” At that point, Lisa came over, and in a new-found European accent, exclaimed, “You just ignore my little friend. She is a tiny bit slow!” Ha! My first experience with blonde profiling!
We boarded the plane, found our seats. Lisa was by the window. I had the middle. And some very nice normal middle-class housewife type was next to me on the aisle. We settled in, and suddenly my pilot sent us a Bloody Mary. Being a platinum blonde was working out nicely!
As we were approaching Philadelphia, I turned to my seatmate and, still channeling MM, asked, “Have you ever been to Philadelphia? It’s an amazing city. At first it seems really tiny. But as the airplane gets lower, it grows! By the time we’re on the ground you will see it’s actually quite huge!”
The poor woman looked mystified. Again, European Lisa professed my mental disability. How can blondes stand being treated that way? Clearly THIS blonde was bright.
After exiting the plane we stopped in the ladies to shove our hair back into our wig-hats. We were being picked up by Frank and didn’t want him to recognize us. Meanwhile Frank was looking high and low. This was in the days when you could still meet a plane. He finally stopped the flight crew to ask if they had seen a blonde and a redhead on the flight.
They responded, “No, but two women were wearing cheap wigs, and they were like people in a Woody Allen film.”
Lisa and I were still giggling about our prank that night when we climbed into our twin beds. I no longer have that plastic hair. No idea where it ended up, but if you see a phony Marilyn Monroe wandering around, swilling free Bloody Mary’s, odds are she’s wearing my Barbie Bubble cut hair!