Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Leap From Little Girl

I remember the exact moment it happened.

I must have been in the fifth grade because Martina* and I were only friends for a very short period of time. She had an older sister and was therefore much more worldly than I. We watched horror movies at her house. Scary horror movies with naked people that gave me nightmares. It didn't keep me from watching, and I sure as hell didn't tell my parents.

We played Pitfall on her Atari, and while I loved my Intellivision** I didn't have Pitfall. We ate frozen pizzas that we cooked ourselves and stayed up as late as we wanted. She showed me her father's stash of marijuana under his bed. We were thankfully too naive enough to know exactly what to do with it, but she knew enough to grab a lighter, and she took me in the desert hills behind her subdivision to experiment. I wasn't interested, but I sat next to her while she tried to figure it out.

We were ten.

Spending the night at Martina's house was always an adventure. One night, we ended up taking a shower together. There was nothing weird about it. Nothing sexual. Just two girls chatting away and needing to take a shower. My friend handed me her shampoo. The smell was amazing. Like everything about her, it just seemed so grown up. So glamorous. I stared at the label, the need to sear it into my memory overwhelming. Alberto V05.

She warned me not to get in it my eyes, and I was careful to follow her instructions. If the shampoo was great, the conditioner was an absolute luxury. I could not believe how slick and smooth my hair felt under the water. I kept asking if I had rinsed all of it out. I didn't know my hair could feel like this.

I can't imagine what my mother thought when I came home and insisted on having her buy the exact same product. Maybe she was proud? Perhaps tearful that Johnson and Johnson was for babies. Maybe she thought nothing of it. She was probably thanking her stars that it was only 99¢ a bottle and not some crazy Vidal Sassoon product.

All I know is every now and then I have to buy a bottle. Original formula Alberto V05. It tears the fuck out of my hair, but I don't care one whit. Popping the top and squeezing that orange goop into my hand brings me back every time. Nothing in the world smells like it.

*Name changed to protect the not-so-innocent
**Intellivision Lives On! I'm serious people. Check it out!


Joe said...

I don't want to sound like a fanboi, but Atari kicks Intellivision's butt all up and down the street. We had the Atari 2600, and you wanna know what my favorite game was? The game was called "Math". It was simple...

2+2 would appear on the screen. I'd press the joystick up 4 times, and press the single red button. My parents were amazed at how good I was at the game (before kindergarten) and equally confused as to why I liked it more than games like Joust, or Kaboom, or Circus Atari, or Fast Eddie. I liked those games too, don't get me wrong, but Math was the bees knees, baby!

The Van Goat Ranch said...

I know exactly what you mean. I have so many memories that get nudged by a song, a smell, or driving down the street that I got pulled over on and talked the cop out of giving me a dui. You just can't buy memories like those!
BTW, thanks for coming to visit. It's nice to be missed.

Gypsy said...

I remember that friend, the one who knew it all.

A Free Man said...

Atari rules, Intellivision drools. Pitfall was one of my favorites. Joust as well. I know nothing about Alberto V05. But I do know that any post about experimenting with marijuana and lesbianism is pretty damn good!

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Oh, I think my favorite oldie shampoo is Herbal Essence - same thing - a savvy friend whose mom was WAY more indulgent with girly needs than mine.

I get the weirdest looks in the drug store when I crack open a bottle and stand there, inhaling my youth.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

@Joe: Atari-schmari. Intellivision kicked ass! I still have mine and it still works!!! Burgertime baby!!

@The Van Goat Ranch: But yes you can! Go buy the shampoo! Go buy the beer, just drink it on your porch this time around! LOL

@Gypsy: It scares the shit out of me that my kids will each have a know-it-all friend.

@A Free Man: And in typical male fashion skips over the "nothing sexual" and inserts "lesbian experimentation". LOL

@BvB: Mmmmm. Herbal Essences! I loved their conditioner. After talking to my mom on the phone, I had to take a moment in the store to open up a bottle of Finesse. I haven't smelled it in years, but as I was telling her about my blog post I remembered how special it felt to shower in her bathroom and use her shampoo. I had to see if it still smelled the same.