Saturday
Jan122008

Mood Ring

It was 1977, and Mrs. G. was eleven-years-old. She was living in the deep south, culturally deprived and pining for the finer things in life. Having recently graduated from the fashion breakthrough known as Grr-Animals, the Healthtex children's clothing line that helped children match giraffe head shirts with giraffe leg bottoms, Mrs. G. longed for a pair of these...

bell bottoms jeans to go with the tube top she was not allowed to wear because her mom said only sluts wore tube tops. Mrs. G. also longed for...

one of these babies, because they were so fresh.

Despite spending many an evening with her Clairol hot rollers and Vidal Sassoon curling iron, she never achieved Farrah Fawcett hair, but Mrs. G...


used Farrah's shampoo and conditioner. In between showers, she placed both bottles prominently on her dresser with the labels facing out. Mrs. G's mother called them false idols and turned the labels facing in every time she came into Mrs. G's room to snoop change the sheets.

After combing out her tangles with her cutting edge wide-toothed-comb, Mrs. G. would spray every inch of her body with...
a half gallon of this. When she got to school, away from her mother's slut detector eagle eyes, she would slick her lips with a fruit punch shellac Kiss Me Stick and pray she might someday walk on the beach...
with them. If she were forced to choose in a game of Truth or Dare, Mrs. G. would have picked Starsky. She was a big fan of the belted cardigan.

But what Mrs. G. wanted more than anything she had ever wanted in her life was...

a mood ring. For those readers who might be younger than Mrs. G. or who were living under one of those pet rocks, mood rings were made with this clear jewel-like stone that changed colors in response to your moods. One of Mrs. G's co-workers (a science teacher) told her these jewel-like stones were actually thermochromic liquid crystals that respond to body temperature and have absolutely no connection to mood. Fine if science is your thing, but Mrs. G. thinks this teacher is a buzzkillington mistaken and prefers to think mood rings are pure d magic.

Mrs. G. saved her pennies and finally bought her own mood ring at this classy store at the mall called Spencers. She focused on John Travolta happy thoughts so her mood ring would stay blue, the color that represented peace, harmony and passion. She wore it for three days untilo ne morning, the stone just fell off the silver band and landed on her shag carpet. In one fell swoop, a dream killed and $3.99 down the drain. Mrs. G. was majorly bummed.

Mrs. G's grandfather heard about her mood ring tragedy and decided he could fix it as he was a tightwad handy that way. Mrs. G's grandfather was frugal. He lived through the Depression and never let anyone forget it as he wrung out paper towels and hung them up to dry for later use. She will never forget the time he called her at college and told her he had bought her a new winter coat. When it arrived in the mail, Mrs. G. opened the package to find he had bought her a Sears neon orange hunting parka. His note said he hoped she liked it because it would be warm and help her friends easily spot her on the large campus. Oh yeah, because nothing says be my friend like a Sears neon orange hunting parka. Consequently, this was the year Mrs. G. ate most of her winter meals alone, and all  the deer in Eugene, Oregon ran for their lives when they saw her coming.

Back to the story. Mrs. G's grandfather decided that the trick to restoring the mood ring to its former glory was to get out his solder gun, set it to hot-as-hell and melt the metal on the back of the stone and the top of the band and hold them back together until the metals cooled. To his credit, Mrs. G's mood ring never fell apart again. Unfortunately the heat of the soldering gun damaged the inner magic of the mood stone and it always looked...
like this. Black. Angry, tense, depressed, nearing suicide black. There were some dark days for Mrs. G, but then disco hit, and it was all about the Bee Gees.

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Reader Comments (27)

Thanks for the memories, Mrs. G.

I think your daughter will pass her test. I just have a feeling...

Kim

P.S. -- I used to have the Dorothy Hamill haircut.

October 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPearl C. Pritchard

I didn't own a mood ring, I was too busy doing dishes and changing diapers. I definately knew what mood I was in without anything to tell me.

If I had owned a mood ring I'm sure mine would have turned black when disco hit tho.

Darla

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersee you there!

As usual, a delightful read that (if I wasn't so toned) could cause pants wetting. (Who am I kidding? I'm not toned. I just squeeze my legs together really tight and call it toned.) The false-cett idols are a nice touch.

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMary Ann

You are hilarious! I thoroughly enjoyed this walk down memory lane, and I am now tempted to go buy some Love's Baby Soft. They still sell it! XD

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDeanne

OMG you are freakin' hysterical! And is that my Johnny I spy peering out from the window of your lovely manor? Oh that cheatin' dog!

And...if I had to choose I'd'a gone with Starsky, too :-)

Too bad, really, cause that means we can't be friends, as we seem to have the same taste in men. Tell me, what do you think of Alan Rickman?

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

I wanted all of those things too, Mrs. G. I used Loves Baby Soft and longed for Farrah hair. I killed my scalp with prongy hot rollers. I think my youngest sister had a pet rock. I never did. My parents made me wear knee socks until I started high school. I was allowed to wear panty hose only one day a week in the eighth grade. I felt like an idiot. Ditto for make-up. Also? For shaving my legs and underarms which my parents thought to be more of a privilege (or a rite of passage) than an actual need due to hairy underarms. Wire-framed glasses were for "hippies" and never mind that every president prior to LBJ wore them. I was a fashion disaster because my parents were so behind the times. Oh...the suffering!

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterwordgirl

OH yeah! I'm there with you! My depression era mom gave me vinegar for hair conditioner. Ugh. I didn't look like Farrah or smell like her either! I still miss Andy Gibb :(

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterShabbyInTheCity

I never got a mood ring. I am sure I would have been much better at predicting my behavior if only my parents had given me the grant for such reliable research. Linnaea, my daughter, has one now, she is always either ecstatic or peacefully blissful. I like her mood ring.

I didn't have Love's Baby Soft, though. I was a Wind Song girl, always on your mind.

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSchuyler

Mrs G. you abso-friggin-lutely ROCK!! Thank you for making me laugh hysterically at what you were really thinking!! Glad to know the neon orange hunting jacket, your grandpa got you, didn't get you down (insert "bless his heart" comment here). :)

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMary Grandy

So funny. I remember that Love's Baby Soft was a much coveted item among my friends. It was also a sure thing for a birthday gift. That and a couple of tubes of Bonnie Bell.

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

AGH! I love it! My girlfriends and I not only drowned ourselves in Love's Baby Soft but we also all had the pink tshirts with the LSB logo. We only wore them when we knew all 8 of us could do so at the same time.

I think you lived my childhood!

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterIrish Goddess

Oh that was fantastic! I found you through Get in the Car...and I am so glad I did. I am enjoying your posts...I especially enjoyed the one with your mother's recipe, because it reminded me very much of how my own mama gives recipes!
I also like your quote...Garrison is the man!

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMary Alice

I can still smell Love's Baby Soft. Though I am a tad older than you I was, in fact, the Dancing Queen that Abba sang about. And Starsky was hot but that car was hotter.

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVallen

This was so charming and made me giggle! Thanks for de-lurking on my blog so I had a path to follow to yours!

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

[much laughter...]

What a trip down Memory Lane. I too wore Garanimals. I too thought Love's Baby Soft was the greatest perfume ever. And I too shopped at Spencers.

I have to say that the desire for a mood ring has never quite abated, so every now and then I wear one of my children's mood rings.

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer (Jen on the Edge)

The fact that I was only 4 in 1977 would make you think that I would not remember these things. Ahhh but I had an eleven year old sister, and it was San Francisco riding gear jeans for her! The pet rock on the dresser, and Leif Garret and the Bay City Rollers in the TNT 8-track player. She wanted Platform shoes, and try to find those in Prineville Or.
Love Erin~

October 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterErin Earls

ah, the 70s, closely followed by the 80s, which are apparently totally hip right now. go figure. and those bell-bottoms? hawt.

October 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterfamily-of-five

LOL @ your mood ring story. Oh my...too, too funny. *sigh* And the Farrah hair -- been there. Ah, memories! :-)

October 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterB.E.C.K.

Chic jeans, Bonnie Bell lipgloss, Dorothy Hamill haircut, comb in the back pocket. Check!

I loved the smell of Farrah Fawcett shampoo and conditioner.

Remember Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoo?

October 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre

Pearl: She did. Thanks for the good thoughts.

Darla: Ha! Mrs. G. can see you on the dance floor.

Mary Ann: Glad to give you a laugh. You have given me several.

Deanne: They still sell LBS? This day just keeps getting better.

Janet: Yes, that's Johnny. Mrs. G. doesn't know how to tell you this, but she has been dating Alan Rickman for some time...since Truly, Madly, Deeply.

Wordgirl: Mrs. G. couldn't shave her hairy legs until she was sixteen...an age her mother arbitrarily set. Needless to say, this created some social problems that still extend to this day.

Shabby: Andy Gibb. Yes! And Shawn Cassidy.

Schulyer: Oh, Mrs. G. remembers Windsong. And Charlie and, her mother's favorite, Jontu (sp?).

Mary G: Oh, Mary, Mrs. G's grandfather could fill a whole book...the neon orange hunting parka was pretty mild where he's concerned.

Laura: Mrs. G. loved Dr. Pepper Bonne Bell Lipsmackers...the bomb.

Irish Goddess: There were t-shirts? Now you're just bragging. How's your mother? Talk to your sister yet?

Mary Alice: Thanks for stopping by. Mrs. G. love all this blog hopping. Loving Garrison too.

Vallen: You crack Mrs. G. up, you Dancing Queen. Have you seen Muriel's Wedding? If you haven't, you must.

Jen: Spencers had the best strawberry incense ever.

Lisa: Thanks for popping in...love your blog.

Erin: Mrs. G. forgot about the BCR...S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT.

Family-of-five: Oh the 80's...good times.

b.e.c.k.: Mrs. G. hopes you had more luck with the feathered bangs than she did. Sigh.

Deidre: Oh there were so many good shampoos: GYHST, Agree, Herbal Essence, Body on Tap...so many.

October 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. G.

Oh, MY GOD, Mrs. G...how you can weave a tale. Thanks so much for rhyming a comment on my blog so I could wend my way over here to enjoy you!

O.K., so...in 1977 I was 15 and I remember the Saturday night line-up with Charlie's Angels and Starsky & Hutch. I had moved from Beirut, Lebanon to Morristown, New Jersey and then to Atlanta, Georgia. You can imagine the culture shock, might as well be hitting speed bumps going 90...backwards. Any which way, I remember well going out and asking for that Farrah Fawcett haircut - "feathery wings." Unfortunately, my feathery wings amounted to blown dried hair, use of a curling iron and hairspray that could shellac the slab of hair on each side that just did not feather. All of this took 45 minutes and the results were grim. Braces didn't help either.

I remember Love's baby soft, mood rings, pucca shell necklaces, clear bubblegum flavored lipgloss, Bay City Rollers, boys with Trans Ams or Firebirds, and I was in love with Parker Stevenson. O.K., am getting carried away.

Thanks for the great path back and the pictures. By GOD those pictures are awesome, you former Public Radio Diva! :)

October 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJCK

jck: Boys in trans ams and fire birds wearing Brut...life was simple and good.

October 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. G.

Someone somewhere is still making mood rings but they're channel set and kind of sleek. I have 2. I love the magic.

October 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKizz

I always thought Spencer's was the klassiest place to shop.

October 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKeetha

Kizz, thanks for letting Mrs. G. know mood rings are still out there. She's not sure she will look for one because Mrs. G. doesn't want her romanticized memories diminished in any way. You know, how if you see a movie as a kid, and go back to watch it with your kids or a friend and the movie just isn't how you remembered...usually much worse.

Keetha: Spencers was all klass. Where else could you buy pucca shells AND a Whoopie cushion AND one of those trippy fiber optic lamps that looked like fireworks. Genius.

October 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. G.

I remember Love's Baby Soft! My best friend was allowed to wear it and I was not. So very unfair.

andrea_frets

October 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

OMG AGREE! Body on Tap! Body on Tap had BEER in it! A BIG deal when you are 12. LOL

October 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre

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