Saturdays were spent going to the movies. Natalia had been spending the day with her friends but once they began moving away, She was forced to spend more of it with Shasta. Both girls loved the Saturday matinees, but could never agree on which films to watch.
Shasta loved the science fiction films and anything film noir or horror. They gave her a chance to study the intricacies of writing and the complexities of style. She reveled in the story line, the plot, and the costumes while enjoying the special effects no matter how crude. But, then, she was the intellectual.
Natalia loved the adventure and romance films. Marilyn Monroe, a relatively new star on the rise, was every girl’s fantasy self. She was blonde, beautiful, and talented. Natalia, like all the other girls she knew, wanted to be Marilyn. Well, almost all. But Natalia didn’t count Shasta among those who she pal’d around with. Shasta was her sister. sisters weren’t pals.
Love Nest was what had caught all the young girls’ hearts. It had shown them that gentlemen preferred blondes who looked divine. From that point on, they raced to begin transforming themselves into replicas of Marilyn Monroe, just so they could catch a boy.And age didn’t matter. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen or older. Even Twenty year olds had become enamored with looking like Monroe.
Let Shasta get lost in effects, stories, and plots. Natalia was not interested in those things. she was more interested in what would catch her a new boyfriend. She wanted looks, fashion, and talent. She wanted to become a star.
She wanted to be the next Marilyn Monroe. She wanted to take Hollywood by storm. She wanted men to lust after her. She wanted the fame and fortune.
She couldn’t see that she was already beautiful enough. She didn’t need to look like Marilyn Monroe or any other film actress to be appealing to a boy. She only needed to grow a bit. For most boys, she was too young. They saw her as their little sister, not their love interest. They knew that her crushes would end within a week. Maybe not the obsession, though. It would probably take longer.
Still, she tried to get their attention. One by one, she burned through her crushes, leaving her with little more than what she started with…not to mention, soured on each boy. She hated being treated like a child, though she was still one in the eyes of everyone including her ‘love interests’.
She was indeed in that awkward stage between childhood and her teen years. That expanse where crushes were more prevalent than the wisdom to know what they were, and where the biggest dilemma was whether or not she should continue to roller skate, bike, and play with dolls. It was the crossroads where fashion was now beginning to seem more important than prudence, shoes were now more of a necessity than they had been, and boys began replacing dolls as a focal point.
It was a weird and crazy stage for Natalia. she felt too much that confused her, dealt with a roller coaster of emotion, and began to experience jealousy for the very first time when she saw a boy she had a crush on out with another girl. She felt compelled by her feelings and often went against her better judgment. In the end, she was crushed when it happened differently than she had planned it.
And a pattern had begun to emerge. It would be the same pattern she would follow for the rest of her life. Emotionally, she would never get past the stage of having lustful crushes on men. She would never really know or understand love, the pure and unadulterated union of two souls. To her, love and lust would always remain the same.
Shasta, on the other hand, had a plan. She would never be Marilyn Monroe. Nor did she want to be. She could care less about being an actress or even rich and famous. Success, to her, was getting an education. It was being a part of the family business and being near mama and papa. It was waiting until she was of age before dating or planning a future.
She knew that Natalia was headed for trouble. She knew that her sister had no clue what she had set a course for. But neither did she. All she knew was that nothing good would come of Nattie’s current course.
But she couldn’t tell Nattie anything. Nattie didn’t seem to care. Nattie was self-absorbed. She didn’t care who she hurt or what she was doing to herself.
Shasta sometimes cried at night out of frustration. And sadness. But mostly frustration. She knew that she couldn’t change her sister, but she still wished she could. Maybe, she hoped, Nattie would change someday.
Shasta was content with the poodle skirts her mother bought for her, and the modest blouses. She was content to be a ten-year-old. Even the plaid skirts she made herself to wear every day were enough. No need to be someone else. no need to follow trends. Or fads.
Stars came and went. Fashion changed at the drop of a hat. People were fickle. Fads lasted only a few years.
Sensible clothes lasted forever. Modesty was good. Beauty was not found on the outside. It was something that emerged from within.
Only shallow people relied on the superficial, what was on the outside. She didn’t like shallow people. She liked people of substance. Intelligent people. But intelligent people seemed to be in short supply anymore. Most people had been replaced by terrified illiterates who believed everything the government told them. How sad.
At least her books wouldn’t betray her. They wouldn’t lie to her. They wouldn’t hurt her feelings. They wouldn’t end their relationship with her. They would always be there.
Just like her interest in the plots and story lines of every movie she watched. And her interest in the special effects. All that helped her grow would always be there. Not so with people.