My new hair stylist is into the “zen” of my hair and letting it do what it wants, which is curl and be undisciplined. Although straight hair is definitely the fashion, I’m glad that at least one movie star of a certain age has a mop of curly hair. “You’ve seen Blythe Danner in the ads for the movie I'll See You in My Dreams, haven’t you?” I asked the stylist.
She hadn’t. She is young. “Who is Blythe Danner?”
“You know, an older actress, mother of…” I couldn’t remember her daughter’s name, but I remembered the daughter’s child’s name. The name of a fruit. Really. “Apple. Her daughter is Apple’s mom.”
“Yes. Blythe Danner is Gwyneth Paltrow’s mom, and she has curly hair.”
“Oh.” She went back to communing with my hair. Conversation over.
Cut to two days later, when two friends and I went to see I''ll See You In My Dreams. As we sat talking before the movie, a woman I don't know sat down next to us, leaned over, looked at me, and said, “I’ve seen this movie before. You look just like Blythe Danner!”
I don’t, of course. The hair fooled her, but who doesn’t like to be compared to a movie star? I was happy.
We watched the movie. Afterward, our discussion began. One friend said, “I guess this shows you that a woman doesn’t have to be interesting to get a man.”
I smiled. “She really wasn’t very interesting….and did you notice how much wine she drank?”
Another friend looked sad. “Yes. And her life reminded me of mine—not very interesting.” This from one of the most interesting, active women I have ever known. We assured her she was crazy.
Then I went on to one of my most insightful observations. “Why did they sit on that boat eating in the European style—fork in the left hand, knife in the right? Everyone eats that way in movies.”
“Yes. It drives me crazy. No one I know eats like that except friends who actually grew up in Europe.”
“It’s like padding into the kitchen,” one friend said.
“In a book, if someone goes into the kitchen, they never walk. They pad. They always pad into the kitchen.”
“Really? I’ve never noticed that.”
“Yes. The other day I was reading something, and I was so happy when a character just walked into the kitchen. But then, a chapter later, she padded. What’s with all this padding?”
“I’ll have to watch.”
“So back to the movie. What did the Sam Elliott character see in the Blythe Danner character?”
“I’d go out with Sam Elliott.”
“Irrelevant. What did he see in her?”
“Well, she was likable, I guess.” We all paused, trying to think of more.
“Well, she had great hair!” I said.
Okay, I didn’t really say that. I did think it, though.
And I thought it again later when the three of us padded into the kitchen for glasses of wine.