Today the grandma of my daughter’s friend took a long, hard look at me outside of the home where I was picking up my girl and said:
“You look like that movie star. What was her name again?”
I looked up at her with a questioning look. What in the world was she talking about?
Try to picture this scene: I’m standing with the front wheel of my bike trapped between my legs to hold it in place while fiddling with the brake line. I’m wearing black tights, a simple sweater and sunglasses which were perched on top of my head, pinning my hair back out of my face. The only make-up I was wearing was mascara.
Earlier I had stopped at the nursery to pick up bags of mulch which, as I dragged them from the cart to the car, got me dirty. My hands were also dirty from the bike brake thingy I was messing around with. My hair was a mess because I didn’t have my helmet holding it in place which I misplaced because of a thing with the dog. (That’s a story for another day.)
In the meantime, little old Maltan grandma here was comparing me to a movie star.
“What was her name,” she kept saying as she ascended the steps to her daughter’s house.
I had no idea. However, a thought popped into my head. Many moons ago, when I was a flight attendant working a trans-atlantic flight to the UK someplace, an eldery couple mentioned the same thing to me. The scene however was much different. Back then, I was dressed in uniform which consisted of a short, black skirt, heels, and all the usual accessory things you expect a young flight attendant to wear. My hair was expected to be stylish and tied back, and we were instructed to wear lipstick and nail polish. I was probably around 24 at the time. So for some elderly people to compare some of us to celebrities seemed not particularily unusual. Those were the days before smartphones had everyone looking down. Back then, especially on longer flights, passengers were content to sit and watch us serve food and drinks, and socialize.
What movie star was I compared to back then? I couldn’t remember what name they said but I remembered that it was someone I didn’t recognize. Someone from the golden, glamorous age of Hollywood.
I managed to fix my brake and sat on the steps waiting for my kid. Suddenly, grandma was back.
“Natalie Wood,” she exclaimed. “That’s who you look like!”
This jolted my memory back to my flight. I believe even back then, a million years ago, this was the name the elderly passengers said as well. At least, it sounded familiar now.
So naturally when I got home, I googled Ms. Wood.
I don’t see it, the resemblance. Do you?