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, theย 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 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 buzz kill 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 until, one 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 too cheap to buy her a new one handy that way. Mrs. G’s grandfather was a tightwad 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 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 neon orange hunting parka. Consequently, this was the year Mrs. G. froze her butt off, 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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