Mommie Dearest, Brothers Grimm: Thinking about Cleveland's House of Horrors
I like to think that's how it happened.
I hate to think the other stuff is true, though.
Like how Joan Crawford would give Christina's lavish Christmas presents away to orphans after the LIFE magazine holiday photo-ops were over.
(Although I do share the actress's purported aversion to wire hangers, one exaggerated by the child Christina's imagination. Having once blogged off hand that I hoped one day to replace all my wire hangers with padded ones, a longtime reader shipped me a huge cardboard box of the latter --all sorbet pastel silk and bows -- after his grandmother's death.)
Anyway, these old movie stars mean a lot to me.
My mother was named after Joan Crawford, because my grandmother -- who so closely resembled Crawford's lifelong rival, Bette Davis, that she won look-alike contests -- whiled away her pregnancy compulsively watching Crawford films.
This was especially funny because my grandmother had plucked all hers off in an attempt to better replicate Davis's early look, and they never grew back.
I got the "Joan" eyebrows too, but the Bette Davis face.
I really wish my grandmother had been a bigger fan of, say, Elizabeth Taylor...
My mother and I also shared similar birthmarks. Not somehow-alluring Liz Taylor moles, either.
When I complained about them, which I did from about age five onwards, my mother used to chirp:
But just think: if someone ever kills you, I can use it to identify your body.