It all started in 1976, with brown eye-shadow, black eye-liner (liquid), and gobs and gobs of mascara. *Maybe she's born with it... (Possibly some of it, but it was definitely enhanced with Maybelline.)
Moving right along, in 1977, as I entered 8th grade, I discovered hairspray and blush.
In 1978, I floated into high school on a cloud of Love's Baby Soft, with Diet Pepsi (hurray for saccharine!) in one hand and a roll of peppermint lifesavers in the other.
Enter 1979 and platform shoes. (I wore heels so often that I could take off at a dead sprint across San Francisco's cobble-stoned streets in a pair of stilettos and keep up with the preppies in their penny loafers without so much as skipping a beat.)
And so it went.
The thing is, when I found something that changed my life (hello, Cosmo? It's me, Dani. I love you forever) it became such a part of my world that it never occurred to me to let it go. I rarely traded one addiction for another; I just kept adding to them. By the time I was 18, I was 5 feet and 100 lbs of hair product, heels, caffeine and attitude.
When I tanned, I tanned until I was darker than the San Tropez girl (Ban de Soleil for the Sannnn Tropez tannnnn...). I would head out to the pool at the crack of 10 a.m., baby oil and beach towel at the ready. I would set the oven timer for 30 minutes and flip over every half hour until the sun started to head east at 3:00. I would roll into the pool once in a while to prevent heat stroke but overall, the pool was merely there to create ambiance while I absorbed UV rays without the benefit of sunscreen. I tanned like it was my JOB, yo.
When I did my hair, it was an hour of shampoo, conditioner, mousse, blow-drying, hot rollers, hair spray, curling iron, and more hair-spray. In the mid-1980s, there was even more blow-drying after the previous blow-drying, to create just the perfect tower of hair.
Every December I would wait with baited breath for the Cosmo Girls Bedside Guide to Astrology. My friends and I would have a slumber party, eat nachos, and read our astrological profiles out loud, squealing with delight and anticipation at the predictions therein, as if Nostradamus himself had created it just for us.
Some addictions take up more space than others... If I start reading and enjoy a series of mysteries, I can't rest until I've read and own every single one. (God help me if Sue Grafton expands the alphabet because by the time she's done, I WILL own 26 volumes of Kinsey Milhone mysteries.)
Some have added to my pants size... (Hi, my name is Danielle, and if it weren't for the risk of rotting teeth and diabetes, I would eat Good 'n Plenties every morning for breakfast. Until you've had them with coffee, you can't appreciate how fabulous they are. Don't take my word for it... try it. Seriously.)
Some have serious pros and cons... My diet soda habit is so ingrained in me that it's part of who I am. I will go thirsty before I will drink a soda with sugar in it, but at the same time, I do realize that diet soft drinks are not healthy. (I do. Really. And if you're waiting on me in a restaurant and lecture me about how bad it is for me while you're taking my order, I will NOT leave you a tip. True story. I'm reckless, not stupid.)
These addictions have pretty much followed me through life. The hair styles have changed, the make-up brands and application have morphed with the times, the perfume has matured and I no longer tan myself into a fine leather handbag (not because I don't want to, though... it's more a matter of vanity and common sense. I don't want to die from melanoma and I don't want to look 20 years older than I am) but the under-lying behavior is still the same.
It could be worse, I suppose... I could gamble, or drink, or God forbid, be a hoarder (I'll save that topic for another day) ...
There's definitely room for improvement, but let's face it, odds are? I'm more likely to add to my list of flaws than correct them.
And really, how boring are people with no bad habits? (Or is it just me who appreciates the bad as much as the good? Or is that merely my excuse to keep doing what I want? Hmmm...)