Brunettes Bite Back

The Husband and I watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona last night. About two seconds into the movie it becomes patently obvious that blondes have more fun. Granted, “blondes” in this case equals Scarlett Johanssen who is no ordinary blonde, but still…

I know the “blondes have more fun” thing has been a universal truth since before Marilyn, but I still think it’s unfair. Last night, I was feeling a tad more upset than usual about this state of injustice. Out of nowhere, I found myself throwing a tantrum in front of the TV, “I hate it! I’m Vicky, the boring brunette and the blondes get to be Scarlett. IT’S NOT FAIR!”

I’m not normally this unhinged (okay, not always) but I think I was feeling extra brown-haired and banal after a little episode the day before. I’d just finished a fun-filled Chardonnay lunch with two girlfriends and was dashing to my 3pm hair appointment when Ballito Babe (the little beetch has just fallen in love with a hot, older man and is upping and moving to Ballito this weekend – hence the name) goes: “Are you getting highlights? Get some highlights. No really, Nats, you should get some highlights.” I was trying to shoot daggers at her with my eyes for moving to Ballito, but now, she was insulting my au natural, aw so BROWN, hair-colour. Just to explain: when I first met Ballito Babe I went blondish for a couple of years. Just to test the “more fun” theory, you see. (And the answer’s yes, BTW. Men really are that shallow). After month 22 of peroxide sessions, I had a hunch that things were starting to go a wee bit pear-shaped in the hair department. But when my father (he’s a man of few words, to begin with, but when it comes to the topic of my sister and my appearance, he’s practically mute) said,”You look common,” I knew my blonde number was up. Ever since then, I’ve been brown and proud. Well up until last night, anyway.

When I announced that I was “Boring Vicky”, I did realise that I came across as a completely lame, self-pitying female. What I hadn’t bargained for, however, was The Husband’s response. “Great, so that makes me Dependable Doug!” (Doug is Vicky’s super dull, fiance). This may have been kind of amusing for five minutes, but instead, he sulked the whole way through the movie. No matter what I said, I could not convince him that the whole Scarlett/ Vicky/ blonde/ brunette thing had NOTHING to do with him whatsoever. To make matters worse, Doug’s character got more and more loathsome as the movie progressed. “I can’t believe you’d compare me to that guy!” I was like, “I’m not! This is so not about you”. And then the movie would flash to a shot of Doug in his neatly pressed fawn-coloured Bermudas, with his iron-over side parting and his preppie accent. He’d be boring Vicky and co. to death about his latest golf game. Snore. And I’d try again: “You don’t even play golf. In fact you HATE golf. You’re a sexy cyclist…”

“Baby………..?” I tried again. I have to say that his lip did start to pick up a bit when I mentioned ‘sexy’ and ‘cycling’ in the same sentence.

In the midst of all this, I was still silently seething as Scarlett’s character continued to, quite literally, have all the fun, as she lived out her sultry, romantic dream with Javier Bardem in balmy Barcelona. (Blonde beetch).

And then, all of a sudden, the brunettes bit back. Enter Penelope Cruz as Javier’s magnificent, fiery, talented, dark-haired ex-wife, Maria Elena.

Sweet revenge.

Even Scarlett’s character with her comparatively goody-two-shoes, all American twang was starting to look a bit washed out in comparison. (And that’s saying something). Of course, Maria Elena turns out to be a stark raving lunatic but by then, Scarlett’s Cristina character has been exposed as immature and flighty.

So maybe blondes don’t always have more fun.

Anyway, I will soon find out since four ice blonde Icelanders have just stepped off the ’plane and into my living room for a week-long visit to Africa. Two years ago, I spent four days in Iceland in mid-summer with chattering teeth and cobalt blue lips, while the North Sea winds whipped through every bone in my body. I don’t know if it’s universal karma but the torrential Joburg rains should have them feeling right at home in no time. Or perhaps it’s another form of revenge against the blondes?

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