The place: biology class, James Logan High School, Union City, California.
The time: the early 1990s…
Karen’s head pulsed as she thought about how far behind she was on memorizing her SAT vocabulary. “Seriously,” she said to Jen, “I would love to go, but I can’t. I have too much SAT stuff to get through.”
Jen crinkled the Snickers wrapper and tossed it at Karen. “Party pooper,” Jen said. “You’re gonna regret this someday. Mark my words.”
You’re probably right, Karen thought, agreeing to herself, even though she didn’t know anything at all about this Rocky Horror Picture Show business. What was it anyway? A movie? A play?
Honestly, though, looking back on it now, truer words were never spoken. After all these years, I wish I’d said yes to Jen that night, and all of the third-wheeling and vegetable-throwing I later found out I’d missed.
On top of that, if I’d actually gone with Jen to see the show, I’d probably understand the references in the new MAC Rocky Horror Picture Show collection better, because right now…I don’t understand them at all.
Not one bit.
The limited edition 21-piece release of new and re-promoted products is available now online and coming to MAC stores and counters October 2 though October 30.
For someone totally unfamiliar with the Rocky Horror Picture Show, like yours truly, overlooking the fact that I don’t get any of the inside jokes, I still think the collection is worth checking out…even though, admittedly, it’s not moving me as much as MAC Brooke Shields does.
Along with some dramatic red lip colors, there’s also a really intense burgundy pigment (so pretty!), loose glitters, a palette of six cool-toned eyeshadows and a couple of Greasepaint Sticks, among other things, but none of those others stand out to me like the four red lipsticks. For me, the red lippies, particularly Strange Journey, the smooth matte yellowish red, with its 1940s pinup sensibilities (looks epic in pictures!), are the stars of this launch.
Back to the early ’90s…
Karen stood by her locker, her biology book and binder in hand, wondering if she had time to touch up her lipstick before her first class. She looked up at the clock in the hallway, realized that she was about 30 seconds from being late, and slammed her locker door.
One day, she thought, I will get my lipstick on before the bell rings, and on that day, angels will sing. She sprinted to class and slipped into her seat, just as the bell rang.
Her best friend Jen sat next to her. She peeled open a Snickers bar, broke it in two, and handed Karen the bigger piece. “Breakfast of champions,” Jen said.
“Thanks,” Karen said, as she took a bite. She fished her homework (“mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell!”) out of her binder, and watched her teacher, Mr. Greene, dressed in his usual uniform of a rumpled short-sleeve shirt and khakis, shuffle papers at the front of class. Crossing the room he almost tripped over his own feet. Someone please get that man some coffee, Karen thought.
She waited for Mr. Greene’s customary greeting. “Class,” he eventually said, “why don’t you spend five minutes double-checking your homework while I set up, yes?”
That was their cue to start chatting.
Jen lightly tapped her pencil on the side of her desk and leaned in. “James Trejo asked me out this morning,” she said.
Karen wrinkled her nose. “You mean James Trejo from drama class? Like on a date? Ew.”
“What do you mean, ‘Ew’?” Jen said, scratching at the fading screen print of Bart Simpson on her jeans. “He’s kind of cute.”
“He creeps me out,” Karen replied. “I’ve caught him staring at my neck a few times.” She paused. “It was odd. And why does he always wear vests?”
Jen’s eyes went wide as she flashed her million-dollar smile. “He asked me to go to see Rocky Horror Picture Show with him on Saturday.”
Jen waited as if expecting a response.
Eventually, Karen realized what Jen was asking. “Jen?” Karen said. “Nuh-uh. No, no, no.”
“Please?” Jen begged. “Please, please, please!”
Karen shook her head. “No way. Nope. You’re gonna have to find another chaperone. I’m not doing it again. Why don’t you ask Cindy?”
“I already did,” Jen said. “She’s going skiing this weekend.”
“So,” Karen said, raising an eyebrow, “I’m your sloppy seconds?”
“Well…” Jen replied, “Look, all you have to do is come to dinner and the movie. Please? You know my parents won’t let me go out unless there’s someone responsible with me. I’d do it for you!”