Sunday, February 12, 2006

B4B: The Blonde Tanya Club

Here's my Blogging 4 Books entry. The B4B topic for February is "clubs". The Blonde Tanya Club Would it surprise you to discover that I was once a part of something called the Blonde Tanya Club, considering that I'm neither blonde, nor named Tanya? Well, I was. It was the mid 1980's, a time of big shoulder pads and bigger hair. Prince wanted us to Party Like it was 1999, Madonna urged us to Get Into the Groove, and Billy Idol had everyone bouncing around the dance floor and shouting out loud to "Mony, Mony". I was in my 20's, and I was single. I was also blonde at the time, thanks to a little help from L'Oreal, although even then I wasn't named Tanya. I was working a couple of different part-time jobs because I hadn't been able to find anything full-time immediately after college. At one of these jobs I got to know several other single young women and we started going out to dance clubs together on the weekends - sometimes just a couple of us, sometimes several of us piled into a couple of different cars. By a small coincidence, almost all these women were blonde, either by the grace of God, or through the untiring efforts of the hair care industry. By another small coincidence, two of these regular partying buddies were named Tanya. One winter night, when a half-dozen of us - all blondes - had made the trip to one of the most popular clubs in the University district, a couple of young men came over and introduced themselves. By yet one more small coincidence (and you know they say three is a charmed number!), these two just happened to focus on our group's two Tanyas. The first young man introduced himself to Tanya #1 who, being a nice Southern belle, smiled sweetly and told him her name was Tanya. The second young man introduced himself to Tanya #2, who was less sweet but more funny than Tanya #1, and she smiled too, guessing the reaction she was about to get, and told him her name was Tanya too. Sure enough, at that point the guys exchanged a skeptical look with each other, and then looked at all of us, and you could almost hear them thinking "oh great, these girls are a bunch of bitches who want to play mind games". It was at that point that my admittedly warped sense of humor kicked in and I figured if we were going to get the name (pun intended!), we might as well play the game. So I piped up and said, "My name is Tanya too. We're ALL named Tanya. That's how we met. We're members of the local chapter of the Blonde Tanya Club." Luckily my girlfriends caught onto the idea immediately and played along, and after a while I think the young men might even have believed us. Before the night was over, we had spun tales of Blonde Tanya Regional Chapters, Blonde Tanya Retreats, and a Blonde Tanya Secret Oath, which we refused to tell of course, since a) it was secret (!!!), and b) we made up the idea on the spot and none of actually knew what the Secret Oath might be. Heh. We had a sort of minor celebrity status that night as word spread throughout the dance club of the Blond Tanyas, and the reaction of people we met ranged from "bullsh*t" (smart reaction!) to "oh yeah, I think a friend of mine met some Blonde Tanyas down in Texas". (No matter where you go, there always has to be someone who knows something about everything.) Back at work the next week, we confused more than a few people by referring to each other as Tanya and giggling maniacally. I've since lost touch with all those girls, both the real Tanyas and the other pretenders. Girls grow into women, and women move, change jobs, become wives or mothers or both. We had the sort of bond born of shared circumstances rather than deep attachment, and we all gradually drifted apart without much regret, although there are a couple of the Tanyas - one of the real Tanyas and one of the pretenders - who I'd love to run into again someday. Who knows. Maybe they'll see this and recognize me, or recognize themselves in this story and get in touch. Stranger things have happened! It's hard to believe all that happened nearly 20 years ago. It doesn't seem like it's been so long! I'm a different person now in many ways, but I still have a warped sense of humor, and I still like to shout out loud when I hear "Mony, Mony", and somewhere deep inside my red-haired, middle-aged self, there's still some small part of me that will always be a Blonde Tanya.