Lydia the Tattooed Lady

Monday, March 12, 2012

My friend Karen threw a Circus Party for her step-daughter Annabel's half birthday on Sunday. I didn't go, but oh boy- did I love the photos and the whole idea of it!

I was happy to go to the circus as a child. I loved cotton candy and pink popcorn. Sadly, I never met a real tattooed lady.

I enjoyed Water For Elephants,  the book and the movie. Reese Witherspoon is one of my most favorite actresses and she was great in her part.

As a designer and a visual appreciator of all things fabulous, artistic and over the top, I love the theatrics- the costumes, the make-up, the striped canopy tent. As a country girl, I loved the animals, the smells, the tense energy that surrounded the Circus compound.

To me the circus was like watching a balloon be blown up, getting bigger and bigger, until you didn't think it could get any bigger and then ! Some scary or exciting conclusion came and you were left with your heart thumping, trying to catch your breath, sticky pink fingers and cotton candy in your hair (or your sister's hair) on the car ride home. The hot smell of the VW bug interior, dozing off in the back seat, dreaming of the TIGER! or the TRAPEZE lady! The Wardrobe! or the CLOWNS! Oh, when I think about it now, how BIG it was to us kids....

If you want to see some marvelous vintage circus photos, check out THIS LINK.
When I was a young Mom, I had the chance once to take the kids to the circus. I'm not sure they remember it. I think we went with our neighbors. They may remember playing with my old Fisher Price Circus (handed down to me by my Grandma Snydal) We had two Circus trains and double of all the animals (my favorite was always the black seal balancing a ball on his nose) and (there was only one ringmaster, my sisters used to fuss over who got to run the show:

My kids do remember me telling them about the Circus I went to when I was a kid. It came up while watching the Muppets, there's a great clip of Kermit the Frog singing my favorite circus song of all, LYDIA oh LYDIA....

"You can learn a lot from Lydia..."

Of course, I remember watching Groucho Marx sing Lydia oh Lydia in "At The Circus". I was a little girl and the old movies used to play on Sunday mornings, we were allowed to watch the good old stuff like the Marx Brothers, The Thin Man movies, old westerns, Shirley parents knew all about good old tv shows and Sunday mornings were the best.

I dare you to NOT be happy while listening to Groucho Marx or Kermit the Frog singing Lydia the Tattooed Lady. And here's a real picture of (what I think is) the gal, with her three kids. She has the tattoos, I've been called crazy, but we each have our arms around our three lovely children- with a nutty mama's love.

Karen's party for Annabel made me sing "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" today in my head, and I thanked her for it. I was happy the whole day long. I love that I can write about whatever I want because it's my blog. Today it's Lydia and the Circus and Groucho and Kermit and Annabel and Karen and Reese and Mamas-Love-Their-Children-Even-if-Everyone-is-Covered-in-Tattoos.

And as one of my favorite bloggers Seth Godin says: 
"... you can focus on serving your muse, on making the song in your head real, regardless of who wants to hear it."

Happy Monday
Love, me


Carey Family of Four said...

What a fun post! Magical and fun! Makes me want to take my kids to one.

La Dolfina said...

Love this post, such sweet memories!!!
I loved water for elephants too. It was magical!
I will call or email you with the thrift store info, I promise!
Better yet, we should thrift together one day!!!

his little Lady said...

aw, i've always wanted to go to a real live circus, but never been. elephants are just so elegant to me!
and what a fun post! i'd love to see the tattooed lady too ;)
xo TJ

Greg H said...

Thanks. Love the images. Classic American entertainment.

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