幸运飞艇分析软件自动By the time I turned ten, the injustice and hypocrisy of it all really started to bother me. Suddenly the whole setup became crystal clear: my mother could go out in the evenings, work and travel whenever she wanted, but I had to follow her unwavering rules, whether or not she was home.
We started to clash.
幸运飞艇分析软件自动As a little girl, I had long, straight, light-brown hair that was fine and tangled easily. I didn’t want to deal with the tangles and I didn’t want anyone else brushing them out either. In fact, I thought the knots were kind of cool, in a West Coast bohemian way. My mom, however, had zero patience for messy hair. She had grown up in the Hollywood studio system of the 1940s and ’50s and was taught to look camera ready at all times, with not a single hair out of place. Her shining tresses always looked perfect and she wanted mine to look perfect too. “Natasha, if you don’t start brushing your hair every day, I’m going to cut it all off,” she threatened.
Did she want my hair straight and shiny and perfect because that was what her hair looked like when she was my age? In her childhood movies and photos, my mother always wore flawlessly braided pigtails that framed her face like two silken ropes. Did she really want me to be exactly like her?
幸运飞艇分析软件自动Instead of doing as I was told, I started to try to trick my mom, to see if I could get one over on her. I began taking my bath and wetting my hair, but not using any shampoo. Then I would take a hairbrush and press down on the tangled hair without actually combing out the knots. I would walk into her room and tell her I was ready for bed, waiting to see if she noticed.
“Natasha, did you wash your hair?”
“Yes,” I lied adamantly.
幸运飞艇分析软件自动“Well, the knots are still there. Where’s the No More Tangles? I will have to brush it myself.”
幸运飞艇分析软件自动At this point, I confessed that I actually hadn’t washed my hair and my mother made her threat to cut it off all over again. Then I pointed out that my friend Tracey didn’t have to wash her hair every day and her tangles looked more like curls—Farrah Fawcett curls. My mom didn’t care about Farrah Fawcett’s curls or Tracey’s tangles.
“You are my daughter and my daughter will not walk around with knots in her hair!”
End of conversation.
幸运飞艇分析软件自动My mom did not want anything to mar her precious daughter. Once, at Tom Mank’s house in Malibu, I accidentally sat down on an empty wineglass. It cut the back of my leg and, when the cut healed, a little raised scar remained. The scar didn’t bother me in the slightest. I felt like it gave me an edge. But my mom insisted on taking me to a well-known dermatologist in Beverly Hills, who injected some kind of miracle serum into the scar that made it completely flat and nearly invisible. Looking back, I wonder, was her concern over my appearance for me or for herself ? I was Natalie Wood’s daughter. I was a reflection of her. Did she worry that I couldn’t be seen to be anything less than perfect?
I was spending more and more time with my friend Tracey at her mid-century house in the Hollywood Hills, becoming increasingly aware of the contrast between her family’s lifestyle and ours. Tracey’s parents were not fussy perfectionists like my mom; quite the contrary, in fact. At their house, you didn’t need a code to enter the house. Tracey and I were allowed to eat cereal on their comfortable green-and-brown plaid sofas. This was life well lived, in my mind. If they were out of milk—or vodka, for that matter—Janis would think nothing of popping down to Rexall at ten at night, with Tracey and me in the back seat, no seat belts, along for the ride. Why are there so many rules at home?
While Tracey loved the structure and organization at my house— our regular mealtimes and bedtimes, and the neat braids my mom would weave in her hair—I loved the lack of a regime and regulations in her house.
Now that we were getting older, Tracey and my other friends were allowed to play outside unsupervised. But my mother wouldn’t even let me walk once around our block in broad daylight. Just as my grandmother had always been terrified of someone harming her precious Natasha, now my mother was terrified of someone harming her precious Natasha. She was convinced that if she gave me even the slightest bit of freedom, something terrible would happen to me. Didn’t I know that the Lindbergh baby had been snatched right out of his crib? That Patty Hearst had been held for ransom only a few years earlier?
Around this time my mom decided to install a cream-of-the-crop security system. She hired a well-known security expert who had installed similar systems in many Hollywood homes. The plan was to create a safe space upstairs so that if an intruder ever entered from downstairs we would all be protected in our second-floor fortress. The upstairs railings on the landing were torn down, and in their place, a floor-to-ceiling bulletproof wall with a bulletproof window and a code-locked metal door were erected.
幸运飞艇分析软件自动My mother’s bedroom door was also replaced with a thick metal door that clicked in place with a four-number punch on the keypad. This was our safe room where we could hide if needed. We were also taught a safe word and the protocol for hightailing it upstairs and locking ourselves in. The security expert told us that as safe as we were, the best deterrent were dogs, so we added a new large dog to our brood.
Meanwhile, I didn’t care about security; I just wanted to be able to walk a couple of blocks around our neighborhood with my best friends. Tracey and I had started a Save the Whales campaign, which consisted of knocking on people’s doors and asking for money. Why did Kilky have to trail behind? At Tracey’s house, we were able to roam free.
Billy Joel’s “My Life” was popular at that time, and I adopted it as my theme song. When my mom called me at Tracey’s house from France or someplace she was visiting with my dad, grilling me with questions like, “Did you finish your homework?” and “What did you eat for breakfast?” I sang the chorus right into the phone at her, which ended with the lines: I don’t care what you say anymore, this is my life Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone!
Then I hung up the phone defiantly. And immediately I would miss her, longing for her comforting hugs and feeling guilty for pushing her away.
幸运飞艇分析软件自动Tracey and I decided to run away. We built a go-cart using wheels from old roller skates and a flat piece of plywood we found in her backyard. Her mother’s friend Doug drilled holes in the board and attached the wheels, and once we could roll down the hill we were off. I left an ultimatum for my parents in the form of a ransom note that read, “I’m not coming back unless you give Courtney up for adoption.” Tracey wrote a similar note to her parents about her brother Steven. We left the notes at Tracey’s house and go-carted to our friend April’s house, where we planned to hide out.
幸运飞艇分析软件自动The minute we arrived, April’s phone rang. It was Tracey’s mom, Janis. “Are Tracey and Natasha there?” April instantly caved in and said, “Yes.” So much for our big getaway. Mommie was so angry when she came to pick me up. This was not a joke to her; she took it very seriously and quite personally. In the car, I gingerly ventured to ask, “Is Daddy at the house?” I’ll never forget the fire in her voice when she snapped, “Both daddies are there!”
幸运飞艇分析软件自动Daddy Gregson and Daddy Wagner were waiting in the living room when we got back home. Both of them seemed rather calm and slightly entertained. My mother turned to Daddy Gregson. “Richard, what are we going to do about this? Natasha needs to be grounded!” He looked at me and started laughing. So I started laughing. Then Daddy Wagner joined in. The only person who was not laughing was my mom. “This is not funny!” my mom said. “This is very, very serious.” My dads tried to diffuse my mom’s rage by explaining that this was not a major transgression. Together they reached a sort of compromise punishment: I was forbidden to see Tracey for a week.
The following Monday, Liz came to work and found me sitting at the top of the stairs with a wild grin on my face. “Why do you look so pleased?” she asked. “I ran away from home with Tracey,” I whispered proudly. “I’m grounded from Tracey’s for a week!” I was over the moon with my mini-rebellion and the impact it had had on my mom. My mother had power over me, but I had power over her too!
Excerpted from MORE THAN LOVE: An Intimate Portrait of My Mother, Natalie Wood, by Natasha Gregson Wagner. Copyright © 2020 by Natasha Gregson Wagner. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.