Caprice’s #5 – Before Love by Gloria D. Miklowitz is a terrific book however the cover stinks. I’m usually not that harsh but this time it’s true. First let’s go over the story – Gina Brown is an ordinary , attractive girl whose father has dragged the family all over giving lectures in exotic locations London , Rome well California’s not so exotic but after a year in California they’ve moved back to home base in a place called Plainville which houses a university. Gina new back to school is terrified of having to start fresh and makes friends with Sally a girl who used to belong to a club which Gina dubbed the Nastys who had made Gina’s life and
other students lives miserable. On the first day of school she runs into two very different boys , one is bold , handsome , sexy the school hunk Brian Moorehead who practically makes her melt on the spot when he astounds her with a bearhug before she even knows who he is and Robbie McCann who rescues her when she is unable to open her locker. He is a thin , quiet loner who loves to run. Basically blowing the lid off series fiction the story takes on the taboo subject of sex – at their first lunch together and Gina still has some reservations about Sally they talk about wether or not either of them has done it , with eyes slyly cast to Brian Moorhead & his girl friend – Linda Lee who had been the leader of the Nastys they assume that both of them must do it.
Sally figures Gina with all her traveling must have and is rather grateful that she is not the only virgin though both quickly decide that maybe if they fell in love ( Gina already lovestruck by Brian ) that they would.
Though this book is written in 1982 their’s a bit of late seventies feel still clinging to it’s edges the marvelous Ms. Reid , Gina’s Life Studies teacher is a throwback to those woman’s lib , let’s talk feelings teachers that made the rounds most notably in The Cat Ate my Gymsuit. I don’t know where all these marvelous teachers came from a lot of mine were the pits! Burnt out , hanging on for retirement while living for summer vacation. Ms. Reid even dons big fake glasses and calls herself Judge Sunny as in Sonia Reid to discuss anonymous problems th kids write down for active discussions. During one of her experiments – what do you look for in the opposite sex you know that when Gina and Sally list – 1. Chemistry 2. Looks 3. Athletic Ability 4. Personality and 5. Intelligence that they will learn just how wrong the order of that list is!
Robbie ads to the class list by calling out that he likes a girl who thinks for herself – independence – which causes Gina to instantly dub him as a nerd. Sometimes she reasons you have to go with the crowd. Gina’s first date with Brian a.k.a Mr. Wonderful gets off to a rocky start , he’s horribly late picking her up at the library , and takes her to the park to drink from a bottle of Scotch in the glove compartment using the standard bullying methods – If you want to be my girl you have to loosen up. She takes a sip and he talks about himself. I laughed so hard when I herd his ambitions – you have to understand early 80’s to get the joke. You see Brian’s been writing to his uncle who’s a stunt man in Hollywood – well Brian wants to move out their and join him – get it –the Fall Guy! That’s the concept of the Fall Guy , Colt Seavers is the Fall Guy and Howie is his nephew! Hilarious! Of course when her father inquires about any new boys she’s met, I thought it was completely dumb to start bragging about Brian’s ambitions, any parent hearing that a boy wants to be a stunt man would’ve begun to mentally question his driving habits. So her father does the fatherly thing and forbids her to get in Brian’s car and Gina does the daughterly thing, she ignores him. After drinking and making out on their first date only stopped because Gina is late getting home – Gina is horrified to see Brian walking along with his girlfriend Linda Lee looking killer in tight designer jeans ( I wonder which kind – Chic , Bubblegum , Gloria Vanderbuilt’s Sergio’s?) Oh well. Figuring that’s it her romance has been snuffed before it’s even started she agrees to go roller skating with Sally at the roller rink even though she’s still a little jealous of Sally who has managed to snag herself a boyfriend.
Did you ever have a Skate Palace? Or a roller Rink – that was big in the 80’s but they seemed to have died out big time by now. I loved ours it was called the Hippo Derby but I only went a few times unfortunately all the stoners hung out and it eventually got a little creepy for me to go their considering the girls were so vicious they used to threaten to put their cigarette out on the top of your head if you dared to use the washroom. Anyway back to the story – of course the dilemma begins as Brian skates over and puts his arm around both Sally and Gina putting on the old charm act it doesn’t work at first for Gina who storms off – not even the promise of a skate-dance with disco music can sway her until Brian promises things are over with Linda. Wait for my call tomorrow and we’ll talk. And Gina waits and waits. As the afternoon is near over Robbie’s parents are coming over for dinner – Robbie declined coming but wanted the use of the car wound up at Gina’s anyways. Robbie reluctantly asks her for a ride , Gina hasn’t been that nice to Robbie who has approached her at the library and roller rink only to have her distracted by Brian. She agrees and they take a sunset tour of the lake in a paddle boat making interesting conversation. In fact if Gina had to admit it , she had a better time than with Brian – but Brian had a way of just looking at her and making her feel womanly and that wins hands down.
Finally off for their second date – Brian signally her to come outside their meeting place the library her waving him to come in and get her the reader sees through both characters. Brian is using Gina and doesn’t want it to get back to Linda , and Gina in her own way is using Brian she never liked Linda and she wants everyone to see her going out with Brian. But Gina caves
and heads outside , doesn’t even really balk at him taking her to a cabin after all she knows all about these things , everybody has read Judy Blume’s Forever ( the book actually mentions this , I almost fell over! And would love to know if the author was trying to write a book fixing that whole books set up or loved the ironicies of the story – moving too fast thinking it’s forever and
possibly heading into another forever love. ) Once they get to the cabin Gina tries to slow things down by asking him what he looks for in the opposite sex he rattles off a list that should’ve had her saying take me home you boob! Pretty , well built , popular , nice to me , interested in the things I like. Rather than question any of these things she’s caught up in the confusing pleasure he’s causing – they actually mention french kissing! And only when his hands start straying does she stop him. He gets furious and snidely remarks 90 percent of the girls have lost their virginity before the eighth grade and I get stuck with you. She counters to him not to make her feel horrible because she is a virgin and that she doesn’t want to go further before realizing Brian doesn’t care not about her all he was after is ‘it’. Breaking it off with him she goes home but is miserable , not only that she seems to have lost a good guy like Robbie and Sally strangely enough isn’t that sympathetic – she couldn’t understand why Gina didn’t go to bed with him even if it was just sex! Pretty hot ideas for a series books. But Gina counters he didn’t even love me.
Still Sally is confused! Yikes! Meanwhile the reader is given some knowledge that Gina misinterprets , Linda Lee sneaks in a question in class – My boyfriend says if you loved me you would. Gina thinks Linda’s already given in – yet the reader almost thinks she hasn’t which is why Brian was so anxious to get Gina into bed and why Linda is later seen with another boy. And as for Robbie well of course Gina gets him she takes up running at the end of the book and bumps into him , sweaty and out of breath. He asks her why she has taken it up if she obviously hates it – so I could bump into you she replies brazenly. They kiss and Gina notes there is some chemistry just not like it was with Brian – but that’s okay love should always begin with friendship.
Okay sounds fabulous huh, now check out the cover. Would you suspect their were scenes taking place at a roller derby , that Gina was attractive enough to catch the eye of not one but two boys , that handsome hunk Brian was sturdy enough to be a stunt man? No in fact that cover looks like some nerd stalking a hunk whose secretly telling her to get lost over his girl friend’s shoulder while she trying to pose as an attentive girl awkwardly rests her head on his shoulder while keeping any other body part from touching him. And get a load of these outfits I know it’s the 80’s but come on – barf-city! Gina or the girl posing as Gina has a rather matronly nerd-stalker look going on – beige blazer ( bo-ring) , ruffly neck blouse ( come on the girl lived in California for a year not Oxford ) , a plaid shapeless skirt , patterned socks under sandals – socks with sandals! Big fashion don’t ( I know people did but we often scoffed ) not to diss the model but her thick eyebrows give her a slightly scowling look ( rather than longing ) and her hair is pulled back in a mesy matronly way. I have a hard time believing Brian would go for this chick even if he assumes she’s easy – I mean given Sally’s lust hungry manor he could’ve easily have gotten her in bed – no , I think Gina was borderline beautiful just not the typical beauty – as for the boy posing as Brian he’s so – so apt for the time with feathered hair but that color of shirt he is wearing is so bizarre it’s like a dull pink , dull mauve color , ugh. Linda Lee looks too pose-y like she has been placed their but is kinda afraid of getting cooties from her co-star hers is the only suitable outfit – but their’s not much to complain about , skin tight jeans – I wonder what brand – there’s a little dollar sign on the pocket. Cowboy boots , bright orange sweater her arms
full of stuffed yellow and orange duotangs. I decided to haul out some magazines but found an old fashion catalog of sorts – it’s in German and English and it’s a terrific big bulky thing offering up glamorous photos , hot descriptions and even fabric samples – I think it was a pattern book , but it was really seeming to sell the fabric. Any hoo , I decided to share some of the photos , just to show you all clothing back in the early 80’s wasn’t as bad as this cover – in fact some of it was downright awesome.
All the photos are from 1980 , okay two years off but so what , they’re terrific!
Love the color it’s like orchid!
Okay this is just to show you not all fashion is totally great especially certain fads can you see her feet , not that well? Then here’s a close up – Panyhose under sandals! at least more subtle than socks and sandals.
I just love this pic especially the set up of a hammock. Bared shoulder , side swept hair and peep toe sandals
Dynamite – nite on the town ruffley disco dress!
Cherry print , small print – dizzying but nice.
Check out the matching bathing suit under her sundress and her pale lavender sunglasses!
Is it just me or does this girl look a little like Molly Ringwald?
Are those jelly bracelets back in 1980?!
I think they are!
This is a nice print for a shirt waist dress – I think that’s what you call ’em
More vivid prints
This baggy harem style catsuit is pretty groovy!
And you thought only Mr. T wore them!
A blue feather earring!
and just to show you it’s not a one time thing –
It was the cool thing to wear just one!
Kicking off the huge bug eye glasses –
I love these gradied I think they’re called – or gradined glasses – well half tinted glasses they always made the wearer look so chic and aloof!
So cool Yellow sunglasses
And more accessories – peachy bow
Belts & purses!
And marvelous side swept hair!