Samantha, Roberta, Chrissy, Teeny, and Très Américain Blogger Juley Le
Our relationship with Juley Le started in a very 2019 way—on Instagram. The Très Américain blogger and owner of Drip Affogato Bar gave us a sweet shoutout in her IG stories. A few DMs later, we learned we share a whole lot in common: a love of New Orleans (her hometown and home base), an affinity for stripes, and, in Jenna’s case, the strong belief that Now & Then is the best movie of our time. Read on to learn why.
What’s the star of your Haystack Story?
I was thirteen years old in the summer of 1999. The youngest girl trying to keep up and be cool while my older sisters and cousins bonded over their favorite Bath & Body Works products (cucumber melon duh) and neighborhood crushes. Summer was always rather uneventful and painfully hot in Southern Louisiana. The highlight of my days were catching dragon flies and going to Blockbuster. While more cultured girls got lost in the pages of Junie B Jones or All American Girl, Blockbuster was my window to the outside world. That summer I got lost in the worlds of Mallrats, Empire Records, and Forrest Gump. As we went back to Blockbuster to drop off the latest returns, my sisters and I spotted a VHS copy of Now & Then perched atop the Blockbuster return box outside of the store. My oldest sister took a quick glance at both of us, snatched it, and drove off in our parent’s white Chrysler minivan. It was the most dangerous thing we’ve ever done and launched my obsession with Samantha, Roberta, Chrissy, and Teeny.
Do you still have it?
Not that exact copy, but we each have the DVD.
Can you describe it?
It was a VHS with the signature Blockbuster sleeve. The tape literally started peeling and couldn’t be played anymore because we watched it over a hundred times that summer.
Why is it so perfect?
That movie perfectly captured life in the suburbs, adolescence, and female empowerment in one perfectly styled 90s emo movie.
How does it make you feel?
Everything makes me miss the 90s.
If this item could talk what would it say?
Do not return.
When did you get it?
Summer of 1999.
Who did you have a crush on back then?
I think I was supposed to like Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Devon Sawa, but remember crushing on the class nerd with unconventional good looks. (Spoiler alert: I ended up with one!)
What did your Friday nights look like?
Bored, watching movies while eating saltine crackers and squeeze cheese.
If someone gave you $20 to spend, what would you have bought?
The latest Mariah Carey CD and Bubblicious Gum.
What show did you rush home to watch?
Supermarket Sweep. In fact, I still dream of being a contestant on that show if it ever gets revived.
What was your favorite snack?
Saltine crackers and squeeze cheese *covers eyes.*
What is one way in which you’re the same as you were back then, and one way in which you’re different? I’m still the same girl observing people and dreaming up ideas from the outside. Now, I own it and take comfort in doing my own thing.