Inspired by dmbmeg I have decided to fill you all in on a conversation that Carly, a friend who I am now going to call Rockstar (because she parties and looks like one), and myself had last Friday in Brooklyn.
But let me preface this with a realization I had but three weeks ago, when watching The Babysitters Club movie (Rachel Leigh Cook as Mary Anne! Alex Mac as Dawn! ) on Showtime on Demand. The movie was circa 1995 and nothing like the short-lived TV series that I remember. It was all about the club forming their own summer camp for the kids of Stonybrook. Then it hit me...wow, that Kristy was a little lesbian stereotype. Softball! Hates dresses! Wants to hang with her girlfriends all the time!!! Nothing wrong with this mind you, but it made me understand why I never related to her in the books.
So I decided to share this theory with Carly and Rockstar (both which, I think were a little puzzled that I was watching this film at the age of 25) and it got us going on the books we read as kids. Rockstar's favorite BSCer is Claudia because she's artsy. Carly liked Stacy. I was a big Mary Anne fan, because she got to date Logan, the piece of ass. We remembered how the Stacy's diabetus was like the BIGGEST deal ever!!!!! OMG! SHE NEEDS INSULIN! SCANDAL! And how Alan became Kristy's beard.
Then we remembered our good friends in Sweet Valley, Elizabeth and Jessica, that bitch Lila and a bunch of other people. Elizabeth was the shy one, Jessica was sort of a ho. And now a personal confession:
One of the reasons I have never and will never do cocaine is because of a Sweet valley High novel (can we call them novels?). Let me set the scene. The twins are at a party, it's the '80s, it's all preppy people wearing pastel. A girl named Regina Morrow has fallen in with the wrong crowd...she does some lines...and her effing HEART EXPLODES. She had a heart murmur and did coke and died. Lesson learned, you don't need to tell me twice. Way to help out today's youth Francine Pascal.
Rockstar and Carly sort of laughed when I told them this but there are MANY, including my sister who were scared of drugs because of this book...so reading IS fundamental.
Then we started talking about how we eventually moved on from serials like the BSC and SVH (and for me, Nancy Drew 7 Encyclopedia Brown...I read...a lot.) onto those creepy scary books written by RL Stine and Christopher Pike. Did anyone ever read The Midnight Club...about the kids in hospice who tell stories and then two have sex? Or Remember Me when the girl comes back from the dead as a ghost? Biz. arre.
But it all makes sense to me now. I read enormous amounts as a kid because a lot of these books were never a challenge to me like say, Trainspotting or The Satanic Verses. They were entertaining and easy (like the HP books) and I obviously took a lot of life lessons from them. And no wonder many people (not me) stop reading as they get older. Reading becomes more challenging for some...It took me over a month to finish Salman Rushdie's book...and I didn't even like it!
There really wasn't an end to our conversation because I believe Drug Teeth interrupted it. But ever since that evening I have had the Babysitter's Club theme in my head:
Say hello to your friends (Babysitter's Club)
Say hello to the people who care
Nothing's better than friends (Babysitter's Club)
Cuz you know that your friends are always there....
Profound. I know.