Are You There God? It's Me Amy.


Springtime reminds me of all the books I consumed when I was young. Though I'm sure I read tons during the winter, for some reason nothing comes to mind. Perhaps it was the beautiful, soft weather and crisp sunlit days that heightened the experience; book in hand, walking down to the park, or sitting on the back porch.

I remember when all the girls in the neighborhood found out about Judy Blume. Man, that was like a revolution. Whole groups would be huddled together, whispering about the "bra scene" or when Margaret "got her period." What were they talking about? No elaboration was allowed, you simply had to go get your own copy of Are You There God? It's Me Margaret. There weren't any Border's Bookstores or Barnes and Nobles back then, well, not in small town Kansas. But there was a library. And luck was with me, they happened to have one available copy of the cult book I would die to read—if it so came to that.

Blume's books were the extreme of female introspection, something I love. Mother-daughter relationships, boys, coming of age, boobies. Remember when Margaret wanted a bra and she was freaking out while her mom was at the counter paying for it? Or when she discovered that not only did you have to buy Kotex, but you needed a belt as well? That scared the holy living daylights outta me. A belt???

I read the book faster than a coyote on a wounded rabbit. And then, I did the opposite of what all the others girls had done. Instead of going around discussing it, I thought real hard about its meaning. I guess that was the writer in me surfacing early on.

When Forever came out, Mom—who happened to run the local library—banned it from our grasp. Yes, all other residents of Spring Hill could see what was inside that blasted book, just not anyone living at 506 N Franklin. It drove me insane. I heard things about sex and "The Pill." They were even going to make a movie out of it, that's how fantastic it was. I had to resign myself to reading Superfudge again, or Planet of the Frog People, which was actually strangely good in that it was about a whole town being taken over by a species of half-frog, half-human thingy's.

But the best books for spring and summer, by far, were the Lois Duncan novels. Oh. My. God. I loved those books so much. Summer of Fear, I know What you Did Last Summer, Stranger With My Face. Can you say, freaked out? I seriously could not sleep for weeks after reading these books and yet, I could not, for the life of me, stop. She was a true master in paranormal. And, of course, I loved the whole 70's feel they possessed. Did anyone try astral projection after reading these? I did, then stopped when I felt my body vibrating. What if someone jumped in and took over and I was left to hover three inches above my body for the rest of eternity?






I loved Fifteen by Beverly Cleary, a really poignant book about being in a first-time relationship. It was without gimmicks and wasn't written to freak anyone out. It was surprisingly mature, tender and yet held a deepness that touched me. What really got to me, was the fact that the male character was nice. Imagine that? A nice guy. He had manners and was a gentleman in every single way. I love that. Bad boys are cool too, oh yes, but a gentleman is powerful and sexy. It reminds me of that line in Bridget Jones's Diary when she and Mark Darcy have a hot kiss in the snowy street, and she says, "Wait a minute . . . nice boys don't kiss like that." And he's like, "Oh yes they fucking do." Sigh, Mark Darcy . . . Okay, hand me the smelling salts. Too late, I fainted.

Oh yes. My truth from yesterday was the most pathetic one of all: I dated a John Lennon impersonator. He asked me out. I was young and stupid. He cheated
on me. End of story.

Oh! I wanted to say that the Victoria's Secret one was true for my best friend Kelly. Isn't that like the coolest job ever??? And I did try out for Big Brother, using liberalism as my "selling point." Thank God I didn't make it because that was the summer Evil Dick was in the house. The thought makes me shudder.


Comments

  1. Oh, this post has brought back memories! When I was 12 the whole class passed around a copy of Forever. And Margaret... I loved that book!

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  2. It was so good! Blume was so fantastic with those subjects. You know, I never did read Forever. I'll have to go get a copy and read it this weekend.

    Peace!

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