Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

Except if those heads belong to two blonde twins with a serious case of the stupids. Because after reading Sweet Valley Confidential, I have come to the conclusion that there is no fate worse than the Wakefields. They are the worst twins ever!

Well except for maybe these twins, because, ew.

Anyway to prepare you for this, I ask you to think back to high school, or perhaps say, junior high. You remember how you had that one friend you thought was supercool and who could pretty much do no wrong in your eyes? But then, you got older and you realized they were kind of a gigantic dickbag loser? That is what reading this book is like. You start out with happy memories and then watch them get slowly destroyed by poor continuity and even crappier writing.

When I was much younger, I thought that the Wakefields were the $h!t. I related heavily to Elizabeth because I fancied myself a thoughtful literary type, but there was part of me that wished I could be a little more like Jessica and possess more of her sultry, boy-nabbing qualities. In fact, when I was very young and used to steal my babysitter’s Sweet Valley High books, I remember thinking that it would be awesome to be a cheerleader. I have no idea why I thought this considering:
a) I am not a joiner,
b) I find all sports except hockey incredibly boring,
c) I am so uncoordinated I was once stabbed by a tree,
but there you have it. The seven-year-old heart wants what it wants.

But enough complaining, it’s time to get to the meat of the thing and start my recap. Needless to say, if you want to read the book and haven’t got the chance yet, this is your warning because HERE BE SPOILERS!

The book starts off with Elizabeth, who is now living in New York like the serious-minded good girl she is. No more being a bubble-headed California girl! She’s a real writer now! She is returning to her apartment after a dinner out with her boss when the phone rings. Because this is New York and therefore a scary, crime ridden place according to literature, it takes them too long to get into the apartment to answer the phone because of all of her door locks, so Elizabeth’s answering machine picks up instead.

It is Jessica, whose voice is whining codependantly at them through the speaker. Elizabeth ignores it. Elizabeth’s boss is baffled by the fact that the voice on the machine sounds exactly like Elizabeth and is somehow not her. You know, for someone who is supposed to be the mastermind behind the crappy theatre magazine she works for, he seems a little bit dumb, like, if you worked at it, you could manage to convince him that Elizabeth was a sorcerer.

Anyway, Elizabeth doesn’t want to talk about HER INFINITE SADNESS, so she gives her boss a glass of wine and considers sleeping with him to stop his annoying questions. She spends a moment drooling over his apparently doable body, but then decides better of it because she cries after her orgasms now. Aren’t you happy that Francine Pascal mentioned your childhood literary pal Elizabeth having orgasms? How thoughtful of her! I mean think of how much more enjoyable Little Women would have been if Louisa May Alcott had been saavy enough to mention Jo March’s favourite sexual position! Totally pertinant to the story and not creepy at all, right?

Oh, and also as a minor note, Elizabeth also doesn’t sleep with him because he’s her boss and, you know, professionalism and all that.

So, having decided that there are no sexytimes to be had, Elizabeth unceremoniously dismisses her boss from her apartment. She briefly thinks of calling her best friend Bruce Patman (I think I speak for all of us when I say WTF?!), but decides not to so she can truly Garbo it up and feel sorry for herself. I don’t know what it is you guys, but I think something superbad happened between Elizabeth and Jessica! Cue the sad music! This is mucho serious!

The next thing you know, we’re treated to a flashback of the twins in high school. They are driving to school and stop to pick up Elizabeth’s friend Enid Rollins who Jessica thinks is the lamest of the lame. They also discuss uberdreamy Todd Wilkins a.k.a. The Todd who Jessica thinks is going to invite her to “the big dance,” as though they don’t have dances ever damn day of the week in Sweet Valley.

Anyway, two funny things about this sequence:

1) It’s supposed to take place 10 years ago which is awesome because, going by the timeline of the books, the twins started high school in 1983 which means that they were either incredibly stupid, which I would totally believe, or time in Sweet Valley moves at a practically glacial pace, which is also possible considering how much crap the twins got up to. I mean with all the spa-based face stealing and werewolf boyfriend having and white supremacist battling they were doing, I would imagine they would have pretty packed schedules!

2) If this storyline is true to what happened in the original books, this means that this is the dance from the first Sweet Valley High book Double Love. Many things happen in that book, but two of the most noteworthy are The Todd mistaking Jessica for Liz and subsequently thinking Liz is a slut and deciding Jessica is more worthy of dating him and Jessica getting so mad at the fact that The Todd has no interest in her she fabricates a story that he tried to force himself on her so that Liz doesn’t like him anymore. But apparently, neither the slut shaming or the supposed sexual assault are a big deal to anyone and everything ties up in a nice happy bow at the end of the book. Sweet Valley: perpetuating horrible sexual standards since 1983!

Moving back into present day, Jessica is kvetching to The Todd about how Elizabeth is ignoring her. The word “Facebook” is used several times to indicate that Francine Pascal is hip and with it. This is not your Meemaw’s Sweet Valley y’all! . . . you know, in case you didn’t get that from the orgasm talk. They don’t get into everything that happened to cause the rift between the two sisters, but they tell us enough so that we know that Elizabeth and  The Todd, Sweet Valley’s Original OTP!, were engaged and about eight months ago, he left her for Jessica and now they are getting married instead. Oooh burn!

To throw old Sweet Valley lovers a bone, Jessica and  The Todd head over to a party at Lila Fowler’s house. I have discussed my love for haughty Miss Lila before, so I won’t get into it again, but Lila is criminally underused in this book. If anyone should be calling the twins on their crap, it’s her, but instead she just stays in the background, wearing tiny shorts. Remember when your Viscount husband tragically died and then you hooked $h!t up with Bruce Patman in the forest, Lila? That was awesome! You are better than this! Now Lila’s only defining characteristic – aside from the tiny shorts – is that she is married to Ken Matthews. To jog your memory, Ken was the Aryan posterchild who played football in high school . . . and as a grown up, he plays in the NFL. That is what you call smooth character development, people! Actually just to stay on Ken for a minute as this is an interesting tidbit: in the high school, he dated Olivia Davidson who was crushed to death by a fridge during a horrible earthquake at the series’ end. However, when the twins came back from their first University break in SVU, Olivia was at a party they attended. So Ken has actually dated a zombie, which is pretty progressive if you think about it.

But back to the party. In attendance are:
– Elizabeth’s old soccer playing high school boyfriend Jeffrey French. He is now a dentist and has a boring nameless wife.
– Sweet Valley Gossip Monger Caroline Pearce. She apparently had cancer (SAD!) and now runs a gossip website that gets upwards of 500 hits a day!
– Elizabeth’s old Debbie Downer friend Enid Rollins. She is now a gyno doc and has become a crazy right wing conservative . . . but apparently, she’s not too conservative to knock boots with . . .
– A.J. Morgan. AJ Morgan was apparently some hot ginger kid Jessica was into. He works as a shoe salesman at the mall.
And to round out the group, we have:
-Former fatty cheerleading captain Robin Wilson. She is apparently a caterer now and Jessica is impressed she hasn’t gorged herself to death on all the free food.

It seems kind of weird to me that a bunch of these people were Elizabeth’s friends and are now at Lila and Ken’s party, but I guess that all of them are pals now. Or they all belong to some secret underground Stonecutter’s cult and this is a meeting or something. At least that would be interesting, which is more than what I can say for the book thus far. Let’s pretend, shall we?

Who condescends with every glace?
Who wears some nifty jumpsuit pants?
We do! We do!
Who has a sister looking mom?
Who spikes the punch at jungle prom?
We do! We do!

Sorry, but I really needed to listen to that song. So yes, we’re at Lila and Ken’s palatial estate for num-nums or whatever and everyone is kind of standing around bored, until Caroline Pearce makes the tragic mistake of asking about Elizabeth which sends Jessica into a rage. Jessica is so pissed in fact that she yells “You’re sick!” at Caroline who is currently regrowing her hair after chemo which . . . yeah . . . awkward. Jessica storms out of the party, The Todd in tow, but not before yelling at Lila for having the nerve to invite Caroline to her own house for her own party. *sigh*

Switching coasts back to New York, Elizabeth is heading out to interview some playwright guy for the crappy theatre magazine she works for. The playwright’s name is Will Connolly and addition to being a prick (language!), he is a dead ringer for The Todd! *gasp* Seeing this of course, sends Elizabeth into flashback land . . .

Where she and The Todd are in college and supposed to go to a party. However, Elizabeth’s superior physical makeup (stunning aquamarine eyes and size six figure!) wasn’t enough to keep her from catching the plague, so she is not well enough to go. Instead she suggests that The Todd go with Jessica . . .

In a weird bit of happenstance – perhaps they’re in the Matrix?- Jessica and The Todd are remembering the same party . . .
Where people mistake Jessica for Elizabeth and Jessica and The Todd decide that it’s fun and don’t bother correcting them because they are both kind of into it . . . and in a creepy turn, they sort of forget that they were pretending and then head back to The Todd’s apartment to bone. Just . . . so many . . . wrong things about that.

Back in present day NYC, Elizabeth runs into Will a.k.a. Prick Todd at a bar and they start drinking together. They are served by random Irish stereotype bartender Liam who Elizabeth notes, is so hot her favourite cheaty twin sister Jessica would be all over him. This of course leads to a discussion about family and relationships and drama, things that Prick Todd and Elizabeth have in common. They bond over this and then Prick Todd invites her back to his apartment where they fool around a bit. Go Elizabeth! You get your mack on!

Elizabeth heads home after some decent heavy petting and gets a call from her mom. Apparently, her grandmother is celebrating her 80th birthday and they want Elizabeth to return to Sweet Valley for her birthday party. Elizabeth says no way, but then thinks that perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if she had Prick Todd come with her as her date. She calls him up and tries to lure him into her trap asks him to come with her but with his play only a couple of weeks from launching, he tells her that he can’t afford to get away. He does however joke that Elizabeth should bring hot Irish sterotype Liam with her to use as boy bait for stupid flaky Jessica. So the fool, I’m afraid she gets thinking . . .

A dangerous pasttime I know. But that crazy blonde bitch is her sister and her fidelity’s only so so . . . So the wheels in her head they get turning as Liz thinks of that loony old tart, see, with quite cunning use of that dumb Irish dude, little Lizzy can split them apart!

But before it gets too good, we’re back in flashbackland again. This time we’ve moved up from Jessica and The Todd boning on his futon to a mere 8 months ago where Jessica is married to a dude named Regan. You remember the name Regan, don’t you Jess? He was president when you first started high school! Anyway, Regan is Jess’ husband (second one by my count!) and he’s much older and basically pays for her to shop and jetset around the world. However, Jess is unhappy. Apparently, he doesn’t like to party enough and he gets jealous when she flashes her boobs at other guys. I know, right? What a monster. So, six months into being married for a second time before she hits 30, Jessica decides that she wants to end the relationship. Instead of talking to him about it like an adult, she lets him believe that he’s taking her shopping for the millionth time and then ditches him to run off to the airport where she catches a plane back to Sweet Valley. My eyes are rolling so hard in my head right now, I am afraid they’ll get stuck at an odd angle.

Oh and a couple of sidenotes before we head back into present day:
1) Steven Wakefield is now a successful lawyer and is married to Cara Walker. According to Jessica, Steven cheats on Cara regularly and Cara copes by turning into one of those girls who eat their feelings.
2) Winston Egbert developed some software or something that he made a bunch of money on and now everyone says he’s a jerk. You know, considering what a prick everyone else in Sweet Valley is, I have to wonder what the hell Winston did to make everyone hate him. I mean is he running a child prostitution ring or hosting dogfights? Because from what I’ve seen so far, I think Winston’s golden.

Back to present day for a double shot of the twins!
In NYC, Elizabeth goes back to the bar where Liam works and pumps him for personal information. When she finds out that he in fact has family in California, she manipulates him into coming to the party for “Grandmommy” (yuck).
In Sweet Valley, we learn that Jessica works for an environmentally conscious cosmetics company. We also learn that her boss has the hots for her, but Jessica has too much integrity . . .

Sorry, I had to stop for a minute there since my eyes were watering from the hysterical laughter . . . Jessica has too much integrity to sleep with him and instead heads home to The Todd. This gets her to thinking about the past and when she came back to Sweet Valley after escaping her tyrannical husband.

In flashbackland, Jessica is living with Elizabeth and The Todd. Elizabeth thinks that Jessica and The Todd are getting on eachothers nerves, but anyone with eyes can see that they are really just sporting wood/ladywood for eachother. To get out of the house and away from The Todd so they don’t accidentally have sex again, Jessica goes for a walk on the beach and comes upon her brother who is locked in a loving embrace with . . . not Lila as many first supposed, but Aaron Dallas!

Steven Wakefield’s totally gay, everybody! I think this deserves a super sassy dance break because it is the first interesting thing that’s happened all book!

It’s Mercutio from The Edge! He seems to be having a much better time in this video than he ever did being mauled by THE EVIL BEAR.

There are many back and forth flashbacks to Steven’s new gayness but for the sake of not jumping around so much, let me just keep it all in one tidy section.

Steven was out and about running Wakefieldian errands one day when he ran into Aaron. They had been friendly in high school but never really close, so Steven gets caught up with Aaron quickly. Apparently after high school, Aaron went off to a real University (Stanford) and studied architecture. After that, he lived in San Francisco for a while (I think this is Francine Pascal’s version of a pink flag) before coming back to Sweet Valley. I am not  really sure why, after living in a place as exciting and progressive as San Francisco, one would want to come back to Sweet Valley. It’s like a crazy sinkhole for hopes and dreams! But yeah, he’s back and they arrange to get together. The night that they are supposed to meet, Steven doesn’t tell Cara where he’s going and he gets really excited at every dude who walks in the door thinking it’s Aaron. They hang out in the bar for a bit before Aaron tells Steven that they are heading back to his (Aaron’s) place. Holy $h!t, you guys! Steven Wakefield is keeping it on the downlow! Fifteen minutes in a Chili’s with Aaron Dallas and he’s totally up for gay sex! And those jalapeno poppers weren’t even laced with anything so he can claim ignorance later! And now I am wondering if he is a top or bottom! Aah! My head is so filled with questions! Why, Francine Pascal? Why are you putting these things in my head?

So Jessica knows and Steven is freaking out because everyone else still thinks he’s straight and he’s not ready to tell them that he isn’t yet . . . and you know guys, I’m not really one for advocating spousal deception, but knowing a lot of people who have come out, it can be heart-breakingly difficult. Coming out, even when the people around you support you, is hard. Because there are a lot of people who won’t support you and those assholes can be loud and mean and sometimes they carry rocks as one of my awesome friends learned the hard way. Hell, putting aside other people, even just admitting it to yourself can be a major emotional struggle. According to this book, Steven not only just discovered he liked dudes in his late twenties, but he just discovered it like a month ago and now he’s forced into the awkward situation of having to incidentally come out to a family member. It’s scary.

Steven begs Jessica not to tell anyone yet because he kind of needs to process this himself and figure out how to deal with his own personal situation and Jessica agrees. Well, let me amend that. Jessica agrees for about five seconds, then drives over to Steven’s house and interrupts one of Cara’s marathon pie baking sessions to out Steven to her. Jessica does this as she thinks it is her duty to get involved and believes that Steven will thank her for it later. Because it’s better to be dragged out of the closet than to come out of your own accord. Man, Jessica, sometimes (by which I mean all the time) you are one cold, conceited bitch.

Back to our present non-outing time, Liz has lunch with Prick Todd and tells him she took his advice and is now bringing yummy yummy mantreat Liam with her to her grandmother’s birthday. Will is like “Yeah, I was joking about that, you lunatic. That is a supreme bad idea and you will live to regret it.” You know, Prick Todd, you actually speak some decent sanity! I’m changing your name to Nonprick Todd! Unfortunately, the sanity is not really working for Liz who is annoyed that someone is finally calling her on her bull$h!t and, instead of directing her anger at her stupid no-good sister and stupid no-good The Todd, she turns on Nonprick Todd and yells “Fuck you!” right in his face. According to Elizabeth, she is 27-years-old and that is the first time she has ever said those words. Seriously, Liz? You’ve never even song along to this song?

(Yes, this is the real song with the real swear word in it so if you’re at work, sport some headphones. The clean version drives me crazy.)

After she swears at Nonprick Todd like a Tourette’s Sufferer and runs back to her apartment, she decides the most awesome thing to do is to call up her bestie Bruce and discuss the grandmother birthday party happenings. As it is, he has already been invited to the party by Mrs. Wakefield to act as Liz’s pseudodate, so he’s feeling a little put out that Liz is now bringing her own party guest. And why is Bruce feeling so put out, you might ask? Because he secretly loves her!

Flashing back to some years ago, Bruce’s parents got in a horrible accident and were both rushed to the hospital where they both later died. However, while poor Bruce was waiting to discover their fates in the hospital, Elizabeth came to be with him. In fact, she came every day and held his hand when no one else would. It was one of the few things that got him through that horrible time and it made him realize that he truly loved her. Oh my God, you guys, is Bruce Patman my favourite character in this book? Because I think he is.

At some point, before the truth is revealed to Liz, Bruce finds out that Jessica and Todd have been carrying on behind her back. Bruce wants to tell her, but is incredibly conflicted because he feels like he would just be telling her for his own personal gain and that would be kind of malicious. These doubts are removed from his mind when, over burgers at local restaurant, Elizabeth tells him that she and The Todd are close to setting a wedding date. Not wanting her to marry a man who is secretly horrible to her, Bruce bucks up the courage to tell her the truth when Ken Matthews runs into the diner they are sitting in (because there was an APB out on them?) to announce what is the most surreal and thankless thing that happens in the entire book.

Winston Egbert is dead.

. . .

I cannot even tell you how annoyed by this I am. Winston gets one scene in this entire book where he is actually present and do you want to know what that scene is? He almost unknowingly spilled the beans about Jessica and The Todd cheating (he shared the apartment with The Todd and thought he and Elizabeth were having sex in it) and then The Todd moved out and totally dumped him as a friend because he was scared Winston would rat him out! So from there on out, none of his friends talked to him and he was completely abandoned! And then, all anyone did was talk about what a dickbag they thought he was! Until one day, when he got sad and drunk and fell off his balcony and died! All Winston ever wanted to do was to make people laugh and have friends and wear glasses and then, for the sake of drama, Francine Pascal unceremoniously offed him! What the suck, dude?!

While Elizabeth and Bruce are off at the diner hearing about poor dead Winston, Steven has been home and I guess been confronted by Cara about the whole gay thing and the fact that Jessica told her. So, as he is super angry at Jessica – and kind of rightly so since it was not her secret to tell – he barges over to Elizabeth and The Todd’s where Jessica is staying and yells in her face about it. Steven calls Jessica a selfish bitch (AMEN!) and because she can’t deal with being confronted with her $h!tty behaviour (doesn’t that sound familiar, LIZ?!), she starts to cry. The Todd, being a sucker for a damsel in distress, goes to comfort her and the comfort turns to kissing and Elizabeth walks in on them . . . except she isn’t really looking at them and doesn’t see what they’re doing so, instead, she assumes someone told them about Winston and they are comforting each other. Bruce, however, totally sees them and thinks they’re jerks.

Later at Winston’s funeral, Jessica gets all sappy and sad about his passing and Elizabeth actually thinks that Jessica is sorry for how crappily she treated Winston, but it is totally a ploy to get Elizabeth to agree that forgiveness is important. If it’s not a self-serving bitch, then it’s not Jessica Wakefield.

Sometime after the funeral, Jessica’s rich old husband Regan shows up at Elizabeth and The Todd’s place in Sweet Valley. I am not really sure to what real end since he doesn’t seem to have divorce papers or even be all that invested in getting Jessica back. But Regan does totally see Jessica and The Todd jonesing for each other which he manages to point out to Elizabeth before scooting away in his sports car.

Elizabeth finally totally notices the fact that they’re kind of inches away from doing it again and she confronts them. They are so lame that they neither try to deny it or apologize for it. C’mon The Todd! At least, play her a meaningful song or something! In fact, I have the perfect one!

“I know you won’t believe it’s true, I only went with her ’cause she looks like you!”

And that is the last flashback! THANK FREAKING GOD!

In now permanent present time, Elizabeth has arrived at Grandmommy’s birthday with man-bait Liam. There is some reference to how this is just like a movie (Picture Perfect?) except that Liam doesn’t sound as charming as Jay Mohr. Much to Elizabeth’s irritation, Jessica doesn’t seem interested in Liam but Liam seems hella-interested in Jessica and keeps fawning all over her. This makes The Todd pretty angry and before you know it, all the Wakefield siblings are fighting and Alice is yelling at Ned to “bring out the fucking cake!” I kind of like that Alice has finally reached her limit with her stupid scheming children to the point that she starts yelling about fucking cake in the middle of her octagenarian mother’s birthday. That’s kind of boss.

Elizabeth leaves Sweet Valley and heads back to New York where she still has to interview Nonprick Todd. I’m going to switch it back to Will now because I am tired of typing the word Todd more than I have to. She is a little stressed out about how it’s going to go due to the “Fuck you!” face-shouting incident, but he somehow apologies to her and they manage to get through the interview relatively painlessly. Then, when the interview is over, out of both horniness and a desire to keep him from asking questions about her family, Elizabeth has sex with Will. And she doesn’t even cry once! Hooray? I don’t know about you, but I think it’s kind of creepy that Elizabeth is constantly using sex to shut dudes up. Is her vagina some sort of crazy cone of silence? Does sex with her cause select muteness? I don’t get it.

So after sex with her interview subject (at least it’s slightly more professional than sex with her boss?), Liz returns home to her apartment to find Jessica waiting for her. Jessica has apparently left The Todd! *sigh* For Christ Sakes, you stupid moron! You are pushing 30 now! Running away should no longer be your go-to relationship move. Because, seriously? Relationships can be hard. Sure, there are awesome, kick ass, fun times, but there are other times that are not so fun where people lose their jobs or your sex drives are at odds or one of you gets sick or whatever. And part of loving someone – I mean truly loving someone – is realizing that no matter what you are enduring at the moment, you’re enduring it with your partner because you are a team and they have your back. That’s what love is. Getting through life together. And you know what? At the end of the day, sometimes getting through the crappy parts together means more. Getting through all the great stuff together is nothing, because anyone can stand by you through the great stuff. It takes someone who loves you to hold your hand and help you make it through the hellish parts. Grownups don’t run!

And yes, readers, I do realize that I just lectured a fictional character but it annoyed me so much I had to. Make of my mental state what you will.

Back to the twins. Jessica starts crying over The Todd and Elizabeth sees that she loves him and with like five teardrops, their 8 month feud is at an end. Can you believe it? Jessica’s tears must be made of diamonds or something because I have never gotten out of anything that easily.

Jessica heads back home to be with The Todd and Elizabeth stays in New York to finish her article and see Will’s play. The play does pretty well and Liz is happy for Will but she realizes when she sees him with his ex-girlfriend that she is not in love with him and that they are better off as friends. Is this a mature decision from Miss Elizabeth Wakefield? Did someone switch the book I am reading? Because I don’t believe it.

I also don’t believe it when Elizabeth heads back to Sweet Valley to be Jessica’s Maid of Honour in her Wedding to Elizabeth’s long time boyfriend. When Wakefields mend fences, they do it with iron posts, bitch! But before she goes and deals with wedding stuff, Elizabeth pops by to see Bruce Patman who has big news. First, he tells her he sold his house in Sweet Valley (for $10,000 less that they buyers were willing to pay because he doesn’t care about money anymore. Is this really Bruce Patman?!) and second, he’s moving to New York because he loves her and wants to be where she is. Bruce Patman is my favourite character in this whole book you guys! What is up with the universe?!

Now I could go into the description that follows of them having sex, but I am going to forego that creepiness and instead post another song because that is how I role today. But know this – Elizabeth Wakefield has taut nipples!

Let the soothing sounds of Mr. Big wash that mental image out of your head.
I know bands don’t have slogan, but if they did, theirs should have been “Mr. Big = Huge hair. Rhythmic clapping. Denim.”

So both Wakefield sisters end up with people who have personalities that match their opposing twin. Snarky and brash Jessica marries sensitive and thoughtful The Todd and sensitive and thoughtful Elizabeth is lovers with snarky and brash Bruce! I am sure there is some sort of weird Freudian theory that this is an example of, but the book’s happy ending is Jessica and Todd’s wedding, so I don’t want to get too far into that.

Mini character recaps for anyone who is interested:
Bill Chase – The surfer dude who dated Dee Dee Gordon back in the day married a female basketball player.
Mr. Collins (Roger, if you’re nasty) – The twins’ old English teacher is in a long term relationship but never got remarried. His son is at UCLA.
Lila Fowler – Divorced Ken and attended Jessica’s wedding with Jeffrey French who seems to have lost the wife he was saddled with a couple of hundred pages ago.
Ken Matthews – Divorced Lila and was injured in the NFL but now works as a commentator.
DeeDee Gordon – Bill’s ex is a working artist.
Charlie Markus – Married Annie Whitman, the slutty cheerleader that Jessica and her friends almost pushed to commit suicide. He is a writer.
Annie Whitman – Married Charlie and has a baby now (see what all your slutty, slutty sex has led to, Annie?)
Betsey Martin – Still the crazy drunken sister of beautiful dead Tricia Martin, Steven’s first girlfriend.
A.J. Morgan – Broke up with Enid but still selling Reeboks.
Enid Rollins – Broke up with A.J. Morgan, planning to run for city council.
Roger Barrett Patman – Bruce’s illegitimate cousin. Works as a music producer and is married to a rock star.
Caroline Pearce – Still recovering from cancer. Still a gossip.
Nicky Shephard – Former Sweet Valley bad boy. Now in AA.
Cara Walker – Divorced from Steven. A math student baking her way to a Masters degree.
Robin Wilson – Still a caterer. Still surprisingly thin according to Jessica.
Bruce Patman – Once a snide rich kid, now reformed by the love of Elizabeth.
Aaron Dallas – Steven Walkfield’s boyfriend.
Alice Wakefield – Still the twins’ mom and survivor of breast cancer because Francine Pascal needed to give her another character trait in the epilogue.
Ned Wakefield – Still the twins’ dad and a successful lawyer.
Todd Wilkins – Married to Jessica and clueless about what a harpy she is.
Elizabeth Wakefield – Twin sister of Jessica, now happily sexing it up with her lover Bruce.
Jessica Wakefield – Married to Todd, twin sister of Elizabeth and learner of no pertinant lessons whatsoever.

As for poor Winston, if you were hoping he might get a last second reprieve from his drunken balcony death like Olivia got a last minute reprieve from that stupid refrigerator, it looks like you are shit out of luck as he remains dead.

Poor, poor Winston.

So that is the entire book. Now don’t get me wrong, it was pretty awful, but I also fully acknowledge that if she writes another one, I will still be all over that garbage because there’s nothing quite like a good train wreck. Oh Sweet Valley, you are totally, yet fascinatingly, awful.

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Bitch Guilt

I’m embedding The Dandy Warhols’ “We Used To Be Friends” into this post because it relates to the topic and is one of my favourite Dandy Warhol songs.

I got into a conversation with a couple of my girlfriends today and it really got me thinking . . .

So I have this Dude Friend who I’ve been friends with since my early 20s. He is a nice guy. Sort of.

Our history is a bit weird. Way back when we first started being friends, I developed a crush on him. He did not seem into me and so we were purely platonic. We’d hang out, have fun and then go our separate ways. There were approximately three times we could have hooked up, but at the end of the day, nothing romantic ever happened. I have never been able to maintain friendships with anyone I’ve had a romantic relationship with, and I wasn’t in a very relationship-y place at the time, so I considered this a good thing. I mean why mess up our awesome friendship over sex?

So six months after I get married to the ever fantastic Boy, I run into DF at a bar. He has been drinking for some time and is happy to see me. However, when it is time for me to go, he hugs me very low around the waist and then starts bringing up what I will for the sake of brevity refer to as “Possible Romantic Exploit #2”. I feel a bit uncomfortable, but I don’t want to make a scene, so I smile and leave. The next day, I go to talk to him about it, but before I can tackle to subject, he starts talking about how drunk he was and how last night was so crazy etc. So I drop it.

For a while after that, we have a variety of encounters in group situations where he doesn’t really talk to me all that much. Things are awkward, but okay – sometimes we do stupid things in front of other people and we feel silly for it. It is not the end of the world.

Then, a few months pass and it’s Boy’s birthday. About 15 minutes after I post something on Facebook wishing my spouse a happy birthday, I get an update that this dude has sent me a message. When I check Facebook, there is no message there, but in my e-mail account, I find an e-mail containing a message from him that is mildly derogatory towards me. It’s not the most awful thing anyone has ever said to me by far, but it just seems a bit weird and not really within the spirit of our friendship. I don’t really know what to do, so I forward the e-mail update back to him to let him know that, even if he thought better of it later and deleted it, I still got his message. I also make a little joke about the message, like “haha, very funny!” to show that it doesn’t really bother me and that it’s not a big deal.

A little while after that, I hear we’re headed to the same concert. We cross paths and I mention that it’ll be fun to hang out if he’s at the same show. He responds enthusiastically and I think that maybe we’ll be able to talk or something and get on the same page. Except when I see him, all I get from him is a freeze out. He’ll talk to me if I talk to him, but otherwise, nothing.

So here’s the thing: this dude hasn’t been acting like much of a friend for a while now and I have yet to really, properly call him on it. You want to know why? Bitch Guilt. As much as there’s history and feelings and mutual friends and all sorts of other pedantic bull$h!t, the thing that secretly worries me the most is him thinking I’m a bitch and then telling other people what a bitch I am.

I know. I am like the worst feminist ever, but I can’t help it. It bothers me. It bothers me that people could think less of me and, even worse than that, it bothers me that it bothers me that people could think less of me. Like, why do I care what other people think of me? And if they think bad things after hearing that, it would be on the basis of what? Some dude I didn’t sleep with feeling spurned because we’re “just friends”? And I mean, are we really even friends at this point? Do friends mess with friends that are in relationships? Do friends slag other friends? Do friends freeze friends out? Do friends make friends cry because of how miserable and alienated they feel after hanging out? No they don’t . . . or at least they shouldn’t because that is MESSED UP.

And Bitch Guilt is messed up. That stupid word, “bitch,” holds so much power sometimes. If men stand up for themselves, they get to be called things like “brave” and “assertive” but if you’re a woman doing the same thing, the word “bitch” is rolling off people’s tongues before you can even catch your breath. So, to keep from being called a “bitch,” we women do all sorts of things. We pretend that things don’t bother us. We make stupid jokes. We swallow down derogatory words from others. All because we don’t want to seem like we’re “emotional.” Like we’re “humourless.” Like we’re “BITCHy.” And the kicker of it is, the people who are going to say those things about us, who want to say those things about us, are going to say them anyway. Because that’s what they do. Because nothing is ever their fault. Because they’re surrounded by “bitches”.

I have no idea what is going to happen in our relationship. I know he can be a decent guy, so maybe we’ll work things out eventually and become friends again . . . or maybe we’re just destined to emplode in some sort of messy show of histrionics and hormones. At this point, I don’t know and with every day that passes, I’m inching closer and closer to thinking it would just be better to excise him from my life all together. Out of all of this, the only thing I do know is that, just like no one can make you feel inferior without your permission, I’ve got to teach myself that no one can make you feel like a bitch without your permission and get the hell over this Bitch Guilt.

Has anyone else out there in the interwebs experienced “Bitch Guilt”? What was the situation and how did you deal with it?

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June is a weird month for me because it holds two landmark days of mine.

On June 1, 2002, I had the accident which left me an amputee.

On June 28, 2004, I met Boy for the first time.

These were the worst and best things that have ever happened to me respectively, but in a strange way, I learned similar lessons from them.

Both experiences taught me a lot about patience and persistence. I was always looking to blaze through my life, to move onto the next thing, and then suddenly, I couldn’t, either because of physical or emotional roadblocks.

The physical roadblocks required lots and lots of rehabilitation training. “Want to regain dexterity in your left hand? Squeeze these forceps together 200 times. Want to decrease the sensitivity in your now raw and exposed nerve endings? Knead this bag of sand for an hour. Do all sorts of these things every day for months on end and maybe you’ll be able to function again.” Every task I had to do was ridiculously simple from the outside, but the fact that I could not rush through them to complete them (and that they were no longer easy for me) immediately gave me pause.

As for the emotional roadblocks, those required a little more work and were a lot less straightforward to get around. Pretty much all of my relationships up until Boy and I got together were awful. I had boyfriends who drank, boyfriends who cheated, boyfriends who thought the best way to win an argument was through force – some real winners. By the time I got to Boy, I was exhausted and unsatisfied and I didn’t want to deal with crap anymore, so I put the guy through his paces. And you know what? At the end of the day, he was still standing there in front of me, still wanting to hold my hand (even the gimpy one).

Relationships, like physical rehabilitation, aren’t easy. There are times that both’ll make you feel tired and frustrated and there are times that you’ll cry. But with time and experience, you’ll learn. You’ll get stronger and wiser and better. You won’t be better than you were before exactly – what you were before is long gone – but you’ll be better in a way you can appreciate, because this time, you’ll know you’ve earned it.

So thanks for the multiple ass-kickings, June. This one’s for you.

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I love 30 Rock, so pretty much whenever I get a chance to reference it, I do.

Boy and I are two very different people and the time that this is most evident is when one of us is having a bad day.

When I am having a bad day, the thing I want most is for someone to give me a big hug and comfort me. I can usually figure out my own problems myself but it takes a little bit of love and understanding from someone else to calm me down enough to solve them.

When Boy is having a bad day, the thing he wants most is to tear in there right away and fix it. He is all about spitballing ideas and coming to a resolution as quickly as possible so he can move on with his day.

Even though we’ve been together as long as we have, whenever our bad days hit and we try to help one another using our preferred method, there is usually a bit of bristling at the other person’s preferred method.

When I am having a bad day, I sometimes end up getting irritated with Boy because instead of showering me with hugs and kisses and words of sympathy, he will often stand off to the side and offer me fixes, which makes me feel like he doesn’t understand me.

When Boy is having a bad day, he sometimes ends up getting irritated with me because instead of offering practical solutions, I will often go to hug him and tell him things will be okay, which makes him feel like I am coddling him.

I used to think that it was because we grew up in very different family situations, but the more time that passes, the more I wonder if my reaction might just be one of those intrinsic female things.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of annoying stereotype/cliche things that people like to associate with being a girl that bug the crap out of me. 

Our periods make us crazy.
We like to do nothing but shop.
We’re all insane over babies.
Sexual experience makes us sluts.

That stuff all sucks, but with the bad comes the good. It is a heckuva lot easier to be an emotional being as a woman. As a sex, we’re generally more encouraging of talking things out and shedding a few tears when needed. Therefore, we can live life with our feelings closer to the surface than men.

In any decision I have ever made, I have always weighed my emotions first and addressed the practicality of the situation second. As much as I appreciate logic in theory, my emotions are my go-to. So, when it comes down to it, if something doesn’t feel right to me, it gets shut down right then and there. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Even though we drive each other crazy sometimes, I’m kind of thankful that we have different problem solving tactics. If Boy reacted as emotionally as I do, we’d probably never get anything done, and if I reacted as practically as he does, we’d probably sweep too much under the rug. Plus, I think it bodes well for the future and having a family – whatever kid we end up having can come to me for cookies and comforting and can go to dad when it’s time to kick some ass and take some names!

And again!

Do you and your partner have different problem solving tactics? Which one of you is the fixer and which one is the comforter?

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When I was much younger, I used to love drama. I thought it made things fun and interesting. I mean who was interested in contentment? That sounded downright dull! I wanted the excitement and adventure that came with emotional uncertainty!

A prime example of this was my two year emotional rollercoaster of a whatever with The Mumbler. Looking back, the thing we had was all about road blocks that, instead of seeing as drama-plague warning signs, I chose to see as sexy obstacles. First, he had a girlfriend and it was all about the longing. Then, when they broke up and we got together, and it became all about the suppression since I couldn’t actually say how I felt for fear of scaring his commitment-phobic ass away. The whole way through, I kept pushing forward and convincing myself that angst was par for the course. After all, after waiting so long, I didn’t want to give up on things prematurely, did I?

Soulmates, schmolemates: If your relationship is plagued with problems and guilt like Joey and Dawson's, run screaming in the other direction.

What I ended up learning is there is a difference between giving up and realizing something is just plain bad for you. And staying in a relationship where I felt insecure and afraid to be honest was bad for me. It wasn’t who I was or who I wanted to be, so I stopped investing my time, energy and emotions in it, cut ties and moved forward into a happier and healthier life.

I’ve tried to keep this in mind as much as possible going forward in my adult life and it’s made things a lot simpler. Don’t want to deal with drama? Don’t invite it into your life in the form of dysfunctional relationships.

I thought of this all yesterday because I saw The Mumbler on the subway. It was one of those awkward things where I thought I saw him out of the corner of my eye and then when I actually looked to check if it was him, he was looking straight at me. Neither one of us said anything or made a move towards the other. We just held each other’s gaze for a moment and then, when the train pulled into my stop, I got off and left him behind.

As I walked forward towards my home and my family, I felt happy. It was a nice reminder that I am not that person anymore.

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After I wrote my last post, I kind of fell apart. I had managed to get through the writing of it and I had run off to the bathroom at work to shed some tears but I seriously thought I was okay to make it through the day.

This was not the case.

At about noon, Boy saw the post and called me to express his condolences. The night before, I had heard that Tassy wasn’t doing very well and I had been upset then, but hearing that she had passed made me feel like I had been emotionally dropkicked. Opening my mouth to talk felt difficult so with a strained and clipped voice, I tried to keep my sentences short and to the point.

“Yes, I know.”
“I am okay.”
“I will let you know.”

As I work in a very small office, my nearest coworker could hear my end of the conversation and came over to check on me.

“I know it’s none of my business but I could hear you talking and I just wanted to make sure you were okay,” she said. And then, she touched my shoulder.

The entire morning I had felt ready to burst and someone touching me was like releasing a valve so I let out a sharp, strangled sound (“Hurgh!”) and started to cry. It took me a minute or two of hot tears streaming down my face before I was even able to explain what had happened.

When I finally managed to collect myself, I was told I was free to go home, but I said no because the last thing I felt like doing was going home to sit and be miserable. However, the longer I sat at my desk unable to think about anything else, the harder it became to stay composed. I couldn’t focus and my body was shaking with all of the contained emotions that threatened to spring forth from my eyes and throat at any moment. So, at around two, I managed to croak out my desire to depart and after throwing on my coat, I sprinted towards the subway.

There is nothing more embarassing than making a scene in a public space, so while I sat on the matted corduroy apolstery, I tried my best to concentrate on my damp even breathing and to fix my brimming eyes on the subway map.

10 more stops to go.
7 more stops to go.
5 more stops to go.

Finally when we got to my stop, I bolted off the subway car and made my way back towards the building where Boy and I live. As I walked, a song that I love came on my iPod and I felt my throat constrict with my happiness for the music and my sadness for Tassy.

“This is a hammer, this is a hymn,
This is a match to a ball of lies . . .”

I sped up my step and made my way into our building as my eyes blurred. I swiped my security fob maniacally in front of the lock and ran up the stairs to our apartment. And then, once the door closed behind me, I finally let myself explode the way I had want to all day. I dropped all of my things on the floor and made a gutteral bellowing noise as Boy swept me up in his arms where I remained for what felt like an hour,  just sobbing and shaking.

During this time, I don’t know when, my earbuds had dislodged, but I could still hear the tiny music playing from where they lay on the ground.

“This is the howling at the moon,
These are the arms you fell into,
I am a fire and I must burn today.”

I don’t remember at what point the music stopped or at what point Boy moved me from my ridgid standing position to the couch, but once we were seated, he kissed my salty cheeks and hugged me tightly to him.

“I’m sorry I don’t have more that I can say,” he told me.

“It’s okay,” I told him, “This feels just right.”

And it really did.

When we’re growing up, we’re always encouraged to seek out the most attractive and the most intelligent person we can as a partner because appearance and brainpower count for something. And while these are things of value, you will need more than that. Because there are times when you will feel tired and dulled and pulled apart by grief and during those times, beyond anything else, the thing you will want the most is a partner who will hold you and tell you it will be okay.

Take it from someone who knows, if you have that, everything else is just gravy.


This is the song I was listening to that reminds me of Tassy. It’s by AA Bondy and it’s called “I Can See The Pines Are Dancing.” The video is random but it is a very beautiful song, so I recommend giving it a listen if you have the time.

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