Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This place is a tomb. I'm going to the nut shop where it's fun.

When I was a kid, I read all the time. Like, ALL THE TIME. A few months ago, my mom was telling me a story about how she was in a waiting room, quite obviously deeply involved with her book (dirty), and someone wouldn't stop trying to have a conversation with her. I was all, "MOM. You used to do that to me all the time!" and she was like, "Well, JENNIE, if I didn't talk to you while you were reading, I'D NEVER HAVE GOTTEN TO TALK TO YOU," because that's how much I read, you guys. TRUTH.

Anyway, I also had this problem in that I thought everything I read was true. I mean, I think I knew that I couldn't really travel to Narnia through a wardrobe and that Ramona Quimby (age 8) was not actually a real person. It was more like I wanted the real world to be more like books, all the time. I wanted to write to Mr. Henshaw and I wanted to run around with Maniac McGee and I dearly, dearly wanted to go to Wayside School, even though it was falling down.

Mostly, though, I wanted to be in The Baby-sitters Club. I went back and forth between which character I wanted to be. Sometimes it was Claudia, with her "keen" fashion sense, but I didn't want to have her mean sister. I did try that thing she did, where she hid food all over her room so she could have fun snacks any time she wanted, but it turns out if you do that in real life, your parents catch you and get mad at you because when they asked you where all the snacks were going, you told them your sister was probably eating them and that, my friends, is called lying and I guess parents don't really like lying or something. But I digress.

Sometimes I wanted to be Mary Anne, but I was already desperately shy and bookish, so that was no good. And sometimes I wanted to be Stacey, but not really because man, she was a Grade-A beeyotch if there ever was one, right? Mostly, I wanted to be Dawn, but only because of her beautiful, long hair and the fact that she lived in a house with SECRET PASSAGEWAYS. I knew our house wasn't anywhere near as old as Dawn's house, but that didn't stop me from searching for secret tunnels in the basement.

But the Club sounded fun, no matter which member you were. Probably because there was absolutely no adult supervision and parents had no problem sending ALL the neighborhood kids off on adventures with 13-year-olds, like remember that one time they all got shipwrecked on an island? I mean, they weren't there long enough for it to get all Lord of the Flies, but still...who sends their kid off on a boat with a 13-YEAR-OLD?!

Unfortunately, I didn't have a boat, but I still thought I'd be a good member. Screw that Red Cross Baby-sitting class I took, I learned way more from The Baby-sitters Club. True story. OK, not really, but they did have those super awesome Kid Kits, full of all sorts of fun stuff to keep little ones occupied. I COVETED those Kid Kits, which I know is a sin or something but there are worse sins so just be glad I'm not out there murdering people or building shrines to the Flying Spaghetti Monster or whatever.

I still sometimes wish that real life was more like books. Less work, more play. Adventures that last pages and pages. Kid Kits. But last night, as I was getting my bag ready for volunteering, I rummaged through some of the stuff I'd collected for it. Stickers. Markers. Play-Doh. Bubbles. And wouldn't you know it? It turns out I'd made my very own Kid Kit, albeit about 15 years late. Maybe this real life thing isn't so bad after all.

14 comments:

You can call me, 'Sir' said...

I read the crap out of Henry Huggins when I was a rugrat. I loved those books. And his dog, Ribsy, would always eat stuff in a single gulp, which seemed amazing and dangerous and who doesn't like danger?

Joe G. said...

My favorite books as a kid, aside from the ones with pictures and word balloons, were the Encyclopedia Brown books. I've always secretly wanted to be a detective of some kind, and I think it's because of those books. I remember once I actually solved the case before I read the answer at the back of the book, and that was the proudest day of my life.

You can call me, 'Sir' said...

Ooooh, man, good call, Joe. I was a Hardy Boys junky, too.

Jennie! said...

I loved Encyclopedia Brown! I always cheated, though, and looked ahead. I did the same thing with Choose Your Own Adventure.

kat said...

Confession (that's this week, right?): I have never read a Babysitter's Club book.

mysterygirl! said...

I always wanted to be Stacey, because she was glamorous and from New York. But I hate(d) kids, so baby-sitting... not so much.

Jennie! said...

Kat, you really didn't miss all that much.

mg! see, that makes sense. Did she babysit in NY? Maybe you could be NY!Stacey.

seven said...

The title of this post is one of my favorite movie quotes ever.

And I wanted to be in the Babysitter's Club SO BADLY. I liked the one who dotted her i's with hearts. I don't remember who that was, but I thought she was cool.

Ashley said...

I totally wanted to be Kristy because she was the boss and she was sassy. Stacey's diabetes scared me.

Never That Easy said...

I definitely wanted to be a member of the Babysitter's Club, mostly because I was babysitting anyways, and nobody else I knew was: I just wanted other people to be interested in the things I was interested in.

Then I went to a college that specialized in education, and found my kind of people - each with their own homemade Kid Kits. Awesome. (Lesson plans, eternally less so.)

Jennie! said...

seven, I have a lot of love for You've Got Mail.

Ashley, I forgot about Stacey's diabetes! That always scared me, too. Plus...downer.

NTE, those are total grown-up Kid Kits.

Abigail said...

Man, that is so true about Claudia's candy. I SO wanted to have that.

Also, wasn't one of them a secret lesbian?

Jennie! said...

Yeah, I think that was Kristy because she was good at sports or whatever?

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