I’m Metalia. When I’m not hanging out with my husband and toddler son, I fill my days working in Manhattan, making borderline compulsive lip gloss purchases and contemplating just why there is no such thing as Hobo Stab Insurance. (They are drawn to me like moths to a flame, people.)
The wonders of the internet have enabled me–a lemonade loving Jewish girl from New York who tortures innocent bar patrons with her wretched karaoke singing—to connect with Loralee, a Mormon Diet Coke addict from Utah who SINGS FOR REALS ON A STAGE WITH HER BEAUTIFUL VOICE AND BRIGHT LIGHTS AND PURTY DRESSES AND EVERYTHING. I loved Loralee’s writing from the very first post of hers that I read, which is a true testament to her hilarity, as the post was about her cat Wilbur, and I loathe cats. I adore this woman, and was thus obviously flattered when she asked me to write a guest post for her. I’m very sad I won’t get to meet her at BlogHer this summer, but if all goes as planned, I will have just had my second kid, and felt that a cross-country plane trip complete with a newborn, crazy postpartum hormones, and no alcohol consumption was not in anyone’s best interest.
Despite our aforementioned differences, Loralee and I actually do have a lot of things in common, one of them being our deep and abiding love of the All-of-a-Kind Family book series, which we both read as kids. The series told the story of a family of five little girls who lived in the early 1900s, and the wild and exciting adventures they had. Like sneaking candy in bed. And making a game out of dusting. And taking out library books.
(How compelling am I making THIS sound? I tell you, my obvious talents as a literary publicist are going to waste.)
But these books were GOOD, dammit, and as I told Loralee in one of our many emails on this very subject, I was so enamored with the whole thing that I actually begged my parents buy me old fashioned high-buttoning boots just so that I could emulate the girls in the book. Shockingly, they obliged.
The one thing that I didn’t love about the books was the fact that people in these books? Got POLIO. And SCARLET FEVER. And I read these when I was really young, so I wasn’t aware that these diseases were no longer problematic, and thus lived in abject fear of contracting them.
This got me thinking about a few other books that I loved, but yet still scarred me as a kid:
The Baby Sitters’ Club - I may or may not have spent time slavishly attempting to recreate certain of Claudia’s more memorable outfits. Splatter-painted stirrup pants, a side ponytail and mismatched socks may have been involved. There are pictures, and they are frightening. As for the fear factor, one of the main characters–Stacey–had diabetes which they addressed sort of simplistically, so that for a good two or three years, every time I was really thirsty, I was convinced I had diabetes.
Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret – Yes, yes, it’s a timeless tome for young girls, blah di blah, but good Lord, the REPEAT MENTIONS OF BELTED SANITARY NAPKINS. I know the book is a classic, but sweet merciful crap, Judy Blume, perhaps give it a tweak or two to fit the times so that a certain impressionable preteen whose name rhymes with “Shmetalia” wouldn’t have needlessly lived in fear of having to wear something like THIS.
Love You Forever-In theory, the book sounds sweet: It’s a picture book which follows the bedtime ritual of a little boy and his mom throughout his life: she holds and rocks him, singing the titular lullaby while he sleeps. She does it when he’s an infant (sweet!), toddler (still sweet!) little kid (cute!) teenager (uh…), and finally, when he’s a FULLY GROWN MAN AND SHE HAS TO SNEAK IN HIS HOUSE AT NIGHT TO DO IT. WITH A LADDER, FOR CRISSAKES! A LADDER! I am not making this up (yes, we do own it. It was a gift.):
What about you, Loralee fans? Any books you read as a kid that, in retrospect, scarred you or weirded you out in some way?