But first: because MY attention drops into Deficit when writers make esoteric references to masterpieces they assume I've read, e.g., The Brothers Karwhathaveyoukov1, Madame Bovary2, or Ulysses3, without explanation--let me give you the secret sauce, lest you stray from this post: "I got the idea on the first Tuesday afternoon of seventh grade. It was a very hot day. It was so hot that in my unair-conditioned school, Stoneybrook Middle School, the teachers had opened every single window and door and turned off all the lights." (K.Thomas, 1986.)
WOC4, right? I've been talking about air conditioning a lot lately? Right?
OMG, about 75% of you are totally eyeing right-hand scroll bar right now: I didn't get baby sat by no club. God, I wish I'd learned how to read great books. Where's that nice lady who always helps me with my dentures? SHIRLENE!!! Where's my Jell-O? I'm gonna scroll down here, find myself a topic I understand ....or girls making out with other girls? ... I wonder if when Riese has babies, she's just gonna be like, "My babies are so cute, I'm gonna get someone from that hands-down-totes awesome club to sit on them." Boring.
Here's a club I was in. It was called "the soccer team." I liked to distance myself from the other girls by dressing less preppy and wearing my sunglasses, even though the photographer'd told me 100 times not to. I slipped them on at the very last moment, like swift-armed Neo:
CLUBS WHICH I DO CARE TO BELONG TO
To [Gretel]: "Rule Number one of Marie Club: Everything she does that seems malicious or perhaps of negative intent is, in fact, almost always simply a result of her being: 1. a space-case, 2. out of it, 3. flustered, 4. on the verge of an anxiety attack, 5. drunk, 6. all of the above, as well as on tylenol cold and flu."
To [redacted female friend]: "Rules of masturbating when you live with your boyfriend: There are no rules to Fight club."
13. Sam's Club
Also, they sometimes sold like, Trampolines? They'd always have something random hanging from the ceiling that cost around a bazillion dollars. If I had a trampoline right now, I'd put it in the street and jump on it. Actually I wouldn't, it's so hot out there, I was sweating like a whore in West Harlem-who happens-to-be-wearing-pants instead of a whore-outfit because her calves are covered in bruises from running into walls.
12. The Special People's Club:
This movie, though considered controversial [Apparently the raw truth about seventh grade is harder to handle than blood/guts/violence], developed a strong passionate following, and jump-started the careers of [lesbian!] Matarrazo [Saved! The L Word], Eric Mabius [The L Word, Ugly Betty] and Brendon Sexton, III [later Oscar-snubbed for his supporting role as Warren in Empire Records, then going on to star with Oscar-winner Hillary Swank in Boys Don't Cry.]
DAWN: I was wondering if . . . Well, I've been thinking seriously of building another clubhouse, and I wanted to know, would you be interested in being my first honorary member?
STEVE: What are you talking about?
DAWN: The "special people" club.
STEVE: Special people?
DAWN: What's the matter?
STEVE: Do you know what "special people" means?
STEVE: Special people equals retarded. Your club is for retards.
Claire: You know why guys like you knock everything?I quote that last line a lot. It applies often.
Bender: Oh, this should be stunning.
Claire: 'Cause you're afraid.
Bender: Oh God, you richies are so smart, that's exactly why I'm not heavy in activities.
Claire: You're a big coward.
Brian: I'm in the math club.
Claire: You're afraid that they won't take you. You don't belong so you just have to dump all over it.
Bender: Well, it wouldn't have anything to do with you activities people being assholes, now, would it?
Claire: You wouldn't know. You don't know any of us.
Bender: Well, I don't know any lepers either but I'm not gonna run out and join one of their fuckin' clubs.
Andrew: Lets watch the mouth, huh?
Brian: I'm in the physics club.
Bender: Excuse me a sec. What are you babbling about?
Brian: Well, what I said was that I'm in the math club, the latin club and the physics club.
Bender: Hey, cherry, do you belong to the physics club?
Claire: Thats an academic club.
Claire: So, academic clubs aren't the same as other kinds of clubs.
Bender: But to dorks like him, they are. What do you guys do in your club?
Brian: In physics, well, we talk about physics ... properties of physics.
Bender: So it's sort of social. Demented and sad, but social, right?
Every day we'd be made to repeat:
Delp: What do you know?
Delp: What is this place?
Class: A Country Club.
We knew it though. We were like: More lemonade, thanks. Let's just sit on the beach and listen to poetry, fall in love with each other and then, fully in the throlls of crescendoing adolescent love, also fall in love with Raymond Carver, Mark Strand, Stephen Dunn, Jim Harrison, Pam Houston, Robert Bly, Kathleen Ann Porter, Anne Sexton, Bruce Weigl, Charles Baxter, Adrienne Rich, Gary Snyder, Stuart Dybeck...
In this photo, we almost look like we're at an actual country club, instead of about to get on school-buses to be transported to "Morp."
[That's "prom" spelled backwards, for those of you who are retarded. JK you're all smart. Smarter than me, even. 99th percentile. Go y'all. You all get in to Julliard, early decision. Congrats.]
At Interlochen, the question was: "Does the ocean need to be listened to?"
The answer was: "Yes. Listen up: trees are falling."
8. The Baby-Sitters Club, Obvs
"...and for me at age eight, just before I started at Emerson and started liking boys, the queen of Girl-Land was Stacey McGill of the Ann. M Martin YA series The Baby-sitters Club. Mom scorned the Sweet Valley Twins but admired Kristy and the girls on account of their implicit entrepreneurial spirit and hence, she forgave their whitewashed fluffy mass-marketed package.
Stacey worked summers as a lifeguard, and on the painted covers of those pastel-bright paperbacks, her long tanned legs dug into the sand like they'd crept up on her from underground, like maybe she was part mermaid. The cover art for Book #8, titled Boy-Crazy Stacey, pictures our heroine, adorned in a conservative yellow sweatshirt and her trademark red lifeguard jacket, cradling a freshly rescued young girl in her arms as a hunky lifeguard, tanned and as cut as a Ken doll, bandages the girl's injured foot. His shirt is unbuttoned to the waist. That was the kind of man I wanted: the kind that'd save a little girl's life with his shirt unbuttoned. And I also wanted to be a Mermaid. I wanted to be close to women who knew how to do whatever it was that Stacey did so well to bring all the boys to the yard, which I would be doing soon, too, because I was almost eight. Who Needs Baby-Sitting when there are BOYS around?"-[me], one of 500 bad drafts of my "book," which I'll never finish, because I'm doing this.
-When the “gang” head out in the storm with Lucca to rescue Kristy from drowning in the pouring rain, Mallory is seen wearing plastic yellow overalls, galoshes and matching hat.
-Mallory jumps at the opportunity to secure her house for a party being thrown in Kristy’s honor.
-While there is no proof to this statement, Mallory was surely uncomfortable having to be crammed in a small car with Lucca, a boy, considering she “hates boys” (this fact taken from the book Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym) in which she explains her disgust for the two aforementioned items).
-Mallory‘s clothing brings up certain questions. Consisting mainly of suspenders, shorts and button down shirts, her wardrobe is rather un-heterosexual. She is also seen to wear ties on occasion, an accessory associated with males and lesbians.
-When Kristy goes off to see her dad and the members watch her get into his car, one exclaims, “Kristy has a boyfriend?!?” Mallory’s reply is, “The world must be flat.” This is clearly a reference to the fact that Mallory is infatuated with Kristy and believes that there is a chance at a relationship...
I learned a lot about babysitting from the BSC. For example: I kept getting babysitting jobs and I never locked anyone out of the house again.
-"Kristy's Great Idea," Kristy Thomas, 1986
Stay tuned til the rest of this top fifteen comes out later this week, I know you can't hardly wait.
1A famous book by Dostoevsky. Often quoted by smart people.
2 This is a book by Gustave Flaubert. I quoted him and talked about him in that blog entry that got erased by zoho writer.
3 There was this list of the best novels ever and this book was number one. By James Joyce. Luckily, before I could feel too bad about myself, I saw that number two was The Great Gatsby, which I have read. Also obvs read Lolita. That's two in the Top Ten alone! I'm a genius.
4 WOC: Weird/Of Course. Maviland (Marie+Haviland) term, created to indicate strange coincidences of massive import.
5 Best friend/life-saver/life-changer, we met at boarding school in 1997, and later went to Sarah Lawrence and then to Manhattan together. Since then, he's been all over the world, and I've mostly been here.