My Bout With Stardom

Matt is out of town this weekend, so you know what that means… I find myself having all sorts of wild and crazy fun. The trouble that I am about to get into is just unbelievable. Tonight after getting home from work, I proceeded to order pizza and write myself a very long “To Do” list for the weekend. I then sat on my couch and tackled a few of the tasks that I could do from home and watch a movie on HBO. When I looked through my available options, I was so psyched to see  “Ramona and Beezus” on the list. I promptly started the movie and my weekend of total debockery began.

 

When I was younger, I was a big fan of Beverly Cleary. I read all of the Ramona Quimby books, including the ones that were written from Beezus and Henry’s perspectives. There was even a show on PBS about my beloved friends, some of you may remember it.

For some reason I really related to Ramona, even though I was not that similar to her as a child. Ramona has a wild imagination that was often getting herself in trouble. It seemed the harder she tried to stay out of trouble, the more she found herself in it. And while both Ramona and I had older sisters, there wasn’t much similar between Abby (my sister) and Beezus (Ramona’s sister). But for whatever reason, I found myself drawn to the character of Ramona.

One day, my mom, Abby and I were out doing errands and stopped for a bite to eat. When we were sitting having lunch, a young girl who was sitting at another table with her mom having lunch, came over and asked me if I was the actress from Ramona. “ME? The wonderful actress who plays my soul mate?!?!”

I have to say, I don’t blame the girl for getting us confused.

Molly, Age 6 or 7
Ramona (Sarah), Age 8

Sadly, I had to decline and it was obvious that her hopes of meeting a real “celebrity” were shot. But that got me thinking… for the new few months, whenever we were in public, I asked my family to refer to me as “Sarah” – yes, that’s right, the name of the actual actress who played Ramona. No, I wasn’t seeking to take credit for someone else’s fame – I just didn’t want to let down the countless Ramona fans that I would surely encounter moving forward.

Sadly, to this day, I have never been mistaken as Ramona/Sarah again.

Book Club

As a child I was always under the impression that I was a bad reader. Not only was I slow, but I enjoyed reading books that were “young.” As a result, I often found myself choosing other activities over reading: doing art projects, riding bikes outside and cleaning my room. These were activities that I liked and ones that I believed I was good at. It wasn’t until I reached 5th grade that I realized I was a very good reader. I was just living in the same household as someone who was a prodigy reader, my sister.

Abby is an amazing reader. Not only does she read books at a mind-blowing pace, but she also started reading very advanced books at an early age. She read the entire Nancy Drew series before she hit 3rd grade. She finished over 100 of the Baby Sitters Club Books by 4th grade. And she blew through the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by 5th grade. Very quickly, she moved from the “young adult” genre to reading the same books as my mother. While I was working my way through the Goosebumps collection, my sister was reading Mary Higgins Clark novels. On one trip to visit my grandparents, Abby finished all of the books she brought with her for the trip by the second day, so she decided to pull something off of my grandparents’ shelves.  After Abby read more than 100 pages of The Clan of Cave Bear my mother caught on to Abby’s book choice and quickly ended it.  To this day, I still think of that book as “too mature” for me and steer clear of it when I browse the isles.

 

Abby was never without a book and when she was reading you couldn’t pull her away from the stories found within the bound pages of these books. She would get lost in the stories of Billy Coleman and his dogs, Jo March and her sisters, and Anne of Green Gables was one of her most kindred spirits. Trying to entice her in a game of Candy Land or Monopoly became an impossible task if there were unread books around.

Thankfully, I was able to realize that my reading abilities were strong as well. I found friendship with the Box Car Children and the Hardy Boys. I cried alongside Jess Aarons when his best friend Leslie Burke died after slipping off the Bridge that lead to Teribethia. I fought, alongside Annemarie Johansen, against the Nazis to save her best friend in Number the Stars. And I got into trouble with Ramona Quimby and Pippi Longstocking.

    

I have been forced to read more mature books as I’ve grown up; however I am happy to say that I have read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, all 7 Harry Potter Books, and the entire Twilight saga.

Matt has a very different sense of style when it comes to prefered literature than I do. While I will read a Sophie Kinsella novel (author of the Shopaholic series), Matt’s literary preference is anything that has to do with finance. Our bookshelves at home are lined with biographies of Warren Buffet and “thrilling” tales of the stock market’s past ups and downs. Last year he decided to branch out (only slightly) and read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. While it took him months and months to complete this novel, he raved about the stories of Dagny Taggart and Rearden Metal. Eventually he finished the book and convinced me that this was something I had to read.

Reluctantly I put down my “beach books” and picked up the 1,100+ pages of Atlas Shrugged. I lugged the book, which weight close to 10 pounds, back and forth to work.  I started reading the book at a good pace, but slowly lost interest. The story of extreme government control didn’t hold my interest and the fascination of Dagny, the only female character in the novel, wasn’t as appealing to me as it had been to Matt. It was a struggle to continue to read, what I thought was an unrealistic, extreme version of governing, when I knew there were countless other books I would rather be reading.

I plugged along,  knowing that I had promised Matt I would finish this novel. Thankfully, last night at 12:45am, after months and months of reading, I finally closed the pages on Dagny, Hank, Francisco and John Galt for the last time. I have come to two conclusions after reading this novel: 1. I really want a bracelet made out of the blueish green Rearden metal and 2. Matt owes me, big time.

So while I am happy that I finally finished this book, and can move on to more interesting book, I feel as though I lost precious reading time. Oh well, who is John Galt anyway?