in recent years

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back to school with judy blume: it’s not the end of the world

Dear Judy,

It’s Not the End of the World was… I’ve been sitting here trying to do a pun thing and I’m finally giving up. It’s Not the End of the World was okay!

It’s not a book I particularly identify with because, by the time divorce was imminent for my parents, I was kind of praying for it. And maybe that’s what struck me the most — that Karen could be living in a pretty toxic environment and not have realized what was coming, not been hoping for it. My parents are together now — the announcement of their forthcoming divorce ended in my mother’s attempted suicide, subsequent therapy, and a year of separation before they decided to   [more…]

back to school with judy blume: then again, maybe i won’t

Dear Judy Blume,

First, let me say that I’m sorry to hear about your recent bout with breast cancer and that I’m terribly glad that you were on the mend so quickly! And also thank you for writing about it with your usual honesty and good humor. You are as wonderful as ever.

Second, I read Then Again, Maybe I Won’t this week and it was nearly as enjoyable as Margaret. Granted, it is Margaret except with Tony’s boners, and wet dreams for Margaret’s periods and bras. And the central struggle with religion replaced with sudden wealth. Tony even moves to an unfamiliar suburb! Though for entirely different reasons than the Simon’s do.

Had I read this when I read Margaret,   [more…]

back to school with judy blume: are you there, god? it’s me, margaret.

It’s not my original, but it’s the exact edition. It even feels the same. Gawd bless the internet. Gawd bless compulsive vintage buyers. Gawd bless Etsy.

Dear Judy Blume,

I don’t remember a time before Margaret. This isn’t saying much, really, since I can’t really remember much of anything from any period of my life, regardless of age or importance. I remember getting high for the first time and the first boner I ever saw, though, so I guess there are some things that last. Regardless, I don’t remember a time before Margaret and even if it isn’t saying much, it’s saying something.

I must’ve read it for the first time around eight or nine, maybe even younger, and I have the vague   [more…]

back to school with judy blume: an intro

Along with my continued recapping of Face Off (though, LORD, what wretched work are they) I decided to assign myself another project for September.

In early August, I sleepily rolled over to Crystal and said, “I need you to find me two really specific copies of books, okay?” and she said, “… O… kay?” and I proceeded to describe, in detail, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. and Deenie but in their late 70s printings. “It’s purple with like, a very blonde windswept girl on the cover… and the other one… She’s standing in front of an oval mirror and there’s like… some dark yellow.” I was sleepy, but the descriptions were accurate and within two days they were winging their way through the mail to us from Oopsee Daisies on Etsy. Along with a bunch of other vintage kid lit because neither Crystal nor I can control ourselves   [more…]

our house at the south end of our street

There are a lot of complicated feelings in moving somewhere, even if you’re not moving far away, even if you’ve only lived somewhere for a little while or you never really liked the place anyway or you’ve been trying to escape since you were born.

my grandparents had these done for our families by some friend or other and i’ve always kind of loved ours

The house I’m moving out of — the place — is my home and my hometown. It’s the house my parents brought me home to after I was born and it’s got 27 years and almost five months of history for me. I learned to walk here and to talk and to read and write. I’ve made a lot of terrible decisions in these   [more…]