Thursday, August 27, 2015

She Has High Hopes

First of all, American Girl's newest Historical character (and the first truly new character under the BeForever name) debuted this week. Welcome aboard to Maryellen Larkin! This sweet native of Daytona Beach, Florida is trying to figure out how to stand out in a crowd...not an easy thing to do in a big family (she has five siblings) or in conformity-obsessed 1954.

I'm not interested in the doll (I already have a perfectly good red-head, colonial lass Felicity Merriman), but I would love some of her clothes for my own mid-20th century doll Whitney. I'm considering the cute purple gingham School Outfit, cherry-print Play Outfit, and a lighter Poodle Skirt than the felt-and-long-sleeved-blouse costume I picked up on eBay last year. She even has her own version of those itchy Crinolines Mom and Linda Young often complained about from their own late 50's-early 60's childhoods. I may look into her Ice Skating Outfit for Christmas. (As pretty as the Birthday Dress is, I already have a formal spring outfit for Whitney.)

Some of her furniture and accessories are nifty too, even if I don't have the room for them, much less the money! Whitney may end up with her "meet" accessories - I've been wanting to find fake pearls for her. I'm debating Scooter the dachshund, too. I usually find AG "pets" to be too expensive for what you get, but Scooter is beyond cute! I love his big, hopeful eyes.

Although her diner and the TV that you can use to make your own videos are cool, my favorite piece of furniture for Maryellen is the sofa bed. My family had a sofa bed in the mid-late 80's. It was brown and gold and kind of nubby, nothing like Maryellen's...and to tell the truth, it didn't work all that well. My sisters and I would sleep on it together on Friday nights so we could wake up early and watch Saturday morning cartoons. After a few years of bouncing on it during shows, I think we finally broke it. We couldn't get the bed part out at all by the late 80's. It was gone by about 1991.

I'm dying to read her books, too. I was born in South Florida (although I wasn't raised there) and was a devoted beach bum at age 10. I also come from a fairly large family (though I'm the oldest). And I definitely understand how she feels about wanting a white Christmas. White Christmases aren't that much more common in South Jersey than they are in Central Florida. I wouldn't have a white Christmas until I was well into my 30's.

Watched an episode of Remember WENN while getting ready for work this morning. "Caller I.D" teaches us about the magic of fiction when a late-night caller claims to be sitting on the edge of a near-by building. She'll jump, unless the cast performs for her.

Work was, once again, quiet for most of the day. It did pick up a little bit later in the afternoon, but by that point, I was almost done. My relief was right on time, and I was in and out.

I went straight home and worked on my story. Betty finds Scott and Ruth half-underwater at the remains of his sunken ship. Ruth has tied Scott to a casket and wants her to kill him - his blood will restore her fins, so she can go home and Ruth can take his soul. Betty, however, can't bring herself to kill anyone, even a human. She cuts him loose and kisses him instead. Her family shows up to get rid of Ruth. Wrathful and jealous, Ruth blasts Betty away and takes off with Scott, determined to steal away the rest of his soul.

In honor of Maryellen, I ran Grease 2 while eating leftovers for dinner and baking a Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. Maryellen's not the only girl of the 50's and early 60's who's tired of the era's need to conform. Pink Lady Stephanie Zannoni (Michelle Pffifer) is a tough tomboy who is bored with her obnoxious T Bird boyfriend Johnny (Adrian Zmed) and is looking for someone much stronger and a lot deeper. Enter Michael Carrington (Maxwell Caulifield), a bright and sweet transfer student from England. He falls head-over-heels in love with Stephanie the moment he sees her, but she has a far harder time accepting him. When he tries to be the "cool rider" she's dreaming of, they both learn what Maryellen did - the best way to gain someone's love is to follow your heart, not the crowd.

A major guilty pleasure that's a nostalgic soft spot for me - this used to run on cable a LOT during the early and mid 80's. Mom used to go around the house singing "Cool Rider" when I was a kid. Yes, I know it's cheesy, full of plot holes, some of the songs aren't great, and as gorgeous as Caulifield is, he can't dance or really sing. I don't care. When the numbers are good, they really hit the era right. My favorites are the dynamic opening song "Back to School Again," the hilarious "Reproduction," the bowling number "Score Tonight," and the Pink Ladies' "Girl For All Seasons" in the talent show.

If it's a guilty pleasure for you too, or you're a big fan of Pffifer or the Grease franchise, jump right on this motorcycle. It's not nearly as bad as its reputation suggests.

1 comment:

Linda said...

My Maryellen books will be delivered tomorrow. Am planning to enjoy!