a compilation of musings on one of the world's oldest beverages...and a few other topics.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sweet Valley High: The Beer Diaries

I'm holding Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, or more accurately, Francine Pascal, partially responsible for my childhood insecurities.

As a very chubby, very tall, and very curly-haired young child growing up on the Jersey shore, I had a slight complex. Being afflicted with a lazy eye and being named Lameece (this changed when I turned 13, thanks to a lawyer friend of my parents and the United States court system) didn't help matters, either.

From a young age, I was a pretty voracious reader, and devoured the epically bad and horrifically addictive series, "Sweet Valley High." Most children of the 80's should be able to recall these books. Please, jut admit you have read them. Like a workout room at a Crunch gym, this is an advertised No-Judgment Zone.

Being inculcated with the dramas of fictitious sixteen year-olds growing up in California, "Five-foot-six and a perfect size 6, with long blond hair and blue-green eyes," meant entering into a world of exaggerated girldom that was highly unrealistic and, in retrospect, an utter waste of time. Because really, one of the best ways to limit one's vocabulary is to continue to read the SVH series when you easily could have indulged in some seriously interesting prose. But at the time, reading about Jessica's trysts with Bruce Patman in books such as "All Night Long" and Elizabeth's constant and ongoing righteous indignation was right up there with waddling sprinting out onto Linden Avenue for a hit (or 3) of strawberry shortcake ice-cream bars from the Ice Cream Truck. Even if I was about as close to the physical ideal of Francine Pascal's world as I was to the Moon. And no, in case you're curious- if I ever have a daughter, she's not reading this shit.

In lieu of this news and because they are now of drinking age, I thought it might be fun to speculate about Jessica and Elizabeth's beer of choice, which of course involves Pretending Like They Are Real People. YES. My analysis is fairly schizophrenic, which is appropriate given that both characters are actually total nutcases.

Jessica may best be described as follows: conniving, hurtful, petty, superficial, gossipy, clever, trampy, lazy, uncaring, sly, opulent, fashionable, cutting, Machiavellian.

Given these personality traits, what beer do you think a 27-year-old Jessica Wakefield might drink? My thoughts:

a) Jessica doesn't drink beer. As a woman excessively concerned with her appearance and maintaining her perfect size 6 figure, she's under the (mistaken) impression that a beer, versus knocking back several glasses of white wine, followed up by a Cosmopolitan, followed by red-bull and vodka, followed by...(ok, you get it) will make her fat. Also, beer makes Jessica bloated, and she can't have that.

b) Jessica drinks Miller Light. She's everyone's favorite sorority girl who also likes to pose as a "guy's girl" and show off her shotgunning and keg tapping prowess. She loves to pretend-dominate at games of beer pong beirut while shouting vulgarities and occasionally flashing boob.

c) Jessica drinks Stella Artois. She just loooooooves Stella Artois, and the fact that she's drinking a Belgian beer, and she's ultra-sophisticated! She loves differentiating herself from the rest of her girlfriends drinking red wine, and, to the males in the room, she makes a point of showcasing that she is, in fact, drinking a Stella Artois.

Next up: the fascinatingly obnoxious Elizabeth Wakefield.

Elizabeth may best be described as follows: prudish, self-righteous, insanely judgmental, intelligent, boring, high-strung, and a nosy, anal-retentive, control-freak.

So, which beer would EW drink? My thoughts:

a) Elizabeth wouldn't drink beer, either, but it has nothing to do with her figure. Elizabeth is simply anti-alchohol. Alcohol is a gateway drug. Surely, someone who drinks alcohol also smokes a ton of pot and probably shoots their veins full of heroin, too. Also, alcohol leads to promiscuity. Elizabeth can't have that. A sip of alcohol is a couple steps away from ending up on Haight-Ashbury peddling your body to a local dealer with only a tie-dyed blouse and some hoop earrings to your name.

b) Elizabeth would drink Mike's Hard Lemonade. Because it's SWEET, just like her! Yes, Mike's Hard Lemonade isn't beer, but it just tastes so good! Plus, the abv isn't too high. Plus, by drinking a MHL, she can be part of the party but not really part of the party, know what I'm saying?

c) Elizabeth would drink a Pliny the Elder. Yes, you read that right, and no, I'm not on hard drugs, although after this weekend, they probably would have been useful. In her old age, Elizabeth has managed to mellow out, and has become something of a beer aficionado. She's genuinely interested in trying new beers. But, in typical Elizabeth fashion, this girl is one hell of a holy-rolling hipster beer snob. Come forth with your Bud Light and she will cut you with her fiery, righteous stare, right before she adjusts her black wire-rim frames and wipes some migrating chips (chips! gross!) off of her skinny jeans.

For Our Next Post: Nathan Lane and How He Appears to Have Stolen His Laugh in "The Birdcage" From the Horrific Actor Playing Mozart in Amadeus, and Beer.


  1. This is genius. Let's do this for every childhood favorite. Next up: Anne of Green Gables, the early years.

  2. Ab-so-lutely. AOGG would definitely involve port...and some seriously high-class beers.

  3. Wait, Lameece? Really?????? (Or is a this a *Duh Mollie obviously I was kidding* moment?)

  4. Yes, Lameece- that's the name I was born with! The choice of my current name was a "Hi, I would like to have the most common, WASPY, 'American' name as possible, thanks!" move...