Friday, February 8, 2013

How Nancy Drew Changed My Life.

Alright, this is going to sound really cheesy, but... when I was around 8 or 9, I was big into Hardy Boys. I occasionally read a Nancy Drew or two because the books looked similar, but with a girl lead, and that didn't bother me TOO much, but I just didn't connect with her and her problems (and well, why would I? it wasn't written for me).

At some point, I started reading their team-up novels... and began noticing the romantic tension between Frank and Nancy.

Now for a bit of context... The Hardy Boys were the first non-picture books that I began reading at around age six or so. I was a fast learner and, while I could generally follow along, it was basically just an exercise. I never really GOT what I was reading until I started to reason (it wasn't until I was ten and reading Tom Clancy that plot, politics, etc., began to "click"... and even then, I didn't get EVERYTHING yet as I didn't have the knowledge base)..

Even so, I always identified with Frank because he was the smart one, the rational one.

For a kid who got picked on a lot for being a nerd, it was a good match (I even dressed up like him for my elementary school's Halloween Costume Contest... no surprise, I did NOT make it past the first round looking like Ralphie from A Christmas Story).

Back to the Hardy/Drew team-ups... while I didn't have a biological need for romance, through reading and film and the like I'd developed a social need to "find love." You know the story, right? Chasing the girl you like around the jungle gym, even though you don't know why (and certainly didn't have a tingle down south, yet)?

Cooties? Never bothered me. Girls never liking me back? Traumatic.

When I started reading those team-ups and really dialed in on the Frank/Nancy angle, I knew... I just KNEW... that someone like her was what I needed... an EQUAL. A PARTNER. Not just someone who was there, not just a convenience because they were cute or cool or available... but someone whom I could love and support and could do the same for me. Someone on the same footing.

Weird thoughts for a kid well before their majority.

So... fast forward to today and I can't tell if it's helped me or not. I've had a few short relationships that broke down because they didn't meet my standard (or what I thought was my standard) of finding a PARTNER.

Maybe I'm broken... maybe I took the right lesson but didn't learn the other ones about getting to said partner... but I can safely say, a single scene in a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys novel completely changed my world view about what I wanted in life.

Also... I'll never vacation at a ski resort because of said scene, either.

P.S. - Man, looking back at these covers? Fashion is WEIRD.