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Monday, July 16, 2012

121

Texts From Sweet Valley High

Jess are you there?
yeah I’m here
Where were you?
what do you mean
Did you not get any of my texts?
no
The Sweet Sixteen people were here
for the interview about the fundraiser
they already came?
you weren’t here so I tried to do the best I could without you
Oh I know I was awful – I’m sure they won’t print anything I said
I’m so sorry you couldn’t make it
hey Liz
Yeah?
do you ever catch anything
when you’re fishing
for compliments

oh my god
oh my god they’re not moving, Jess
I think they’re both dead, Jesus Christ God they’re dead, they’re dead
the car flipped and nobody’s moving
oh my god
well
you wouldn’t spike the punch like I asked!!
so I had to spike it myself
WHAT DID YOU PUT IN IT
ohhh my godddd i don’t KNOW, something from a jar??
that’s why I asked you to do it
I would never have helped you if I knew you were going to do something like this
then I guess you don’t have what it takes to be Jungle Prom Queen
which, is that the same thing as regular prom queen?
haha what kind of school has two proms
anyhow I thought Bruce looked crazy hot tonight
do you think he has a date for the next prom?
Bruce is dead
yeah he didn’t look that good I guess

Oh, Jess
I hate New York sometimes
I miss Sweet Valley so much
oh my god I know
they don’t even have a Dairi Burger there!!!
what kind of a city
It’s just so empty
Like this morning at the coffee shop
I really felt like the interaction I had with the waitress
when I asked if they had any stevia
lacked authenticity
I sure wish this news internship were over already
but who knows when they’ll be done having news here
haha remember Mom
I knew you’d understand, anyhow
remember Dad
what happened to them
where do they go all the time 

Jess
Jess where are you
haha what
the pep rally is in a few minutes and we need you for the pyramid
oh that 
something tells me we're not going to be cheering much tonight
what do you mean
let’s just say 
we won’t have to worry about hose jerks at Big Mesa anymore
Jessica what did you do?
let’s just say their plans to trash the field after the big game have 
“gone up in smoke”
Jessica
what did you do
let’s just say their “gym” 
is “on fire” 
with SVH spirit
hey do you want to go to the Dairi Burger?
I’m all hungry 
and covered in ash

Previously: Texts From Jane Eyre.

Mallory Ortberg is a writer in the Bay Area. Her work has also appeared on Slacktory and Ecosalon.

121 Comments / Post A Comment

SockHopBop

I always loved Jessica the best.

wharrgarbl

*tiny screams*

PistolPackinMama

I always knew Jessica was a total sociopath.

wharrgarbl

@PistolPackinMama Morals and empathy won't fit into a perfect size six dress.

PistolPackinMama

@wharrgarbl If that were the reason I couldn't wear a perfect size six dress, I would die a very happy women.

Alas, the reason is Lay's potato chips. And cheese.

Which are also okay reasons, but still.

wharrgarbl

@PistolPackinMama It could also be your overwhelming awesomeness and/or ambition.

pandaonaplane

This made me entire life.
As I was typing in "thehairpin.com" into my browser, I thought, I really wish there would be a new installment from the "texts from..." series. But then I thought it was too soon since the wonderful Jane Eyre edition.
I squealed at my desk when the page came up and this was the first thing on it! I am sooooo happy now.

iceberg

ahh perfection.

Anne Helen Petersen

Jessica vs. The Entire Babysitters Club -- who ends up hungry and covered in ash?

The Lady of Shalott

@Anne Helen Petersen Jessica. Not even a contest. Because even though Kristy would have some gigantic plans, Jessica would wipe the floor with the rest of them.

pandaonaplane

@Anne Helen Petersen
I don't think there would be a single reason for me to keep living if she did a Babysitters Club edition. It would complete me.

Anne Helen Petersen

@The Lady of Shalott But Claudia might have a really sick/hipster outfit that would distract Jessica? Like some mismatched square wooden earrings?

Princess Slayer

@Anne Helen Petersen Claudia could stab people with the jewelry she makes out of forks.

The Lady of Shalott

@Anne Helen Petersen Even if Claudia distracted Jessica with her tie-deyed mismatched nonsense socks, the others would just drag her down. Mallory would be too busy freaking out, Mary Anne would be weeping uncontrollably, Dawn would think she'd be prepared but actually fall apart, Stacey would be upset that her cute outfit from Steven E. was getting ruined, and Jessi would just be convinced that it was because she was black.

I'll show myself out.

SockHopBop

@Anne Helen Petersen - My money's on Jessica too, but I'm thinking Stacey may switch sides. She's kind of a secret Wakefield triplet.

City_Dater

@Anne Helen Petersen

There wouldn't be a hair left of the Babysitters Club, and no way to tie anything to Jessica, either. And you don't even want to know what she would do to those Traveling Pants idiots. Amateurs.

Princess Slayer

@The Lady of Shalott I love you.

Ophelia

@SockHopBop Ohhhh, THAT's why she moved from California...so much has become clear.

Yahtzii

Texts from Crazy Margo
hi liz
your skin looks so beautiful today
i'd like to wear it
like a dress
jk
maybe

EternalFootwoman

@SockHopBop But would Stacy's diabetes be a hindrance?

Alli525

@Ophelia That was Dawn - who, now that I'm thinking about it, was probably Margo starting her life over in suburban Connecticut. Eerie.

teaandcakeordeath

@Anne Helen Petersen
Jessica would destroy them, steal Claudia's hidden sweets and update the club journal with the words It's 5:31. Die bitchez ...

Verity

@Anne Helen Petersen Jessica would just think the BSC were so ridiculously uncool.

sandwiches

@Yahtzii Oh how I loved Margo.

TheLetterL

@SockHopBop Yeah, Jessica ftw, but I also think Stacy could be a loose cannon. I think she fights scrappy, being from The Big City and all.

whateverlolawants

@pandaonaplane I second this. And there needs to be more than one installment, because there are so many characters. Especially if Logan and Shannon get in on it... or Cokie Roberts!

bessmarvin

This is my favorite thing in the world!

backstagebethy

Do you ever catch anything
when you're fishing
for compliments.

Perfect.

Related: I hope you have all purchased volumes 1-2 of The Sweet Life, because I need someone to tell me whether it's any good, even though I know I'm gonna buy it anyway.

sydwi

@backstagebethy I read part one last night. It's terribly written, more along the lines of SVConfdential than the SVH, and so damned fun! The drama is so over the top, I love it.

New Hoarder

@backstagebethy Oh, good, I was hoping someone would mention those atrocities. I am going to wait to devour all of the Sweet Life novellas once they are all available (already bought #1 and #2 of course, though), and also only when I am on my period. YAY.

Princess Slayer

Imagine Elizabeth's pitiful texts from when she ran away to England and let a prince or whatever pop her cherry.

PistolPackinMama

@Princess Slayer DID she run away to England etc etc? Because I am gonna be pissed I aged out of these books if that happened sometime after I quit reading.

Verity

@PistolPackinMama YES! And they were hilariously bad. It went something along the lines of this: Elizabeth decides to have sex with her boyfriend (FINALLY. Not that it was Todd, or even Tom; it was college-slacker-type Sam, who was dull), thought Jessica had slept with him (maybe she did sleep with him? Who can say), freaked out, and decided to flee to London, as the University of London had offered her a scholarship (which she had not taken up). She got there and found out that of course there was no longer a place for her, as she hadn't taken it up (and her neighbour on the plane's stories about how she'd have a dorm room in a castle were COMPLETE BOLLOCKS; editors, did you do any research ever?), gave the last of her money to a homeless person, and then ended up working as a scullery maid for an Earl's household so she wasn't sleeping on the streets. And she and the Earl's son, Viscount Max Pennington (why do I remember this sort of thing?) fell in love, but he was engaged to a bitchy woman and she was the scullery maid. AND THEY END UP HAVING SEX. (Also, Max was allegedly a student at Oxford, but again the editors clearly have done no research and know nothing about anything in the UK.) They are appallingly trashy.

PistolPackinMama

@Verity Oh my goooooooooodddddddd. How come I quit right when whatserface died from something, or something? Drugs, I think maybe? I don't know.

LIZ!

whateverlolawants

@PistolPackinMama Regina Morrow! She has been mentioned here before. Perhaps she's even someone's userpic? Help me out here, other Pinners.

bessmarvin

Needs more Lila, though

Princess Slayer

@bessmarvin Everything needs more Lila.

Yahtzii

@bessmarvin Ew, you started a fire YOURSELF?
I would have had Mrs. Pervis do it.
. . .
Because I'm rich.

Lila Fowler

@bessmarvin Duh.

TheLetterL

@Lila Fowler Just had to comment on a conversation between Bess Marvin and Lila Fowler. Worlds colliding!

whateverlolawants

@bessmarvin As young teens, my sister and I were reading one of the books on vacation. We never wanted our parents to read them, because we felt they might complain about how unwholesome and trivial they were. Our dad wandered into our room, picked up a book, and read the first sentence he saw: "'Mmm, this pizza burger sure tastes great,' said Lila Fowler."

My sister then snatched it from his hands and flung it across the room.

My sister and I still quote that line.

bessmarvin

Ugh, this just needs be a series; there's too much to include! There would probably be some batshit crazy texts during the crazy Margot storyline or that one storyline where Elizabeth is chillin' with a prince in France and Jessica is chillin' with a jewel thief, or when that one murderer guy is dating them both at the same time to get bad at their dad? SO MANY POSSIBILITIES

Ophelia

@bessmarvin And...those extended Saga books where they went through all the women in their family tree? I remember them being risque, but I was also 12, so.

Yahtzii

@Ophelia And then the time that Jess DATED A VAMPIRE, that was pretty significant.

melis

IT'LL ALL BE IN THE BOOK YOU GUYS GIMME A MINUTE OK

Alli525

@Ophelia Those books were AMAZING. I still have a couple of them lying around my apartment. At the age of 26.

teaandcakeordeath

@Ophelia
The sagas were amazing! It was supposed to be the same couple hooking up through the generations because they were so MEANT TO BE.

Verity

@bessmarvin A Stranger In The House/A Killer On Board! Amazing. There's a scene in which Jessica jumps from the back of one horse to another (to keep from going over the edge of a cliff), imagining that she inherited her ancestor Jessamyn's circus skills. They are excellent and dreadful.

The sagas are the best! I adored The Patmans of Sweet Valley.

whateverlolawants

@Ophelia Those risque Saga books! They had cool covers with a sheer overlay. I liked the story of the couple declaring their marriage vows as the man died in the wreckage of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. Then she ends up pregnant and her dad is like, "Where's the marriage certificate?" And she's like, "Uh... it's on this hotel receipt and we wrote it ourselves," and he kicks her out.

Couldn't she have just said, "It burned up in the fires?" Because it totally could have!

dtowngirl

I think I missed out. Instead of reading the SVH books in elementary school like all of my peers, I was reading John Grisham for some reason. I don't know why I was reading "The Firm" in fifth grade except that I wanted to be a lawyer and I thought it would help. Reading John Grisham has not helped me at all in life. Maybe I'll go back and read the SVH books now.

candybeans

@dtowngirl Haha, same here! Except, I was reading John Grisham just for fun, and not for any future purpose (though I am a lawyer now, which probably isn't a coincidence). These texts make me think that SVH was probably a little too grown up for me in 5th grade, anyhow. Was there quite so much murder in the real thing??

Emby

@dtowngirl I feel you. The list of things I did in my youth that I thought would make me a more successful grown-up uniformly failed to produce results, while I wish more and more that I had indulged in the ludicrous brain-mush that would make me more sociable today. "Oh, you listened to cool music and hung out with people and did fun things in middle school? I... well, I listened to Frank Sinatra and practiced vocab. Sorry, I'll be over here for the rest of the party."

wharrgarbl

@candybeans It's pretty soap-operatic (motorcycle crashes and amnesia and suicide attempts and such) at the beginning, but it really goes off the rails later on.

MissHalfway

@Emby I was homeschooled (yup) till grade 5, and upon entering public school I was SO SURPRISED to find that no one was at all impressed by the fact that I listened to classical music (Sinatra's probably cooler, actually).

candybeans

jeez, I was listening to Frank Sinatra and classical music and watching old movies for purely aesthetic reasons, not for future improvement reasons. I went to public school the whole time, too. I have no excuse for any of my dorkery! I didn't get *anyone* I went to school with until high school, and only barely then.

Xanthophyllippa

@candybeans I think we might be the same person. Also, <3 u, Sinatra!

Inkling

@dtowngirl
I KNOW, why was I reading James Patterson's trashy sex crimes??? Is one of them really a sociopath? Should I get these on Kindle?

shadow_monkey

@dtowngirl I was reading Stephen King and other "grown up" novels starting in elementary school. I found a picture the other day of me on the playground in the 4th grade, holding a copy of the Bachman book "Thinner". My friends read SVH but I just didn't see the appeal. My books had actual sex and gore, which while wildly inappropriate was also terribly interesting.

whateverlolawants

@shadow_monkey Anyone else read VC Andrews as a too-young kid? I secretly read "Flowers in the Attic" and several of the others. Gotta love gothic incest novels.

young preeezy

This was so perfect. My favorite:

"Bruce is dead"
"yeah he didn’t look that good I guess"

This also reminds me of a Sweet Valley Twins "super chiller" edition where Elizabeth finds a mask and becomes evil... http://www.amazon.com/Evil-Elizabeth-Sweet-Valley-Twins/dp/0553482831

bessmarvin

@young preeezy OMG I think about that book all the time

young preeezy

@bessmarvin It was nice to see Elizabeth have some sass for once!

New Hoarder

@young preeezy There is some Sweet Valley Twins Super Special (that still haunts me) about Christmas dolls or something and Liz and Jess are transported to some magical fairy tale kingdom and Liz and the Prince have a romance and stuff? What was that? And where can I get it? Looks I'll be raiding the Mini Library this week!

New Hoarder

@New Hoarder There *was

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@young preeezy AAAAAH! The cover of that book! I cannot stop laughing ever. Is that Elizabeth??? OMGOMGOMG

parallel-lines

Jess: where are you?
Jess: our split level ranch house?
Jess: our sun drenched kitchen where mom is cooking a nutritous breakfast?
Jess: the pool in the backyard?
Jess: Lying on your cream colored bedroom carpet with your old lavalieres on?
Jess: The Oracle offices working on an important article?
Jess: Are you having a shake at the Dairi Burger?
Jess: Combing your sun-streaked blonde hair?
Jess: Did you take the Fiat out for a spin?
Jess: LIZ WHERE ARE YOU?!
Elizabeth: In the bathroom, you dipshit!

redonion

@parallel-lines Ah, the split level ranch! The cream colored carpet! The Fiat! I am having to fight the urge to go online and buy all the books!

Slapfight

@parallel-lines It's hard out there for beautiful upper middle class twins.

WaityKatie

@redonion SPLIT LEVEL RANCH. Also featured on the Brady Bunch. Coincidence?

frigwiggin

@parallel-lines Don't forget the Spanish tiles in the sun-drenched kitchen.

redonion

@WaityKatie There's no such thing as coincidence, just the enduring lesson that the most functional families live on multiple levels.

parallel-lines

@frigwiggin How does their mom stay the same size she was in high school hangin out there all the time?!

Verity

@parallel-lines Hey, she is a busy interior designer! All those kitchens won't Spanish-tile themselves, you know.

Jinxie

@parallel-lines Ok, what, exactly, IS a lavaliere?? I've always wondered.

Inkling

@redonion
At first I thought you said "fictional", which, astute.

TheDogRuiner

@Jinxie GUYS I OWN A LAVALIERE*, GUYS! I must be a Wakefield!! (Vaguely teardrop-shaped scrolled-and-filigreed pendant, mine has two stones and kind of a fleur-de-lis bail. I am the fourth-generation possessor)

Carrie Ann

"I sure wish this news internship were over already
but who knows when they’ll be done having news here"

"let’s just say their “gym”
is “on fire”
with SVH spirit
hey do you want to go to the Dairi Burger?
I’m all hungry
and covered in ash"

Amazing. I've loved them all, but this one really got me. I know there are a lot of great works out there to cover, but I wouldn't complain if it was just SVH from here on out.

Sam I am

@Carrie Ann You speak the truth. I love them all, but this one especially!

StandardTuber

I used to play a game with my little sisters' SVH books; alternate plot lines based on the book titles.
For example: Playing With Fire
Jessica is babysitting another set of twins, the O'Malley sisters Arwyn and Arlyn. Local bad boy Bruce Patman, heir to the comic book series about the buttery superhero Patman, tries to have some fun with Jessica, by putting a bucket of frogs in the her backpack! But he doesn't realize that the O'Malley sisters have a dark secret power. When Bruce finds his Camaro has more flames than the ones painted on its hood, he realizes he is Playing With Fire!
http://www.series-books.com/svh/svh3.jpg

Scandyhoovian

ohhhhh this was fantastic. my childhood on the hairpin! what could be better!?

StandardTuber

D'oh, I posted my comment after reading only the first "text" section. I didn't realize you had written about the same book... duh.

wharrgarbl

@Mabissa I think you may need to post a close-bold tag in response to your @1:09 comment up there.

StandardTuber

I tried to do that, but the "reply" link is only an anchor to the top of the page. I emailed the website to let them know about it.

wharrgarbl

@Mabissa I couldn't reply to any of your posts for a few minutes there. @melis's awesome broke the 'pin again.

StandardTuber

@wharrgarbl It's fixed! Thanks Edith!

Slapfight

Liz: HEEEEELP! We've been kidnapped AGAIN by one of Jess' date-rapist boyfriends!
Todd: You girls are going to have to get yourselves out of this one. I'm busy matching all my white tube socks by color. And after that I have to brush Mother's hair.

Bittersweet

@Slapfight Todd! Todd.

Slapfight

@Bittersweet Todd: And then we will eat our regular dinner of oatmeal and brown rice.

Yahtzii

Liz!
That guy from bio asked me out!
tonight!

Enid, be a dear and bring me a yogurt?
I'm at my house. I have a date . . .
Ha ha what a clever joke. Please hurry, I'm hungry.

Yahtzii

what r u wearing ;)
Mr Collins, this is not appropriate.

Verity

@Yahtzii Even if you do look like Robert Redford.

automaticdoor

This is my favorite one so far and I didn't think anything could top Jane Eyre.

insouciantlover

WHAT ABOUT ENID
just kidding nobody cares about Enid.
My friend had the board game and even though my name irl is Jessica it was her game so SHE got to be Jessica
and I was always Enid.
Oh Enid.

Carrie Ann

@insouciantlover Was there like an in-game way to determine which of the girls you'd be? Because I remember that the standing rule in our house was that no one HAD to be Enid (unless there were four people playing), so if you got her, you got to roll again or whatever. My preferred order was Lila, Jessica, Elizabeth. I still love Lila the best.

Verity

@insouciantlover I think you mean Alexandra.

TheLetterL

@insouciantlover @Carrie Ann "You can be a Sweet Valley girl, going with a Sweet Valley guy..."

New Hoarder

@insouciantlover Guess who bought herself the board game after some furious eBay-ing a couple of years ago? I can now ALWAYS be Elizabeth... and my husband can be Enid.

Bittersweet

Extra thumbs up for the stevia interaction that lacked authenticity.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Ugh, fucking Liz. She's the worst - totally gaslights Jessica.

tessamae

On a somewhat related note: I was recently trolling one of my favorite antique malls when I stumbled upon a collection of 80s teen novels called Seniors. It was written by Eileen Goudge, who was one of the ghostwriters of Sweet Valley High. Of course, I immediately bought the lot and am working my way through them. AND LOVING MY LIFE.

sandwiches

*screaming internally*

yup.

Did anyone else spend time trying to mimic Jessica's smile from this book cover? Please?

Lustful Cockmonster

I have GOT to stop reading The Hairpin. Not only does it take up far too much of my time at work, but the books! Always with the books! All the recommended books on here that I haven't read are already making my to-read list unmanageable, and now every time I turn around I am coming across books that the 'pin is making me want to re-read! I DO NOT HAVE TIME TO READ SVH AND BABYSITTER'S CLUB AGAIN. Stop it 'Pin! Just stop. (Except don't, because I love you just the way you are. <3 <3 <3)

sevanetta

@Grumplestiltskin Oh good, it's not just me. I cannot keep up!!! I'll be over here in the corner, working and not reading any books. my younger self is so sad for me :( :(

[redacted]

Okay, important question!

Do any of you guys remember a teen series, written in and around the 90's, about teenage girls that become au pairs on an island? I'm pretty sure it was based on the East Coast, maybe somewhere in New England, and it was basically about how fabulously chic all of their lives were, but also about the drama they and the kids they babysat for had. And they all had ludicrous names like Cherie.

Any ideas welcome I need to add this to my re-reading list along with SVH stat.

[redacted]

@Stavromula Beta YES SUNSET ISLAND THANK YOU

PS I can't believe the writer is named Cherie and I remembered/guessed that.

[redacted]

@redacted OH GOD I just spent way too much time on Amazon.

But I now see that I was equating Sunset Island with 'Club Sunset Island' and they were not technically the same series although. My mistake and I'm about to spend a lot of money on shipping books that cost one cent. Thank you!!

Stavromula Beta

@redacted You're welcome!

living internationally

Can I just point out that the wikipedia shots of Brittany and Cynthia Daniel are fantastic.

*waits while you google*

zoe
zoe

@lessis'more I'm going to assume someone really enjoyed doing that :)

someofmybestfriends

Jessica Wakefield was always my favourite sociopath

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