*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

How Nancy Drew Changed My Life, guest post by Nick Michael


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 the 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.

Nick Michael is a co-host of The Void Zone podcast, the host of A Review Too Far and is currently blogging A Year With Netflix

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