I have a problem.
At work I get the shakes, counting the minutes til my next fix. Sometimes I slip up and talk to my co-workers about my drug of choice and they stare at me and back away slowly before whispering behind my back. Once at home, I lay back in my recliner, oblivious to the hours ticking by as I relish in my high. When I have a good stash, it’s the first thing I think about when I wake up, and I can’t sleep until I finish it. I’ve even started to make my own stuff and fantasize about selling it.
Ok, before this metaphor gets any more ridiculous and my mom calls for an intervention, let me be clear. I’m addicted to heroines.
I love the strong female leads in young adult novels, especially in urban fantasy. I know I’m not the only one. I’ve seen the high school girls shuffle through the hallways with the tell-tale books hidden beneath crooked arms. Some are even so brazen as to wear t-shirts displaying their addiction.
I hope to reach out to fellow addicts and together, we can form a support group. (But really I hope this ends up like any rehab program, and instead of quitting together, we’ll just trade stories of getting high and share secrets on where to get the good stuff. Because this is one habit I don’t want to kick.)
Well, let’s begin at the beginning. It all started watching Wonder Woman with my mom when I was a toddler (it’s always the mother’s fault). One look at that female kicking ass and I was hooked. Now I’m unclear of Wonder Woman’s origins, is she human or an alien? I also can’t recall, what exactly are her special powers? I just remember she had a magic whip. A woman who doesn’t need super-human strength to beat up bad guys is even better.
Then there was She-Ra, Princess of Power. SOOOO much better than He-Man, I don’t care what anyone says. And if I remember correctly, she had to save He-Man’s ass a few times. She had a magic sword, some type of magic horse, a pink castle made of clouds, and she didn’t need no man. Although I think she had a boyfriend, Beau, or something. But she was always saving his ass too. The best part was that her alter ego (can’t remember her name) had to PRETEND to be weak. I think there’s some kind of feminist lesson there…
I had the whole get up. See picture --------------->
I remember swinging that sword around in the backyard, I was unbeatable. I shouted at my dad to “Read the Words!” at the end of each episode where there was some sappy summary and moral to the story. My true addiction started when he said, “Read them yourself.”
Of course, growing up there continued to be non-literary heroines to feed my need. Rogue was my favorite X-Man in the cartoon and I am disappointed at how weak she is in the movies. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena the Warrior Princess were my high school TV standbys.
But next week, we’ll talk about the book and its heroine that changed my life. Be strong until then.