Kirsten recently replied to an email I wrote her, pointed me in the direction of AbsoluteWrite where I've made some great acquaintances and was just genuinely nice. My copy of Like Mandarin is sitting on my To-Read pile at the moment, but I wanted to go ahead and be a part of this.
Quote from Kirsten's Blog:
In Like Mandarin, 14-year-old Grace Carpenter would give anything to be like 17-year-old Mandarin Ramey -- the bold, carefree wild girl of their small Wyoming town. Amazingly, almost everyone I've spoken to experienced that sort of longing as a teen -- a longing to be like someone else. A friend, a sister, a celebrity, an acquaintance, a cousin, a teacher or, as in Grace's case, a girl you thought had no idea you existed.
I had a lot of Mandarins. Sometimes I think as a teen I was always aspiring to be someone else. There were the seemingly carefree and elegant girls in my theatre troupe--the ones who got the part while I sat in the back of the theatre covered in set paint. But for them, I mostly wanted to be their friend. To be a part of their world, which seemed so much more interesting than my tiny life. These girls were, I think, the ones I now write about. The ones who had complications and love lives and who were, probably, much more unhappy than I saw.
But my true Mandarin was, weirdly, Meredith Grey. From Grey's Anatomy.
I know. Why would you want to be dysfunctional, dark and twisty, Meredith Grey? Maybe part of it was that I'd only recently let go of my life-long aspirations to be a doctor. Maybe I just wanted a McDreamy (or a George). Or maybe I envied the fact that in spite of all her problems, Meredith still had amazing friends, a gorgeous love interest and a fascinating life.
Whatever the reason, I shopped at New York and Company when Ellen Pompeo became the face of the store. I bought lavender conditioner. I got bangs (and they behaved about as well as Meredith's in Season Two--which is to say not at all) I even believed tequila was my drink of choice for a while. (God, that was an unpleasant period of time)
I'm not Meredith Grey. I have have too functional of a family for that. But I do have the friends. Maybe I'm a Lexie--the better-upbringing, still a Grey--but the time when I wanted to be Meredith, when I knew every episode of Grey's by heart and the music of the show was almost all that was on my iPod still says a lot about me.
And I'm still searching for my McDreamy