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Thursday, April 30, 2009


CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? This is the 29th day of BEDA. Twenty-nine days of straight blogging. There was a time that I thought this would kill me. And yet, here I am. I spoke at a library conference today, along with John Green and E. Lockhart, so I’m just getting this in under the wire, but I MADE IT!

Let’s get right to your questions.

NOLADawn says: my book (your ticket to TRAPEZE SCHOOL) arrived today!!! yippee!!!!

I have noticed that many of you have written in today to see that your BLOOD MONEY SCARLETTS (the ones you ordered to send me to the trapeze) have been arriving. I have exciting news! These first copies have something UNIQUE in them.

Digsbooks asks: You're going to put a $100 bill into each of them, aren't you?

It’s actually MORE VALUABLE than that.

There is an excerpt from Scarlett Fever in the back . . . except, IT’S WRONG. For some reason, the excerpt printed is kind of a random chunk of a MUCH EARLIER DRAFT, and it doesn’t appear in the book. (Not in that form, anyway.) It’s also kind of a bizarre selection—a snippet of conversation that really isn’t the kind of thing you excerpt. You get to see something I was working on, and changed. Something that was never for public consumption! This will be corrected in later printings, so the ones you buy now will have this error, and will be WORTH A LOT OF MONEY, like an Inverted Jenny!

Erin asks: my question refers to romeo and juliet: why were all people such BIG FAT IDIOTS back then?

This question suggests that fat idiocy is over. What’s Romeo and Juliet about, anyway? Romeo and Juliet, both teenagers, fall in love after meeting each other once and get really obsessed. They get SO obsessed that they have to marry each other AT ONCE. When their love is thwarted by outside forces, they end up putting their friends and families in danger because they are oblivious to everyone else’s problems. When threatened with separation, they become suicidal. I’ll give you a moment to think about that and see if it reminds you of anything.

By which I mean to say . . . it’s not really idiocy. It’s about obsessive first love.* Obsessive first love has always been with us and will always be with us. And obsessive first love . . . is often kind of . . . stupid? I have already flagged this as dating fail in a previous post. Romeo and Juliet are not a model you want to follow.

I know that some people really do fall in love with and stay with people they meet as teenagers. It DOES happen. But those successful couples generally weren’t threatening to do themselves in if the other person had to go away. And after the first rush faded, they put a lot of work into their relationship. But most people I know went through this rush of love several times and just learned to deal.

And you know that Romeo and Juliet’s friends thought they were being TOTALLY ANNOYING. This comes through in the play. Mercutio, in particular, is deeply annoyed by Romeo. And remember, Romeo met Juliet while he was obsessing over ANOTHER GIRL and Mercutio keeps trying to cheer him up and Romeo ignores him. (And he gets Mercutio killed in the bargain. Romeo’s a REALLY IRRITATING GUY to know.)

So basically, I’m saying that Romeo and Juliet—while idiots—are familiar idiots. And everyone is an idiot now and again. You get a big crush, you get stupid. If you haven’t gotten stupid yet, I am sure you know someone who has. Do you know that friend of yours who clings to their phone and checks for messages every fourteen seconds and can’t stop talking about their new significant other until you just want to beat them over the head and stuff them in the trunk of a car and drive them to the middle of nowhere just so they have no signal and just have to shut up for a second and get a grip? That’s Romeo and Juliet. It would be so much worse if they had phones and the internet. Except they probably wouldn’t have had to die, because they could have talked online and maybe made each other videos on Youtube. It would be a different play, I think. Possibly not as dramatic.

Look, just don’t kill yourself or get your friends killed. Is that SO MUCH TO ASK? And if you need help getting a grip, or if you need to help someone else get a grip, just come see me.

Cortney asks: I love the Big Book of Snakes. But what would you do if said guy pulled out his own Big Book of Snakes?

If this happens, you are MEANT TO BE TOGETHER.

luvs2dance asks: I like a guy, but he is a TOTAL player. He just makes me feel so good about myself, though. He tells me that he likes me, but then I just see him flirt with other girls. What should I do??!!

I am reminded of an old French saying: “A popsicle is delightful for one summer afternoon, but a wheel of cheese is forever (or at least for maybe 15 to 18 months, depending on the cheese).”

Now, the French don’t actually say that, but perhaps you see what I mean. Do you want a popsicle or a wheel of cheese? And if you go for the popsicle, will you be sorry when it’s gone? It really depends on what you want. If you REALLY like him, then I think you will only be hurt if you expect to become his one and only. And if someone hurts one of you, then I have to go and cut a b%^ch.

Of course, Abba have discussed this very issue. Listen to what they have to say:

Sebastian Goodnight said: Mo, On Dave "Dude, I cook n sh#!" Lieberman: Be assured. I will get you back. –Sebastian


Erin asks: What do you do if the boy you like is a track and field god who is incessantly cool and you are not? And the other guy you like can't make up his mind? And the other guy is four inches shorter than you?

So there are THREE guys you like? I would put it to you that you should probably go with person number two, as you ALSO cannot make up your mind. This is not as sure a match as, say, someone who also has a Big Book of Snakes, but it is a kind of safe bet.

Actually, it’s not. I take it back. Every date you go on will be pure hell. “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know. Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know. Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know . . .” UNTIL YOU DIE.

Guy #1 and Guy #3 both sound promising, but I’m going to say that you should go for Guy #3. Who cares how tall he is? Height is no measure of awesome. It’s only a measure of . . . well, height. Short guys are cool, and crazy, and they have a lot to prove. They can slip through smaller spaces than tall guys, they can hide in large boxes, and if they are REALLY short, they can even pop out of hats.** And that, my friend, is an excellent way to be.

You can be the Josephine to his Napoleon! The Katie to his Tom! The whoever Jon Stewart is married to to his Jon Stewart!


Tomorrow . . . is going to be HUGE. I’m going to be liveblogging pretty much all day, answering questions that come in in the comments. Let’s end BEDA right! See you TOMORROW!

* Well, it’s about many things, but certainly obsessive love is at the center of the story.
** Depending on the style of hat. Like, one of those Lincoln hats? A short guy can for sure pop out of one of those.

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Blogger Courtney said...

I'm confused by the random questions at the end. Why weren't they answered!?

7:19 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

I have a question. How can I survive an extremely boring class? Any ideas to make it, you know, fun?

7:23 AM  
Blogger K. said...

Great MJ, where do I fall on the Idiot Scale when the guy I'm fond of and me both football-tackle-style shoved our way through a crowded spot in the hall in order to maintain eye contact?
In a sense, it must have been a pretty glorious sight--as I am not built to fight my way through crowds and it was a pretty pointless conversation picked up for little reason--but I still feel stupid. Halp.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Tenley Nadine said...

I can't believe its almost May. It seems like BEDA just started, only I can't remember exactly how it started.

Oh and where exactly are you going to be liveblogging tomarrow?

7:49 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

I'll miss all the end of BEDA epicness. I leave at 5 a.m. for a band trip. Bugger. Send me lots of love please? And I still don't know how I'll blog unless I wake up even earlier. Or maybe sneak onto the computers at the hotel's front desk. We'll see.

So send tons of BEDA love over twitter, because at least I can read that!

7:58 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I have a question :D

Do you like The Beatles?
If you do, what is your favorite song? :)

And also (most importantly I would think) do you have any J.K. Rowling-related jokes on you?

Those are the best kind of jokes, I think.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Jennila said...

What happened to free monkey?
And because I'm trying to think of a question: if your first name was Kenley, would you ever marry a man whose last name was Penley? Assuming you would change your last name after you were married.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

I will miss your daily blogs, but I have to admit... BEDA was a bit exhausting :) Not only the writing, but also the reading! I follow about 5-7 blogs and I read them everyday... which means that I had less time to read your books :-/

1:03 PM  
Blogger Mary Mo said...

Hmmm... Romeo & Juliette as a metaphor/precursor to Twilight? Very interesting.

Lincoln hats are useful for a number of things...

4:55 PM  
Blogger Nosidam said...

My roommate has recently gone insane (she may also have #swineflu). This is a problem because up until this point I had been the insane one. This is a lot of pressure. Any suggestions to remedy the situation? (Don't worry, I still have #nopants)


Is it bad form to give advice to a girl about breaking up with her boyfriend when you know that you both really want in each other's pants?

6:22 PM  
Blogger delightfully mediocre said...

I think I laughed harder at "if they are REALLY short, they can even pop out of hats," than anything else in this post. Whyyyy do I have a tall boyfriend? This was a bad choice!

I asked John Green this in a Question Tuesday/Saturday, and I will also ask you! What is your favorite thing about libraries? (If you like libraries, that is.)

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

MJ - Soon I am getting a kitten! Hooray! What are some good kitten names?

Daisy Buzzlebee

7:51 PM  
Anonymous blissfullydazed said...

Awesome blog MJ, as per usual. :)

My question is the same as yesterday, about whether or not those who are skilled at writing are typically skilled at speaking. Or vice versa...

Agree with you about short guys. They are full of pent-up greatness just waiting to be unleashed. Or sometimes their greatness is too much for them to contain, and they're constantly on the verge of spontaneously combusting and bursting into songs from Flight of the Concords.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Mcgrane said...

Hey Maureen!
I just want to say thanks for BEDA, it's been amazing, and you are even more amazing!
From the only irish BEDA-er
Becky x

QUESTION:What did you think of beda? and how people just took to it straight away and kept on going?

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Kiera said...

"Actually, it’s not. I take it back. Every date you go on will be pure hell. “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know. Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know. Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know . . .” UNTIL YOU DIE."

I seriously laughed out loud at this. You just perfectly described my boyfriend and I XD

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Erendira said...

I'm having a hard time finding a hobby. I mean this doesn't sound like much of a problem. But summer is coming...and i'll have a lot of free time. And there is no beach near here. Any suggestions for one or how to find one?

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I haven't read your blog in FOREVER [needless to say, I'm a tad confused, but hey, that's how I usually am] and MJ, that post totally made me laugh. Not smile, but LAUGH. Out LOUD. My brother now thins I'm mentally insane and ... yeah. CAn't wait to read your new co-written [is that a word??] Vacations From Hell!!


1:08 AM  

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