Middle School Patricia Memorial Weekend

I talk a lot about Middle School Patricia. How she was convinced she would one day turn her fanfiction into The World’s Greatest Novel. How she consistently cited her allergy to Winter Mist Body spray (and other, similarly absurdly titled perfumes) as the sole reason she was not The Most Popular Girl In School. Her crush on EVERY BOY while simultaneously believing herself So Superior to all of them. However, while these are all mostly true, I think they get the most face time because they’re also the angsty, ridiculous image of what a 13-year-old girl is supposed to be. Except maybe blaming sneezing fits for lack of popularity. That one may have been all me.

Anyway, this weekend I decided to celebrate the lesser known aspects of Middle School Patricia when I was at Harris Teeter and found myself staring at the packets of Lipton/Knorr’s Pasta Sides. That is why they are number 1 on my list of things Middle School Patricia likes.
1. Pasta Sides

Actually, the Sesame Thai Noodle one was the best

Actually, the Sesame Thai Noodle one was the best

These are basically like Rice-A-Roni, but with noodles. As such they are supremely easy to make; you just add water and put it in the microwave for 12 minutes. For some reason, they were my favorite lunch/dinner ever. Maybe because at the time the only things I could make on my own were sandwiches, Campbell’s soup, and these things. I also remember this one time my mom was telling me to lose weight and yelled, “Those noodles you like so much? They are supposed to feed A FAMILY OF FOUR!” And so I vowed never to eat them again and hurled into another spiral of self-doubt and anti-self-esteem with the words “A FAMILY OF FOUR” echoing through my head. Of course, as a 14-year-old, I already assumed that I was A) the fattest/ugliest person that had ever lived and that B) everyone who saw me was secretly talking and laughing about it, so naturally this did not help.

This weekend I bought some for maybe the first time since then, rationalizing that sharing it with Steven would get over the whole A FAMILY OF FOUR stigma. It was only then that I realized that, yes, it was supposed to feed A FAMILY OF FOUR but as a small side, meaning that my years of eating it for supper by itself were probably not The Most Shameful Thing I Have Ever Done. I did not, in fact, have a stomach the size of A FAMILY OF FOUR. Not that they are the healthiest thing ever either, but I’m glad I can stop stressing about that.

2. David Eddings’ Novels

Most of the cover art seems to be constructed from an album of Generic Fantasy ClipArt 1992

Most of the cover art seems to be constructed from an album of Generic Fantasy ClipArt 1992

Allegedly, David Eddings started writing fantasy because he was shocked that The Lord of the Rings was still around, and many of his books were bestsellers. Looking back, I have no idea why I was obsessed with these books in middle school. Sure, they take place on a fantasy world, and some of the characters are sorcerers, but all of the books sort of sound the same. An ordinary farm boy discovers his aunt is really a sorceress and they go on a quest to save a magical stone. Spoiler alert: he is really the descendant of a long-lost king whose destiny it is to fight an evil god. There’s 10 books about Garion in all, and my overwhelming memory of all of them is riding horses through the rain. Eddings’ women also all seem to be variations on the same theme of Women Are Mysterious and Kind of Bitchy. Maybe they’re meant to be empowered? He’s pretty good at world-building, including giving all the different races complex histories, although sometimes it gets slightly annoying how everyone from Sendaria is practical or how Tolnedrans only care about money. Sometimes the writing is also pretty repetitive, but, since Steven and I are reading them aloud to each other, we’ve devised several quick fixes to break that up:

1. Always replace the word “sword” with the word “penis” (this would work for any fantasy novel)

2. People always seem to be winking in his novels. People do not wink at each other this often, David Eddings! Every time anyone winks at anyone else we replace it with a bad pick up line or just the words “How you doin’?”

3. Eddings loves his adverbs, and none more so than “dryly”. Every character is always saying things dryly when they aren’t winking and waving around their swords, so we’ve been replacing dryly with whatever adverb springs to mind. A few good ones are: moistly, sexily, breathlessly, seductively, wetly, inevitably.

4. Another common plot device is the use of various Prophecies. One of the characters will read the Prophecy aloud and someone will ALWAYS then remark “It’s all gibberish!” when in reality it tells them exactly what they’re supposed to do. Then someone, usually the old and wise Belgarath the Sorcerer, will painstakingly explain what it means. Whenever a prophecy gets read, Steven tends to just shout “GIBBERISH! GIBBERISH GIBBERISH!” throughout.

5. Whenever any of the women talk, it’s almost always appropriate to add “BECAUSE I’M A WOMAN” after their speech. Such as when they discover that being married and doing domestic chores is WAY better than being the world’s most powerful sorceress or having adventures.

3. Springy butterfly hairclips

I'm surprised there's not more pictures of these online

I'm surprised there's not more pictures of these online

Because they were the coolest things ever. Except when the springs that made the wings move got tangled in your hair.

3 responses to “Middle School Patricia Memorial Weekend”

  1. Uncle Bill says:

    I can relate to the noodle story.

    I was crushed to find out that a single twelve ounce beer was considered one serving, and, as such, a twelve pack of beer was intended to satiate the thirst of an entire baseball team, including two relief pitchers and a closer.

    It was then that I discovered “oil cans” of Foster’s Lager. I could now relax and have “a few” beers without most of the guilt trip.

    The final resolution to the guilt of beer serving sizes and quantity of beers consumed was provided by the installation of a keg o rater.

    You see, kegs do not come with pesky warning labels listing calories and serving size, and since I can honestly say that I am having “a glass” of beer (even though it may be a bottomless glass), others cannot chastise me for over consumption, since I am having only the one glass!

    Some folks see the glass as half empty and others as half full.

    I just see the opportunity for a refill!


    Uncle Bill

    PS – You are responsible for the noodle side dish the next time we get together for Thanksgiving!

  2. I am always amazed by what constitutes a serving. Like a serving of saltines is like four crackers. WHO EATS FOUR SALTINES?? GIBBERISH GIBBERISH GIBBERISH

  3. Dad says:

    Listening to David Eddings’ Novels being read alound. Ah, Good Times!!!!

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