I was pretty excited to see that ABC Family was having a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Double Feature on Saturday. So after a long, emotional, awesome night watching AVPSY Friday night, a Saturday running errands, prepping wedding shower invites and soaking in all of the AVPSY joy on the internet, I settled in to watch the double feature.
I first read Sisterhood of the Traveling pants when I was in eighth grade. I had an elective class called Novel Club, which was basically a class where you did book clubs :) Some of my good friends were in the class and the first book we chose to read was Sisterhood. It was so much fun to read and discuss together. We classified ourselves and our friends according to their corresponding characters. I was a Lena: shy, modest, intellectual. We swooned over Kostos, worried about Bridget, cried with Tibby when Bailey died, were shocked and angered when Carmen got blindsided with a step-family. We had very heated discussions about whether or not Carmen's dad was justified in canceling their tennis plans when a wedding crisis came up. We were quite divided on this subject and got very into this argument; I'm pretty sure our teacher had to tell us to move on... Then when Carmen's dad sat calmly eating with his new family after Carmen ran away, we were united in hating him. :) At the end we wrote and acted a skit that involved the four girls on a talk show. So much fun!
We continued reading the books and loving them. I love that the books celebrate positive relationships between girls, when we see an ever increasing amount of girl drama in the world. These girls showed us how to be real, true friends amidst the drama of growing up and boys and high school. They were always there for each other and loved each other, even if they were mad at each other or were far apart. And while they made their share of mistakes, they were at their core good examples. When I think about some of the examples in the media that young girls are exposed to now, I wish girls would look up to the sisters, instead... Even though we remained a few years younger than the girls, we grew older and grew up with them. We saw them graduate and face a future where they wouldn't see each other every day, before we were faced with the same thing ourselves and learned from them.
When my friends and I graduated we created our own rip-off of the traveling pants. No, we did not all fit into a magical pair of pants, we sent around a notebook in which we recorded important parts of our lives and then sent it on to our fellow "The Book" members. We even made up our own set of rules regarding The Book, a la Sisterhood. It was a great way to keep in touch our first couple of years in college. We also met each summer and at Christmas for a party. After the first year or two, the actual book became more trouble than it was probably worth and we stopped passing it around. We all had busy lives and it was hard to commit to writing and passing it around. We continued to keep in touch and meet for our semi-annual parties until we graduated from college. So many people I met in college were amazed at the way we kept in touch with high school friends. But we were all so important to each other that it was worth the effort to keep in touch. I feel so blessed to have had such amazing relationships with these women. They were such a big part of my life for so long. And while we haven't all kept in touch after college, all ten lovely ladies will always have a special place in my heart!
I love the movies, too. I think it's funny that when the first movie came out Alexis Bledel (Lena) and Amber Tamblyn (Tibby) were the most famous for their roles in Gilmore Girls and Joan of Arcadia respectively. However when the second movie came out, it was Blake Lively (Bridget) and America Ferrera (Carmen) who had bigger careers for Gossip Girl and Ugly Betty. The fourth movie is like a conglomeration of the next three books, but still great. And sure there were changes to the movies, but they kept the spirit and message of the books.
Then came the last book, Sisterhood Everlasting. I unfortunately was majorly spoiled about the book (thanks a lot Barnes and Noble's review). I knew going into reading it that Tibby drowned. It definitely colored the way I read the book. As soon as Tibby didn't show up on time, I was literally sobbing, "she's dead! She drowned." I could see it coming and none of them knew and it was torture waiting for them to figure it out. I was bawling long before they knew anything was wrong. I think Momma thought I was crazy, but I think it was ten times worse, knowing what was coming and them being blissfully unaware. But, of course I loved the story and was glad to be back in a world with my friends.
So I sat watching the movies last night, thinking of my friends, remembering the good times and missing them like crazy!