by Tracy Kiely
• What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
No friends and a nasty break-out. Oh, and big thighs. (Remember, this was the age of mini-skirts and leg warmers.)
• Where would you like to live?
In a big house on the beach. There are servants, of course, but they are discreet and don’t nag me to clean my room.
• What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Staying up until one a.m. to watch Perry Mason, and then getting up at noon to watch Bugs Bunny. Powdered jelly doughnuts are included. What do you want? I’m thirteen.
• To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Being impulsive and procrastinating.
• Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper from The Pyrdain Chronicles. I could not put this series down. I spent the whole summer curled up with these books.
• Who are your favorite characters in history?
King Richard III. My mother made me read Daughter of Time, and I became convinced that King Richard was not the humped-back villain of Shakespeare’s famous play, but rather the fall guy for Henry VII’s villainy. I go on and on and on about my theory to just about anyone who will listen. Oddly, my social rating with the opposite sex tanks about this time.
• Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
My mom and grandmother. They are funny, smart, kind and so...together. It’s this last trait, I think, that holds me so captivated. Being “together” is a trait I have no experience with. It winks at me like a diamond from the bottom of the sea.
• Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
I have two: Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables and Erin Gandy from Cat in the Mirror. I love Anne’s vivid imagination, kind heart, and unfailing optimism as she deals with not only being an orphan, but an orphan with red hair (!), freckles, and an unromantic name. Erin is a different kind of hero; she is shy, awkward, and unpopular. During a school field trip, she suffers a concussion running away from some bullies, and awakes in ancient Egypt to a life eerily similar to her own.
• Your favorite painter?
Monet. Mainly because he’s the only one I really know at this age.
• Your favorite musician?
Uh, Sean Cassidy! Duh! Have you seen my room? I have 41 – 41! – TigerBeat posters of him on my walls. He is sooooo cute!
• The quality you most admire in a man?
At age thirteen? Eye contact would be nice.
• The quality you most admire in a woman?
Intelligence. And humor. And good hair. Oh, and the ability to tan like that Bain de Soleil chick in the ads.
• Your favorite virtue?
• Your favorite occupation?
Cartoonist for the New Yorker. The knowledge that one actually needs artistic talent for this occupation has not yet sunk in.
• Who would you have liked to be?
At age thirteen? Well, there was Colleen G., the super cute head cheerleader and Mandy R. because she had perfect hair. I mean perfect! It was blond and did that Farrah Fawcett flip thing to perfection! When you have mousy brown hair and eight – eight! – Cowlicks – these things matter. Hey, I never said I was deep.