Marilyn and Karla

This past week I went back out to Borders and bought The Girls From Ames so that I could highlight and write in it. I don’t think the library would appreciate it if I did that in their book!This week we read about Marilyn and Karla. I must admit, I ended up highlighting a lot of Marilyn’s chapter…I feel like in a lot of ways I relate to her (although in a lot of ways I am very different), and her and Jane’s friendship have a lot of parallels with the friendship I had with my best friend in elementary school.

I, like Marilyn, had a fear of disappointing my parents. I also have a very guilty conscious that doesn’t allow for sneakiness.  An example comes to mind…

The first time I remember lying to my mom, my sister and I were grounded from using the computer (for reasons I don’t remember). While my mom was gone, I got on the computer to chat with my friends. I remember shutting the computer off and leaving the computer room just how I had found it when I was done…but when my mom got home, she knew someone had been on it (it must’ve been her mom-magical-powers). She asked my sister and I who had been on the computer, and at first I said that I hadn’t. Then I immediately burst into tears and exclaimed how sorry I was. To this day my sister (back then a non-Goody Two-shoes) tells me that I just shouldn’t have said anything and mom would never have known. She is probably right.

Especially after that incident, I was afraid to do anything at all scandalous. I didn’t go to parties, I didn’t drink, and I didn’t try to lie…I had nothing to lie about. I’m sure that people thought of me as a “Goody Two-shoes” like Marilyn, and back then I desperately wanted to fit in somewhere…somewhere more popular…but now that I have grown into an adult girl, I am thankful for my Goody Two-shoesness. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without that and my Goody Two-shoes friend.

Megan and I…we were two Goody Two-shoes in a pod. We spent so much time together as kids that even our moms became best friends. Like Marilyn and Jane, we were at ease in each others’ houses and with each others’ moms. We have a plethora of memories together, and were been a part of each others’ lives through good times and through some really difficult times.

Personally, I don’t have as much of a connection with Karla. Well, maybe I do, but as soon as she was described as “cranky” (i.e., the very first sentence of her chapter), I think I dismissed that chance. Having acquired the nickname “Happy” at a young age, I tend to go through life trying to be happy every chance I get. However, I feel I can understand her longing to stay close to her children, especially after her own experiences with being adopted, even though I don’t have kids of my own yet.

Even though I have changed my career path a few times in my life, the one thing I have always known that I was meant to be was a mom. I know that God put me on this earth to be a wife and mom. I know it. In that way, I can relate with Karla wanting to be close to her children at all times.

The one line that stuck out the me the most in this reading was in a conversation that Marilyn had with her dad:

For some reason, I always have this fear of losing people. I remember shopping with my mom when I was a little girl, and I would get scared if I couldn’t find her. Now as an adult, I am afraid of losing my friends. My hubby and I just moved a little ways away, and I fear that the distance will literally take them away from me.

I know that is silly, because our friendship means more than a few extra miles…but the fear still lingers there. I know I don’t see my mom or dad or sister nearly enough…and that fear lingers there, as well. However, like Dr. McCormack described…I know if I ever need anything, I can give them a tug and they’s be here for me in an instant…all of them.



6 thoughts on “Marilyn and Karla

  1. I feel like I can relate to Marilyn in regards to feeling a little disconnected from the “group.” In high school I was part of a group of friends; we hung out all the time and have some ridiculous memories together, but for some reason I felt like an outsider a lot of the time. Though I was there spending time with all of them I always felt like they had a special connection with each other that I wasn’t a part of. I was also a “goody two-shoe” when it came to drinking and partying in high school. I didn’t relate to Marilyn in regards to her and Jane’s relationship. Like I mentioned in my comment on the first book club post, I don’t feel like I had the same “best friend” that I grew up with.

    I also related to Karla in a way. I love spending time with my friends, but I am generally feeling a little anxious to get back home and be in my own space. I think about when I have children and I imagine that I will be the same way with them.

    I’ve read on, and so far my favorite “story” is Marilyn’s. I loved reading about her relationship with her father, and the relationship all the girls had with her father.

    • I have also been reading along with you all, on my Nook! It’s a little bit difficult, because my chapters aren’t organized as neatly as it sounds yours are (my pictures aren’t always with their captions–makes it a bit difficult to make sure I’ve got all the ladies names with their appropriate personalities!) but I’m surely trying to get it all straight.

      I feel like everything I read so far was pretty much just perfectly summed up by none other than my own best friend, Maggie! I relate a lot so far to Marilyn, because I too have always felt disconnected from pretty much every ‘group’ I’ve ever belonged to. Like Maggie, I was also a goody two-shoe, rarely ever testing my limits with my parents and always ratting myself out!

      In my mind, I sort of imagine myself like Karla the more I grow older. Currently I don’t really relate to her all that well, but I could definitely see myself giving every ounce of my being to my children.

      Looking forward to next week! Happy reading!

  2. I think I need to go get this book. I love a warm, fuzzy, friendship novel with quotes to use in cheesy cards me and my girl friends send each other since we all now live all over the U.S.

  3. I am also reading the book I might be ahead because I read all the way down to the lake and back. I think right now what sticks out in my mind is that all the girls, as different as they all are, accept one another for who they are and sometimes that is hard because we all dont have the same feelings about things and sometimes we EXpect we do. Its a good read!

  4. Pingback: Kelly and Me. Me and Kelly. |

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