June 24, 2011
To Whom It May Concern...
Posted by Steph
Dear Ann M. Martin,
I know when I write your name, there will be many people scratching their heads, trying to determine why your moniker looks so familiar. Is she a family friend? A famous actress? Someone I used to know a lifetime ago?
When I see your name typed, warm memories of my childhood flood my mind: Summer nights frolicking around my yard in the hopes of catching lightning bugs; Winter afternoons snuggled under a blanket with a good book as the snow falls lightly down.
You see, your name adorns an important talisman of my childhood: a large collection of some of the most moving, life-changing pieces of literature that have ever graced this earth. I cannot think of my childhood without being reminded of you.
For you, Ann M. Martin, authored:
Oh, how I loved The Babysitter's Club. I knew each member by heart, loving their unique personalities, and trudging through life with them, book by book. I can't tell you how many days of my youth were spent tearing through the pages of these books: on the couch, in bed at night after the lights were supposed to be off, at the dinner table while I anti-socially ignored the rest of my family.
Oh how I wanted their lives to be real! If only Stoneybrook, Connecticuit had truly existed, I could have moved there and joined their entrepreneurial organization! I could have known the families! I could have attended BSC meetings! Visited Disney World with the whole gang! And, I could have secretly broken up Logan and Mary Anne and stolen that boy for myself!
Oh, to be frozen in time for over a decade. Is it me, or did these girls enjoy the perks of Never, Neverland? I could only assume they were trapped in the 8th grade forever (and seriously, what a crappy year to get Groundhog Day'd in, right?)
All pleasantries aside, Ann M. Martin, I would be remiss in not mentioning that I do have some business to take up with you.
Ann M. Martin, I'd like to let the record show that 20-some odd years ago, I did in fact write you a letter. Upon a blue-lined piece of parchment, I wrote my Elementary School heart out: gushing how much I loved your books, appreciating your writing and praising your wholesome storylines. I shared with you some ideas for expanding the series: actually letting time pass, having the girls grow up and following the BSC through High School. College. Married life. I knew that leaving these Peter-Panified girls in the 8th grade would eventually lead the series to a dead end (although I would have remained ever-faithful). And the devoted fans (I know there must have been more than just me??) would have continued reading on.
I never heard from you.
In my lifetime, I wrote to many of my favorite celebrities and authors. And wouldn't you know it, many of them wrote back to me? Judy Blume appreciated her fans. Her generic letter even had her picture on it! And Richard Dean Anderson sent me a real live postcard with his name typed on the back. MacGyver fans around the world, eat your heart out!
But not you, Ann M. Martin. Not you.
I'd like to think that you were overwhelmed by the emotion my letter brought to you. Perhaps you had kept the letter as a keepsake, but lost the envelope and could not respond.
Or maybe you were taking my ideas, capitializing on their brilliance, and not giving me one lick of credit.
You see, several years after I wrote you, a funny thing happened: The BSC girls graduated from Stoneybrook Middle School. In that time, they even added members to the Club.
Really, Ann? You came up with that all by yourself? Or are we too proud to mention the genius suggestions by a young fan?
I think I can forgive you, Ann M. Martin. Especially since you did come out with some books focused just on Logan (and well worth the Special Edition status, my friend).
But if sometime in the future I happen upon newly released BSC books, catching up on the lives of our favorite Club Members, I will be a little bitter.
And a lot less forgiving.
And I may feel the need to write to Richard Dean Anderson about it.
Don't say I didn't give you fair warning.
And just for fun: