Because Tina and I are the same age, and because great minds think alike, I too wish I could go back to 1987 and hand myself the tweezers already.
In our defense, Brooke Shields and her woolly-caterpillar-above-the-eyes aesthetic were all the rage back then. And in my own defense, one of my all-time favorite books was The Pistachio Prescription by Paula Danziger.
Paula Danziger is the mother of modern teen romantic comedy (or at least the mother of mine). She meant her books to be funny. I doubt she meant them as dire warnings about cosmetology. Nevertheless, that's how I took The Pistachio Prescription. The heroine has a mishap while shaving her legs for the first time, and another while plucking her eyebrows.
Thus I was deathly afraid of taking these plunges myself. I probably didn't pluck my eyebrows at all until I was 25. My friend Catherine convinced me to shave my legs when we were teenagers after she did it first and did not die. But my mother suggested I only shave them up to my knees since my hair was blond and practically invisible anyway.
This worked fine until I got made fun of by the class clown on a field trip. Being made fun of is bad. Being made fun of by a boy is worse. Being made fun of by a really funny boy is downright depressing, and when he notices your unshaved thighs on the way to the field trip while you are stuck on a school bus with him and forty of your classmates for the rest of the day, you can imagine how angry you are at your mother by the time you get home. Mothers do not always know best. Mine also makes her lasagna with cottage cheese instead of ricotta.
I get the sweetest notes from readers telling me they enjoy my books and have read them ten times. This is the best compliment anyone could give me, because it means somebody feels about my work the way I feel about Paula Danziger's. But it also makes me wonder if anyone is taking the fictional episodes in my books as realistic omens. I'm sure not all trombone players are obnoxious like the ones in Major Crush. I have never met one who isn't, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. And please don't be afraid to wakeboard just because Lori has an accident in The Boys Next Door! This scene is based on my brother's water-skiing accident, but for heaven's sake, you're not my brother.