When the Insta-Princess and I tell our tale of love, we mention chirping birds, bouts of red-hot passion, bells ringing, waves parting, sunny skies, stock market successes, and strangers stopping us on the street and telling us how wonderful we are.  That’s all true. (I still get stopped on the street, daily.  And sometimes it’s not because a gaunt, heroin honey wants to offer discounted booty.)  What we rarely mention, however, what we just don’t bring up in decent company is that the Insta-Princess almost dropped me two seconds into the relationship.

Because of a few books.

“Books?” you ask.  “Really?  They must have been horrible, filled with rituals on how to prepare and devour babies.  Or, how to get into the Starbucks franchise business.  You know, the usual tools of Satan.”

No, not that.  They weren’t even anything as evil as John Grisham books.  No, beyond that, even; books so profoundly disturbing to her that she almost gave up this delicious hunk of man meat.  They were, in order of appearance, the Trixie Belden series of books, and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

“Tween girl books?”  Now you’re stunned.  But, hear me out: I was a voracious reader as a kid; I read everything I could find, and when one of my daycare “teachers” (a luscious dame on whom I had a huge crush) gave me fourteen books of various sizes and flavors, I attacked that stack of good reads with my usual desire to keep on reading, and the wont to impress her.   Amidst the other books, the ones about Mushroom Planets and a sand-fairy known as Psammead, were a set of the first four books about a red-headed chick and her school-aged detective group known as the “Bob-Whites of the Glen”.


But, see, as kid with burgeoning hormones, I admitted to being a wee bit jealous that one of the characters in Trixie Belden, Jim, was not only rich, but he was living with the best-looking gal of the series (as a newly-adopted sibling) and was kinda-sorta-not really hooking up with the main gal.  Frankly, the kid had it going on.  Plus, did I mention I was trying to impress my daycare teacher?  The first woman whom I had ever seen in a bikini–up close and personal on one of our daycare’s weekly trips to the city pool?  We’re talking hot stuff, kiddos.

As for Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.: C’mon, I was suckered in.  It’s not my fault Judy Blume wrote boy-friendly books like Freckle Juice, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and Superfudge.  I had no idea she also wrote books where the protagonist and her buddies got together in a group and steadily chanted, “I must, I must, I must increase my bust.”  Although the idea of boobies appealed to me, I’m not sure I was ready to learn about one pubescent girl’s troubles with her first menstruation.

On the other hand, I learned that Jews and Christians could marry one another, so put an X in the column for diversity and tolerance.

By the time I was well into my adulthood I had accepted my history with these books; I even finished reading the Trixie Belden series (never leave a series unfinished, especially if you’re just trying to figure out if Lucky Jim ever really got some), and managed to keep copies of that and Judy Blume’s  adolescent trap book.  So, when the Insta-Princess mentioned having read the Trixie Belden series, and how she wanted to peruse a couple of them again, I braved the waters and admitted I had those books, and boyohboyohboy would she like me to bring them up to her like right now?

I was thinking I was going to get some McLovin’, and she thought I was odd.  Still, even that wasn’t quite the straw and fragile camel’s back scenario–not until I saw her copy of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. sitting on her shelf.  “I’ve read that!”


No smoochies for Skip that night, huh-uh.  While my love for Chicago didn’t help my case, now I was directly in the sights of her devastating gaydar.  Of course, farces being what they are, I didn’t know any of this until later–much later–after she had been to my house, seen my lack of decorating and other clichéd heterosexual male sensabilities, decided her gaydar was malfunctioning. and laid a hotty-totty smackeroo right where it counted.  So, all worked out well.

Still, even though you’re endlessly stuck in the pages of your 1950s-era surroundings and are forever at the mercy of unconsumated relations with the gals of Sleepyside-on-Hudson, I salute you, Jim of Trixie Belden.  I mean, really, you have two chicks…

Posted Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 at 10:51 am
Filed Under Category: ya' know?
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Responses to “I Must, I Must, I Must Increase My Bust”


You are so full of it. You TOTALLY got McLovin’ (with cheese . . . although maybe in this context that’s not a good thing) the night that night you brought Trixie to my door. It was the night you showed up in your Girl Scout uniform that things cooled off considerably.


Whether Girl Scout uniform or marriage, I look good in brown.