Some people say kids these days have it a lot rougher than we did growing up.
Case in point: Just look what I saw in Hot Topic the other day.
For the uninitiated, “The Hunger Games” is a series of engaging young adult novels about 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a not-too-distant future where children fight to the death in an arena for sheer entertainment. The first book has already been optioned by Hollywood. And while there’s been much speculation about who will be cast in the film, no formal announcements have been made.
Do you understand what I’m getting at? Right now “The Hunger Games” is a book; the film isn’t anywhere near being completed, much less released. And yet stores are stocking merchandise based on the books alone.
I am green with envy.
Back in the day, I would’ve killed for some awesome memorabilia of my favorite books.
Take my very favorite Judy Blume book, “Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself,” for example. Ten-year-old Sally (a Jersey girl, just like me! Oh, and the author, too!) has a vivid imagination and is convinced Hitler is living in her apartment complex in 1940’s Florida.
I read “Sally” so many times the cover fell off. (In fact, I can’t even find that copy. Last year, I bought a new version – with a blah cover – and reread it for the first time in decades. And you know what? It’s still awesome!)
Can you imagine what kind of merchandise “Sally” fans could buy? OK, so maybe hair nits and trench-mouth germs aren’t the greatest ideas ever… but how about Post-It notes with “Love and other indoor sports” printed on them? Heck, I would’ve settled for a plastic hibiscus I could tuck behind my ear, just like Sally’s real one.
Or how about Blume’s best-known book, “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret”? Seventies girls the world over would have jumped at the chance to purchase “Margaret” sanitary pads to commemorate their first periods! I know I would’ve! (You really missed the boat on this one, Kotex!)
And seriously, what teenage girl wouldn’t want a “Deenie”-inspired eczema cream? (Besides girls not suffering from eczema, obviously.) Or to be able to buy a flenser Halloween costume – a la “Blubber” – at Party City?
Let’s not exclude some of my other favorite childhood books, though.
Do I wish I could have asked my mom to buy me Nancy Drew binoculars for Christmas? Absolutely!
Would I totally wear a lavalier necklace like “Sweet Valley High” twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield? You better believe it!
So don’t tell me today’s kids (the ones who read – and obsess – anyway) are deprived. Because we are the ones who got gypped. Gypped, I tell you!