Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Boyfriend List

Ruby Oliver enters therapy to combat panic attacks in E. Lockhart’s The Boyfriend List. As part of her counseling sessions, Roo creates a “boyfriend list,” naming every boy she’s been involved with—whether he was officially her boyfriend or not. Each chapter discusses a different boy and what Roo’s relationship with him (or lack thereof) reveals about her character.

The young adult book is frank, including about sexuality, and likely reflects the thoughts, feelings, and activities of many young—and not so young—women. For example, Roo pretends to enjoy anime and cross-country running to please a boy. She also longs for an attractive boyfriend in order to validate her own self worth.

More than anything, this book makes me consider my own “boyfriend list.” Who would appear on that list? And what would my interest in him reveal about my personality?

  • A*: I have an incredibly loyal (or is it stubborn or maybe hopeless) heart. Before entering fifth grade, I recorded in my journal that I would meet the love of my life in Mr. Harris’s class. I “fell in love” my first day of fifth grade and those feelings persisted (off-and-on) for the next twelve years.
  • B: I have a type. I'm attracted to tall, skinny, dark-haired, innocent boys. Exploring the meaning of this type might be irrevocably damaging to my psyche, but I'll make a go of it. Perhaps I like tall guys because they actually make me feel small-ish. And maybe I’m attracted to innocent-acting boys because I hope they won't be jerks (unfortunately, this is not true).
  • C: I can be worn down and won over by persistence—even if I have no actual interest in a boy or anything in common with him.
  • D: I can’t resist attractive, young, European men—even if they work in frozen food stores.

Please excuse the tangent, but any book that makes me evaluate my own life is an unequivocal success. Of course, I now expect to read about other boyfriend lists in the comments section.

*Ha, you don’t actually expect me to publish real names, do you?

1 comment:

notaconnoisseur said...

I really enjoyed this blog. Especially the reminder of Picard's. My boy friend list could be summed up by the fact that I always seemed to fall for the guys who did not treat me well and ignored the ones who worshipped the ground I walked on. And actually there were some of both! Do all girls/women have these kind of issues?