We know this.
Anyone that gets involved in a monthly race to be the first to possess the newest Roswell High installment has to be fully aware of this fact. Anyone who has suffered the indignity of having a Barnes & Noble staffer look down their nose at you and ask you loudly if you looked in the Young Adult section is fully aware that they have a screw loose, thankyouverymuch.
And, in case you think we’re just being hypothetical here, we actually do this. Well, we did. The series is over. After a few months of coping with the black empty hole in our hearts, we’re okay again. We find other things to amuse us besides Hispanic Liz and her hair twirling and Blond Max and his lack of EARs or pecs. But still, we hold the series near and dear to our heart. It provided hours of entertainment.
However, it must be noted that the fact that it was a ten-book, conclusive series did not really register with us. We still walked past the Young Adult section just in case a new one would appear. Because, you know, stranger things have happened – and we certainly wouldn’t want to be unprepared.
It has been said that we are easily amused. This is true. How else to explain the glee one of us would feel when we were the first to find the book? How else to rationalize the voice mail messages the other two losers would receive? We’re spazzes. So sue us.
Michelle: And now, as I type this, I’m trying to remember if I ever even won a race? I must have… maybe one. I did not, as Amanda did, call up some other poor soul immediately and taunt away. But props to her for being able to read the back to me all dramatically and drive at the same time. She is one talented bitch, yo. And props to Amy for being brave enough to read it aloud on her cell phone while walking around Manhattan. It’s really a miracle my gurls are still alive.
Hey, taunting’s dangerous work.
Amy: I’ve won. Like, maybe, twice. And yes, Michelle – you did win. I think you read the first couple before us. And I remember telling you about the tattoo-lickage that had Amanda and I squirming, to which you responded “Yeah, I read that one a while ago. I meant to tell you about that scene.” So even though you read ’em first, you lost out on bragging rights, which, let me tell you, kind reader, is really what it’s all about.
Michelle: Man, you’re right. I SUCK. Fuck, fine, that’s it. New challenge… we need us a new challenge… well, you know, I’m just too sweet to laugh at others’ pain. Yeah. That’s right.
Amanda: I had quite a winning streak going on when I was on the East Coast. Because of the nature of my job, I am able to leave the office any time I choose. So I could be in line at my friendly neighborhood Borders as soon as it opened, while poor Amy was stuck in meetings and such. And, you know, it’s easy to drive and read the book jacket when you have a snazzy cell phone with speakerphone. Heh.
Amy: Oh, how to explain the sheer pride of purchasing the book before the other two slackers. I’d probably have to start out at the initial entrance into the bookstore. First, it’s nervous anxiety – God, what if someone recognizes me. And what will the employees think of a 26-year-old in the YOUNG ADULT SECTION? Personally, I’m a fan of the ignorant and confused approach. Go up to someone and say something along the lines of: “Uh, I’m looking for, I think she said, something about, oh, I don’t know… Roswell? Aliens? Does that make sense to you? My sister wanted it…” I feel better, even if I’m not fooling anyone.
Then you walk over to the Teen Series section with a bit of hesitation. What if it’s not there? What if one of the other gurlies got it first? Because, you see, some of us have made it to bookstores on the day of release only to find that it wasn’t there. For shame! Once you’ve got it, standing in line is an exercise of giddiness. ‘Cause you’ve got the book and they don’t. But try to keep it in check… You still need to get to a phone and you don’t want the nice book people to take you away.
The last step. Bragging rights and mockage. This is very important – read the back cover with as much dramatic exaltation as you can muster. This will inevitably be met with a “YOU BITCA!” response. Cackle in glee. Then, as you mock them for their snail-like pace, randomly read passages throughout the book, always reminding the gurlie on the other line just how pathetic she is for not getting it yet. (This part can also be done on voice mail and is strangely just as fulfilling.)
Sitting there with a skeptical eye? You think we’re not this insane. Oh yes, we are. Really. I’ve come back from a meeting to have a voice mail from Amanda reading the ninth book cover copy. And I’ve cried out in bloody pain. I’ve taken an intense amount of pride in my advantage – that I’m on the East Coast and can get the books earlier. Unfair? No.
Because all’s fair in love and war. And Roswell High Bragging Rights.
Michelle: I would just like to add that I gave up on the younger sister approach EONS ago. Like they ever believed it anyway. Besides, after the tenth visit in one week, are they really going to believe that your younger sister needs the book that bad? Uh. No. And, really, even I couldn’t make myself believe that anyone would be fooled into thinking that my younger sister required that I sprawl out on the floor in the teenie section and thumb through each and every magazine in search of the perfect poster. No. So it’s all about pride. You waltz in, head held high, make eye contact at the register and waltz out. And really, anyone that’s been in an oddish fandom knows this. I think I had a harder time buying the stupid Buffy Magazine the first time or two than the Roswell High books.
Because those didn’t come with Bragging Rights, yo.
Amanda: Oh. Poor Michelle. So misguided. See, you don’t keep going into the store every day until it miraculously appears on the shelf. You CALL first, and then make sure you time your trip in such a way that it’s possible the person on the line has forgotten that anyone requested the book over the phone, so they cannot put your face with your voice and know that you’re more pitiful than they had at first thought. I’m afraid that I still use the “little sister” story when purchasing any books from the Young Adult section. The good news is that I actually do have a younger sister, who is 12. The bad news is that she lives several states away, and would not be allowed by our super-religious father to read any of the things I’m buying. I’ve given up on trying to look nonchalant, though, when purchasing teen magazines. Because, really, it’s no fun if you don’t flop down in front of the entire rack and thumb through them. Speaking of which… I found the cutest picture of JC and Lance and Joey just yesterday…