So, it's LIKE MANDARIN
week over here at ze blog and I've been struggling to figure out who my Mandarin is. I mean, Laura had it easy because clearly she lived her life aspiring to be as awesome as me. But I wasn't so lucky. Being the oldest meant that I had to look for my Mandarin outside of the Roecker fam and because I'm (apparently) a lazy couch potato, I looked no further than my TV. I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't always pretty.
My Mandarin circa 1985: Punky Brewster
|Ah Punky you were oh so spunky!|
|Exhibit A: All Hallow's Eve With the Roeckers|
In the years 1984 - 1988 I was living and breathing Punky POWER. I loved Punky Brewster with every bone in my 7-year-old
body. Punky taught me that playing in abandoned refrigerators was bad news bears and that tree houses and pig tails were totally rad. But I didn't just like Punky, I wanted to BE Punky.
See Exhibit A. Sure it was Halloween, but let's be honest, I went all Single White Female on Punky's ass. Sadly, I wasn't nearly perky enough to maintain all that Punky Power and my obsession slowly faded.
My Mandarin circa 1994: Angela Chase
|No one did angst like Angela Chase. NO ONE.|
|Exhibit B: It was originally a DIY purple.|
My mom had her stylist "tone it down."
My Mandarin circa 1999: Carrie Bradshaw
The first episode of My So-Called Life
changed my life. I had never seen anything on TV that so accurately represented MY LIFE. I loved that show with every fiber of my being and more than anything else I wanted to be Angela Chase. I wanted to be brave enough to ditch my boring friends and hang out with people who were doing cool, edgy stuff that scared the crap out of me. I wanted to sneak out with Rayanne and make out with Jordan Catalano in the boiler room. I wanted Ricky to be my gay bestie so he could help me pick out the perfect flannel shirts and eyeliner. I wanted to BE Angela Chase. And again, I went all Single White Female on her ass. See exhibit B. In retrospect red wasn't exactly my color.
It was one of those long, lazy, hungover Saturdays when my friend Emily and I decided to rent the first Season of Sex in the City
. We watched the entire season IN ONE DAY. And thus began my obsession with Carrie Bradshaw. She was a writer living in New York City wearing shoes that cost more than the rent for our crappy college house for an entire semester. I was in Oxford, Ohio living on a steady diet of pizza and beer and traipsing around in shoes that looked like THIS:
The character of Carrie Bradshaw had a profound impact on me. She was a completely independent woman, living in an amazing city with amazing friends and an endless stream of boyfriends. She said what was on her mind and wrote about sex for a trendy newspaper. She was shocking, provocative and engaging and she inspired me. So when I moved to Chicago after I graduated from college I rented a tiny little studio apartment all on my own. Sometimes I was lonely and scared and my life was absolutely nothing like Carrie's, but it was all mine.
My Mandarin circa 2011: My Mother
|Me, my thumb and my mom.|
OK, this isn't easy for me to admit, but while these fictional women all had a profound impact on my life, no one impacted me quite like The Regulator. I look like her, I talk like her, I REGULATE like her. Guys, I'm turning into my mother and I'm actually kind of proud of that fact.
My mom wasn't like other moms. She worked four days a week. She had a life of her own that included everything from bowling to bunco. She parked us in front of the TV and made angry faces at us when we bothered her when she was on the phone. She yelled at us for eating all the Ho Ho's within hours of her weekly grocery trip and she managed to strike the fear of God into us with four simple words: I'm disappointed in you. She even fielded insane phone calls from us at work that went something like this:
Hi, is Joni Roecker there?
Sure...Joni, it's your kids. Again.
What do you want now?
Lisa threw all my underwear out the window.
Put her on the phone.
I only did it because she waved my bra out the front door like a flag.
I put you in charge! Do I need to call a babysitter?
It's not my fault. God, I hate Laura! Why did you even have kids! You hate us so much!
Just don't burn the house down.
Whatever, if it burns down it will totally be Laura's fault.
|The Regulator and Ben. |
And now she's pretty much our biggest, most supportive fan. She's been by our side for every single step of the crazy journey of getting our first book published. She reads all of your blogs and tells us what's going on. She follows you guys on Twitter and makes sure we know when there's good news to celebrate. She watches our kids when we're out promoting the book. She listens to us worry, celebrate, laugh and cry whenever we get big news.
She may not have Punky Power or Jordan Catalano and she definitely doesn't roll around in sexy heels, but my Mandarin is my Mom. I couldn't do any of this without her.
Are you loving the #IWantToBeLike love as much as we are?
We've joined forces with the AH-MAZING Elana Johnson to bring you some amazing LIKE MANDARIN events this week.
1. NON-blogfest on Wednesday, March 16. You can blog about who you would have given anything to be like when you were a teenager. Use this graphic, and make sure you participate in Kirsten's "I Would Have Given Anything To Be Like..." blog tour. You could win a LIKE MANDARIN swag pack and/or a signed copy of the book.
If you participate in the NON-blogfest (there will be no Linky! This is not a blog-fest! However, if you email us your link, we will tweet it. Better yet, tweet it yourself--see #2 below), you'll be entered for a copy of the book as per Kirsten's guidelines.
2. Twitter. Use the hashtag #IWantToBeLike
any time this week, and you could win one of two copies of LIKE MANDARIN. We'll be drawing two winners on Saturday, March 19 from the#IWantToBeLike
feed for a copy of this amazing book.
3. Stay tuned to our blog -- as well as Elana's
--this week for other fun LIKE MANDARIN giveaways!
So, tell us the truth this Tuesday, who would you have given anything to be like?
Just for commenting, you'll have a chance to win some Mandarin lip gloss. YUM!
PS: The winner of a brand new bottle of Mandarin nailpolish
! Congratulations! Email
us your address and we'll order ASAP.
PPS: The Liar Society blog tour of RANDOM continues at La Femme Readers
and It's All About Books
. Check it out!