SVH #22: Too Much in Love

29 Apr

Estimated Elapsed Time: 2 weeks

Summary/Overview:

DeeDee Gordon is in love with Bill Chase.  She’s also terrified that she’s going to lose him, and so she clings to him as if her life depended on it.  Bill is feeling pretty crowded, and rightfully so, and longs for the days when DeeDee was independent and awesome.

When Elizabeth asks DeeDee to help with the planning of the talent show, DeeDee hesitates, not wanting to be apart from Bill.  But her best friend Patty Gilbert tells her to do it, and so she reluctantly starts to help.  When she finds out that Bill went to a movie with Dana Larson, she freaks out.  Bill is bewildered, because it was an innocent meeting between friends.  He tells her that he can’t keep meeting her needs and suggests they take a break.

DeeDee is crushed, but when Liz feigns laryngitis, she has to step up and finish planning the talent show.  DeeDee does a wonderful job and rediscovers her love of design and sense of independence.  Bill is taken with how beautiful DeeDee looks when she’s being independent or something, and the two reconcile.

The talent show goes off without a hitch and is a roaring success.  Everyone is stunned when Todd Wilkins gets up onstage and instead of doing stand-up comedy, he reads a sappy poem about remembering and goodbyes or something.  I think it’s supposed to be deep.  Elizabeth is confused and worried, and when she asks him what’s going on, he tells her that his dad is being transferred and he’s moving away!

The B-Plot involves Ma and Pa Wakefield taking a vacation to Mexico and leaving the twins unsupervised at the house.  Things start to go wrong immediately, with Jessica over-loading the washing machine (thus breaking it) and starting a small grease fire in the kitchen.  Things go really badly when Lila and Jessica throw a party at the Wakefield house that gets way out of hand when some college frat boys crash it with their BEER.  The police are called, Steven saves the day, but Ma Wakefield’s design plans for a huge project are ruined by the BEER.

In a panic, Jessica begs DeeDee to come and fix the plans (since she’s so good at design).  DeeDee does a beautiful job, just in the nick of time, because Ma and Pa Wakefield come home early.  All is well, though, because Ma Wakefield can’t tell the difference between her drawing and DeeDee’s.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “Lila yawned. ‘Don’t get so excited. Daddy’s thinking of sending me to a spa for my birthday this year,’ she confided. ‘They have this marvelous machine at the Fountain of Youth that takes all the fat off the backs of your thighs.  And they soak you in minerals until you’re entirely purified.'” (96)
  • “‘It’s DeeDee,’ Elizabeth whispered, slipping her arm through Todd’s. ‘She’s driving me crazy!  Todd, the girl can’t do one single thing by herself.  I had to find people to help paint sets.  Do you realize she’s called me four times since she and Bill broke up?  And that was only yesterday!'” (82)

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • Todd has apparently started working part-time at his father’s office.  What his father does, however, is not mentioned.
  • At the talent show, Patty Gilbert dances, Winston and Ken do a magic act with Jessica as their assistant, Olivia sings, and Todd is supposed to do comedy (but instead reads a poem).
  • Pop culture references include Psycho, The Birds, The Philadelphia Story, Duck Soup, and West Side Story (I’m sensing a theme here).

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

It seems almost too easy to focus on the character of DeeDee and examine what the ghostwriters have done to her.  While she is described as being a girl who has always been fiercely independent, we as readers don’t have many examples of that.  Sure, when she and Bill first got together, she was trying to get into surfing and she went out alone and almost drowned, but was she really independent or just kind of foolish?

But we’re supposed to believe that all of this is okay because once DeeDee is given a project, she’s able to find her purpose again and no longer relies solely on Bill’s attention to fulfill herself.  It’s probably best not to look too closely at the female role models in her life (the little tidbits thrown into the story about her mom and her art teacher both losing the men in their lives because they were too busy pursuing other passions were both bizarre and jarring and were clearly added to rationalize DeeDee’s sudden behavior change) and just accept this story for what it is: a happy ending.

Looking at the cover makes me wonder how happy of an ending it can be when DeeDee’s been stuck with the worst name and the worst haircut, though.

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