TWO BY TWO #4 ONLY A DREAM AWAY – Kathryn Makris & the 80’s Pirate look

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Two by Two #4 Only a Dream away - Kathryn Makris 

Two by Two - #4 Only a dream Away - Kathryn Makris 1
* Here goes I have never read one of these books – but the gimmick of having both sides of the story told he-said-she said- fashion fascinates me. The book is printed so that depending on which side you start ( Some times it starts with girls sometimes with guys – from the looks of it ) with half of the book is printed upside down – requiring a flip to read the other half/side. 
* I’m starting with the girls side which I think is correct – simply because the bar code is on the flipped boys-side but who knows is there a way of reading these things backwards? – maybe for the next one I’ll give it a shot.
* Goofy cover pic – probably not the models fault – but as the boy is sneaking a glance to his left in a – am-I-doing-this-right sort of way and the girl is caught looking more at his backside then him – the whole things looks to be a practice shot that should’ve been scraped not used – the back cover pic is slightly better – at least the grinning boy is looking at his dreamgirl.  Fashion alert! – the whole shirt under a sweater look – how is it that this boy can’t be bothered to pull out his collar – wasn’t that the point? – I love the girls carefully curled bangs n’ hair though , it’s very – Kate Jackson.
* Our heroine is Julienne Kelsey – A rather romantic name – ( though I can never take Julienne too seriously knowing it’s French for cutting veggies into thin strips )- for a girl who sneak reads books like Dark Flower of Love – one of those heaving bosom romances, in class. She moans that she’s an invisible girl after describing her outfit – I don’t know how anyone in a billowing fuchsia blouse could be invisible – but she manages.
*The character first off is hard to take because for three pages she keeps whining about after having moved to a new school a year ago, she’s been ignored , has no friends – but assures us – in the lady-doth-protest-too-much way that she really doesn’t mind as long as she can slip into the fantasy world of her thick romances. Of course what she really wants is a Real Life event- that’s her exact phrase even the capitalization –  and literally runs into such a boy on her horse back riding lesson.
* The hero is Peter the boy next door type – he’s smiled at her before – and has a Christopher Reeve type chin dimple

gorgeous Christopher Reeve in sport jacket

Can you spot the dimple?  I can’t spot the dimple – how about a bigger pic – how about now?

Christopher Reeve open shirt 80s


( I love how in early 80’s books the most gorgeous people they can refer to are – Robert Redford , Christopher Reeve – I forgot how freakin gorgeous he is! John Travolta, Brooke Shields and Olivia Newton John! ). He’s a hero simply because he’s said more than hi to her and as par for the course he’s neither overly muscular or too thin – in fact when you try to imagine the boy any blandly handsome boy would do. ( In her side ) ( On his side I was picturing a Willie Aames type-  that hunk from the 1980 series Family – even though he doesn’t have blonde curls )
* He gently pursues – by offering to walk her home while Julienne chokes up on nerves and finally resorts to imagining what her heroines would say or do to get by before accepting. Finally they manage two dates – both oddly enough are hardly described as a bigger plot is trying to enfold – the secrecy between Peter and his two friends who are fantasy game junkies.
* Great lines ‘ It was as if Peter had just lifted the lid to my soul and was poking it with a stick.’ when he nails her as trying to live in a fantasy world and ‘A thousand little hairs along my spine stood on end.’ pg 71
* ‘My mother seemed to do her best to look like an airline ticket clerk.’pg 13 – it’s those poet bow blouses they practically scream Welcome to United Air.
* Goofiest lines – ‘She ( her mother ) took off her glasses and set them on the table. That let me see straight into her plan. It’s amazing that she can accomplish anything in the business world with talkative eyes like hers.’ Bigmouth eyes – whoa! Now my eyes have heard everything!
* Julienne’s mother has gone the way of most early 80’s mothers a go-get-um secretary turned manager , who owns more business suits than anyone in the world – according to Julienne and deems that Julienne’s writing isn’t marketable. That she should be getting her trigonometry grade up – that it’s sexist to think girls can’t excel in math. ( Sexism and countering traditional ideas is the theme here folks. But not so much that they’ve bleached the fun out of romance I mean sheesh Julienne rides a horse called Mirage!)         
* The fantasy game event as described by Julienne is that she is feeling mostly ignored by the boys and decides to show her interest in the game by beating the pants off them and then not understanding when the boys ( not Peter ) turn on her and accuse her of cheating. I’m not quite sure how she got so confused although the boys had at a previous outing – is it just me or was it extremely creepy of Peter to suggest Julienne go out to the movies as one girl among three boys – all of which she barely knows? – they fell all over themselves to be chivalrous so she can’t understand their sudden venom. Whereas most readers should be able to spot the fact that the guys are chauvinists who don’t like losing to a girl and should be shouting at Julienne – Get with it girl! – what’s a little hard to guess , fathom or even understand is why Peter set up the night knowing it wouldn’t go well?
* Though he tells us/ Julienne that he was trying to bring his troglodyte friends to the twentieth century – shouldn’t he have at least balanced out the girl to boy quotient. Well, maybe that’s the real metaphor as Julienne who wins a third prize for what she herself calls a silly fairy tale story Hope for Love – that not everybody is as perfect as fairy tales.
* They of course make up after a heated argument – he accusing her of thinking too much in the realm of fairy tales , rescuing knights in armor – he wants her to be her own strong self – forgetting that even a strong girl wouldn’t have liked the set up with his nerdy friends. Alls well that ends well for the girls side on pg86.

* Onto the boys section – so far sparse but not bad.

* Peter’s intro starts with his history on how he’s crazy about girls , has always felt comfortable around them because he’s the only boy in a family with three older sisters and even learned to jump rope just to be near them. ( I can understand his next statement that the boys thought he was terribly odd as did the girls for jumping rope – I don’t ever recall boys jumping rope at recess – the only time them came near us was to mess up our turn ) He also describes how he met his two knucklehead friends – Matt and Andy who would rather dream about Bo Derek or Victoria Principal ( aha Dallas fans! ) rather than real live girls.
* I wasn’t sure how this was going to go until Peter discusses his dog walking job and I knew the story will be taken from the exact same spot only from his point of view – I thought maybe they might continue on or something – I wasn’t sure that it was the same events which I thought would be boring – But Kathryn Makris had enough know-how not to completely wrap up every scene so that by the time you get to the boys side you’re hoping mysteries of certain events will be revealed.
* Love this paragraph of Peter meeting Julienne , the dog he’s walking MacArthur spooks her horse- ‘Everything happened pretty fast. But I had time to think about how they all matched: the horse , the fallen leaves and the rider. They all seemed to be the same color. Rusty reds and oranges on the ground , toasted brown on the horse , and somewhere between cinnamon and caramel in the girl’s streaming long hair. For an instant, I even saw her face – all flushed from the ride. She looked wild, kind of and free.’
And ‘I was amazed by the fact that I was thinking of Julienne Kelsey as beautiful.’ – it’s interesting that Peter has more romance in his intro than Julienne who seems when she see him more gah , a man! Desperate!
* We discover that Julienne and Peter are actually quite mismatched – trig is his best subject – her worst , he hates English, she loves it and he imagines admiring himself in the mirror what they’ll look like together and says not the most perfect match – for what bookends? – salt and pepper shakers? – it’s frightening to think, though they probably due, that boys actually think about that kind of thing – but most have to ditch it at sometime or another – think of all the people Dudley Moore would have to rule out?! Although there is something to matching – look at Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman.
* Next we learn that when Peter caught horsing around with his friends at the water fountain by Julienne who bravely attempts a smile , the reason he ignores her is because he is afraid of being hassled by his friends – check out this cool line – ‘How could I have been such a Class A, premium grade wimp? Julienne Kelsey had smiled at me. Nicely. And just because I had been worried about my socially retarded , bimbo friends , I had ignored her.’
* I wonder if Pete thinks he’s got a hot one under Julienne’s scared stiff demeanor when he glances over one of the books he helps her pick up after startling her into spilling them – ‘with a title like Raging Tide of Passion and a cover showing a man kissing a woman whose dress was about to fall off , it wasn’t a book I’d normally just glance over. But at that moment all I did was make a sort of subconscious mental note of it.’ Yeah – Note to self : We’ve got a live one here!
* Pete worries as he asks her out for a Coke that one of her responses might be ‘I can’t , she’d yawn. My boyfriend would process you through his Cuisinart.’ He assumes her aloofness is due to her city-life superiority ( and the probability that she already has a boyfriend ) not to terror. While on Julienne’s side her terror is mixed with suspicion of Peter’s motives.
* At lunch Pete suffering through some green muck called pioneer beef stew – made with real pioneers -kidding , accidently kicks off a rant his friends love – the misery of the working mother. Oh you poor little boys you’ll have to fix you’re peanut butter sandwiches yourself ( although since I love to argue both side – the working mother in Ya fiction is never shown in summer – what do these kids do in the summer?! Especially with younger siblings. )
Pete you see is all for his mother working – he’s a now kinda guy- his friends aren’t but they also contradict their mother’s efforts by ragging on her chicken salad sandwiches – like make it yourself – you are after all sixteen not six! This is Pete’s problem his cave-nerd friends. Julienne’s was her reluctance to leave her fantasy life. In fact all ( but Pete ) live in a kind of fantasy realm – one where all woman live up to the rhyme – Sugar and Spice and …barf and all guys come to a girls rescue ( though in this case Pete should’ve told his friends to shut up )
* Another fab line as Pete tries to wait calmly in the hall for Julienne – ‘then Juanita Marlowe, of all people stopped to talk to me. Less than a week ago , I’d have flipped out if she’d done that. With her wavy black hair, sexy green eyes and terrific other things, I normally would’ve had my eyes glued to her.’ OTHER THINGS HA!HA!
* Speaking of fantasy worlds – Pete watches one of his best friends ,the brain Matt eyeball his teacher Mrs. Delacorte in a hopeless crush – Pete even allows himself to be dragged to a Year book staff breakfast in which he has no interest just to support his deluded pal. This is the set up of course why Pete wants Julienne to ‘wake up’ both his friends.
* It’s neat to compare the scene in which Julienne must tell Peter that she can’t go to the movies she has to go to her mother’s art exhibit through both sets of eyes – Pete is elated that he , country clod, could fit into her world while Julienne worries at first glance that maybe he wants to back out of the date as he rushes to make plans for another night –  but neither sees the other’s joy! Both are held captive by Julienne’s nerves and Peter’s talkativeness.
* 80’s moment – …just a few seconds before the digits on my watch blipped seven…. I had a blipping watch too. (Gigglesnort ) That almost sounds like a swear.
* Pete’s art show date makes him nervous cause believe it or not he has to lie to the nerds that it’s his sister’s birthday and he has to stay at home rather than tell them the truth – that he’d rather go out on a date than spend another Saturday playing a fantasy game with them. Oh by the way the fantasy game is called – Conquest ( probably a rip of Dungeons and Dragons ) it was after all the era of Conan the Barbarian and Mattel’s He-man. Ever have friends like these – here’s what the brainy nerd says when he finds out – ‘“Since it’s a conflict with family plans we’ll allow you this one absence, oh lowly one. But it’s going on you’re record. You should know.”’ Pete thinks Oh Grow up. Someone should especially when they find out he lied and ‘
“We know you went out -“Matt provided.
Andy got in the crucial stab. “-with some girl.”
Yes what will they think of next. I mean dating , my gosh , will wonders never cease. Rather than tell them to keep out of his personal life Peter squirms , he feels guilty. Maybe he should for the lie but come on! Who are these nerds?! And Pete finally wises up – what can they do – ‘all they can do is Razz me’ – pg51
* To drive home the fantasy life of these lunkheads , Andy can’t believe his dad won’t let him get a video cassette recorder ( considering it’s 1983 even one in Sears cost next to 1,000. Beta was the cheapest at 349. ) Why does he want a VCR – He missed a Bo Derek special. Hope it wasn’t anything about her spectacular flop – Bolero!

Bo Derek 80s in bathing suit

Dream on boys , dream on!
* I’m still not quite sure why Pete found it necessary to jam his two goony friends and the gal he loves, together on a ‘date’ to the movies – he also gets a little suspicious when they start in on the politeness routine which Julienne giving a shy-Di smile – ( his words cool huh? Di as in Princess Diana ) laps it up. But what does he expect? she is the kind of kook who likes the Cossack look – high boots , feathers in her hat why not some mock chivalry. But Pete though having thrown these two clowns at Julienne without her knowing what they’re really like,  how is she supposed to know how to act – she still hardly knows , herself,  how to act on a date alone with Pete let alone with these two clowns – he admits she always had a wild-eyed look of terror on her face most of the time.
* Peter’s rather unfair about expecting her to prove to the boys that girls are not untouchable goddesses but just girls , since she doesn’t know his plan all she thinks she’s doing is playing along with a game they initiated. But it wouldn’t be a romance if their wasn’t some moot complication.
* When I read the Julienne scene when she hands her story to Peter to read in her bedroom – I honestly thought his quietness , compounded with the fact that he was annoyed with her giggly performance with his friends – that Pete had just about had it with lovestruck Julienne – that he thought her written romance was soppy. However from his side he was intrigued by it – embarrassed, wondering- as I often think how easy it must be for a romance author ( especially ones who write the scorchers ) to get a dozen blind dates – where does she get this stuff? Practice? – considering their kisses had been rather ordinary he feels out of her fictional hunk’s league.
* In a way he’s definitely out of her fictional Hunk’s league specifically for making the idiotic decision to bring his friends and her together – and has to admit it was stupid or rather – ‘I’d wanted to bring out the real personalities of my friends and I’d succeeded.’ Meaning politely they’re true moronic selves came shining through. Matt goes apocalyptic when Julienne makes a stunning move in the game and Julienne runs out near tears. This is where they had their big fight as Pete accuses her of believing too much in fairy tale cliches. Though he realizes this isn’t exactly smooth considering he started the mess.

pg 67 Two by Two #4 
* Pete discusses his dilemma – mainly his jerkwad friends – with his father after a game of racquetball – eeee! Who wants to see their father in the shower! I just had to get that out of my system – anyhoo the father believes the goons are a product of environment – advertising , movies – Bo Derek ( my addition ) ect. and that they’re really afraid of girls – but Pete being raised with strong women isn’t afraid. Sounds reasonable.
* Pete is dragged back to his friends when Matt appears to be in dire straights – the goof actually gave Mrs. Delacorte a note telling her that he loved her and she handed it back saying it was touching but let’s just stay good friends ( she really held back on that one! – no ew get away from me stalker nerd , or adding a chipper little braceface at the end ) – not bad considering the awkwardness involved – recall the movie – Up the Downstaircase – an old 60’s classic with Sandy Duncan – it has this wonderful cringe-worthy scene of this love-smitten awkward girl who has given her fave teacher a love note and must stand there while he corrects her grammar and sentiment. Ouch!
* at the end of the story – Pete leads his horse to Julienne – whose also on horse back and slips into old knighthood fairy tale speeches to humbly apologize to his fair lady – Julienne with her Mona Lisa grin takes his cue and falls right into the fantasy ‘Sir , Peter oh Noble Lord.’ – and that , Pete admits is why he loves her – not because she calls him noble Lord! But because she is one-of-a-kind!
* Pete got four extra pages for his story – it’s a woman’s lib thing – were cozy enough to give the guy more than his fair share.
* Really good story – but then this is my first Two by Two – I thought Julienne’s side of the tale was definitely drier than Peter’s but then again Julienne was a character that hid behind a lofty exterior she was actually quite frightened of the real world – therefore her attention seemed skewered. Peter’s however was more dreamy but then he knew his intentions he wanted to pursue Julienne – while Julienne was afraid to love , Peter was only afraid she might not be available.            

Out of five stars definitely ****

* We are told Julienne loves the Cossack look ( 18 century , Pirate-y , gypsy -ish )  something that was actually getting a bit of attention in 1983 namely due to a bomb of a movie called The Pirate Movie

The Pirate Movie ad 1983 - the cassock look

– don’t get me wrong – nobody knows movies are going to be bombs and people, tended, after Star Wars to jump the gun – think of , later on, all those jogging outfits with laminated Gizmo Gremlins on the front, hardly the height of fashion but Pirate stuff? now, that was fun – and easy for the designers to pick up on. Big peasant blouses , seven league boots , tight riding slacks etc. I read this great book called The Malling of America in which the author ( in the first few chapters ) meanders through a mall in early 80’s watching the goings on – one of which was the hype , and displays for a line of clothes sparked by the movie The Pirate Movie! Too cool – I wish I had some pics of that. I couldn’t find any truly advertised Pirate clothes but check out this outfit from a 1981 German sowing book. It’s totally in the mode of olden days – she looks like she should be strumming a mandolin!

1981 - crazy fashion
* And isn’t Kristy McNichol just dreamy. When I was a kid I totally loved the Pirate Movie – I so wanted her off the shoulders dress – that, and her smile!

Kristy Mcnichol close up from th Pirate Movie

Kristy Mcnichol in the Pirate Movie

– and when it came out on dvd I rushed to buy it – I hadn’t seen it in decades but time has not been kind – it’s terrible! What was I thinking! Okay I can watch it now – only slightly cringing and enjoy it for nostalgia purposes – Kristy is gorgeous – definitely the best curly mullet I’ve ever seen! And Christopher is beautiful – but the story what there is of it and the er jokes? Are totally lame. And one song – Pumpin’ and blowin’ – ( I can’t believe I managed to watch this  as a kid ) – is obscene! – not even in the funny vein of Grease 2 Reproduction song , it’s just plain ole ugh! My jaw dropped watching it, recalling how the lyrics went over my head when I was little – no wonder my parents hated this movie! My favorite part however is the beginning when Christopher is nice to Kristy before she transforms from ugly duckling to swan. I always thought Christopher Atkins in real life would be like this ( all his roles were like this ) a kinda goony but genuine, nice guy – ever see him on Dallas? I think he played a swim instructor , yum! Very nice though. He was teaching little kids , I think.

Here’s the end scene which is kinda cool!

There was another forerunner of the pirate look in the early 80’s – way before Johnny Depp made it cool –  namely Adam ant –

Adam Ant - shiver me timbers you hunk

whose sexy glam-rock look was definitely an eclectic look at fairy tale frippery ( even his album gave homage to this image with the title Prince Charming) – amid the Indian war paint , and heart shaped faux beauty marks , nail polish and metallic lace there was a strong leaning towards swashbuckling pirates – billowy blouses , leather pants , even seven league boots. I never thought a guy could look sexy in nail polish but Adam Ant rocks it!

Adam ant close up

Adam ant and the ants in full pirate gear

Adam ant without make up

I wonder what Julienne listened to ….could it be Adam’s Ant’s Strip?! Check it out hysterical!

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10 Responses to TWO BY TWO #4 ONLY A DREAM AWAY – Kathryn Makris & the 80’s Pirate look

  1. Dev says:

    I loved The Pirate Movie when I was a kid………and admit it’s still one of my faves. I have it on DVD and watch it probably a few times a year 🙂

    • peacharino says:

      Your secret is safe with me ( kidding! ) I’ve never been one of those snooty people that can’t watch and or love a movie bomb – And The Pirate movie takes me back to the good ole 80’s where we had a VCR that we had to incert the tape and push it DOWN into the machine – remember those? And how can I get too uppity when one of my favorites is Grease 2?!

      • Nancy says:

        Ha….old movie bombs are so much fun. My personal favorite is Xanadu. I did like Grease 2 when it came out. I’m old enough to remember seeing it at the movie theater, (my dad took me). It did make me laugh hysterically when I saw it again later. But oh, how I did love both the Xanadu and Grease soundtacks.

        • peacharino says:

          Lucky! I would’ve love to have seen Grease 2 at the movie theater but then again I might’ve choked on my popcorn from all the laughs – Adrian Zmed in the Let’s Bowl routine – my fave – I still know all the lyrics! as for Xanadu – what’s not to love? it had Gene Kelly back on roller skates , Micheal Beck who looks like a raunchy version of Andy Gibb and the gorgeous Olivia Newton John!

  2. Kim says:

    Nice recap! I have a couple of these on my shelf and haven’t gotten into them, I’ve been kind of wary because so many attempts to write boy’s-eye point-of-view seem weird and not true to life, but from the quotes you’ve got here, this does sound better.

    • peacharino says:

      I was more anxious about reading the same story twice – like snooze! but it was actually really cool and I know what you mean about a boys point of view possibly being awkward authors rarely attempted this in 80’s serious fiction and one series Kellogg and Carey by Becky Stuart was actually written by Stuart Buchan. Sometimes boys could be written too , I don’t know , wimpy’s not the right word – I guess more what we ( us girls ) want a guy to be rather than how they can be. Why Me by Ellen Conford ( a non series book ) managed a good balance in the boys point of view – nice AND believable – it was totally hilarious. I can’t wait to read a few more of these to see how good a job the other authors do with this twist.

  3. book chick says:

    Wow, I had this book and loved it, and then recently re-discovered it and re-read it as an adult. I totally agree that Peter’s story was more interesting…i remember that I actually read his story first. And, yeah, his “bright idea” to get Julienne and his friend together was, of course, so dumb!
    I read a few of the Two by Two books and really enjoyed them – I remember being so fascinated by getting a boy’s perspective!
    Also, Pirate Movie was one of the first videos we ever rented (when we FINALLY got a VCR). I also remember it rather fondly – shame to hear it hasn’t held up.
    Thanks for the great jaunt down memory lane!

    • peacharino says:

      I think it was the scene where they pull out Star Wars light sabres that did it for me. Other than that – I loved Christopher Atkins & Kristy McNichol – I was a huge Family fan ( the t.v. show where Kristy played a tomboy named Buddy )and they actually sparked a geniune attraction together – something I thought was lacking in the more pushed pairing of Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields in the Blue Lagoon.

  4. I’m sorry. I got distracted by the writing in your post by the pretty, pretty pictures of Christopher Reeve. But I did love those he said/she said stories, although now that I have done the dating thing, I don’t think that is how the mind of a teen boy works.

    • peacharino says:

      Well , certainly not all sides of a teenage boy but I know what you mean. Lots of real live boys wouldn’t make the character cut of a Sweet Dreams romance but then again I knew a few girls who would curdle the pages of any ya fiction romance. That’s what so great about the writers…. they gave us a hopeful outlook!

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