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The Answer, My Friends, Is Petals On the Wind (Chapters 6-8)

Erin continues to recap V.C. Andrews' Petals on the Wind (Ch 6-8). Fear for her liver.

The Answer, My Friends, Is Petals On the Wind (Chapters 6-8)

You guys! Happy Freaking Friday!

We've all survived our first week back at school or, if you are not a student or teacher, you survived your week in general, and that's also important. I feel like we need to celebrate. I, for one, plan to get a bit tipsy this evening! However, since I did Bikram Yoga today (that's where you pay someone to lock you in a room heated to 105 degrees and force you to twist yourself like a pretzel because you are a stupid, stupid person), I feel guilty about drinking unless it's, you know, medicinal.

Luckily, I just read more V.C. Andrews, and I think any doctor who isn't a pervert would agree that I need vodka to repair my neurons.

Happy Friday!

If you have somehow fortunately blocked the memory of this book, you can catch up with our recap of the first five chapters.

Chapter Six: School Days Renewed

Number of Drinks Taken: 7
Number of Drinks Chugged: 2
Number of Shots: 2

Chapter Summary: Well! It's time for these jerks to go back to school! How timely I have planned this review! Of course, Chris, Cathy and Carrie have to start school in January, on account of how they've been recovering from arsenic poisoning and being awful people.

Carrie is placed in a boarding school outside of town. Chris attends a prep school about 30 miles away, leaving only Cathy at the house with Doctor Pervert. Well! That's a strange coincidence and not at all suspicious!

Cathy spends a lot of time making out with Chris whilst making her sad goodbyes, even though he'll be home every weekend. She tells Chris to fall in love with some other girl, but he'll never do it! She's the only girl for him!

I Can See Why People Like This Book, Because: Uh, people really like stories about people going to school? Actually when I read this book as a kid, I got really jealous of Carrie's red travelling case, because it had tiny bottles to put things in. As an 11 year old, I thought this luggage was the SHIT and I really wanted it. I still sort of do. Sure, I've got luggage and also tiny bottles to put things in, but do I have a red leather train case? No, I do not.

Notes from the Margin:

"And it is not a school for funny little girls, Carrie," I said soothingly and then kissed her forehead. "It's a school for rich girls whose parents can afford the best."

Why can't those girls be both rich and funny? Why do you want to limit their potential for mockery, Cathy?

Oh, she was a pretty little thing. Such a beauty she'd be if only her body would grow in proportion to her large head.

Uh, Cathy, a giant head is not exactly the same thing as a snaggletooth or a large forehead or brassy-colored hair. In other words, it's not exactly the one thing that gets in the way of an otherwise perfect beauty. CARRIE HAS A GIANT HEAD. SHE LOOKS LIKE AN ALIEN. She ain't ever gonna be pretty, okay!

I wanted to be in his arms, with my cheek against his. I wanted this to be a farewell to love, so complete we'd know it was forever gone, at least forever gone from being wrong.

Well, Cathy, I don't know if you accomplised your goals, but I can tell you that this passage was a farewell to my lunch, a farewell so complete I know I won't be able to stomach dinner or tomorrow's breakfast either. So, uh, congratuwelldone?

"Cathy, you're awfully pretty. Maybe too pretty. I look at you and see our mother all over again, the way you move your hands, and the way you tild your head to the side. Don't enchant our doctor too much. I mean, after all, he's a man."

For fuck's sake, Christopher, STOP BEING IN LOVE WITH YOUR MOTHER. Look, when my little brother was about four or five, he decided he was going to marry my mom. I, being a wise old person of age 13, was like, "EW, GROSS, OEDIPUS! Why don't you go stick dress pins in your eyes!" But my mom calmly explained to me that my brother was just a little boy who thought his mom was the prettiest lady he knew because she was the only lady he knew and in a year or two he'd get crushes on girls his own age and that this was normal. And, indeed, like six months later, my brother grew out of his weird obsession with marrying my mom after meeting this total hussy named Amber at daycare, who used to wear skirts that showed her knees and has continued to make a string of unfortunate choices in girlfriends, none of whom are reading this blog because he now refuses to introduce me to anyone anymore. Possibly because I charmingly give them the third-degree and go out of my way to make them super uncomfortable (my intentions are pure- if they can hang with me even when I am being super weird, than the rest of the family should pose no real problem for them). Whatever! Point being! Guess who he's not in love with? My mother! Or me!

ALSO, shut the fuck up, Christopher. The doctor is a man. Cathy is a 16-year-old girl. He's supposed to be the one to know how to keep his dick in his pants.

I studied his hands, for, next to a man's eyes, I noticed his hands. Then I moved my glance to his legs. Strong, well-shaped thighs which his tight, blue knit trousers showed up well, perhaps too well, for all of a sudden I wasn't sad, or gloomy, but felt an onrush of sensuality.

Gross, Cathy. First of all, never ever ever think sexually about anyone wearing tight, blue knit trousers. They might think that they look good in something that hideous and wear them again, thus assaulting the eyes of anyone with taste. Second, I swear to god, you are like Pavlov's Dog, the porn edition. EVERYTIME youhave any sort of feeling you are distracted by being inappropriately turned on to someone you oughtn't be. WHAT ARE YOU DOING.

Chapter Seven: Enchantress . . . Me?

(as an aside, I super want to write a memoir and title every single chapter in this fashion. "Born . . . Me?" "Schoolgirl . . . me?" It'll be amazing.)

Number of Drinks Taken: 30
Number of Drinks Chugged: 5
Number of Shots: 15

Chapter Summary: Oh, goody! It's time for another round of our favorite game, Everyone Wants To Bone Cathy For Sort Of No Reason Because She Is A Whining Asshole!

Everyone get your buzzers ready! Chime in when you know the answer!

QUESTION: If a sixteen year old girl and her almost 50-year-old legal guardian are alone in the house, do they:

1.  Play Parcheesi, play several hymns on the family's beat-up piano, talk about how much they love God and then retire to their separate bedrooms?

2.  Get into a screaming match for what seems like no reason because the legal guardian "just doesn't understand" and the sixteen year old lacks the maturity to explain herself in a calm manner and the sixteen year old is ordered up to her room and doors are slammed?

3.  Barely talk to each other at all except to debate on what kind of pizza to order, since no one is home to cook?

4.  Watch an old western movie on tv and eat microwaved popcorn, each feeling like this is the closest they've felt to the other in years and know they'll treasure the memory for years to come?, or

5.  Try to fuck each other.

Okay! Second question, lightning round!

If you are a professional ballet dancer in New York, would you keep flying home to your tiny hometown to:

1.  See your family and friends?

2.  Show off your skills to people who "knew you when?", or

3.  Try to fuck some wet-behind-the-ears sixteen year old just because she's pretty and apparently there are no pretty girls in New York Effing City, home to models and the professionally gorgeous?

Thanks for playing our game, folks! If you chimed in with the last answer for each question, congratulations!!! You're well on your way to becoming as sick as V.C. Andrews! Sign your publishing deal now!

I Can See Why People Like This Book, Because: Who doesn't long for the halcyon days of prancing around in front of your father figure wearing onlya skimpy, see-through nightgown, climbing on his lap and touching him places! That's what dreams are made of, right?

Notes from the Margin:

And being the fool I often was, I drifted to him on barefeet that didn't make a sound. How nice he'd wear our gift to him so soon. I wore a gift from him - a soft, turquoise peignoir of airy fabric that floated over a gown of the same color.

The following are a list of items my dad has given me in my life (not counting things my mom was also giving me): a gun, a milkshake, a computer, a stern talking to and a couple of dvds that he bought and decided he didn't like.

You know what he has never given me? Nightgowns. Because that is gross.

I started to go, really I did, for the thought of warm milk was still in my head, but I had other thoughts, too, more seductive. "Dr Paul . . ."

I kind of love that Cathy is so easily tempted from her course. "Well, I was going to try to seduce my guardian because I want to see if a mustache tickles my thighs, BUT the idea of some warm milk also sounds good. I don't know which to choose!"

Choose milk, Cathy. Choose milk.

"You're a witch. In a second you change from a naive girl to a seductive, provacative woman - a woman who seems to know exactly what she's doing when she lays her hand on my face."

No, Dr Pervert, you hideous asshole. She's sixteen. Sixteen year olds test their boundaries in whatever way they can, often sexually. When I was sixteen I decided that my math teacher and I were Meant To Be and I flirted shamelessly with him. And he, very kindly, shut me down quickly and without making fun of me, because he is a grown-up and that is what grown-ups do when kids are being stupid. They don't encourage them and they sure as hell don't whine that the ickle sixteen year old is hurting their grown-up person's feelings by being seductive one minute and scared the next! Dr Pervert, I'm not sure I've said this yet today but I HATE YOU SO VERY VERY MUCH.

Teasingly he touched the peaks of both my nipples, skipping from one to the other, and then he dared to slip his hand beneath my bodice so he could fondle the young breasts that were fired with heat from his unexpected caresses. . . .

"Would you undress for me, Catherine?" he whispered in a mocking way. "Would you sit naked on my lap and let me have my way with you?"

Gross

Gross

Gross

Gross

Gross

GROSS

I CANNOT UNREAD THAT AWFUL SENTENCE! WHY WAS THIS BOOK EVER PUBLISHED?

"What the hell are you doing sitting on my lap half naked? Why did you let me do what I did?"

Oh, sure, Dr Pervert. It's all her fault. Not yours! You were just distracted by the teenaged tatas in your face! You were intoxicated by the special perfume emanating from Cathy's Venus Fly-Trap Vagina! It weren't his fault, guv!

"Someday, when I'm rich, I'm going to have luxury cars, three or four, or maybe seven, one for each day of the week."

I laughed; it sounded so outrageous and ostentatious. "Does dancing pay that much?"

"It will when I hit the big-time money," he answered confidentially.

Jesus, another dancer with no idea how much money dancers make. You're never gonna buy seven cars, Julian! You're probably going to buy one! If you're lucky!

Also, Dear Editor of V.C. Andrews' Books: Look, you and I have a lot to say to each other, OBVS, because I'm not sure why you felt it necessary to release this scourge unto the world, but I also just havea simple question: Shouldn't it be "confidently?" As in Julian is confident he will hit the big-time money and then finance his dream of Days of the Week Panties: the Car Edition. (Wednesday's car is full of woe!) Not confidentially - he isn't telling Cathy this in secret. Though he should, since it makes him look dead stupid.

"I don't know you," I answered, pulling away to sit as far from him as possible. I don't know your past, and you don't know mine. We're nothing at all alike, and though you flatter me with your attention you also scare me."

"Why? I won't rape you?"

Christ Jesus, is this what passes for romance in V.C. Andrews' worldview? Like if some guy walked up to a girl and said, "Hey there, hot stuff! I just want to let you know: I'm not gonna rape you!" the girl should clap her hands with delight and thank Mr. Sandman for bringing her such a dream? He's got two lips like roses and clovers and, as an added bonus, probably won't force you to have sex with him! Well, saints alive, SIGN ME UP!

Chapter Eight: My First Date

Number of Drinks Taken: 14
Number of Drinks Chugged: 5
Number of Shots: 12

Chapter Summary: Julian, who I just want to reiterate is like 23 and lives in New York City, keeps flying down to the tiny town in which Cathy lives because he's obsessed with her venus flytrap vagina. 23. New York City. I just . . . there are better girls available, Julian, if you prefer quality over quantity. There are more girls available, if you prefer quantity over quality. Why are you doing this?

Mind, you're also an awful terrible person who sucks almost as much as Dr Pervert and Chris The Sister Raper, so, you know, you don't have that going for you.

Anyhooskies, he asks Cathy out on a date and she accepts and he takes her to a fancy French restaurant, because that's the sort of place you take a sixteen year old on her first date, because V.C. Andrews' books are also the plots to several 80s comedies. Julian tries to get busy, Cathy rejects him, and he gets all aggro and violent about it, not that this fact is looked upon by Cathy as any reason not to date him. Sigh.

Then Cathy spends some time thinking that Chris is the only boy she'll ever truly love, and then she spends some time being molested by Dr Pervert some more. Dr Pervert spills the beans about what happened to his beloved Julia and Scotty, which is the part of this book that always stuck out to me, mostly because I thought then- and still do - that Julia and Scotty are the only people in this entire book for whom I feel some sympathy. Well, also Henny, but that's just because I imagine she has stored up a large collection of curse words to spew at these jerks should her speech ever return.

So here's the story of Julia and Scotty! Dr Pervert and Julia were childhood sweethearts and bestest buds! And then he married her when she turned 19! And then on their wedding night, he wanted to get busy and Julia got scared, so Paul ended up raping her. And if you're wondering why this seems familiar - yes, this is the same exact plot of My Sweet Audrina. And yes, once again it's Julia's fault, for being so frigid.

Paul continues to rape her on and off throughout the years and Julia becomes pregnant and has Scotty. Scotty is the light of both of their lives, though Julia tells Dr Pervert that, since she has now "done her duty," she'd like it if he'd kindly leave her alone, thankyouverymuch. This, of course, makes Julia a frigid bitch instead of a repeated rape victim who's looking for some way to bargain out of her abusive marriage, and Dr Pervert is FORCED to go have sex with other women! He has an affair with his head nurse, or something, and Julia finds out and then goes and drowns herself and Scotty in the river. And, yes, while it was awful of her to kill her kid, I'm going to argue diminished capacity. Dr Pervert, of course, is the sad hero of this tale, and has bravely learned to live again and even fondle teenage girls under his legal guardianship. I don't know about you guys, but my heart is so very warmed by this story.

I Can See Why People Like This Book, Because: Um, they're really big fans of Law and Order: SVU but think that Stabler and Bensen and co. come down way too hard on the poor little rapists who are just trying to live their life and rape some people?

Notes from the Margin:

He drove to a very elegant restaurant where colored lights churned and rock music played.

Yeah, that . . . sounds really elegant.

On the way home Julian drove onto a secluded lane where lovers parked to make out. I'd never made out and wasn't ready for someone as overwhelming as Julian.

Um, maybe I'm unclear on what constitutes "making out," but having done it a fair amount of times in my life, I think I know what it entails. Are you sure you haven't made out with anyone, Cathy? Like what about when you're straddling Dr Pervert and he's touching your boobs and kissing you? Isn't that making out? I mean, unless you're talking about just basic no-tongue kissing, in which case, darlin, I thinkyou've already put the cart WAY before the horse. Like, the cart is in Iowa. The horse is in some place nowhere near Iowa. The horse has some catching up to do.

"Cathy, I don't want to say and do anything wrong with you. I want to make you the best thing that's ever happened to me."

Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum! Mister Sandman! Bring me a dream! Make him the creepiest that I've ever seen! Give him a superiority complex like my older brother! And tell him that his nights of fapping are over! Mr Sandman! I'm so alone! 'Cept for my brother, no one calls me his own. Please turn on your magic beam! Mr Sandman, bring me a dream! Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum! Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum! Mister Sandman! Bring me a dream! Give him a pair of eyes, "i'm psycho" they'll scream! Give him a lonely heart like Doctor Pervert, and even more raping than Chris-to-pher!

He turned to stare in my eyes. "I don't like him, Cathy! I wish he'd stay in New York and leave you alone! From what I hear from all the girls or boys in your dance company, Julian has claimed you so now no other dancer will ask you out."

Christopher, why are you even talking to your sister's fellow dance students? I mean, I know why - you're a total creepster, but . . . WHY?

His voice turned bitter while his eyes went blank, and his arms tightened about me. "Julia and I had kissed many times, and we always held hands, but she would never let me do anything truly intimate - that had to wait until she had a wedding band on her finger. I'd had a few sexual encounters, not many."

Um, Dr Pervert? If you dated Julia since the time you were a kid and had been with her for years . . . with whom were you having these sexual encounters? And, did you think that maybe, just maybe, if you were stepping out on your girlfriend, you shouldn't, I dunno, ask her to marry you?

Lord Almighty, this book is going to give me a complex about marriage. Well. More of a complex.

"I was just a kid myself, and didn't know how to handle a situation like that. I loved her, and I wanted her, and in the end I raped her."

Well, that's a fucking lovely story to relate to your sixteen-year-old legal ward, Dr Pervert! "So, like, there I was, right! And my wife didn't want to do it with me because she said sex was awful and ugly? What could I do, am I right? I mean, I guess I could have spent two minutes thinking about why someone would act perfectly loving but then cringe away once sex was initiated and maybe talk to her about her feelings, but that seems like it would take AT LEAST a day or two. Raping was much more expedient!"

"Oh I grieve just as much as you do but I also bear the guilt. I should have known how unstable Julia was."

Well, yes, you should have. But, hey, barring that, maybe just don't rape her all time time? I mean, I'm just throwing that out there as a suggestion. Far be it from me to counsel you on your marriage, Dr Pervert.

"Forgive yourself, and forget what happened to Julia. I remember my mother and father; they were always loving and kissing. I've known since I was a little girl that men need to be loved and touched. I used to watch my mother to see how she tamed Daddy down when he was angry. She did it with kisses, with soft looks and small touches."

Aaaaand there goes my spleen, ladies and gentlemen! Just remember, young teenage girls to whom Simon and Schuster are currently marketing this book, if your boyfriend is angry about something, you should fuck him to make him feel better! It's your job as a lady, okay! If you don't do it, we're going to take away your ID card and you won't get your 30% discount on shoes and yogurt, girlfriend!

He spun about to face me, his full, sensual lips open, his expression furious. "Don't take what I say and twist it about to suit your need for revenge. There's no reason, ever, to justify murder, unless it's a case of self-defense."

Well, there's also no reason to justify rape, and yet this woman has written a combined total of about 4000 pages doing so.

The whole world was going to know about me! They'd compare me to Anna Pavlova and say I was better. She'd come to a party they threw in my honor, and with her would be her husband.

Anna Pavlova is going to come to your party? Anna Pavlova, who has been dead for three quarters of a century? Ohhh, your mother is going to come to your party. You should really learn to use your pronouns correctly, Cathy.

 

That's it for this round, kids, and for those of you jonesing for another story of blonde siblings who are awful, don't worry, I haven't abandoned SVH. I hope you guys have a great weekend and we'll see you Monday!

Erin Callahan's photo About the Author: Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink. When she isn't drowning in a sea of engineers for whom Dilbert is still uproariously funny, she's writing about books, tv, the cult of VC Andrews and more.
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