I was just 15 when I started an affair. No one warned me how dangerously addictive it could be. That I’d spend hours just staring off into space, day dreaming and imagining and all those foolish things.
And being young and jobless as I was, I realized that affairs are not entirely free. One has to spend money on them. Add to that, the people that I hurt in the process, my parents.
See, when I got so engrossed and lost in my affair, everything took second place. School and family obligations became such a drag. Understandable right? Young love and all of that.
But, I just had to have it – my Sweet Dreams pocketbook romance.
Who got me hooked
Vanessa, a really good friend of mine since grade school, brought her paperback to school one time. It was titled P.S. I Love You by Barbara Conklin. She was really excited about it, telling us what a wonderful story it was. So, I took the bait and asked to borrow it. Van readily lent it with the note to take special care as it was from her sister, Aileen.
The book was the first of a series of young adult romances. Sweet Dreams had over 200 books from different authors about young love and all its requisite highs and lows. The more popular authors were Barbara Conklin, Janet Quin-Harkin, and Marilyn Kaye under the pseudonym Shannon Blair. My personal favorites were Jaye Ellen (The Trouble with Charlie), Rosemary Vernon (The Popularity Summer), and Joanna Campbell (Secret Identity).
Feel good books
Aside from my natural love of books, the Series became a favorite because reading them made me happy. I still remember laughing my head off (to the puzzlement of those who was watching while I was reading, guess they thought I was crazy) to the circuitous route Charlie (of The Trouble with Charlie) had to take to find love under the very watchful eyes of her older and intimidating brothers. I got to read about the wonderful people and places that were depicted on the books. I realized that teenagers, and I guess people all over the world are basically the same: living, loving, hurting and persevering. It was a gentle eye-opener of what the world is.
Lauding the writers
In this day and age where gadgets seem to rule, I am thankful that I went through that Sweet Dreams phase. My grades then initially suffered but when I learned how to use what I read (my vocabulary and communication skills greatly improved, not to mention the interest it sparked in me in the social sciences), everything went fine.
I have always encouraged my own daughter to read books. There is a lot to be learned and enjoyed from them. And I thank the Sweet Dreams romance paperback writers for they were one of the many that made my teenage years extra special and I guess, sweet.