Miss Goody Shoes

As a kid, I had quite the reputation of being Miss Goody Shoes. 🙂 While I dont really think i strived towards it, I dont really remember doing much to correct the impression either. Oh I have to tell you that I wasnt really good – its not that I didnt ‘think’ anything bad; I just was terribly bad at executing things.

I guess this is as good a time to slay the demon of Miss Goody Shoes.

I have always been a voracious reader, and my parents have always indulged me. It was always okay if stayed up late reading, or if I came late for dinner, or got late in the library. It helped of course that I was not only good at studies, I also liked studying (ewww, I know its gross, but I didnt particularly get a chance to slap myself as a kid). However, there was a unfortunate phase in my literature loving years – a phase I am extremely proud of. The Mills and Boon phase. From Amar Chitra Kathas, to Enid Blytons, to Dickens, to Maugham to the Russian classics – my reading was all very respectable like me. So it was quite surprising when my dad found that he had to pay for an increasing stash of M&Bs from the library. He didnt say a word – my dad finds it difficult to talk about anything which is connected to boys and romance 🙂 Anway, he was relieved when I was in the tenth standard, and he could legally put a restriction on the amount of books I could read – ALL the books. He didnt have to specifically mention the M&Bs.

At this point, I have to tell you I had a bad attack of M&Bs, much more damaging than any viral attack or measles or mumps or whatever. I was bad, very bad. No you dont understand. I was horrendous. I used to take like 10 books from the library at one strech, and read like two a day; three if I could manage to eat a really long dinner. And it wasnt even a short spell – it went on and on and on. Btw, if anyone needs any information on M&Bs – authors, styles, themes, anything – just ask me – am da man; I can write a whole thesis if required. But I digress again. My dad had enough – it had to stop – he restricted all books till I finished my board exams. I was not really devastated. There is where the bad part girl comes in.

That year was really hectic; in addition to the pressure of the board exams, I had Bharat Natyam classes, computer classes, and ‘eat as much as you can’ classes. Well, the last one was really dinner time. Anyway, the whole day was crammed with activies, and I barely got enough time to breathe. At this time, my dad decided that I should wake up at five every morning to study. As cruel as it sounds to all of you out there, it really wasnt; those were the days when I could wake up before eight thirty without throwing abuse at the Gods above. Note again – this is where bad girl kicks in. My poor dad would wake me up at 4.45..cuddle up with me till 5, nicely seat me on my reading table with tea, and then go into the kitchen to help my mother. And what would I do? I would open my thick text book, open it to page 77, take out a new M&B from my stash, place it strategically between the book, hold the book very straight, and read it with as much concentration as my chemistry text book deserved. You think its sane to wake up at five in the morning and read a M&B?  What can I say? Thankfully, someone told my dad that sleep is extremely essential for Board Exams, and he decided that it was enough that I woke up at 7. Really, what can I say? I WAS a sidey, corny, cheap teenanger. I just never gained enough credit for it because I also was one of the school toppers in the Board exams. Some people never get recognition for their true worth.

Why do I remember all this now?

Yesterday was a hectic day at work.I had logged in from home and was working till 11pm. While my work was intense, there were frequent breaks when I had to wait for other people to complete their part and send it to me. During those breaks, I was reading a M&B (I still read them *defiant pose*) and my dad walks in with a cup of tea. I could swear it was almost exactly the same feeling as 15 years back. This time I was working on a laptop and had nowhere to hide the book. I quickly shut the book and almost thew it on the bed and concentrated on the laptop with fierce concentration. My dad just kept the tea on the table and walked away.

It almost took me a minute before I realised that I wasnt fifteen anymore, and it wasnt my board exams, and I was actually MUCH past the age of reading M&Bs, and even if that was true, I could read them without hiding. It was a weird feeling. In the years between fifteen and thirty, I did go on to do a lot more justice to the bad girl tag I wanted, but I hadnt thought that being caught with an M&B at the age of thirty by my dad, would actually get me embarrassed. It did. Its a sobering thought that at the grand old age of thirty, I really have to work on the Ms Goody Shoes attitude. Seriously. Really quite a lot to think about. And of course quite a lot to work on – as you see, this is not the day we will slay the demon of Miss Goody Shoes.



23 comments for “Miss Goody Shoes

  1. September 30, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Hahaha. That was hilarious.

    But really, what in the world is in those books? I remember trying them, and they were.. ummmn.. how shall we say it – girl meets boy with intense dark eyes, concealing pools in which she could drown in; only boy’s a jerk, plus he’s dangerous – something outlandish – like racing car driver, or natural tamer of wild-horses; and he hates her for reasons unknown, but then one night, stables appear spontaneously and he ‘makes love’ to her (denoted usually by a ‘******’ in the middle of the chapter); and the he loves her, and then hates her, and then he ignores her, and she goes insane, and then he loves her, and tells her that her dad had an affair with his mother OMG; and then she’s all WHY GOD WHY; and then she finds out that’s the guy who slept with his mom is actually lying bastard who isn’t her dad (he was setup by the bitch of his secretary – you know, the woman who drained her glass of wine on her pretty white dress on the first night she went out to the ball with him), and so no incest is happening; so they climb aboard the racing-car (or wild-horse) and ride off and live happily ever after.

    Yeah, that was pretty much the story. In both the books I read. Maybe I picked the same book twice because it was the only one not flashing a giant picture of a sweaty, half-naked, twenty-two-pack man on the cover.

    • September 30, 2009 at 7:04 am

      Aaah its quite obvious you have not ventured into the world of sidey romantic fiction..and this is where my superior knowledge comes in 😀

      Well, you see..there are different kinds and different themes. There are Betty Neels medical romances where the heroine has to be a Plain nurse who is no-nonsense but oh so romantic at heart, who falls for the handsome, rich, and bad tempered doctor. No hanky panky in these books, except for the occasional kiss. Then you have the Penny Jordan and Charlotte Lamb kind of books which have pages devoted to hanky panky stuff. I think the book you described could follow into this category because the men in these books are typically huge jerks. Then you have Diana Palmer books where the heroine has the heroine HAS to be below 20, a virgin, and very self sacrificial, and the hero HAS to be above 35, experienced, arrogant as hell, and a magician on horses. And so on and on and on.. Each author has different settings and locations – for example, Diana Palmer is usually on Texas..there are others set in England, Australia, and New Zealand. And of how can I forget the Spanish and Italian ones – where the men have charming accents, sculpted bodies, and ‘I am so misunderstood’ stories. 🙂

      Gosh!!! thats a lot..I did warn you..I could write a thesis..LOL

  2. September 30, 2009 at 7:32 am

    I guess the guilt pangs will never go away !!

    It is much like what boy would do with a porn treatise or flick when anyone is approaching the heady seclusion of his room.

    Porn for boys and MnB for girls is not an ideal man vs woman scenario but just illustrative.

    So I see that you have not grownup ..still ;-))

    You are still a teenager down there !

    • September 30, 2009 at 11:03 am

      Growing up is highly over rated! 😀

      • September 30, 2009 at 8:37 pm

        I do not know about it being rated at all. But we just do not grow up, we only get sadder and wiser and that is the loss of innocence and that is what is called growing up !

        Is that so ?

  3. September 30, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Oh gosh! It’s uncanny how we have both done (and still do) similar stuff! I always feel guilty about reading shady romance novels even now as I used to hide them inside my school text books and read whilst pretending to study!

    And recently, I don’t know if you remember but when we were in Sacramento, I bought one very shady looking M&B with a very hot cover from that same shop where you got your loot (next to Udupi). And I haven’t read it yet (of course!) so took it out a few days back to read it…and then as soon as mom entered the room, shoved it under the bedsheet and pretended to watch TV! And then I was asking myself…WHYYY?? She isn’t gonna yell at me now as I’m not supposed to be studying!!

    • September 30, 2009 at 12:50 pm

      You too??? Its nice to know that I am not the only teen-adult here! 😀

    • October 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm

      ditto 🙂

  4. September 30, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    It’s funny how we can become kids in an instant around our parents 🙂

    But what about them? Do they also feel the need to be “perfect” around their kids, even after the kids have grown up? I wonder how it feels as you go from being all-knowing and almighty (to a toddler), to a human being with imperfections (and hopefully finally to a parent who is appreciated from a whole new perspective).

    • October 1, 2009 at 2:07 pm

      Goodness. I didnt think of that!!! I suppose that’s true – on how much our opinion counts to them. I gotta be more expressive from now on!

  5. October 1, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I used to do the same thing…I used to hide Archie comics inside my Social Studies text book .There were days when my mother was sweet and adorable and she simply used to pretend that she didnt see the comics hidden inside my books 🙂

    My M&B phase was extremly short…Probably because I entered Agatha Christie,Perry Mason phase prematurly.My mother is still a huge fan of M&B.She has told in advance to all her kids that if she breaks her leg or something,she wants us to buy and give her M&B isntead of some stupid flowers 🙂

    • October 1, 2009 at 2:10 pm

      Goodness. There are mothers like that? Then there’s hope for me too 🙂 will tell my kids the same!

  6. November 5, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    What! your dad still brings you tea at your desk?
    – tells me what my life is going to be like! 🙂

    *note to self* no need for meera to wake up before 7.

    • November 5, 2009 at 6:35 pm

      Yep..my dad still gets me tea once in a while if I dont venture out of my study. 🙂 Not that I want him to; he is just the most adorable, lovable wonderful dad. I am not saying that because he gets me tea 😀 I just adore him, thats all!

      • November 6, 2009 at 3:45 am

        I don’t know if its you are your dad who is more fortunate.
        I would be so lucky if in 30 years Meera would feel the same!

        well ok, perhaps about her mom. It would be nice, no?

        • November 6, 2009 at 5:03 am

          Well, I havent always been the good daughter 🙁 so I would say I am the more fortunate person. We have had our differences (marriage being a very sore point 🙂 ), but at every point I have realised how blessed I am, and how much I care for them.

          Dont worry – Meera would feel the same about you and M; its quite obvious from your posts how much you adore her – kids imbibe that you know 🙂

          I think I have mentioned in one of my earlier posts – I was born to my parents after 12 years of marriage. I have grown up feeling like the most precious thing on earth, and when you have that, there’s nothing much any daughter can ask for. Absolutely nothing more. 🙂

          Not sure if you have read this – http://meghainclouds.livejournal.com/16791.html

  7. Anonymous
    November 18, 2009 at 9:28 am


    This, by a friend of mine, is equally relevant. Maybe you two should get together and hold a competition for who can do a better thesis. 🙂



    • November 20, 2009 at 8:27 pm

      Goodness!!! she actually knows Carole Mortimer and Penny Jordan! We gotta get together!

      • Anonymous
        November 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm

        Your post was a great read too! Of course, all the confessions in it are also true for me – but I haven’t been so free to reveal them all. I have hidden MBs inside text books while pretending to study, pushed them aside to hide them when mom or dad happen to come into my room and all. And now I discover, my sister has done them all too. 🙂 She too really identified with your post and she is 8 yrs older than me.
        We should form a sorority of sorts. 🙂

        • November 22, 2009 at 7:10 pm

          Absolutely! More power to us! 😀

          Nice to see you here! 🙂

  8. Anonymous
    May 16, 2010 at 7:50 am


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  9. Anonymous
    July 8, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Opened a new world

    Sai, this is a collective resonse, as in a response to the posts I have read so far. Gawd! I didn’t know you at all. Not that I ever claimed to. But it feels different to learn about aspects of someone’s life that you have had no clue about even though you shared the same space for years. Yes, we interacted (just a bit) in office over three years, but going through your posts, it makes me realize how short those three years were, and how clueless we are about one another even if share one aspect of life for some time.

    I love the MIC I have been reading here. She is so, so… normal. Now, don’t take the term ‘normal’ in a light vein. Normal to me is the equivalent of what perfect or outstanding is for others. Perfection is boring, irritating and prude. Normal is more humane, more personal, more within reach. I don’t know if my blabbering makes an sense here. And I should not blabber at all. This is your blog.

    And what a blog, Sai! From the post on ‘pennu kannal’ to the one on M&Bs to traveling, each one of them made me want to write to you. And guess what, I got so lost in reading those comments and your response on the posts that I forgot what I had to say. The comments on your posts made for a great read, and those discussions are so lively and sane.

    I have no idea if any of this made sense to you, but Sai, you are a terrific blogger. I will be coming back to your blog. – Anuradha (Anu)

    • July 8, 2010 at 11:33 am

      Re: Opened a new world

      Nice to see you here, Anu. 🙂

      and you are most welcome to blabber, esp in this vein! How could I not, with all that praise? 😀

      And thank you very much. And I know what you mean too. If you have read one of my older posts, that’s what I mean by the ‘anonymity’ of the blog. Each of us have different ‘sides’ and we either choose to show that, or circumstances force us to be that person. Either ways, its a part of the person, and not the whole sum. Unfortunately, most associations are created, with people just knowing a few aspects. Not that its a bad thing, just that its the way things happen…

      A blog helps people like us to be open about what we are..all aspects. Of course, its also a place for shameless narcissism, but what the heck – its our right 🙂

      Anyway, do come back and comment. I would love to hear from you. And yes, I am getting to know you too, through your blog:) Lets keep in touch.:)

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