Enid's StoryDecember 1990
Heading for danger...
People who meet pretty, quiet Enid Rollins find it hard to believe that she ever ran with a wild crowd. She's popular, a straight-A student, and is best friends with Elizabeth Wakefield. Finally, Enid seems to have her life together.
Then everything starts to go wrong. She's interested in Jeffrey French, Elizabeth's ex-boyfriend, and thinks that he likes her, too. But it turns out he hasn't gotten over Elizabeth. Then Enid's father shows up drunk for his Christmas visit. The only person left in Enid's life is Elizabeth, and when they have a terrible disagreement, Enid feels totally alone.
But when Brian, a boy from her past, asks her out, Enid is thrilled. She knows that being with Brian is risky, but he's the only person who seems to appreciate her. Can Enid resist temptation, or will she return to her wild life?
Enid's Story is one of those books I have massively conflicting feelings about. My brain has it labeled as a big friggin' disappointment but when re-reading it, I liked a LOT about it. However, my brain's label isn't wrong. Of all the Super Stars so far, this is the one that felt like it should've made the jump to regular series canon, ala BSC Mystery #5.
Since it did not, we were ROBBED of the drama to be mined from the retooled Enid/Jeffrey/Elizabeth triangle. ROBBED.
Also, it doesn't help that after this book Jeffrey mostly disappears except for Liz to hide from him in Regina's Legacy and... I dunno, possibly background filler elsewhere in the series. The only reason I can see for not having Enid/Jeffrey successfully hookup is that they figured no one in their right mind would buy Jeffrey being okay with being so close to Liz and yet so far. I was going to say that no one would buy him choosing Enid over Liz, but it's not exactly a choice given that Liz chose Todd and also we're shown repeatedly that guys choose Enid over Jessica so... Maybe they didn't really want to have Enid and Elizabeth fight over a guy? Because while Enid has been shown to be capable of getting over her exes (Hey, George!), Liz really does seem to expect all of hers to still be madly in love with her. Annnnnnnd... I get it. That's kinda the expectation, when you're younger. Hell, for when you're older, too, sometimes.
But Enid and Jeffrey work. They're adorkable in similar ways and it makes sense that after getting to know one another, they'd find they have a fair amount in common. If nothing else, they're both very Liz kinds of people and relationships have been built on less.
Seriously though, younger!me was so excited at the idea of Enid/Jeffrey being a thing and the dramatic fallout because Liz says she's over him but we all know she isn't ready to have her best friend move in on him and then NOTHING COMES OF IT, WTF.
Anyway, my other problem with the book is that it has Enid being really awesome in one breath and really stupid in the next. It's hard to buy her telling Brian off and then two seconds later agreeing to go off with him again, knowing what kind of douchebag he is. I know, I know, it's not completely outside the realm of possibility but it is annoying
. I shouldn't be in mid-cheer when you turn around and do something stupid, y'know?
Enid's Story begins with Elizabeth and Enid being BFF dorks (and I say this with the utmost love) and wrapping presents at Enid's house. There are corny jokes that I love anyway and a feeling that these two actually are best friends and don't you wish you were there, too? But since this is SVH and we need some conflict, we find out that Todd is going away because if there's one thing that remains constant, it's that Todd's family peaces out at Christmas. Enid is secretly happy that she'll have super BFF time with Liz and even Liz seems pretty happy at the thought of getting to spend more time with Enid. We also find out that Enid was supposed to go to Tahoe with her mother to visit her Aunt Nancy but her father is coming to town instead. Enid admits her mother wasn't thrilled by the change in plans, but it's Christmas and Enid hasn't seen her father in ages. Liz understands but things get a little awkward when Enid's mother (Adele, darlings) comes in and makes a comment about wanting Enid to call Aunt Nancy to explain things, even though Adele already did so.
Book, we aren't even a chapter in and I've got a parenting bone to pick with you. I get Adele being ticked that her ex-husband basically killed her vacation (a point Liz brings up) but there's no need to make it sound like Enid owes her aunt an explanation about why she'd rather see her father for the first time in months
rather than visit someone she's seen at least once during the series began. Nancy is presumably an adult. She might want to talk to you to just say hey, Merry Christmas, but she doesn't need a goddamn explanation or apology from a kid about wanting to see their parent over a major holiday.
Enid is less than thrilled that her mother chose to air their dirty laundry in front of Elizabeth but Liz is cool, and not in that patronizing way she can be sometimes. She cracks a joke, after Adele leaving, about peace on earth and goodwill towards ex-husbands and all is right with the world.
At school we indulge in one of my other favorite SVH bits and party hop from class to class since everyone knows only totally insane teachers attempt to actually teach on the last day before holiday break. Enid brings in red and green foil wrapped candy and hands them out to her friends, though only Winston, Maria, and maybe Elizabeth are mentioned as receiving any. We find out there's some skating party the next day and everyone is excited about going. And naturally, I have questioned.
We're told this is a new thing and one they're hoping will be a tradition (it will not be) but we're never told where this ice skating rink is. Is it indoors? Outdoors? Did SV move to be in a slightly colder climate and did Secca Lake freeze along with Hell? How is Jessica such an accomplished ice skater that she can tease, I presume, Lila about being a bad skater? I'm far more likely to buy Lila being a fantastic skater than I am Jessica, given that never in the history of ever are we told about SV being all that wintry. Which is fine as indoor rinks are very much a thing (I learned to drive in the parking lot of the one they built here) but I'm still not buying that these California kids who always have to travel to get anywhere near snow are all great at skating.
Also, wanna feel really old or really young, depending on where you fall on the spectrum here? Dorothy Hamill, Katarina Witt, and Sonja Henie are all name dropped as the best skaters anyone can think of.
Enid realizes that Elizabeth's more upset about Todd leaving than she let on, so she hatches a plan to cheer Liz up. After school she commands Liz to drive them both to the DB. That's it, btw. As far as her plan goes, it's kinda lacking. Also, it pulls the drama tab and we're helpless to stop it.
Enid heads into the DB while Liz doubles back to grab her jacket because the DB is always cold. I mean, I've never heard this complaint before but I guess story's gotta story so sure. She runs into Jeffrey on the way in and the two find themselves under the mistletoe and everyone's all "KISS! KISS! KISS!" and so Jeffrey dips Elizabeth.
Elizabeth, Todd hasn't even been gone a full afternoon. It is ENTIRELY too soon for you to be confused about your feelings just because Jeffrey dipped you for a kiss under some fake mistletoe at the Dairi Burger. I mean, really. Sigh. Enid misses this because she's sitting at the one booth in the place that doesn't have a view of the door, so she doesn't realize that Elizabeth's good and flustered by the kiss and the feelings it may or may not have reignited. Liz babbles on and then heads off to the counter to get herself a root beer (continuity!) after taking a huge gulp of whatever Enid is drinking.
Jessica makes her entrance with Lila and Cara off to the side (remember, no girl on girl action in the Valley) and, with hands on her hips, pretty much dares any boy to be brave enough to come up and kiss her as she declares, "Well?"
This is the most Jessica thing on the planet and Ghosty, I love you for it.
It is then followed up by the most Bruce thing on planet Earth where he makes his way to the door and proceeds to kiss her (though I like to imagine Jeffrey's kiss was better) and Jessica rates it a 7.9. We get a nod to her recent jellyfish comments and how that's an exaggeration but she'd never tell him that, and that this kiss was pretty good. Bruce shoots back that she obviously got her numbers mixed up and that it was a 9.7 and she shoots back that she meant what she said.
Like I said, this book has a fair amount going for it.
Lila, Jessica, and Cara proceed to hand out candy canes and naturally this is just an excuse for Jessica to flirt with every guy, available or not. She even flirts with Winston. We learn Jessica's on the prowl for a new guy and she decides to flirt with Jeffrey because he's on the short list of guys she hasn't managed to entangle. She hops up a few times and manages to eventually grab the mistletoe (dying at this mental image) and sashays through the DB on a quest. She taps Jeffrey on the shoulder and for a second he lights up, thinking it's Liz. Jessica notices this and isn't totally thrilled when he gives her a very meh kiss and then scuttles away. Cara gives her shit for it and then Liz shows up to ask what Jessica and Jeffrey were talking about. Jessica says it was nothing and then asks why Liz wants to know.
"No reason. I just saw you guys talking, and I was surprised."
"I have talked to boys before," Jessica pointed out sweetly. "It's not that unusual."
While Liz is gone, Jeffrey comes over to talk to Enid and wants to make sure he didn't tick Liz off with the big kiss. Enid assures him that he didn't and the two get to talking about the joys of being single and how they miss seeing one another and it's weird how breakups also lead to friendships getting dropped and eventually he makes plans to pick her up for the skating party the following day. He disappears before Liz returns and Enid decides not to tell Elizabeth about her not!date with Jeffrey since she can tell Liz is in a weird mood... and also she feels guilty. Elizabeth invites Enid to go shopping instead of going to the skating party (because Liz forgot about it) but since Enid just make that not!date, she really wants to go to the party. Then she starts to try and convince Liz to stay away because dude, it will be SO awkward to hang out with the exes while trying to hit on one... but by the end of the car ride, Enid comes to her senses and tells Elizabeth that she shouldn't isolate herself as it'll just make things worse. Come to the party, have fun! But still no mention of Jeffrey. Liz declines and Enid heads on inside.
We get another moment of A+ parenting from Adele when she informs Enid that she just missed a call from her father. Enid asks if Dad left a message and Adele says no, they didn't exactly chat and Enid's ticked. Since this is pre-cellphones and Dave (her father) travels for business, it's not like she's got a reliable number to call him back on if Adele didn't bother to get one. She didn't ask when he'd call back and Enid's ticked and really, I can't blame her. I get that divorces are often messy and good lord do I understand that certain people make you fucking crazy just talking to them for two seconds but also sometimes you put that shit aside for your kid. We learn that Dave apparently had a drinking problem but Enid never really witnessed it and kinda thinks maybe her mother is, at best, exaggerating. So naturally we now know that Dad is super bad news and also might be where Enid gets her bad habits from. But I'm skipping ahead. Enid and her mother are now ticked at one another and Enid thinks to herself that winter vacation is off to a rocky start.
Oh, Enid. You have no idea.
Hurricane Jessica sweeps into Elizabeth's room to borrow some clothes and drag Elizabeth out of bed (kinda literally) and makes her go to the skating party with her. This scene also amuses me but it means that we get Elizabeth being blindsided by Enid and Jeffrey skating together. Jeffrey's a really good skater while Enid- not so much. Liz asks what gives and Enid admits that they made plans yesterday... at the DB. Liz is kinda ticked that Enid hid this from her and Enid admits it was kinda sneaky, but she didn't want to make things weird and also:
"Liz-" Enid drew a deep breath and forced Elizabeth to meet her eyes. "Jeffrey is not your boyfriend anymore. I don't think you should get so upset."
On the one hand, Enid's right. Liz chose Todd and chose him pretty solidly. Enid did like the guy first and she stepped aside right away when it became clear that Jeffrey just wasn't into her the way he was with Liz. On the other hand:
That's just, like, the rules of feminism.
Liz agrees that she's acting weird and that she has no claim over Jeffrey and then disappears to find Jessica... even though she just arrived with her. Remember, Liz? There was that cute moment when you two tried to sing a round of Jingle Bells and you kept getting confused (as it was a round) and Jess somehow threw in a chorus of Deck the Halls and I cheered because I love the idea that the Wakefield twins can't sing for shit but still do it anyway.
Anyway, Jess is still on the hunt for a new guy and while she, Amy, and Lila are guy watching, we also learn that Lila's father had to cancel their plans to spend the holidays in Switzerland because he's got some deal to push through in NYC. Lila's not going with him because ugh, who would want to spend Christmas in NYC, it's so cold (I mean, Stacey McGill would like a word, Fowler, and also you were just about to spend the holiday in Switzerland, not exactly the warmest place on Earth) and Jessica reads between the lines and decides to ask her parents if Lila can spend the holidays with them. Seriously, there's so much good crammed into this book.
Jessica spies a cute guy who doesn't have a known girlfriend, so armed with the barest of intel from Lila, she skates into cute college guy Brian. She introduces herself but before she can really work her magic, Enid plows right into her and they go flying to the ice. Brian immediately helps Enid up and it turns out he knows her. Enid thanks him and skates away ASAP, leaving Jessica to wonder a) how Enid knows Brian, b) why Enid seems to have no interest in such a hunk, and c) why Brian has to be reminded to help bombshell Jessica up off the ice? Dude. Luckily, gossip warms Jessica's heart almost as much as romance and she skates off to share the Enid thing with Amy and Lila.
Enid is temporarily thrown by running into Brian Saunders from her old partying days but she's here on a not!date and not about to let Brian mess that up. So she and Jeffrey skate and flirt and it's very cute and definitely on the dorky side and my heart, she sings happily for them. They even make plans to see a horror movie later that night and Enid wonders if maybe, just maybe they could be more than friends. Would it ever work out, given that they'd have to deal with Elizabeth being Enid's best friend and Jeffrey's ex? Enid's willing to give it a shot but she's not sure Jeffrey would be and who knows how Elizabeth would react. Eventually she decides that she's getting ahead of herself, so she decides to just roll with it.
Later, at home, Enid is wrapping presents while waiting for Jeffrey to pick her up. Her father calls and they chat for a bit and Enid thinks that it's a shame her father can say nice things about her mother but her mother is always a royal witch to and about her father. I mean, Enid, there are several red flags at play on both sides here. Jeffrey shows up while they're on the phone and away Enid goes. On the way to the movie, Enid realizes she could very easily fall in love with Jeffrey but they almost immediately begin talking about Elizabeth and what Enid bought her (a very girly heart-shaped box) and how Liz does enjoy the super frilly things but would never admit it or buy that kind of stuff for herself. This causes Enid to worry that maybe Jeffrey is still hung up on Elizabeth (I thought we established that back at the DB, Enid) but the two do seem to be doing some stellar flirting so who knows? We don't get to follow them on their date and instead skip to the next morning.
But not like that. Enid wakes up and we learn that after the movie they had dinner and Enid decides that the best way to test whether there's a shot at romance is to buy Jeffrey a Christmas gift. His reaction will tell her everything she needs to know. I mean, she's not entirely wrong but... well. You'll see. Enid and her mother have a cute little exchange and just before Enid hits the road, Liz calls. Liz sounds down, so Enid invites her shopping. When Elizabeth isn't interested in that, she offers the beach (so again, I ask, where is this stupid skating rink?) but Liz isn't interested in that, either. Enid can tell her best friend is down but instead of surprising Elizabeth with a visit, which we all know is what Enid would normally have done in any other situation, she goes to the mall and runs into Jessica. Jess decides to grill her about Brian and Enid waffles between wanting to tell Jessica to run far, far away from bad news Brian and knowing that's not really helpful when it comes to the youngest Wakefield and she really doesn't want to discuss that part of her life with gossip hungry Jessica. Eventually she tries to warn Jess off but Jess mistakes this for interest on Enid's part. The two eventually part, with Jessica asking if Enid will be going to Robin and George's holiday party. Ooh, that's a low blow, Jess. However, unlike Elizabeth, Enid has let her ex go and feels just fine attending a party thrown by hers and the girl he cheated on her with.
Enid finds a Sonja Henie postcard and decides that this paired with some ice-cream is the perfect gift for Jeffrey. It's cute as hell, honestly. Enid gets home and asks if anyone called and is told no. She asks specifically about her father and Adele testily reminds her that she said no one
called. Luckily, we're saved from my annoyance by Enid's father calling right then. They make plans to see each other the following day (Christmas Eve) at noon. When they hang up, Adele is PISSED. You see, she was going to surprise Enid with tickets to the Nutcracker and now that's ruined, too. Lady, I want to feel for you but Enid's right- the man didn't plan to fuck up your ballet plans. You do get awfully defensive each time he calls and your daughter is suffering for it, so put on your big girl pants and find a friend to bitch to instead of your daughter. Jesus. Adele realizes belatedly that maybe she's taking things out on Enid and apologizes.
While Enid wonders why things must be so difficult, the phone rings again, only this time it's Jeffrey. He wonders if she's busy as he has something he wants to talk to her about and the party is not the time for it. She agrees to go over and then head's off to get ready. She dresses up for Jeffrey and wonders briefly if maybe she's overdressed, but decides the holidays are the time to dress-up. She's sure that tonight is the night everything in their relationship will change.
When she gets to Jeffrey's, it looks like no one else is home. He asks about the ice-cream and she gives him his gift which he seems to love. He gives her a gift as well, and it's a book of poetry... but he hasn't written anything inside the book and it happens to be by Elizabeth's favorite poet. Still, he did buy her a present and put some thought into it so that should count for something, right?
Yeah. No. See, what he wanted to talk to her about was the fact that Elizabeth came over that morning with cookies she'd baked just for him. He's wondering if maybe Liz feels something for him and this is her way of letting him know. Enid's flabbergasted because as far as she knows, Liz is totally in love with Todd and why the hell is she baking cookies special for her EX-boyfriend? Is it just to keep him hanging on so he can't go out with Enid? What gives, Wakefield? Enid's crushed, too, when she realizes he's obsessing over this and going over and over what this gift would mean but doesn't realize Enid bought a gift, a special inside-joke gift for him and the fact that he gave her a gift doesn't seem to mean anything to him, either. He's really hung up on these cookies. Enid feels like a fool and makes up a lie about having to get her car back to her mother. She debates driving over to Elizabeth's to ask what the hell but realizes she can't because she made such a big deal about going to the skating party with Jeffrey not being a big deal and if she flips out, then she'll look like a hypocrite. It hurts even more to realize she can't talk to her best friend about her problem because the problem is her best friend. :(
Later that evening Jeffrey calls her up to go Go-Karting but Enid's feelings are still hurt and she turns him down. He seems disappointed but Enid wonders if this is because he won't be able to pump her for info on Liz or if he's actually disappointed to not see her. Before she can dwell too much on this, the phone rings again.
Enter Brian Saunders. Again. Enid's shocked and when Brian invites her to dinner, she tells him that she doesn't see the old crowd anymore. He says he doesn't party anymore and when she doesn't seem to really believe him, he says people do change. Since Enid's pretty much the poster girl for change, she admits it is possible, though Brian was the kind of mess that it would take a damn miracle to change. Brian, sensing that Enid's not sold on this, points out that he's in college now and this has straightened him out and that running into her reminded him that he's always really liked her, but he was too wasted then and she was always with George annnnnnnnnd the flattery works.
On Enid. Personally I'm torn between kinda gagging and laughing. Gagging because we learned fairly early on in the series that Enid was like, 13/14 when she was running with this crowd and if Brian's in college now, he's 18/19. However, this has always been a sticking point for Enid's past and me- I totally buy wild child Enid. It's just that they keep sticking her with guys older than she is and it's not my favorite thing. And the laughter is because look, I'm not saying it's impossible to find yourself giving up partying when you hit college but realistically, you're far more likely to take it up or kick it up a notch or twelve. And Brian seems the sort to have found himself a party school and indulged. But sure, sure. Let's pretend the University of Colorado is where Brian cleared his mind and found himself. Enid agrees to dinner.
Brian picks her up and immediately tells her she looks nice and Enid realizes that while she dressed up for Jeffrey, he never even noticed. Brian's attentive and seems actually interested in her and Enid decides that maybe she'll give him an actual shot, as it's nice to be appreciated by someone. But you can tell she's still far more into Jeffrey so, y'know, make of that what you will.
Enid and Brian sort of reminisce but not exactly fondly. She asks what made him change and gives him shit for how he used to be and he says that the Rockies helped clear his mind. That and he's been taking a lot of Asian Studies classes.
Run, Enid. RUN.
But she's committed to the dinner and they end up at the Bangkok Palace for some Thai food. He orders for the both of them (after checking with Enid to see if that's okay) and they discuss college some more. When the food arrives, Brian orders a beer and instead of Enid seeing this as the massive red flag that it is, she agrees with him that it's possible to just have one beer with a meal and thinks to herself it's probably refreshing with the spicy food. Dude, you're in California and I'm fairly certain you've gotta be 21 to drink there, even in 1990 (Google assures me this is so) and so either Brian is waaaaaaaaaaaay too old to be hitting on Enid (particularly using the angle that he was always into her) or the BP should be losing their liquor license any minute now. Enid, the former party boy shouldn't be drinking when trying to convince you he's changed. You're smarter than this.
They have a nice dinner and after desert, Enid wonders if she's ready for the night to be over. What if he wants to go to Miller's Point? Is she ready for that? Instead, Brian asks if she's ready for the night to be over, because if not, he wants to swing by a friend's place for a definitely not a party kind of get together and show her off. Enid agrees, after making sure this is definitely not a party because she's not about that life anymore.
Brian has to park a block away because so many people have shown up to this not a party get together. Enid, honey. You know how this is going to end. Save yourself the headache and just walk away. Instead, she doesn't call him on the BS that it turned into a party and even forgives him when he disappears almost immediately after they walk in the door. Enid finds him downstairs playing a drinking game and he's already shitfaced. Enid's pissed, so she finds a telephone and calls a cab.
Which is a thing I really like about SVH. When someone's date fucks up, they frequently show the girl (Cara and Enid have both done this) calling a cab and just cutting her losses and they do it like it's no big thing beyond the disappointment of having to do so.
Enid makes it home sits in front of the tree, depressed. Her vacation is turning out to be kind of horrible. Her mother's kind of a harpy where her father is concerned, her dad is impossible to track down when she needs him, her best friend is acting super weird, and both potential love interests have fizzled in the same day. That's gotta be some kinda record, right? Merry Christmas indeed.
Christmas Eve! Liz wakes up early and feels like such a jackass as she wonders whatever possessed her to make cookies for Jeffrey and then deliver them. Her only consolation is that Jessica's been so distracted by Lila moving in that she didn't ask who Liz was baking for. Before Elizabeth can beat herself up too badly, the phone rings and it's Todd. Just talking to her true love grounds Liz and her confusion over Jeffrey completely disappears. Of course it's Todd she loves. It's always Todd. Unless she's on holiday or he's out of town, I mean. But otherwise, it's always Todd. ♥
Jessica and Lila find Liz just staring off into space and this gem happens:
"Did you make coffee?" Jessica asked in a creaky, sleepy voice.
"No." Elizabeth sighed and smiled happily.
"Did you bring in the paper?"
Elizabeth put her chin in her hands. "No," she said in a dreamy voice.
Jessica and Lila exchanged a meaningful look. "Did Todd call?" Jessica asked.
"No wonder," Lila said. "There's only one thing that could explain that glazed look."
Jessica laughed. "Right. True love."
"Actually, being whacked on the head might produce the same effect," Lila retorted.
I love you, Fowler.
Enid wakes up to a pounding headache and it only gets worse as she remembers her disaster date with Brian. Just as she's decided to bury herself in sorrow and bedding, she remembers her lunch date with her father. She hops out of bed and gets ready for the day. For whatever reason she hasn't bought her father's gift yet, so she borrows the car again and goes shopping. Again. Enid spends a lot of time shopping and I've gotta agree with Jessica's earlier assessment that Enid, like Liz, seems like the type to do most of her shopping by Thanksgiving. December 1st at the absolute latest, really.
She gets to the hotel a little early and is directed to the Oak Room, where her father is waiting for her at the bar. I know, and you know, that it's entirely possible to wait at the bar and have it be a normal non-red flag event. But we also know damn well that there's no way Enid's not going to walk up to her father and find him three sheets to the wind.
Enid's crushed and confused and her father immediately blames her mother, but in such a way that instead of realizing this is some fucking bullshit, Enid believes that yes, having to talk to a bitter ex-wife who always has an attitude would drive a man to drink on the first time he's seen his only daughter in months. But Dave doesn't stop there. No. Instead he makes a crack about besides, it's not like Enid hasn't been known to knock back a drink or two herself and Enid leaves him there. I don't blame her for that. Annnnnnnnd as much as I want to blame her for spending the car ride home getting mad at her mother, I can't. She's sixteen and having a shitty Christmas where everyone she loves or likes or wants to like is just turning on her at every turn.
So she laces right into her mother who points out that no, it's not her fault that Dave chose gin over his family, yet again. She's not responsible for his actions and never was and never will be. Enid wonders why she's not enough for her father to not drink and the two talk for awhile until the phone rings.
It's Jeffrey and he wants to take her to George and Robin's party. Enid debates turning him down but she needs a friend so she agrees to go.
Elizabeth, Lila, and Jessica are making a quick stop at the party before heading back to the Wakefield's for a fun filled Christmas Eve with the family and I'm going to call bullshit based on the fact that a) Steven's already at the party and b) they absolutely do not just do a quick fly by at this party and anyone who expects me to believe Jessica would be the sort to do so is insane.
Liz runs into Enid and asks how things are and Enid is obviously upset but won't talk about it. Instead, she runs off to talk to Dana. When she's gone, Jeffrey finds Liz and the two duck into the den to have their awkward talk. Liz jumps in and says she's sorry for the cookies and trying to sorta string him along as she knows it's not fair and she was a little mixed up due to the kiss but she loves Todd and she wants Jeffrey to be happy, to be truly happy. Jeffrey reacts about the way you'd expect him to, given how much he's been flirting with Enid, and you can tell he's hurt but it's not the end of the world anymore, either. He mentions Enid and Liz realizes the two have spent a lot of time together recently (I mean, yeah, this book covers like four days but sure) and she attempts to give her blessing without using those exact words. She does, however, think that Jeffrey is a really special person and tells him that Enid is a wonderful person. Ladies and gentlemen, Elizabeth Wakefield: the writer!
Unfortunately, as they leave the den they get busted under mistletoe and kiss once more. While Liz realizes the sparks are completely gone, Enid sees the kiss and it's more than she can handle. She escapes out to the patio and tries not to cry too much but this really is a shitty, shitty Christmas.
Jessica spies Brian across the room and heads in his direction. She corrects him when he calls her Jennifer but is willing to forgive him until he asks if she knows where Enid is. She stalks back to Lila and vents before hearing someone call her name. She finds Jeffrey and is happy to give that another whirl but it turns out he wants to know if she's seen Enid. Without breaking his stride, Jeffrey continues on in his search, leaving a ticked Jessica in his wake. Before she can really process this, Liz shows up and Jessica is thrilled that someone actually wants to see her. Yeah, no. Liz is also looking for Enid and Jessica nearly loses her mind and wonders when and why Enid got so popular all of a sudden. She tells Liz to follow the crowd and eventually they'll find Enid. Liz is pretty sure her twin has lost her mind but I'm amused and that's really all that matters.
Enid eventually ventures back into the living room but almost immediately runs into Brian. Too slow to duck back out onto the patio, she braces for impact. Brian appears and instead of being defensive about his fuckup the night before, he apologizes. Still, Enid's not fully buying it since his "not to make excuses" reasons sound an awful lot like excuses. Brian turns up the charm and Enid is still a little flattered. However, before she can tell him to fuck off (nicely or otherwise), she catches sight of Liz heading right for her with an extremely earnest look on her face. Not wanting to hear it, Enid steps into Brian's arms and the two begin to dance. Liz tries to get in a word and Enid won't hear of it. Liz leaves, bewildered, but Enid remembers the most recent Jeffrey/Liz kiss and doesn't feel too bad about blowing her best friend off. When Jeffrey appears, Enid tells him that Liz is right over there, ta-ta, bye now. Brian whisks her away and the two wind up driving up to Miller's Point. Enid's a little worried and still a little flattered. Maybe she can save Brian, even though her mother pointed out that you can't really save someone else.
And this is a thing that happens a lot during the book. Enid keeps expecting her relationship to save what's left of her shitty vacation. First she thinks maybe the thing with Jeffrey will do the trick, and then it's Brian before his drinking. Then it's how special she'd be if she could help him give up drinking and partying and my heart breaks a thousand different ways for Enid. As someone who has spent far more than her fair share of time imagining cinematic moments that always, always fall flat because that's how the universe works, I get it. But I also know, because I'm not a 16 year old fictional character, that you can't pin all that on one person.
Naturally Brian immediately begins going on about how the best way to not go overboard is to indulge every once in awhile. Enid counters that no, the best way to not drink/do drugs is to simply not do them. But he cranks up the charm and Enid desperately needs a win, so she ignores all the red flags and the two kiss. The heavens decline to part and the earth doesn't move and Enid's disappointment is very real, but she tells herself it's just a first kiss. Brian can tell she's not fully into it, so his brilliant idea is to smoke some pot.
Oh, honey, no.
But Enid's tired of being good and being the universe's butt monkey, so she goes along with it. It doesn't take too long before she's higher than a kite and it's not the fun she thought it would be. She mopes about Christmas and her father and we learn that Brian's father is also a drunk. The two try and recreate the 12 Days of Christmas but between the pot and the booze, they're a little too fucked up to really get it right.
Meanwhile, back at the party, Jessica has finally found someone who wants to talk to her after she crashes a conversation between her brother and some dude named Michael who is obviously into her. The two disappear to Miller's Point but Michael is distracted by the loud music coming from the other car there. Jessica stalks over to the car and eventually yanks the door open only to find a very, very stoned Enid and Brian and she's overcome with giddiness at the gossip that's just landed at her feet. She runs back to Michael and has him take her back to the party where she hopes not too many people have left because this is some good gossip.
When she gets there, Liz is looking for Enid and Jessica is gleeful because this is her moment to SHINE.
Before she can spill the beans, some old dude comes in looking for Enid and he's frantic. It's Enid's father, btw.
An hour after Enid left the party with Brian, Liz calls Enid's house to talk to her, only Adele answers and says Enid's not home. She's a little worried since it's 10:30 and Enid was due home half an hour ago. Liz says she's sure she'll be home soon and hangs up. Dave Rollins shows up at the door looking for Enid and the two finally get on the same worried parent page. Adele tells her ex that Enid's out with some loser guy from her past and she's not sure where they are. She gives him a couple of options, like Kelly's and the Pink Lady (ha, Adele, I think you mean the Shady Lady and why, God, do I remember this?) and when those don't pan out, Dave flings his flask of gin out of the car and heads to George's party to see if she's turned up there.
Jessica senses this is the moment, so she steps up and says she knows where Enid is. The crowd gathers and she says she saw Enid up at Miller's Point with Brian but they were both *whispers* a little intoxicated.
Annnnnnnnnd Liz is like well why the fuck did you leave her there, and Jessica realizes that she fucked up. She freaks out when she realizes the crowd is not on her side and she grabs Lila as Jeffrey and Liz head for the door to go rescue Enid. Lila goes along with her without question and seriously, I love Lila.
They race to Miller's Point.
Back in the car of stupid, Enid is sobering up real quick when she realizes that Jessica saw her at her lowest and ohshit, she's gonna tell everyone. Thing is, she's not sober enough to realize that Brian is beyond fucked up and he doesn't take too well to the idea of Enid wanting to go back. So he terrorizes her by speeding and driving like a fool. He kills some time in a parking lot spinning round and round in his car and eventually races back to Miller's Point because he remembered he's got another bottle of bourbon in the trunk. Enid begs him to let her go and he puts one hand over his eyes while driving and she shuts up. Until he decides to play chicken with another car as they're just about to hit the most dangerous stretch of road. (I'm assuming this is where Todd'll nearly die a few Christmases from now in Return of the Evil Twin, and also possibly where Sam dies?) Enid grabs the wheel and he fights her off and the other car swerves just before Brian does as well and they crash through the guardrail.
When Enid comes to, she's hanging upside down in the car as her father tries to get her to unlock the door. She manages it and he unhooks her seatbelt, sending her crashing to the hood of the car. She whimpers that she's in pain and her father tries to soothe her while pulling her from the car that's got a gasoline leak. He hands her off to Jeffrey and Liz and then goes back for Brian while Lila gives a play by play that ends in the car exploding and Enid screams for her father.
Liz rides with Enid in the back of the EMS to the hospital and Enid wants to ask her something but keeps flitting in and out of consciousness.
Eventually at the hospital we learn that Enid is mostly fine while Brian and Dave Rollins both are in the burn unit but should also be okay. I'm not sure I buy them letting Enid just waltz into the burn unit as I thought that area tended to be kinda on lock down because of the chance of infection but hey. Enid's also on the same floor so what do I know?
While Enid slept, Jessica and company brought her Christmas tree to the hospital (again, I remind you this is the same floor as the burn unit) and aside from having to handwave the improbability of certain things away, it's a pretty touching scene. Enid and her mother later talk about her father and whether this'll be a wakeup call for him, and when Enid later takes her present down to him, he admits that it is. He's asked his doctor about a good rehab program and once more I remind people this is a dude with serious burns.
Again, what do I know. Anyway, Brian's parents are looking into a good rehab program for him as well and he's going to attempt to turn over an actual new leaf and Enid wishes him well.
We end the book with Lila throwing her annual NYE party with Jessica helping to set up for it. Todd comes home and Elizabeth is all gooey and mushy at the sight of him. Jeffrey invited Enid to Lila's party but she turned him down and they both realize it's not because she doesn't want to go with him, but it's because she wants more than just a casual invite to Lila's party. Jeffrey realizes that he's into her but because of the stuff with her family and his Elizabeth hangup, if he jumped right into a relationship with Enid it would just crash and burn. So instead, he wants to take things slow. This doesn't stop him from setting up camp in the front hall of Fowler Crest and waiting for Enid to show up, ever so impatiently. When Enid does show up, nervous at how people will react after her antics the week before, Jeffrey opens the door and they basically spend the rest of the evening together. If this is taking it slow, I don't know what they'd consider jumping in with both feet.
At midnight, the two agree once more to take things slow...but the book ends on a midnight kiss and the promise of more to come.Trivia:
- Enid's age for her rough time is mentioned as being 14.
- Enid's parents are Adele and David (Dave) Rollins. Dave is a tall drinker (he seems pretty fond of gin) and she's not great at hiding her dislike of her ex.
- Elizabeth and Enid are both looking forward to hanging out together over their vacation since Todd will be away and Enid isn't dating anyone. Super BFF time! Only no, because it all falls apart the very first day.
- A lot of Enid's old party crowd either dropped out or wound up in drug treatment centers. I feel like there's also some overlap between the two.
- Todd's family is going to Utah to get in some Christmas skiing. While the destination isn't always the same, the Wilkins family is frequently out of town for the holidays.
- Enid and her mother were scheduled to go to Lake Tahoe to visit Aunt Nancy before Dave forced a change in plans.
- Liz is considering a silk blouse for her mother.
- Enid hands out red and green foil wrapped chocolate to her friends. Winston pops the whole thing, foil included, in his mouth, prompting Maria to scold him.
- In what the school hopes will be a new tradition, they're having a skating party at an unknown location. Each class chipped in to buy hot chocolate, marshmallows, and snacks.
- Jessica has new skates. She can also apparently skate backwards and do camels.
- Jessica teases Lila about still needing double bladed skates.
- Aaron is looking for someone to start up an ice hockey game.
- Elizabeth claims the Dairi Burger is always cold so she'll need her jacket.
- Jessica rates Bruce's mistletoe kiss a 7.9 and he argues it should be a 9.7.
- Cara, Lila, and Jessica stopped by the drugstore after school to pick up candy canes to hand out at the DB.
- Jessica has to hop up to reach the mistletoe when she steals it to flirt.
- Jess realizes that Jeffrey is still very into Liz but thinks maybe the best way for him to get over Liz is to date her twin. This seems... weird.
- Enid suggests perfume, silk scarves, kitchen utensils, books, magazine subscriptions, gift certificates to her favorite store, a singing cake stand, and a homemade certificate for something like dinners made, dishes done, stuff like that.
- Mrs. French has a singing cake stand that plays happy birthday.
- Jeffrey invites Enid to go to the skating party together.
- Liz invites Enid to go shopping, possibly up the coast to the cute boutiques (like the one where Lila ditches Jessica? the same time as the party.
- Dave Rollins travels for business in a time before cellphones were really a thing so she doesn't have an easy way to get in touch with him.
- Jessica says that Liz's problem is that she thinks she has to have no fun while Todd is away and uh, she's not wrong.
- A Wakefield Family Disaster, soon to be a Christmas classic album.
- Enid's hair is described as brown but I still maintain that it's auburn.
- Lila was supposed to be going to Zermatt, Switzerland, before her father had to go to NYC for business instead.
- Jessica invites Lila to spend the holidays with the Wakefields.
- Brian Saunders is a tall brunette who went to Big Mesa and now goes to the University of Colorado. He's a graceful skater, a great dancer, and his father gets super drunk. He claims his Asian studies classes and being in the Rockies cleared his mind, curing his need to party, but this is a load of bull.
- Jeffrey is a great skater and shows off a bit for Enid.
- Jeffrey promises Enid that by the end of their skating session, she'll be a regular Sonja Henie.
- Elizabeth avoids Enid at the rink once she and Enid have their mini blowout over Jeffrey.
- After skating all day, Jeffrey and Enid make plans to see a horror movie that night.
- Enid gives Elizabeth a heart-shaped pink satin box trimmed with white lace from Feminine Mystique.
- Dave Rollins is driving in from Vegas.
- Enid buys Jeffrey a Sonia Henie postcard from Reel Revival and a carton of ice-cream.
- Jessica buys a pair of bright green sunglasses with mini pink palm trees across the top for Elizabeth but gives them to Enid after her accident.
- Adele bought matinée tickets to The Nutcracker for a Christmas Eve performance.
- Enid wears a pink t-shirt and blue jeans for her mall shopping trip and it's giving me Daria as Quinn vibes.
- Enid wears a white turtleneck with a swingy red skirt, and green headband when she delivers Jeffrey's Christmas present.
- Jeffrey's family goes in for blinking lights on their Christmas tree.
- Jeffrey gives Enid Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barret Browning, who happens to be Elizabeth's favorite poet.
- Liz makes Jeffrey Christmas cookies.
- Brian orders a beer without issue at the Bangkok Palace so either he's way too old for Enid or the BP is gonna be shutdown real quick for serving minors.
- Apparently Adele Rollins makes the hottest chili north of Mexico.
- Liz tells Prince Albert that someone will walk him soon when she wakes up early, but who does normally walk him? He's Jessica's dog but she's known to sleep in on a regular basis.
- Todd suggests that he and Elizabeth both look up at the Big Dipper that night before bed so they'll be both be looking at the same thing, even if they're not together. Except there's an hour time difference so you do the math, I guess.
- Adele keeps exactly one picture of Dave around the house, and it's from Enid's 4th birthday party, where Enid is perched on her father's shoulders and she's wearing a party hat. Enid suspects the only reason it's been left standing is because Enid looks so happy in it.
- Dave is staying at the Sweet Valley Regency. How swanky. He's in room 513 and he and Enid are to have lunch at the Oak Room, only he gets waylaid by the bar in the restaurant.
- Dave is drunk by 11:15am on Christmas Eve and blames his ex-wife for it.
- Adele is filling out Christmas cards... on Christmas Eve.
- Jeffrey picks Enid up at 7:30 for George and Robin's Christmas party.
- Brian's crowd really seems into bourbon as it's mentioned numerous times.
- Why is Brian even at George's party since George seems to know that Brian's still a party boy?
- Enid promised to be back home by 10pm to spend some of Christmas Eve with her mom.
- Enid's favorite Christmas ornament is a shiny angel blowing a trumpet and it's always the first on the tree every year.
- Adele thinks that Enid only helped decorate the house out of habit as she seemed kind of depressed but the book opens with a fairly upbeat Enid and the house is already decorated.
- George lives on Hacienda Street.
- Adele suggest Dave check Kelly's and the "Pink Lady" on 4th Street. I think she means the Shady Lady, btw.
- Dave kept a flask of gin in his glove compartment and when he's frantically looking for Enid, he throws it out the window where it shatters in the street.
- Dave also knows Elizabeth and she seems to know him which seems kinda weird, but I don't recall when Enid's parents divorced so that might explain it.
- Brian sideswipes two cars after he drives around in an empty parking lot like a loon. He's also going 80 as they race back to Miller's Point.
- Brian and Enid slam into the guardrail on their way back to Miller's Point and we're told this section of road is the most dangerous in the area. I wonder if it's where Sam will later die and Todd will have his accident.
- Brian's car rolled down a steep bank and Dave is dragging Brian to safety when Brian's car explodes.
- Elizabeth rides to the hospital with Enid.
- Enid's in room 315.
- The burn unit is also on floor 3.
- Dr. Meyerson is Enid's doctor.
- Adele gives Enid a gold heart pendant.
- Jessica, Lila, Jeffrey, and Elizabeth bring Enid's tree from home to the hospital.
- Liz gives Enid a fabric picture frame with a picture of the two of them on the beach in it.
- Enid gives her father a key chain with her picture on it.
- Dave calls Enid his little princess.
- Lila asks Jessica if she took her pink shoes. This is only noteworthy because Lila is wearing a red dress to her NYE party while Jess is in pink so it makes no sense for Lila to be wondering about pink shoes.
- Liz promises to be home at 1am.
Jessica found it extremely amusing to flirt outrageously. Boys were always so surprised. But that's because they were just
"Well, don't just lie there on the floor like a bum!" Jessica cried out. "Get up! Take a shower! Find your skates!" She wouldn't be on the floor if Jessica hadn't dragged and dropped her there, but point made. p42/43
Jessica smiled. "The rugged individualist, right? That's just my type."
"The whole male sex is just your type," Amy retorted. - I mean, it takes one to know one, Sutton. But also, I'll allow it. p50
Elizabeth looked up at him with a full heart and impulsively gave him a hug. She knew now that they would always be friends. - And then Jeffrey was never seen again... p125
"Oooh, I could just-just bite someone," she growled at Lila.
Lila popped a walnut in her mouth and raised her eyebrows languidly. "That sounds like fun. Did you have anyone in mind?" - ♥ Miss Fowler, you remain a gem at the most unexpected of times. p128
She would tell him straight off that she despised him.
"Am I glad I found you!" he exclaimed.
Enid gave him a frigid look. "I'm not." - p 132
"Wouldn't you like to reform me? It would be an act of mercy."
"I think the biggest act of mercy would be to have you humanely destroyed," Enid said dryly. "I know a good vet who could put you out of your misery." - If you still wonder why I love Enid, I cannot help you. p133
Enid opened her eyes again and gave Jeffrey a sweet smile. "Liz is over there, talking to Steve and Cara," she said politely.
"Huh?" Jeffrey looked puzzled and shook his head. "No, I wanted to-"
"Right over there," Enid said, pointing. "Sitting on the couch."
Jeffrey frowned. "But, Enid-"
"Bye, Jeffrey," Enid said, letting Brian steer her away. - This will never not amuse me. p136
Mrs. Rollins knew that Enid was hurting lately, and she knew that she had a lot to do with her daughter's pain. "Oh, Enid, what am I doing wrong?" she murmured. "I'm doing my best. I really am. It's just really hard." - Adele, Mrs. Rollins, you know that's a damn lie. I've had to sit through an entire book of you being possibly justifiably bitchy towards your ex but at your daughter's expense, so take this "best" BS and shove it. p158
Mrs. Rollins nodded. "He would have walked through fire for you-he very nearly did, too." p193
See? ROBBED. I waited ever so patiently for Enid and Jeffrey to have any hint of a romance in the regular books and I waited for nothing. I don't know why I thought this would be the book to cross over into the regular canon but I did. Possibly because one of the things Enid's Story gets right is that it feels like a book that knows its SVH history. I'm not entirely sure I buy Enid's mother not remembering the Shady Lady but, y'know, it's been a couple of years since her daughter raised hell (more if you take the time warp into consideration) and clueless parents are a staple around these parts so I'll allow it. But everything else fits really well. It fits into the Jessica/Bruce jellyfish thing that happened in Starring, Jessica! the book that came out right before this one, it remembers that while Jeffrey and Elizabeth were a solid thing, Jeffrey was no match for Todd in Elizabeth's eyes, and also that Enid had her eye on Jeffrey first.
It feels like it fits in far better than either Lila's or Bruce's books did and that might be the difference. They felt very much like one-offs and set apart from the series but this one feels like a regular SVH book but with a very Enid-centric story.
I've mentioned how much I like certain bits and part of that is that they're done in such a way that you can very easily envision the scene in your head. They fit and flow very well and they're pretty fitting for their characters. You cannot convince you that you can't see Jessica making that entrance for on.
I guess in the end, my biggest problem is that for all the Enid-ness of her own book, it also managed to feel kind of flat for her. She does a lot of shopping and wrapping presents, which makes sense for the time of year but go back and count how often I mention her doing either of these things and then add in the "and then the phone rang" kind of transition and realize I probably left a couple of those out.
I wanted more and while this is easily better than Bruce's Story by an embarrassing margin, it's also dangerous to give me what I want because then I want more
Btw, this is late and possibly weirder than usual as it was assembled throughout various parts of Hurricane Dorian.