The Popularity Plan: Not so much of a plan, more of an unrealistic delusion

Is the plan a mathematical one? Are those the digits of Pi?

Hey you guys, I’m Frannie. And this book is the incredible true story of my amazing life! You won’t believe it! So, for a lot of my life I was super shy and couldn’t talk to boys! How am I supposed to get a boyfriend that way? Well, my gaggle of girlfriends are really popular and one day that decided they’d had enough! That’s when we put the plan into action! They gave me a list of sure-fire things to say to boys that would make me popular! On Monday, I had to drop a pencil. On Tuesday, I had to ask someone about the homework. On Wednesday, I had to call a boy to ask him what the English assignment was. On Thursday, I had to give a boy a blow job in the janitor’s closet. Boy, getting a boyfriend is hard work!

But the final nail in the coffin of popularity was when I showed up at the dance in a really pretty dress! Suddenly everyone wanted to dance with me. In fact, that next week, I got so many dates I had to pin up a big calendar on my wall to keep track of them all! I guess looking pretty actually worked better than talking to boys. Isn’t that the opposite of what was supposed to happen? Who cares? Oh, and Mom and Dad were being really square. They weren’t letting me go out every single night! Ugh. They just don’t understand what growing up is all about.

You know what? Being popular is not as easy as it looks! I go out with all these boys but I don’t have any fun! All Ricky wants to do is watch football. All Bobby wants to do is dry hump at the drive-in. But Ronnie…oh Ronnie! He’s so artistic and sensitive. He won’t talk to me. Am I not popular? What the fuck? Why doesn’t anyone underaaaand meeeee?

Oh, but wait! It turns out Ronnie liked me before I was popular and then he thought I wouldn’t like him when I was going out with all those jocks! So the popularity plan actually backfired! Oh, my wacky little life!

Lesson learned: being popular is not everything. Except when you are popular. Except don’t be too popular.

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26 thoughts on “The Popularity Plan: Not so much of a plan, more of an unrealistic delusion

  1. Renee says:

    As soon as this started I knew the blow job comment was happening. Nicely done.

    By the way, Frannie???? Let me guess. Her friends had Popular Girl names like Diana and Sabrina?

  2. EmilyKate says:

    It took me aaaaaaages to get this book from our school library because it was always out on loan!
    So I actually read ‘The Popularity Summer’ first, which is about Frannie going on a beach holiday with her cousin and making her do all the same stuff.

  3. Rio says:

    Gawd, the Sweet Dreams books were awful . . . I still have one lying around in my old bedroom closet about a vacation romance that progressed to delusions of love after two days. I should mail it to you, IHW, you’d piss yourself laughing at it.

  4. nichole says:

    I read both “The Popularity Plan” and “The Popularity Summer”. My library had a great selection of the sweet dreams books when I was growing up. I have a hard time remembering which ones – thankfully your recaps remind me of the ones I read, the ones I missed, and why the ones I read were so awful.

  5. nikki says:

    OMG-how fucking DARE she be shy and introverted. Good thing her friends decided to change her rather than just like her the way she is. I mean, getting a boyfriend is everything, don’t you know? EVERYTHING!!!!

  6. weirdfishes4 says:

    Wow it’s been awhile since I’ve seen this! I used to love this book. I’d be embarrassed but then I was like 10 so I had an excuse 🙂

  7. Jen S. says:

    Since when do the popular girls hang around with losers? Shouldn’t Frannie have been pelted with rotten fruit and driven away from the watering hole in disgrace? And who the hell under fifty is named Frannie anyway?

  8. Jen S. says:

    Since when do the popular girls hang around with losers? Shouldn’t Frannie have been pelted with rotten fruit and driven away from the watering hole in disgrace?

  9. annakelly says:

    HEE! I love that on the same day I finished taking my stupid GRE, you do a post about this crap-tastic book! Also, this sounds just like a book I’m about to read, How To Be Popular by Meg Cabot (which I’m sure will be just as bad).

  10. Lovey says:

    I will unabashedly admit to loving this book LOL. I recently re-read TPP, along with The Popularity Summer. TPS is a sequel where Frannie spends the summer with her cousin Jolene and reinvents her, while trying to decide if she’s had enough of Ronnie.

    I recently bought a huge lot of Sweet Dreams from Ebay and am enjoying myself immensely re-reading these books.

  11. Robyn J. says:

    i love these blasts from the past. sadly my HS life in the late 80’s was consumed by reading sweet dreams, svh, c. pike, caitlin, etc… they don’t write books like those anymore, that’s for sure.

  12. Clancy says:

    I remember this book. There was another guy she dated named Cal, and on their date, he shot a bird in order to impress her. It really disturbed and saddened me.

  13. Cassie says:

    I loved Sweet Dreams in my teens! One of the books inspired me to take a job as a check out girl because that’s how she found love (this did not work for me)!

    Annakelly, I recently read How to be Popular – while light, it’s got so much of a better message than Sweet Dreams/SVUHbooks, Meg Cabot’s books are actually pretty feminist.

  14. Roger Patman says:

    AHHH…Sweet Dreams..check out the SD ‘novel’ titled ‘Just One of the Boys.’ Am thinking that it came out around the same time as SVH #28 did because it is the exact same plot. You know, butt-ass fulgy girl who turns beautiful and then all the boys are triping over their penises to date them. Or perhaps the same ghostwriter was busy whoring herself out to both publishing houses.
    Could you imagine what is was like in a YA editors meeting room?

  15. Sue says:

    I totally remember this book, especially the stupid pencil dropping. What I remember most is thinking, of course she got popular immediately, the girl on the cover is adorable!

  16. Minx says:

    I love when you cover books I swear no one has ever heard of except me!

    I read this in junior high, and one of my friends at the time was named Francine. I showed her the back cover (which said something like “Frannie is so shy, she thinks she might make it through high school without ever getting kissed”) and she was all offended XD

    From what I recall, being popular has a lot to do with blue eyeliner and peach lipgloss, which I thought was standard issue in the 80s anyway.

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