Unresolved

Question:

I recently re-read majority of the Alice books and I realized there were some things that seemed to completely disappear off the radar in the final book, leaving questions for me.

Like, did Kay and James end up together or did they realize that, while they talk, they don’t have any feelings for each other and decide to go their separate ways, no matter what their families may say? Whatever happened to Pamela’s mother? Did she get her life back together? Although I still wonder at times why it took Alice so long to realize that she wanted nothing to do with Tony. I mean, if a guy had put his hand so close to my breast just for taking a picture like in Dangerously Alice, I would’ve given him a nice, hard slap across the face for touching me without my permission. But then, I knew my personal limits on what I allowed a guy to do much faster than Alice did.
And as nice it is to know that a good book can make you feel alongside the main character, at times I felt myself get incredibly frustrated with some of the characters. When Jill gets pregnant, I felt like telling her “Well whoop-de-freaking-doo” and yes, considering she was ready to be a mother for the rest of her life, I did expect her to have planned the rest of her life, including college…!
Although I think the biggest anger came in Now I’ll Tell You Everything, with Mrs Butler. While I do understand where she’s coming from, I do feel like I want to grab her and slap some sense into her. After all, “Just Saying No” and being abstinent doesn’t work. This may be a pessimistic view, but what if saying No doesn’t work because the other party slips you something to make you more… “cooperative”? And as Alice thought herself, what about the kids who had already experienced sex? I mean, I myself am still a virgin and I am a year older than Alice was when she married, but this isn’t an abstinence decision. More of a personal trauma thing.
What Mrs Butler needs to realize is that open communication is much better than just plain forbidding things. Children, and especially teens, are much more likely to do something if they’re just plain forbidden from doing it. If there’s open communication about it and it isn’t thrown into high heavens like the forbidden fruit, they’re more likely to be open about it towards their parents. My mother brought me up with the idea of “If you’re old enough to ask the question, you’re old enough for the answer” and even simplified, according to the age. And it worked fine with me.
Then again, I think I really lost it when Mrs Butler mentioned homosexuals kissing in the streets and with the help of God. That woman needs some damn toleration slapped into her head.

Phyllis replied:

Whew!  That’s a lot of slapping.  I’m a little more tolerant here.  It seems to me you do a lot of planning in advance, which is good, except when it doesn’t quite work.  I certainly didn’t always date guys who would have been future marriage-material.  I knew it at the time, but I liked the feel of being in love, liked the attention, liked practicing the kissing part, just liked getting introduced to different lifestyles.  But the only time I “went too far” was in my first marriage, when I thought mistakenly that perhaps if I got pregnant, it would help my paranoid-schizophrenic husband to make the choice of being a father and give up his Ph.D dreams which seemed to be driving him mad.  One of the worst mistakes I ever made in my life, and my miscarriage was one of the best things that happened to me.  All of that seems like another life now, with another husband, but looking back on it, I always thought of myself as so grown-up, serious, mature, and yet…looking back…I had SO much to learn.  All I’m saying is that it’s pretty easy to look at a situation and think, “Why on earth didn’t they….?”  I know.  I do it too.  But now to answer your questions:  Yes, I think Kay and James will make a go of their relationship.  (I had to stop and try to remember who they were).  Pamela’s mother is an on-again, off-again problem, and one of the reasons, I think, why Pamela didn’t marry until very late in the game.  Pamela getting pregnant?  As well brought up as I was, there were definitely times in my own dating I wished a guy would go further than he did.  I had sexual feelings too, you know.  I think your mom had a good philosophy about answering her children’s questions.  And I have a feeling that Mrs. Butler is in for some rude surprises from her children when they are old enough to rebel, as her daughter is surely doing.  But THANK YOU for reading the final Alice book so thoroughly.  I enjoy hearing from readers like you.

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