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I just about don’t know what to do with myself!

The Lincoln Park Trixie Society is apparently poised to make its triumphant return to the Internet.

About freakin’ time, ladies!

For those of you who are scratching your heads and wondering what foolishness I’m obsessing about now, I’ll give it to you straight-and-dirty. The Lincoln Park Trixie Society (Or LPTS, as it will henceforth be known) was a satirical website purporting to be the homepage of a social sorority for the up-and-coming young yuppie women of Chicago’s trendy Lincoln Park neighborhood. It was well enough written and close enough to the public perception of fashionable young strivers that many people actually took the website to be serious and were either outraged or wanted to join the club. The original LPTS site was active between late 2000 & early 2004, when it was still realistically possible to be both well-to-do and 20-something, and the high-living exploits of the fictitious clubwomen were what many midwestern college girls planned to indulge in ASAP. For the LPTS was presumed to be composed almost strictly of post-college midwestern girls who were bound and determined to live a life of fashionable excess in the midwest’s most magnetic city, Chicago.

Anyway, sometime in 2004, the LPTS closed its virtual doors, and for the past five years, if you went to the LPTS url, you got a picture of an angry girl in an orange sweatshirt striding along above the words, “Coming soon, a smashing new website for Chicago’s most elite social organization.” or something to that effect. Even though the site had been dead for ages, I still would check in on it every once in a while, just to see if either the URL would die completely, or (best case scenario) the “coming soon” would finally come to pass. Well, I checked back in just recently and watched the music video of vignettes of idyllic LPTS activities, and saw that they intend to re-open shop sometime in Fall of ’09, a season we are now well into. If, indeed, the LPTS is returning, I’m just as pleased as I don’t know what! I love this kind of satire.

The backlash-ish against the LPTS back in its day reminds me of the backlash that had been against Helen Fielding’s wildly famous and wildly popular Bridget Jones’s Diary. BJD, as I read it, is a lovely satire that basically illustrates what a woman would become if she took literally ALL of the love, diet, and fashion advice in the more mainstream type of women’s magazines (obvs. Bitch & Bust are totally not included in this survey). Bridget is the consummate Cosmo Girl.

But some people (regular readers and literary critics alike) took Bridget seriously and considered her the harbinger of the collapse of Western Society. Good lord, what would happen if impressionable girls considered her a role model? She has a lousy work ethic, considers herself incomplete without a man, drinks and smokes too much, follows disordered eating patterns, etc. I remember reading the outcry and thinking that people were placing an excessive amount of import on what was essentially a fluffy chick-lit book.

The first time I read BJD, I took it at face value – as a fictitious diary of a lovelorn airhead, and considered it a good light read. But I kept thinking back on Bridget’s behavior, habits, and thought processes, and thinking that somehow she seemed awfully familiar. Then it struck me: Bridget Jones is what would happen if somebody truly took all of the advice columns in magazines and cheap self-help books seriously. On a second reading, it all became clear!

An old friend of mine, Susannah, used to self-medicate with cheesy romance novels (Mills & Boone) and glossy fashion/lifestyle magazines when she was stressed or depressed, and soon many of us in the dorm came to understand the wisdom of this practice and would borrow back issues of Cosmo, Mademoiselle, Marie Claire, and Vogue and pore over photos of beautiful dresses, glamorous vacation locales, and stories of the exotic lives of the rich-and-famous. We’d flippantly fill out the quizzes (“What Kind Of Lover Are You?”) and howl over the sex advice tips, which basically all boiled down to “give blowjobs…guys really like that.” We never took any of it seriously at all, but from our glossy-mag indulgences, I got a feeling for what girly-girls were supposed to think and act like, if you were to take Conde Nast’s word for it.

I don’t know about you guys, but I know I’ll be checking back to the LPTS page occasionally and hoping to see something more substantial than just the music video, charming though it undoubtedly is.

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