It’s a Pity Party! : The Top 5 Elizabeth Wakefield Shoulder Pat moments

3 May



1. In “The Love Bet” #68

love bet

Dana Larson and Aaron Dallas are, at 16, OVER the dating game, and who else should they confide in, but St Liz?! Hmm… can you see where this will lead? Meddlesome Liz gets all Jessica on them and decides to solve the problem by forcing them to get together! It takes a whole book, but surpisingly works. Even though in my mind Aaron Dallas is a mouthbreathing jock and Dana can do waaay better. My favourite passage from this book:

There was someone else who hurried out of history class as soon as the bell rang – Claire Middleton. Elizabeth had been meaning to have a word with Claire to see if she could break through the new girl’s shyness. Today, however, she just didn’t feel up to the effort. All her thoughts were on Aaron and Dana.

 2. Befriending Molly Hecht in #41 “Outcast”


I mean, good on her for being able to overlook those bangs. But seriously. Molly, a member of the “bad crowd” including Justin Belson and a guy called Buzz, now finds herself an outcast after her friend Regina died from a line of cocaine and an underlying heart condition. She thinks of running away to Mexico, presumably to become a drug mule. Liz is there to talk some sense into her. FFS, why do all these people turn to Elizabeth for help instead of their own darn friends? And why does Liz feel the need to insert herself into every social circle to heap pity? Is she so unsatisfied with her own doormat friends? Is she looking for material for her “Eyes and Ears” column? Or is she just. So. Freaking. Pious.

Molly too recognises this curiosity:

Molly felt her face grow hard. Why was it that when Elizabeth talked to Justin he listened, but when Molly did, he bolted like a frightened rabbit? Her eyes narrowed with a rage she didn’t know she could feel.

Why indeed, Molly? Why indeed.

2. Setting up the “Big Sister” program in the #50s titles, culminating in #53 “Two Boy Weekend”.  

The program, which is the brainchild of Liz and Enid, involves the SVH students hanging out with “a motherless young girl.” Liz befriends a sweet little kid called Kim who she takes to Casey’s and the mall. The real pity, however, is when she puts her orphan in danger by not going to the police about Jessica’s current stalker-boyfriend-fling.

Turns out Elizabeth’s love of orphans goes way back to Sweet Valley Twins:


4. Lynne Henry: The Quintessential Shoulder-Pat-ee

Liz shoulder pats her way into the Sweet Valley rock hall of fame, when she encourages shy Lynne Henry to overcome her imposter syndrome and admit to writing the winning song for the songwriting contest in #28 Alone in the Crowd. [Is it just me or are there SO many “annual” competitions in Sweet Valley? I digress]. Liz is also there to help orchestrate a romance between Lynne and Guy Chesney, who plays keyboard for the Droids, and “Standing on the Outside, Looking In” [the Cold Chisel version] is stuck in my head for eternity.

alone in the crowd

I just really hope she kept those glasses


5. In #79, The Long-Lost Brother.

long lost

The aqua is totes Elizabeth’s colour, don’t you think? And this one-book-wonder Tim character looks like he can’t wait to escape. We know he is bad on account of the James Dean attire and the fact that he’s not looking at Liz with an infatuated stare.

Tim is the twin of another never-heard-of-again SVH character, Sara Eastborne, and has recently been in reform school. I quite like this book; it covers a lot of ground. Liz is writing an article for the paper on family violence, or “battered women” as per the 1991 vernacular. Instead of Liz being a total know-all on the subject, the book actually tackles the issue in quite a sensitive fashion, and Liz [along with the readership] is educated on the complexities of the issue, and the fact that domestic violence isn’t limited just to the poor people on the wrong side of the tracks. Like the Martins. Or Molly. Or Roger Barrett.

So Liz heads off to an A.A. meeting as part of her research:

“Elizabeth had already figured out that saying “I’m an alcoholic” after introducing onself was a way of admitting one had a problem with drinking.” Cue applause.

And there she meets Tim, the twin who has been in reform school for addiction and car theft. After rejecting his advances for a date [TBT being on the scene], she offers to show him around the school: 

“Thanks”. He replied. 

He showed an awful lot of emotion in that one little word, she thought sadly.

So Tim is accused, then acquitted of car theft, he  falls in love with Amanda [another of Elizabeth’s friends we’ve never heard of] and his sister forgives all his previous indiscretions. Meanwhile his addiction is miraculously cured! Saint Liz to the rescue! I wonder what else she can cure with one swift shoulder pat?

Am I a jerk for hating on Liz for being so sanctimonious? Maybe the SVH students like having her in their life as a sounding board or a shoulder to cry on?  I just find it troubling that she seems to think no one is capable of sorting themselves out without her help. And if everyone is so ok with having Liz on speed dial for therapy, then why then did doormat Rollins change her entire identity when she got to SVU……..

Any other shoulder pat moments that floated your boat?

shoulder pats.jpg


One Response to “It’s a Pity Party! : The Top 5 Elizabeth Wakefield Shoulder Pat moments”

  1. Claire Middleton May 3, 2019 at 11:39 pm #

    Maybe Liz is quick to deal with other peoples’ issues to make up for the fact that her own life is pretty boring.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: