Elyse Conklin
Who are you and why are you reading my chapter? No…that came out wrong….don’t go,
don’t take that the wrong way…take it as an invitation. Who are you and why are you reading
my chapter? Well, while I have your attention, let’s talk about me for a minute. Do you
remember the meme “describe yourself in three fictional characters?” For a couple weeks it was
all over my Facebook and Twitter feeds. A self-deprecating or self-aggrandizing way to direct
the conversation toward yourself, your taste, personality, and generate an insight on self-
definition vs. social perception, depending on whether the virtual Greek chorus agreed or
disagreed. [I’m a bit cynical about these like-baits.] So naturally I would start with Daria
Morgendorffer. But I’ve also been told I’m more of a Jane, somehow even more sardonic and
misanthropic. I can’t help myself…I grew up in the same suburban enclave depicted in the
movie Mean Girls, but when Daria aired from 1997-2002, I was in middle school
awkwardly listening to the Strokes and reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by myself
during the lunch hours. Of course, and please don’t let this get around, I also played Mariah
Carey’s #1s cassette and Britney Spears on repeat. I still think Toxic is the greatest song ever
made. Shhhh….So I think April Lundgate rounds this out. She’s basically Daria as an
adult who secretly loves puppies. Ugh, I swear, I normally don’t post these kinds of things.
4.1 Tracy Grandstaff as Daria Morgendroffer, (upper right) Wendy Hoopes as Jane
Lane, (lower right) in Daria, “Fire!” Aubrey Plaza as April Lundgate in Parks and
Recreation, “The Wall”
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