I've always thought that I was Angela Chase. I loved the show so much that I have specific memories of answering slum books with FAVORITE SHOW: MY SO-CALLED LIFE
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Having rediscovered the series again somewhere, and have recently concluded watching all episodes over piles of hand washed laundry, I just can't help but feel nostalgic. Really, my understanding of the series way back when it was shown over at RPN 9 was nothing to how great this show really was! Or maybe because I was only 12 at that time that I can't possibly understand most of the issues presented there, like, Angela's attraction to Jordan Catalano???!!! That is one of many perspectives change age has given me. To just enumerate 6 things as how I saw them then, and how I saw them now:

1.) THEN: Jordan acts like a loser, why is he Angela's love interest?
NOW: I had crushes, but once anybody treats you like trash wouldn't you just feel defensive and stay away? I did not like gorgeous looking boys even before, they look like trouble and every instinct of my body tells me that a miss match is a no match. But when I saw Jordan Catalano again, oh my gosh! He does look like love! Now that I know love and how he was pictured in the eyes of Angela Chase. Despite being the thinker that I am, I think I did eventually chose heart over logic. I think I can say I chose the Jordan Catalano of my life over the Brian Krakows... just because the heart follows no one

2.)THEN: Patty is like my mother, I want as much distance physically and emotionally as possible!
NOW: Eww, now I am Patty Chase. trying my best to be a responsible parent. Trying so hard that you forget you can't possible exercise control over all things. I still love "The Zit" episode, it will be one of my forever favorites. But now I can understand Patty's perspective as she unconsciously tries to hold on to her past self. Sometimes we just become, old, and it's not always easy to move on and accept gracefully with open arms. And as a parent there is nothing wrong with wanting our kids to be better versions of ourselves... but then again, what about what they want? They don't want to be us, they want to be who they are, even despite the fact that they don't know who they are.
3.) THEN: Rayanne Graff is exaggerated.
NOW: I can see now how Angela was attracted to Rayanne. Not because she is cool and different, but it's because she complements Angela. Like Yin and Yang. I also had various friends in highschool. I wasn't cool, or anything, but I did mingle with the cool ("dangerous") ones, now realizing it is because I get energized by one that is completely opposite. They awaken a part of us that is already there but is dormant. I was a wallflower, so hanging out with people who are not afraid to express themselves is, like, addicting. Other than that I also realize now that the issue of teen sex, alcoholism and addiction is very real. I think I was more innocent in that sense that I never really went full blast into their world to actually see it... 
4.) THEN: Poor Brian Krakow.
NOW: To be as sensitive and smart at that age is not a curse. It is a gift. And to not have the maturity to express that at your teenage years is normal. Brian is not the least of the characters but is has in reality, the best of it. In his future, when his emotions have matured, he will finally be able to express himself and get into a decent and serious relationship with quality real women who will, at time, be over immature highschool jocks and would bet any day on the smart, sensitive and rich one. All these minus the emotional damages he could have gotten by getting into too serious a relationship early at his teens.
5.) THEN: Patty and Grahm are boring, skip their scenes and grab something to eat.
NOW: Marriage is very tricky, and it does require constant vigilance. I learned a lot watching the show again. I find myself saying, no Patty, you should not let Graham get too close to any other woman, not even the business partner, that's too dangerous! (Boring much?)

6.) THEN: Angela Chase is me, awkward on the outside yet deep in the inside, woe to our tortured souls!
NOW: Oh Angela, I'm glad you are who you are. I'm glad you were awkward and that you thought too much and you cried too much. I'm glad you held on to your principles and had the strength to accept loss and not fall under pressure. Though I, unlike Angela, did not have a boyfriend in highschool, I feel in the same way, I followed my own standards and not felt like I had to get into something because a boy told or asked me to. Or that because everybody seems to be in a relationship that I should be also just because of the fact. Not that I was so mature to have known all that, thanks to my awkwardness I think I had a fairly less amount of pressure than the prettier ones who were "pursued" more. But you know, I thought I was weak then, but looking back, I think I had enough self worth to hold my own because the security of family and love gave me that.
The show did end prematurely, having low ratings... against F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (duh low ratings, not because of the show's poor content)! I saw a lot of fan fiction continuing the story of Angela Chase, but I did not read any of them. Because in our own way, we [fan girls, or whatever] feel like we are Angela Chase. But we, unlike Angela, all continued on with our lives instead of ending with a cliffhanger. In as much as their lives were their own version of Angela's story, I also have mine. So pretty much, in my humble opinion, I already know how Angela Chase ended up... and I'm not so worried. ;)
 
 
It was a long time ago it seems. We came from a time when letters came by mail. We waited in eager anticipation over the snail mail that came via post over them short lived summers.

It was a time when part of trying to find my identity is trying to find my best penmanship. One that you could be pround over when you send those letters or when someone borrows your notes to copy. I remember trying on the different handwriting of my classmates as if they were accessories which I figured whether could fit me or not. Only now was I able to find my own penmanship, really. One that was more secure and well suiting.
It was a time of saving some precious amount from my allowance just so I can purchase (or trade) pretty stationeries from an entrepreneurial classmate or the corner bookstore from school.

"Ready those slumbooks before the schoolyear ends so we can collect correct addresses!"
Those days are gone now as the only stuff that came by mail are bills, online orders and ads. Those were good times though. Hopefully despite technology, the written word will still find it's way around surviving. Go Ms. L! Live and thrive!