I was cursed.
I had a perfect older sister: clean, cute, no cowlicks, and loved by all. I, on the other hand, went to school with two different pairs of shoes, hated brushing my teeth and taking a bath, and played football with the boys and broke almost every finger over the years. I was, in short, a disaster. And sometimes kind of lonely.
Then I was introduced to Ramona!!
Ramona and I each had our Beezus (Beatrice). We loved to show off when we had nothing to show, and we were queens of getting into trouble. Plus, I happened to run away about twice/week, as did Ramona. My parents took me to see Farenheit 451 at the community college. And the book people memorized books and told them to each other so they would never be lost, even though they'd been burned. I told my mom that night that I'd memorize Ramona the Pest -- all of them.
So thank you, Ms. Cleary, for Ramona Geraldine Quimby! She was one of my best friends growing up. After all those books about pretty girls and ribbons and bows, Ramona was the only real girl I knew in books back then.