the best friends you’ll never have

Browsing in Alan Gray

Inspired by this series.

KRISTY is a very successful entrepreneur. I see her being a serial entrepreneur, always with the next great big idea. Social media, innovative new ideas for charity start ups, whatever, she’s into it. Watson probably gave her some seed money for her first venture, but she made it back ten fold and now gets her funding like anyone else. I have never had a clear read on Kristy’s sexuality as an adult, but whoever she marries would probably end up being a stay-at-home parent, and Kristy has four kids and tries to make it to as many of their softball games as she can.

CLAUDIA is a high school art teacher. New York was too expensive, and the practical Kishis wouldn’t support her art career financially. So she came back to Stoneybrook, and teaches art while taking care of her superbly dressed son with Alan Gray.

STACEY is like Lauren Santo Domingo, only insanely good at math. Worked for LVMH before starting her own fashion-related company. Has one kid, a husband in finance, a nanny, a housekeeper, an apartment in New York, and a house in the Hamptons.

MARY ANNE is a high school guidance counselor. She lives in a small seaside town in Maine, not far from Reese, with her husband, who is a chef at a restaurant frequented by wealthy tourists. Basically, she’s Susan Branch without the cookbooks.

DAWN lives in California and works for an environmental non-profit. Her husband was a lawyer, but they fought a lot, and now she’s divorced with two kids.

MALLORY lives in New York City and is a writer. I secretly think Mallory=Ann, even if Ann says Mary Anne was based on her. So just picture Ann’s life, and give her red hair.

JESSI went to Dance New York soon after the series ended. After a stint dancing professionally, she now teaches dance and is married to a fellow dancer with a daughter named Mary Rose.

ABBY decided she wanted to be on SNL. She didn’t make it, but turned her hilarious LA experiences into a successful blog, which landed her a position on the staff of a ladyblog. She is too independent for a partner of either sex, and prefers shorter affairs. She is thinking of adopting at a later date.

SHANNON used her facility with languages and general all-around brains to get a job with the State Department. She is still looking for Mr. Right, but her experiences with her family growing up have deep down soured her on the idea of marriage and family in general.

LOGAN stayed in Stoneybrook and married Dorianne Wallingford after she got pregnant at 19. He manages a sporting goods store. They have two boys and a girl. Dorianne writes an aspirational lifestyle/mommy blog, and she makes more money than Logan does with her sponsorships and whatnot.

Again, this one presents a sort of challenge. What does “least favorite” mean in this case? Is it the character you least like to read about, who bores you? Or is it the person you find most repulsive, whom you’d surely dislike if you knew them in real life?

One of the jerkiest characters in the series is, of course, Clarence King. Clarence is someone who looks for people weaker than he is–Mallory, Tess, Logan-when-he-is-a-sitter–and attacks them, most likely out of his own low self-esteem. Clarence is truly needlessly cruel. Cokie was a girl with a crush. Clarence is just a jerk.

I also don’t like Mark Jaffe, Claud’s boyfriend for a brief spell, very much. I don’t think he was a bad guy, necessarily, but if Claudia were your friend, you’d definitely ask her, “Why are you dating him?” Mark was all style and ego, no substance, and Claudia deserved better. Which she eventualy got… with…. Alan Gray?!

Sometimes I feel like I go against the majority of BSC fans in regard to my personal feelings about BSC pairings. I don’t like Kristy/Cary… I prefer Mary Anne/Cary. I also don’t like Kristy/Alan… I prefer Claudia/Alan. Now, this is not because I buy into the “Kristy is a Lesbian” theory. I am quite fond of Kristy/Michel, actually.

The main reasoning between Alan and Kristy, as I’ve gathered, is that Kristy and Alan have the classic love/hate, teasing-because-I-like-you relationship. As with Kristy and Cary, sometimes I feel like hate/dislike is just that–no romantic overtones at all. Many people were quite blindsided by the Claudia/Alan storyline in Friends Forever, but once I thought about it a little more, it made a lot more sense than it seemed to at first.

Kristy and Alan seem to share of love of playing jokes on each other, but Alan has one thing that Kristy decidedly lacks: an artistic soul. It’s hidden, but it’s definitely there.

First, in Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street, Alan has an infamous scene where he shows up to Claudia’s “gallery” opening and draws disgusting pictures:

I thought she saw a painting of some candy she didn’t like. But when I turned around, I saw she was staring at a crude drawing of a dead cat next to a candy wrapper.

“What is that?” I said.

I walked toward it, and saw another wrinkled sheet of paper tacked up nearby. That one showed a terrible drawing of a grungy-looking toothless man eating a candy bar. He was smiling happily and saying “Mmm!” while the candy was flaking down his chin.

I quickly tore down the disgusting drawings. Who could have –

Then I saw Alan Gray squatting in a corner with a pad of paper and a pencil. “Hey! Cut that out!” I yelled.

Alan sprang to his feet, giving me his dumbest grin. “Go home, Alan, okay?” I said. “Don’t ruin my show.”

“Sure, Claudia,” he said. “No problem. See you.”

Alan also participates in the portrait drawing contest in Claudia Makes Up Her Mind–losing, of course. And when he is trying to romantically seduce Claudia, he makes her a pin out of sculpey and dyes a flower several different colors using the stem-splitting method. He also has an artistically-minded appreciation of anime.

Alan Gray has an artistic, sensitive soul; one that he covers up with jokes and pranks and being obnoxious. In the quote from Elm Street above, it seems like he just wants Claudia’s attention. And he’s not a jerk when she asks him to go home; he just leaves.

Kristy is not sensitive to understand Alan Gray. Once Claudia looks beyond his reputation, she gets The Real Alan.

Do you agree, or do you still like Kristy/Alan?