1. Berenstain Bears vs. The Flintstones
Here we find the typical childhood preoccupations. Bears versus humans, both are alternately ferocious and cuddly, and both classic examples of gender roles. You resolve to grow up to be a good little wife and mother, then you resolve to get some cinnamon toothpicks and candy cigarettes. You hope to acquire a pterodactyl to wash your dishes.
2. Madonna (aka “Material Girl”) vs. Madonna (aka pietas and Catholicism)
This is a crucial and Freud-loving stage fraught with love of shiny pink dresses versus love of shiny stain glass martyrs. Madonna’s breasts win, and not the ones that nursed Jesus. While the somber life of iron work and habits remains fascinating, and each option reveals budding lesbianism, the lacy virgin bride on MTV proves victorious. You give thanks.
3. Anne Frank vs. Spaceships
Children learn much from best friends obsessed with space travel, but you know about astronauts from David Bowie and feel like the Holocaust is way cooler because you get to hide in annexes. To you, distantly Polish, Jewish and German, Anne Frank was the stylish girl with the awesome diary who made out with an older boy. The unfortunate ending was only the epilogue. That is why you and Katie are sitting in the closet and pretending to be in hiding. Sometimes fruit snacks are involved. Your parents, “the Nazis”, are downstairs drinking espresso and listening to records of Van Morrison.
4. Nirvana vs. My Gay Best Friend.
Teenagers face identity issues that can only be resolved through friendships and dead rock stars. In your scenario, your rock star is Cobain and your new best friend is gay. You don’t know that she is gay or that she has a crush on you. Thus, you enumerate the tragedies of Kurt ad nauseam and she buys you bright magenta nail polish, which you mistakenly believe will make you look like Courtney Love. The two of you go to the tiny mall store that sells black light posters with pot insignia. You buy, of course, a Kurt Cobain poster that you will kiss at night and pray over. Then you scope out the bookstore that sells a photographic Kama Sutra.
5. Master’s vs. Manga
Suddenly, you are supposed to be an adult, and as an adult you are required a quarter-life crisis. You have your master’s degree, but you’ve got an inexplicable and embarrassing manga habit on your hands. Sure you love Faulkner, you love the hell out of him, but sometimes tiny Japanese magic girls are all you want to read about. Your girlfriend, nicknamed Muffy, is the only one who knows. And there it is, you come out of the closet, just to run back in with vampire graphics and cartoon boobies. The cycle is complete. Hand me some fruit snacks.