We’ve all had those moments where we wipe the sweat from our foreheads, beam proudly at our accomplishments—and then see the mom down the street build a to-scale model skyscraper out of Rice Krispy treats. That’s a regular day in the life of Jill Kaplan, the busy working mom from Terri Libenson’s THE PAJAMA DIARIES. While Jill struggles to balance the demands of work and family, she often finds herself outdone by “Perfectville,” the SuperMom down the block.
Terri calls Perfectville the “culmination of every über mom I’ve ever admired or envied in my parenting career.” And no wonder! She cooks everything from scratch, manages her children’s social calendars like the best personal assistant, and has an entire room of her house devoted to gift wrap.
In the early days of THE PAJAMA DIARIES, “Perfectville” was the nickname for the entire family, but it’s become the moniker of the matriarch of the family, a stay-at-home mom who lives with her husband and two “carefully coiffed” kids. “Basically,” says Terri, “this is a 1950’s nuclear family throwback, but with cell phones and iPads.”
Perfectville doesn’t have a name. “Well,” says Terri, “in actuality, I guess she does. But no one knows it. My daughter says it would be Darcy. I’m not sure why.” Her lack of a name doesn’t keep her from making sure her kids have the best of everything, from baking elaborate birthday cakes (“What’s half a day’s work for the sake of my child’s happiness?”) to seeing to it that they’re invited to all the “right” parties (“This week’s Chuck E. Cheese is next week’s Ivy League.”). Her pet peeves sound like a list of Jill’s sanity-savers: Perfectville abhors “cooking from a box,” weedy lawns, and “pajama jeans.”
While she can be grating and often flaunts her wealth, Perfectville’s intentions are good. It’s just that she’s oblivious to how obnoxious she can be. She may offer a lot of unsolicited advice and unwanted commentary, but it’s only because she’s trying to help out. While Jill may get frustrated with how Perfectville’s accomplishments shine the spotlight on Jill’s own failings, Perfectville has some insecurities of her own. Terri says:
“She is confident, but underneath, she’s afraid of showing weakness. She does have her dirty little secrets (when her kids were little, she used to sneak a nanny in through the back door). She also had a “problem” with the sexy young neighbor who moved to the block back in 2006. We haven’t seen the young lady since (Has she been “removed” by Perfectville? We’ll never know…).”
In spite of Perfectville’s more irritating qualities, she’s someone the Kaplans have come to rely on as a dependable and caring neighbor. She’s always there to lend a helping hand, and the Kaplan kids love her made-from-scratch snacks.
With Hanukkah (and Christmas) right around the bend, we thought it would be a great time to mention that you can now keep up with the Kaplans, Perfectville, and the rest of the neighborhood in the first PAJAMA DIARIES collection, “Déja To-Do,” available here! It makes a great gift for comic lovers and moms (and especially comic-loving moms) alike! For more gift ideas, check out our handy King Features Holiday Gift Guide!
Every Friday, we put the spotlight on a supporting character from one of our comics! If you have a favorite secondary (or even tertiary) character whom you’d like to see profiled, please leave a comment here or in our forums.