13 Going On 30:

Jenna vs. Sennah’s Dream House

By sennah Yee

The movie is tailor-made for women who openly lust for dream houses, dream jobs, and dream hubbies.
— Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe

Dream Houses

Jenna’s dream house has her relaxing in a bubble bath with her favourite magazine. She has a closet full of clothes and a huge stereo with “every record ever made.” Rick Springfield is lounging on the couch downstairs.

In my dream house, my mom doesn’t have to decide what’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner every day until she dies. She also doesn’t die. And we kill bugs without having to ask my dad—no, we cover bugs with a water glass, slide a piece of paper underneath, and let them free in our backyard—yes, we have a backyard. In the backyard we bury the pets of our past a few feet underground. Pets are allowed in my dream house. They don’t shed and they respect the furniture. And all the furniture in my dream house is stylish but comfortable—good for napping, good for fucking, good for watching TV.

The TV is always on in my dream house. It’s playing all my favourite music videos from childhood that I’d have to watch secretly at my friend’s house with cable, finger pressed on the remote to quickly change the channel if a parent walked in. Think Christina’s Dirrty with two Rs, think feet next to Fiona Apple’s face in a bathtub, think robo-Björk thrusting against another robot. 

When I was younger, I asked for a “big mini TV” for Christmas because I had no idea what “mini” meant—but I figured it meant something grand. Now I’m older and I know better. I know that directors don’t want me to watch their movies on my phone or the plane, but I’m also told that bigger isn’t always better. What is bigger and better in my dream house are the closets. They’re organized and spacious. You can comfortably spend seven whole minutes there, kissing your crush.

Dream Jobs

Jenna’s dream job is working as editor at Poise fashion magazine, which she grew up reading. Towards the end of the film, she proposes a redesign, inspired by real women and real stories. She doesn’t know that this is essentially Instagram, which is just as poisonous, if not more—just in a quieter way. Duh, I know hot celebrities aren’t real, but my hot friends sure are—so how come I can’t be like them?

When I was little, I dreamt of being a mom when I grew up, but of course in school they told me that wasn’t a job. Then I wanted to be a detective who solves cases like missing teddy bears, that kind of thing, but then my dad told me that real detectives often deal with more important and sinister matters like missing children. Then I wanted to be a movie star, but no one wanted to look at me. Now I dream of having no job.

Dream Hubbies

Jenna’s dream hubby is Rick Springfield on her TV—no, Chris Grandy in a Varsity jacket—no, Alex Carlson taking a shower in her apartment—no, her best friend Matt Flamhaff, after all this time.

My dream hubby is Lance Bass from *NSYNC—no, Jack Skellington—no, Edward Cullen—no, no, no. Someone who knows when to love me and when to leave me alone. Someone who says okay when I say no. Someone who sings karaoke with me and stays quiet when it’s my turn. Someone who can drive me around and parallel park. Someone who likes my baking and licks their fingers clean. Someone who doesn’t have Twitter. Someone who uses rare emojis—think peacock, think rockstar, think juicebox. Someone who knows how to dream, but more importantly, when to wake up.

Sennah Yee is the author of How Do I Look? and My Day With Gong Gong.