[Seriously guys? You’re freaking me out with your psychic requests! I had already finished this one when someone suggested it…That said, I’m not really taking requests…but, as Julie from Leftover Lunch on FNX says (or used to say…I know I heard her say it, damn you!), you can make telepathic requests.]
On the cover of this book, Ms. Martin gets downright philosophical…”Who needs baby-sitting when there are boys around!” Who indeed. One could ask who needs baby-sitting when there are dishes or laundry or any other thing at all to do or not to do…
Anyway! So, this is the first of the Sea City books. Back in real time, Stacey and Mary Anne spend two weeks of the summer before eight grade with the Pike family in Sea City, New Jersey! As mother’s helpers! Which I had never heard of before reading this book! And I’ve never heard it used anywhere but in this series!
[Side note: I’m watching the video for “Forever Young” by Alphaville on YouTube, and I just keep thinking that Claudia and Stacey would be all about the singer-with-crazy-hair’s jumpsuit. Shut up! You were thinking it too!]
So, the short version: There’s stuff about the Pike kids that really doesn’t interest me, and Mary Anne meets a boy mother’s helper and they exchange rings (cause they’re 30, not 13). She gets sunburned (this is apparently the first time she’s ever spent time out in the sun, cause I learned a lot earlier than 13 that I burn really easily), and she has her first bikini. Oh, and she gets wicked pissed (as they should be saying more, given that they live in New England) at Stacey. Why? Cause Stacey develops a mad crush on a 17-year-old life guard (I AM A CLICHÉ! I AM A CLICHÉ!) and spends all her time (you know, the time she’s getting a paid vacation for!) getting sodas and sandwiches for this creep and thinking that he’s in love with her. Cause she really is an idiot…
But after spending $10 on a box of chocolates for the boy, she spies him playing human hosepipe with a girl his own age, “curvy and gorgeous and at least eighteen.” But then she meets a 14-year-old and has her first real kiss…[eyes rolling…can’t stop!]
^Stacy’s idea of a cool (both style-wise and temperature-wise) outfit: “…I decided on this new pink shirt I got the last time we went back to New York City to visit friends. Big, bright green and yellow birds were splashed all over it. It was gigantic, so it would be cool. I put it on with a pair of baggy shorts, looped a wide green belt around my middle, and hunted up some silver jewelry—silver bangle bracelets and a pair of silver earrings shaped like bells that actually ring when they dangle back and forth.”
^Oh, yeah, apparently Stacey’s dad made enough money to afford a four bedroom apartment in Manhattan, yet they all act like Watson’s made of money.
^Stacey’s bikini is “skimpy (and we’re talking very skimpy) and yellow, with tiny bows at the sides on the bottom part. And if I do say so myself, the top part was filled out pretty nicely.” Ah, sophistication!
^I hate that Mary Anne’s all afraid of boys before this book. She’s 13! Not 8! She knows that boys don’t have cooties!
^I tend to think the Sea City town would get pretty pissed that they kept having to give lifeguard Scott new whistles every time he gave one to some young girl…
^Kristy, don’t complain that Watson has a spare car around. You’ll be sixteen in three years.
^For a big night out on the boardwalk: “I put on a white cotton vest over a pink cotton dress and tied a big white bow in my hair so that it flopped over the side of my head. Mary Anne couldn’t find anything of her own that she really liked, so I loaned her my yellow pedalpushers, a yellow and white striped tank top, and an oversized white jacket.” So matchy!
^Stacey’s second boy in two weeks…wears a headband and “plain white [um, see-through much?] swimming trunks, but his shirt was amazing—tan with silly pictures of cowboy boots and cactuses all over it. And his sunglasses—black bands with narrow slits from side to side to see through.” Yup.
Okay, so the illustration of Stacey on the cover totally reminds me of young Jenny Lewis…
Exhibit A. (Furthest to the left)
Am I totally off base?