Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Oh, I could just die! What a stupid thing to say; or, BSC #8: Boy-Crazy Stacey

[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!]

List time!

^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.

^Toby-Bear=YICK!

Okay, so the illustration of Stacey on the cover totally reminds me of young Jenny Lewis…

Exhibit A. (Furthest to the left)



Exhibit B.





Am I totally off base?

60 comments:

Cat said...

Hey Tiff,
I'm happy to see the new update. They really make my week. (I'm so pathetic.) I love your descriptions of the terrible 80's clothes! I can't believe I actually used to were sturrip pants and huge tops but of course I was 9 not 13!

Cat said...

That's supposed to wore not were. God! I can't type today.

Anonymous said...

This has always been my fave.

Anonymous said...

You are definitely not the only one who sees the resemblance between a young Jenny Lewis and Stacey on this cover. I thought so years ago before I knew her name and just knew her as the girl from all the random TV movies.

Anonymous said...

That "boy" is at least 26.

Anonymous said...

Scott doesn't look like any 17 year old I've ever seen. hot dang, I'm going to jail for statutory rape.

Anonymous said...

It's covers like this one that gave me very unrealistic expectations when it came to what teenage boys were like...

Anonymous said...

I want to know why they had to send postcards of each day back to Kristy. Wouldn't it have saved money and made MUCH more sense if they just kept a journal at Sea City??

(BTW - am I the only one who wanted to eat tat Gurber Garden too??)

Library Lady said...

Stacey is a bit of a sloot.

Anonymous said...

it was me that requested it! anonymous! you have made my day. and i remember those outfit descriptions word for word. what was ann trying to do to us?

Annie said...

How low is your self-esteem if you think a guy "letting" you bring him sodas and sandwiches means he is in LUV with you? Even if you are 13...I thought Stacey was oh-so-sophisticated, she should know better!

Anonymous said...

And for that matter, why would he be eating sandwiches? Who takes sandwiches to the beach!? Wouldn't he be having like hot dogs or hot chips or something?

(or is it just me...)

Anonymous said...

sandwiches are good at any time

Anonymous said...

What are 'hot chips'?

Tenacious said...

how are you boy crazy if you're only going after one boy?

Jersey...a vacation spot? Eh I guess that's all the Pikes could afford huh?

I actually liked this book though so I wont talk about it too bad

Anonymous said...

hot chips = French fries.

Joanna said...

Haha! Growing up in CT, I never knew anyone who said "wicked." I always thought that was more specific to MA :-0

Anonymous said...

Check out that picture:
left to right:
Mary Ann
Kristy
Claudia
Stacey
Dawn

Uncanny!

Tiff said...

well, growing up in New Hampshire, everyone said wicked...including Newbury Comics!

Colleen said...

Wicked is used quite often by people in eastern CT (like, the part by Massachusetts, where I live). Stoneybrook appears to be in the part of CT that likes to pretend it's just an extension of NYC.

I once had a job as a mother's helper. It was great, all I had to do was play with the kids, and no responsibilities because the mom was there to deal with all the sucky stuff. Unfortunately, there weren't any cute lifeguards around.

Erin said...

Yeah..."Wicked" is definitely a Maine, New Hampshire, Mass thing... and the comparison between the cover art and Jenny Lewis is hysterical. Right on!

Anonymous said...

That 'boy' looks like he could be her dad! I totally agree...covers like this one gave me very unreal expectations about high school boys. sigh. I have this HUGE tendency to be matchy-match with clothes (I have been working on breaking out of it), anyways, I always blame it on the 80s/early 90s...However...now I know where the blame really should go!! to Ann M. Martin! Those descriptions must have become part of my subconscious of how clothes should "match" very eye-opening

Anonymous said...

what always bugged me about this book was how the Pikes spent no time with their kids - they were always in the care of Stacey, Mary Anne, and Mallory, with the exception of the one "night off" they were given. Yeah, nothing like a family vacation where you don't spend time with the family...

Annie said...

Well, to be fair, a lot of Stoneybrook parents spend no time with their kids. It always bugged me how much time Kristy's mom and Watson spent going out when Karen and Andrew were visiting on their every-other-weekend visits. Why have joint custody if you're just gonna have a babysitter take care of them? So why should the Pikes be different than other Stoneybrook parents?

Sara said...

I remember this one because of the part where Claire cuts her foot and Scott the hunky lifeguard bandages it, and they BOTH look at him dreamily!! (It's also what's being illustrated on the cover.)

And I have a special fondness for this one, because my mom hired my cousin as her helper for a vacation, and my cuz refused to even walk with us kids because she was embarrassed....hey, boys might see her!

Anonymous said...

Claire looks a bit older than the 4 or 5 years she's meant to be at this point... she looks at least 7.

Katie Gillet said...

Tenacious: The Jersey Shore is a bigtime tourist area. I think Sea City is a sort of an Ocean City- Wildwood hybrid (although those two towns in reality share almost no clientele.) Renting a house down there isn't too cheap, either.

Anonymous said...

http://louisvillelogan.livejournal.com/
has anyone here seen this? weirdness. But cool anyway.

I don't think I read this book... i think. But, 13 years old and wearing that skimpy bikini?? ew. There's no shame in wearing one piece.
Was maryanne cheating on Logan or was this before him?
haha 17 year old lifeguard. chh, yeah right he likes a 13 year old. wait, now I know i have read it.

ahaah white bathers. ew.

Little Willow said...

Oh my goodness, now Jenny Lewis and Stacey McGill will be connected in my braaain.

Lindsey said...

Help! Please, BSC fans, please help me settle a dispute with my cousin. I say that there was a girl in the "Sleepover Friends" book series that wore exclusively black, white, and red. She says it was in the BSC or other series. Please share your wealth or knowledge. PS, we are 25 and 28 respectively. BTW, Super Special #2 rox and I love Slideways Stories of Wayside high (go potato tattoos).

Anonymous said...

Lindsey...it totally wasn't BSC. Kristy stuck to turtlenecks and sweaters and colors don't matter to her. Claudia was "wild" so there is no way she'd limit herself to one colorscheme. Mary Anne's dad dressed her, and I don't think he had that much style. Stacy was way to sophisticated to wear that shizz. California casual is pretty much the opposite of black white and red, so that rules out Dawn. Mal was too concerned with her gross glasses and braces to worry about clothes, and jessi was a ballerina, which means pink was basically a requirement.

Anonymous said...

^ And even when Mary Anne started dressing more dibble, she wasn't ever into just three colors. I don't think any of the girls used particular colors as a limitation in their dress sense.

Jessi didn't always wear pink, btw. She often turned up to meetings wearing jeans over her leotard, and usually had her hair up in a bun (so when she went mental at Aunt Cecilia for doing her hair up really tight so that it wouldn't ever move again, I'm like "dude, you ALWAYS have your hair up!")

Colleen said...

Lindsey- I'm pretty sure it was in Sleepover Friends. Gosh, I was so jealous of that one girl with the minihouse in the background, and she even had a TV!

Lindsey said...

Thanks everyone, hopefully we can settle this. I am 99% positive the girl from sleepover friends was named Stephanie. I also was super jealous of the minihouse in the backyard, and that they were always eating so much crap (secret recipe rocky roady fudge) and were all so fit. Tiff really needs to cover the book wree Mary Anne gets a makeover at Steven B. Dawn is a total biz-natch in that one. Final note, my coworker and I are doing a BSC book club, and it is awesome. She found BSC fanfic on the web, and there is even a multpile chapter mash-up up of BSC and the TV show Lost. Most excellent.

rachel said...

stoneybrook parents were NEVER around. the worst is the books (which seemed to be almost all of them) that focus on one kid or set of kids, and the BSC sits for them at least 20 times in that book, which is like a three-week period, tops. if my parents had gone out as much as the parents in stoneybrook, i would have some serious abandonment issues.

the guy on the cover looks older than my own boyfriend, who is 27. and stacey looks even younger than usual. gross. i don't think i read this book, because i wanted my parents to think i still thought boys had cooties, or something.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Rachel. Notice how they never seem to sit for the kids who don't impact the main kid in the subplot? Although legitimate excuses have been made... the Papidakises' grandfather needed around-the-clock care or something? What are some others?

Anonymous said...

Had me laughing for ages. I love this blog!!

Anonymous said...

i know in Mallory and the Trouble with Twins, the reason they had to sit for the Arnold girls so much was because of some PTA function.

but yeah - it seemed like some families, such as the Pikes and the Thomas-Brewer clan needed sitters at least twice a week. when i was a kid, i had them maybe once a month, if even that.

Angie said...

'Kristy's Great Idea' has been made into a graphic novel, and I'm ordering it for my elementary school library. I'm really trying to get my girl students to read the BSC, but they're just not biting. I'm hoping the graphic novel does the trick.

Anonymous said...

I dunno how... relative BSC is these days. 13 year olds can't babysit. 11 years olds definitely can't babysit. It portrays 11 and 13 year olds as being practically adults when they're really still just kids.

That said, it's still fun to read! ^_^

Katie Gillet said...

Open question to any readers/commenters- how old were you when you started babysitting (and how long ago was that?)

I was about 12.5, mid-7th grade, when I started sitting a few houses down; this would have been either late 1994 or early 1995, not sure.

Anonymous said...

^ My sister and I are a year apart, and when we were 11 and 12, we began as mother's helpers, although it was never called that. Some family friends had two young boys, and on weekends one or both of us would go out and entertain the boys while the father did farmwork and the mother did housework. It evolved into babysitting as we got older -- in fact, we totally had our own "Sea City experience" when they paid us to go on holiday with them and mind their boys (now three of them) plus their two nieces. unfortunately, we didn't meet any cute boys or lifeguards...

Anonymous said...

The Girl that only wore Black, White and Red was from GirlTalk.
I remember - they had sleepovers and she had this other - small house thing - like an actual house in her back yard it was all black white and red - she was into drama and stuff - That's her - I don't remember their names but there was her, the drama girl, a preppy one, a semi normal one, and a punk one. I am 100% positive the character you talk about is from Girl Talk.

Anonymous said...

Without any doubt, "Sleepover Friends'" Stephanie Green was the one who always wore a combo of red, black and white. The chick from "Girl Talk" was Randy Zak, and she wore all black. I am positive about this!!!!!! Because I'm a total young adult book freak!

Kathy said...

PLEASE do the one where Stacey has a crush on the substitute!
I haven't read that one in years!!!

Anonymous said...

Back to Katie's question. I totally started babysitting when I was 11, and by the time I was 14 I thought I was too old for it and wanted a real job. And I sat for babies-I mean like newborns. Times have really changed.

sikamikanico said...

As for the kids needing constant sitting thing...

What got me was, parents would even hire the BSC if they were shopping for a new couch or something! When I was a kid, my parents hired a sitter for the occasional night out, but if they were going shopping, they took us with them! Sure, it was pretty boring most of the time...but isn't a lot of childhood pretty boring?

rachel said...

in maryland (where i grew up) there is actually a law that says you can't babysit unless you're 13 or older. so i guess i was 13 when i started. although parents always wanted older sitters when i was that young, so i found the bsc somewhat unrealistic. like, for maryland they were on the very young end of the spectrum, yet they did SO much sitting.

i find it a little sad that the stoneybrook parents were gone so much of the time. it always seemed like the bsc did a lot more parenting than the parents. man, those parents had it sweet, though - seven (or however many) teenage girls BEGGING to supervise your kids in a band, play, parade and what-have-you? for free? what a deal!

Sara said...

(Double commenter here!)

I started baby-sitting when I was probably 14 or 15, and I hated it. My sister liked it, and was hired as a near full-time caregiver to a neighbor boy while his parents managed their fish cannery (hey, I'm from Alaska, we do that kind of thing!). She loved it.

And about the black/white/red thing....when they all go to New York in a Super Special, Mary Anne is writing her "post" and describes what the other BSC members are packing. I distinctly remember her mentioning that Claudia and Stacey would pack a lot of black pants and red and white tops. So there is a connection, albeit wayward!

Anonymous said...

That's a good point Rachel! Who cares about how old the girls are when they're organising all this practically-free stuff for the kids in the neighborhood to do, out of the goodness of their hearts!!

Anonymous said...

You were right about Sleepover friends instead of GirlTalk.
I looked it up - there isn't a lot on Sleepover friends but I totally remember now that you mentioned it.
I read a lot of young adult fiction but I was more of a Sweet Valley High - kind of girl -

I got into the Babysitters Club before that but the babysitters were so goody goody and boring compared to the Wakefield twins.

Anonymous said...

god! get over yourselves
i cant belive you old women are critisizing baby sitters club books
hahahahaha
you all suck
bye
oh and i love them

Miana said...

To the person above who said they live in the part of CT which likes to pretend its an extension of NYC...

Fairfield County, my birthplace and where I lived until I was in my mid20s (its where Stamford (my hometown) is and they always say SB is near there...) . . . so true. I actually wanted to go visit Stoneybrook when I was a kid and I thought it was SO COOL that they lived near me and Jessi took ballet lessons in my town...

Cecil said...

He's seventeen? What do they feed 'em over there?!

Anonymous said...

Hey why is Stacey wearing all that? Wasn't she supposed to be wearing a "skimpy" bikini?

Anonymous said...

I'm late to the party, but--also, one of Stacey's NYC neighbors had an apartment that was all black, white, and chrome.

Anonymous said...

This was my favorite one. I don't even know how many times I read it.
And I have to blame my experiment with sun-in on this book. I walked with orange hair for years because of Stacey.

ponine said...

Yeaaahhh FC... nope, wicked never really made it down here.


There really is a Stoneybrook on Long Island . . . ANM wasn't that off.

lilafowler said...

This was also one of my favorites. I remember feeling alternately sorry for and creeped out by Vanessa, the outcast Pike kid who rhymed all her words and was rejected by her siblings. Also remember that food joint they stopped at where crazy sauce was ketchup and mustard mixed together? I thought that was the tats.

Anonymous said...

OK, I realize I'm about 2 years late on this one, but I'm going to comment anyway:

two things I've literally never forgotten about this book are how Toby teaches Stacy to make "witches castles" by running wet sand through your fingers (I tried it many times ... never quite worked out), and when he tells her the "Al Buquerque" joke. No one I ever told that joke to thought was funny!