the best friends you’ll never have

So it seems from the comments that everyone disagrees with me on the Cary front. Pffft.

Let’s start from the beginning. Cary Retlin is quite interesting, as he did not appear in the series until very late (Stacey’s Haunted Masquerade, I believe), yet he seems to leave a lasting impression. Reviewing what we know about Cary, we know that he is hot (according to Stacey, so how much does that really mean?); he hails from Oak Hill, Illinois; his dad used to be a policeman but is now a locksmith; and he is the purported ringleader of the Mischief Knights, who cause a lot of trouble around SMS. Cary shows up often in Mystery books, and seems be quite the detective himself. He also wishes to become J.D. Salinger and enjoys surrealist art. He hangs out with Alan Gray.

Kristy and Cary do not appear to like each other. In Kristy In Charge, this hatred sends several seventh graders to the hospital. In Kristy and the Middle School Vandal, Cary challenges Kristy to a mystery contest, wherein a loss results in the loss of Kristy’s fancy watch. In Kristy Power!, Cary and Kristy have a huge fight. I am sure that there are other Kristy/Cary hatefests which I can’t think of at the moment.

This brings me to my point. Kristy does indeed have a history of having hate-to-love evolutions in her relatioonships. But the transformation happens quickly. Alan Gray went to a dance with Kristy in the second book of the series. Michel and Kristy were making out in the Eiffel Tower by the end of European Vacation. But between Cary and Kristy the closest they got to any sort of reconciliation was a grudging respect for one another. If they were OTP, they would have gone to a dance or kissed or exchanged friendship shoulder punches (the Kristy Hug!) if you want to really stretch it.

Kristy and Cary have the opposite of a mutual adoration society. I think Cary really is just annoyed by Kristy, by her gigantic ego, by her confidence that she is smarter than the entire Stoneybrook Police Department. Kristy is annoyed by Cary because he does not revere her, nor is he frightened by her. He even questions her detective skills! He is one of the only people, besides Cokie Mason, who is willing to say to Kristy, “You’re wrong.” And as we all know from some book which i can’t recall now where Logan writes in huge letters KRISTY WAS RIGHT in the notebook, and the narrator said that Kristy lives to be told she is right and probably blew up that entry and hung it on the wall above her bed, well, this does not bode well for Kristy and Cary even being friends. To be Kristy’s friend, you must suffer through her mistaken “great” ideas and cheer her on when she really does have a great one. You must treat her as someone who is Much Better At Problem Solving Than You, regardless of whether that is true. I do think she has a softer side to her, but this is the face that she likes to show to the public.

So no, I do not believe in Kristy/Cary at all.

Instead I believe in Mary Anne/Cary.

The issue with Mary Anne/Cary, sadly, is that it takes place pretty much only in FF. This is because for the entire time that Cary is a part of the BSC world while the regular series is being written, MA and Logan are still together. I believe I have mentioned many times on this blog that I can’t stand Logan Bruno, except in his own books where he’s a huge dork, but it bears saying again: I can’t stand that Logan Bruno.

There are many in the fandom who take a “If I don’t open my eyes and see it, it doesn’t exist” approach to FF. They would prefer the Club to be fully functional, for Stacey and Claud to not be fighting over a boy, for the farmhouse to still be standing. I happen to enjoy FF, however, although I know those of us who enjoy FF are certainly a small group. Anyway, most Mary Anne/Cary action happens in FF so that is why it is kind of an ignored ship.

Most of the MA/Cary stuff happens in Mary Anne’s Revenge. Mary Anne’s Revenge is a great book, even if you hate FF on principle. Cary helps MA get revenge on Cokie. I don’t think Cary’s hatred for Kristy really carried on to the other BSCers. Cary seems to work very hard on this plan, claiming that he hates Cokie, but I think it is because he wants to make out with Mary Anne. Interpret it as you wish. Also, in Claudia and the Disaster Date, Cary totally asks to be MA’s partner during miniature golf, and she does so, happily. Awwww. I think that if FF had not ended after that, MA and Cary would have dated. Claudia with Alan, MA with Cary… Kristy’s head would have exploded. That would have been terribly gross, so that is why they had to let the BSCers graduate. The head-explosion scene would have been way too gross.

As for those who ship MA and Pete… I ask, why? Sure, Pete asks her out, but Pete is the character equivalent of wet clay. He was molded into whatever shape was needed for that particular book. Sometimes he’s cool, sometimes he’s geeky, sometimes he snaps bra straps, sometimes Stacey dates him. People enjoyed MA/Pete in MA Misses Logan, but I think their teamwork was based more off of hatred for Cokie/Logan than anything else.

So that’s my stance.

13 Responses To This Post

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chicken_queen said, September 27th, 2007 at 10:10 pm

You have some really good points, and you could be right about Kristy/Cary. but since the series ended, we’ll just have to use our imaginations. And my imagination makes Kristy and Cary make out lots and lots, lol.

I also dislike Logan, but I can’t see Mary Anne really dating anyone else, unfortunately. The vast majority of the male SMS population was incredible lame.

myu said, September 28th, 2007 at 8:07 am

I’m quite curious about the Mary Anne/Cary ship now. I definitely agree with you about Pete Black. He and Austin Bentley used to get passed around a bit by the girls, didn’t they? Now that I think of it, quite a lot of the SMS boys were man sluts…

bbb said, September 30th, 2007 at 8:11 pm

In which book(s) does it mention Cary’s love of Salinger and surrealism? Because that’s awesome.

greer said, October 1st, 2007 at 8:50 pm

@bbb: kristy power!

» Alan Gray, Renaissance Man the best friends you’ll never have said, February 11th, 2009 at 8:53 pm

[...] regard to my personal feelings about BSC pairings. I don’t like Kristy/Cary… I prefer Mary Anne/Cary. I also don’t like Kristy/Alan… I prefer Claudia/Alan. Now, this is not because I buy [...]

charmecia said, February 8th, 2010 at 11:59 am

although it would be nice to see kristy’s head explode
i say kristy/cary would be perfect
think about it
they always seem to wonder what would make the other tick
and for some reason
cary enjoys picking on kristy a lot more
than he does to the other members
while kristy couldnt get cary out of his mind
and kristy of all people
tried desperately
to apologize to cary
after reading his diary
even trying to make friends with him
so i think they really do like each other
they just dont want to admit or show it
which would make them perfect for each other

charmecia said, February 8th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

mary anne is much happier being alone
after all
isnt that the reason why she dumped logan again
she wanted independence
i could understand and relate to that

charmecia said, March 17th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

girl you is good on that one
well maybe mary anne and cary could go out and make kristy totally snap
i mean when claudia dated alan kristy acted like such a total bitch to claudia
yet again
i dont think kristy likes any guy with a penis nor a dick
and you know what
i dont like kristy that much at all
(dawn and the school spirit war shows it)
and also that bitch got major jealousy issues

charmecia said, March 17th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

in fact
you know what
i think kristy and logan should go out
since they are so controlling
so bossy
and so domineering
they would be perfect for each other
plus when mary anne broke up with logan kristy thought she was crazy
then acted bitchy towards mary anne
in mary anne’s big breakup
cause mary anne thought she was dating logan
btw im a huge fan of friends forever

Melissa said, October 20th, 2010 at 8:47 am

It’s alright greer . I support you in the mary anne/Cary Retlin pairing. That’s actually my favorite pairing in the series along with Stacey/Terry and Claudia/Alan.

Mary Anne’s revenge happens to be my favorite mary anne book out of the friends forever series because Mary Anne was so badass (not to mention we see more of cary and just how fickle cokie really is.)

and you gotta love the way she stands up to richard in that book. As much as i love richard spier, My god was he so controlling in that book.

i can’t help but feel sorry for sharon in that book.

you gotta love Kristy and Abby in that book, even though i don’t like Kristy.

Shey said, June 17th, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Hello! I know this post was written in 2007 but I have happened across it now, while binge-reading BSC stuff :P

I actually love the FF series as well, probably because it came about when I was 13 and graduating middle school though I had been reading the series since I was 8 (I inherited all my sister’s BSC books).

I like the points you make about Kristy/Cary as well as MA/Cary. When I was younger, I never read much into Kristy and Cary’s interactions aside from the fact that they hated each other but I always had it in my head that they had a rivalry-friendship. There was not much thought when it came to romance, for me.

I saw a lot of MA/Cary in the FF series but I didn’t want it at the time–not really as a dislike for the pairing but because MA was finally single and I felt it was a little too much for her to become a serial monogamist :P I wanted her to have fun being a single gal for awhile more–going to the mall with her friends and selecting color swatches for her room!

I like your blog a lot, I’m only sorry I’ve stumbled upon it just now :)

greer said, June 18th, 2014 at 8:57 am

@Shey Thank you!

I definitely agree with the serial monogamist aspect. I’m glad that it didn’t happen right away for them, and that Mary Anne rejected everyone who tried to go out with her after her breakup. I am going to be writing a story for Camp NaNoWriMo about MA and Cary getting together next month, but it happens in 9th grade, which I think is a respectable amount of time to have passed.

Shey said, June 18th, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Wow, that sounds like a great idea! Will you be putting it on your blog or is there any way that your followers can read it? :D

I really liked the strength MA showed after the break up and didn’t just jump into another relationship right away. It is a good thing for anyone to read and in particular, long time BSC readers because MA and Logan were together for a really long time. One might almost say years, lol. And yes, MA and Cary getting together in 9th grade is definitely a respectable amount of time–she IS a teenager after all :P :)

I think that MA/Cary could be a very sweet relationship. He’s nothing at all like Logan and they could really actually be friends AND bf/gf. Aw…warm fuzzies!

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