the best friends you’ll never have

Now, let me preface this by saying that I am an avowed Logan hater. Logan is the antithesis of everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. Now, Ethan Carroll? There’s a dude who would make my heart go pitter-patter. If he weren’t fifteen and all.

But that doesn’t really have much bearing on what I want to say here. Right now, I would like to address one of the most psychologically-damaging aspects of the Baby-Sitters Club series, ones that gave legions of nerdy girls in pigtails hopes that, once they got to puberty, just didn’t pan out and probably didn’t until they got to college or even after college. I’m talking here, of course, about the relationship between Mary Anne Spier and Logan Bruno.

Let’s recap. When they meet, Mary Anne has just convinced her father to let her wear her hair in something other than pigtails. She has just purchased her first training bra, being surpassed only by Kristy in flatchestedness. She cannot talk to BOYS without her tongue turning to sawdust.

Logan is the New Boy. He has blondish curly hair, which was so cool in the 80s. He plays lots of sports and he plays them well. He has a Southern accent, and we all know how accents are supposedl irrestible to women. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that he looks like a young James Spader:

Think back to eighth grade. Who were the girls who had boyfriends back then, especially the cute new Southern jock guy? Was it the girl whose idea of a really stellar Saturday was sitting at home, rereading Little Women, a box of tissues at her side? No, it was the girls like Stacey and Cokie, both of whom were also interested in Logan. Mary Anne’s relationship with Logan, I think, represents some sort of subconscious wish fulfillment for Ann and other bookworm girls everywhere. In middle/high school, Cute Boys will look past the blonde perms and bras and toothpaste-ad smiles of the confident girls, and see your true self. They will say, “Oh, that girl is so sweet and sensitive. She would make a swell girlfriend and my mother will adore her.”

Has this ever happened in real life? No. Maybe Nerd Girls can date Nerd Boys. But the hot jock guy? Never.

In addition, let’s remember who Mary Anne’s dad was. Richard, the strictest dad in the BSC, the one who, until he hooked up with Sharon, controlled every aspect of Mary Anne’s life. My parents weren’t 1/10th as strict as Richard, and I don’t think my mom would have been pleased about me dating at thirteen. Richard letting Mary Anne date Logan is just completely illogical.

So besides the fact that I Hate Logan, the other reason the whole idea of Mary Anne’s and Logan’s relationship bothers me is that it presents a false ideal. It says, hey, if you can’t even talk to boys and dress like a six-year-old, the boy of your dreams will still want to date you because you have a great personality. If you ever get over the whole unable-to-talk-to-him thing, which he will totally patiently wait to happen. How many of us got to eighth grade, expecting to be swept off our feet by a Southern gentleman, and this didn’t happen because we were a total outcast loser who the jock guys only saw as a target for teasing, not a gal who they’d like to take on a clandestine date to Renwick’s? Yeah. Thought so.

11 Responses To This Post

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Myu said, October 16th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

“Mary Anne’s relationship with Logan, I think, represents some sort of subconscious wish fulfillment for Ann and other bookworm girls everywhere.”

THIS. Thank you. I can never quite decide whether this sort of thing is positive (for giving sad loners hope) or not.

lmaul said, October 17th, 2010 at 1:04 am

I always knew there was something about their relationship that drove me insane, and I think you hit it right on the money. It’s totally unrealistic.

winstonegbert said, October 17th, 2010 at 3:26 am

My sad loner self secretly cheered on Mary Anne with Kentucky boy Logan. But does anyone remember that pop star she always compared him to, Cam Geary? To this day I wonder, who the f&*@k is Cam Geary?

greer said, October 17th, 2010 at 9:39 am

@winston: Cam Geary was an actor on a teen drama who recorded an album that sucked. Nicky Cash was the singer.

greer said, October 17th, 2010 at 10:10 am

@Myu: I think it was better-handled in the Princess Diaries. Mia dates a hot guy, but he’s totally overlooked by the popular girls because he likes computers too much. So if Logan had been a NERDY Southern Gentleman, it would have been a lot more realistic.

bbb said, October 18th, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I don’t think their relationship is that hard to believe considering Logan wasn’t your typical jock and Mary Anne wasn’t your typical nerdy bookworm/loner. She had popular friends like Claudia and Stacey. He was the new kid and found her so pretty and nice that he looked past the shyness; he seemed slightly shy himself. Sure, a lot of girls got to eighth grade and wondered where their tux-wearing, dinner-making Logan was after years of reading BSC, but I think he was a normal enough boy when he made his entrance into the series.

corduroyspocket said, October 19th, 2010 at 7:11 pm

OT but another thing that was unrealistic: none of the girls ever got turned down when they were interested in a guy. it was always magically a mutual thing.

Melissa said, October 20th, 2010 at 8:16 am

I never found Logan great to begin with. I always thought that Logan was creepy.

and if you ask me, I was more into smarter, muscular, and good looking rich guys in high school (i went to a private school that’s why)

and i figured Logan wouldn’t support me financially.

p.s. I also thought Ethan was perfect for a boyfriend. But my love will always be Cary Retlin for the fact that he makes me melt inside and so think he’s more suitable for Mary Anne than Logan will ever be.

Eowyn said, December 21st, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Anyone else think the TV series Gilmore Girls is a fellow culprit?

playing_horses said, January 6th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

I remember thinking when I was thirteen, I would totally get a Logan. I was wrong, of course. I didn’t even get a boyfriend until I was fifteen and, believe me, he was NOT a Logan at all. I never really cared about Logan much. He was just *there*, you know? I much prefer Mary Anne and Cary. Or Mary Anne and Pete.

greer said, February 6th, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Hmm, I think Pete Black was just such a stand-in for whenever they needed a guy that we didn’t get enough characterization of him for me to make a judgment either way. Like, I want to know WHY the sneakers are his trademark. I would have LOVED a Super Special chapter from his perspective!

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