the best friends you’ll never have

Browsing in Dawn Schafer

As promised, here are my thoughts on Dawn and the We <3 Kids Club.

Dawn was my favorite member for quite some time. I liked her LOOOOONNNG white blonde hair. Being a platnium blonde myself, I envied her, as my mother didn’t let me grow out my pageboy until fifth grade or so. I also was what my boyfriend calls an “aspiring vegetarian.” And California seemed even more glamorous to me than New York City. Finally, I, too, wanted to be seen as a laid-back individual.

As we all know, Dawn is rarely actually a laid-back individual. This book is indeed one of those times where she defies her chapter 2 characteristics and is anything but laid-back.

This is a Dawn-in-Palo City book. I happen to enjoy reading about Palo City a fair amount. I am a big California Diaries fan. Thus, this is a book I reread fairly frequently. There are so many crazy things in this book, starting with the laid-back lack of school bells! OMG! I went to school on the East Coast and never had bells either, but I digress.

First moment of craziness–the W<3KC gets famous! They are in the newspaper and on TV! Dawn has a laugh like pealing bells! Kristy gets really jealous. Oh, Kristy. Kristy is pretty annoying in this book, so I don't want to focus on this part too much. Basically, despite the fact that the BSC has more business than they can handle, Kristy wants to equal, if not better, the W<3KC media attention.

But the W<3KC can't handle it! They are too disorganized! Dawn steers them in the right direction, starting with an appointment book for the CORRECT YEAR.

In this book we also get to spend more time with Carol Olson. Dawn’s newfound respect for Carol from California Girls! flies out the window when Jack and Carol announce their engagement. Dawn sees it necessary to steal her dad’s credit card, book a flight to Connecticut out of LAX, and rechristen herself “Marisol.” Lo and behold, she is not welcomed with open arms in Stoneybrook. Dawn=delusional. Mary Anne=rocking an LL Bean nightgown.

If I had done this at thirteen I would have been in such deep shit. If I did this at 22 I would still be in deep shit. All Dawn has to do is work back the cost of the plane ticket–a nice large sum, to be sure, but still.

Dawn’s punishment, however, is not mentioned in any subsequent book. It’s possible she worked it off fast, what with all the extra baby-sitting jobs the W<3KC got after their media blitz, but still.

Dawn’s actions also cause Jack and Carol to break off their engagement. Poor Carol. I would feel so bad if my future stepdaughter flew across the country to get away from me.

But don’t worry, she always pulls herself up to the top of heap. I still don’t really understand what that means. Jeff doesn’t either.

So yeah, this book pretty much encourages children to steal from their parents if they don’t like their future stepparents. After all, the punishment won’t carry over into the next book and you’ll totally get what you want: a break up! Yay!

For next time: Mallory Pike, #1 Fan.

Usually, despite the fact that they are books intended for children, the BSC do not really set good examples. While they are kind toward old ladies and all that other do-gooder crap that makes me kind of nauseous when I read them, they do a lot of really stupid things. Like not tell their parents when they’re being stalked by a maniac, or thinking that it’s fine to go through life spelling like a first grader, or that having, like, seven boyfriends before you graduate from the eighth grade is totally normal.

Everyone once in a while, there is something in the books that just really rings true and runs through my head when I’m dealing with that situation. While I try to keep my personal life separate from this site as much as possible, I want to share this quote because seriously, I think about it all the time. Maybe even in daily.

From Dawn on the Coast:

It’d be nice if Mom were here, I found myself thinking. If she were a part of things, playing cards with me, puttering around the patio. And wouldn’t it be great if the doorbell rang and it was Mary Anne, just dropping by for a visit. What I wanted was to be able to share all the things I loved with all the people I loved. I imagined Nicky Pike out here holing up in a new, California hiding place. Maybe in the crawl space between the bushes. Maybe in the cave down by the creek.

While perhaps I don’t need my mom around all the time–visiting distance is fine–and there are no baby-sitting charges for me to weirdly pine after, well, I think that in these days where hardly anyone stays in the town in which they grew up and your best friend in third grade probably moved away in fourth, this quote is something that makes Dawn, and her bicoastal craziness, more understandable and easy to relate to as a character. There are so many people I want around me, experiencing things with me, and they’re so far away that I need to think really really hard about when I can call them, or spend thousands of dollars on plane tickets and visas to go visit them. And it’s rough, dude. I understand Dawn’s Big Moves so well now. Sometimes I can even justify that thing where she steals her dad’s credit card and stuff, but homegirl had some BALLS committing a crime!

So yeah. That’s what I’ve been thinking about.

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