the best friends you’ll never have

Browsing in Stacey McGill

Stacey and the Missing Ring is a book I misplaced years ago. I had always wanted to reread it, because although I remembered that Stacey was accused of stealing a ring and everything and the people she stole it from were pretty fancy, I didn’t really remember much else.

Well, I got a chance to reread it a few days ago. Usually, I’m a big Stacey supporter. When other people talk shit about her, I defend her. I can often relate to her better than most of the other characters. But in this book, the girl is just spoiled. She demands that her mother buy her a diamond ring!!!!!!!! At 13!!!!!!!!! (LUCA VOICE!) She thinks that her mother is TOTALLY UNFAIR to not want to buy her this ring, and insists that her dad totally would, making her mom feel shitty for having less money than her dad. I mean, usually when people are all, “Stacey is a bitch,” I can see where Stacey’s coming from. But this “BUY ME A DIAMOND RING” thing seems pretty out of left field for Stacey, who totally could have had that purple suede fringe jacket from Betsey Johnson (I can just imagine the price tag! More evidence that Mr. McGill=up there with Watson Brewer in terms of wealth), but went with sunglasses instead. And here she is just so spoiled and demanding.

Of course, this whole diamond ring-thing is plot device to make Stacey seem suspicious. While coincidences like that happen all the time in everyday life, in fiction they seem contrived. Another thing that seems contrived is the “OMG NO ONE IS CALLING US BECAUSE OF SOMETHING BAD A SITTER DID,” which also happened in Mary Anne Breaks the Rules. No guys, everyone just randomly went on vacation!!

Another thing that sucks about this book: the Gardellas are wacky! They love their pets more than their daughter! Yet this whole plot point never goes anywhere. No sign of the crazy for real, just “oh look, the cat eats on the table, ho-hum.” What a waste of comic potential! They could have at least had some weird crazy secret or something.

Also, there is no real subplot of this book. Just a sort-of rehashing of the Phantom Caller plot, where the girls get scared while baby-sitting. Jessi robber-proofs the house.

I feel like that for the first branded mystery, they should have done something… better. Not just Stacey being spoiled and stuff that happens multiple other times in the series–although in defense of The Powers That Be, Mary Anne Breaks the Rules was published later. But it still feels like “Well, this aspect of the plot has certainly been done to death in other books in the series.” Overall, it was just disappointing. It may rank up there in the pantheon of my all-time, least favorite BSC books.

Has there ever been a BSC book that you haven’t read in a long time, and were super excited to reread, and then it just fell completely flat?

One of the major themes of the series is thirteen as a turning point, the age where one is Grown Up. You can baby-sit at night. You can go steady. You don’t ask your parents for help in 95% of the cases where you really, really should. Mallory and Jessi see thirteen as the magic age where they will get sparkly sweatshirts, contacts, and nose jobs. Shannon Kilbourne even titles the essay that frames her portion of the The Baby-Sitters Remember “Thirteen,” which is a sort-of coming of age story.

Apart from the whole “no sitting at night” thing, Mallory and Jessi actually have a fair amount of autonomy for eleven year olds, especially by today’s Helicopter Parents standard. How many eleven year olds do you know, for instance, who go to New York City to visit a boyfriend? How many eleven year olds are allowed to spend a weekend baby-sitting their siblings? (Sorry, Jessi, but I have to agree with Aunt Cecelia on that one. That’s just plain illegal.)

So one would assume that, despite all the whining from Mal and Jessi, that being eleven in Stoneybrook doesn’t really suck that much. Parents are more than lenient. Despite the fact that the Pikes have nixed the nose job idea, Mallory has more independence than would be considered prudent by commentors on parenting blogs, even the “hip” ones. But the same cannot be said for Mallory and Jessi’s peers. It is, in fact, one of the great mysteries of the BSC.

When we are first introduced to their characters, Tiffany Kilbourne is a sitter and Ben Hobart is Mallory’s Australian doppelganger/boyfriend. (Kind of creepy, if you ask me.) Yet somehow, over the course of the series, they are both on the receiving end of maturity downgrades. Rather than being pissed that the BSC has stolen her and Shannon’s sitting “territory,” Tiffany becomes part of the territory and becomes a BSC client. And Ben shows up at events that the BSC are running/involved with, and there is no mention of the fact that Ben and Mallory go out sometimes.

Sometime after December 1994 (Ben and Mallory have a fight about carolling in SS12), Ben and Mal’s relationship fizzles out. Perhaps all of the fighting about carolling and card catalog usage got to him. He shows up at the Greenbrook Club bathing cap contest. He plays an innkeeper in the church Christmas pageant and pisses off Mallory because he adlibs some Faux-stralian flavor into his lines. There is never any mention that hey, at one time, Ben and Mallory might have looked deeply into each other’s glasses and held each other’s sweaty palms. No, all has been forgotten–the scars from those card catalog/carolling fights go too deep. He is excised from Mal’s Chapter Two segments. The first cut is the deepest, indeed.

Ben has a chance to redeem himself after Mal’s Spaz Girl nervous breakdown, however. He is seen saying that he has tried to reach out to Mallory, but she doesn’t seem very receptive. No, Ben, your flames of love died out long ago. It happened while you were decorating your bathing cap to look like a shark attack.

Tiffany Kilbourne never gets a similar shot of redemption. She becomes a client and stays a client. Sometimes, I think, her age is even downgraded to ten. She’s eleven in The Complete Guide, but I swear she’s mentioned as ten in some places. Anyone with a citation, hit me up in the comments.

Then, in Claudia and the Recipe for Danger, we actually have a twelve-year-old pretty much being sat for by the eleven and thirteen-year-old sitters. He is the second Tyler in the Kids Kitchen thing, and no one ever really notes WHY there’s a twelve-year-old there, and he doesn’t do much. But it’s still alarming.

My conclusion is that really, Mal and Jessi seem to be the only eleven-year-olds in Stoneybrook who are afforded such responsibility. Perhaps if Ben had been smart like Logan (never thought I’d type the phrase “smart like Logan,” BUT SEE WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO ME, GHOSTWRITERS?!), and become an associate member, he could have kept his lady and his adult-ish status. It seems like being in the BSC is the ticket to maturity, and will help you avoid all of the potential pitfalls of adolescence, like acne, gum-chewing, trying cigarettes, and hiding those tiny bottles of wine in your flop socks. Look at what happened to Stacey and Dawn once they leave the comforting bosom of the BSC for Bad Girl-ism and California! Would Dawn have gone to a restaurant that served “more than just tea” (AKA HEAD SHOP IN THE BACK, DUDES) if she were still living with Mary Anne? Of course not.

The time warp works in mysterious ways. It can make you age so that you seem ahead of your years (everyone in the BSC). It can make you age backwards (Tiffany and Ben). Stoneybrook, Connecticut. An idyllic suburb of Stamford, a convenient train ride away from New York City straight into the heart of… THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

UPDATE: Not even bodily injury can stop Ashley from sharing her vast BSC knowledge. Thank you, Ashley!:

From #70, Stacey and the Cheerleaders:
Shannon nodded. “She missed the Terrible Twos. Instead she’s having the Terrible Tens. Even her teachers are complaining.” (p.23)
Tiffany is a ten-year-old version of Shannon – physically, at least. (p.60)

But in #112, Kristy and the Sister War, Tiffany is 11 again, though she is still getting sat for.

There are certain things which happen with regularity in children’s series about middle schoolers aimed at young girls that do not really happen in real life all that often. Here is a but a short list, culled from readings of The Baby-Sitters Club and GirlTalk. Other tropes or other series/tv shows in which these things happen are welcome and encouraged in the comments.

Since there is usually at least one main character who breathtakingly beautiful (while also being intelligent and modest), modeling is a good, exciting plot to turn to. Because what young girl doesn’t want to be judged solely on her looks? GirlTalk blew this wad early, in the third book of the series, The New You. Allison Cloud models after being selected in a Belle modeling search. She could have gone on to have a real modeling career, but the she wouldn’t have time to read 100 books over summer vacation.

Stacey was so pretty that Scholastic felt justified in using this plot twice. The first was in the tv show, where Stacey was selected to model for Bellair’s and also could have gone on to have a big career, but chose baby-sitting instead. Much more glamorous. Then in Stacey and the Fashion Victim, she participates in Stoneybrook’s Fashion Week. Yeah.

Another important plot point is that the only other girl in the modeling group that your modeling character knows is the sworn enemy of the series’ main clique. Stacy Hansen in GT, Cokie Mason in BSC. They’re bitches, and they’re beautiful.

A fun twist to this plot is that in Stacey and the Bad Girls, Stacey is rejected as a model, for being “too commercial.” What, perms aren’t edgy?!

Beauty Pageants.
When I think of beauty pageants, I think of Delta Burke and Bravo’s series Toddlers and Tiaras. And the South. But in middle grade girls’ fiction, geography knows no bounds. Every town has a beauty pageant, and every girl wants to enter. Now, since sometimes the BSC takes on a feminist slant, in the BSC beauty pageant plot, it’s clients who are entering, and Mal and Jessi form the beauty pageant opposition.

But in the GirlTalk book Beauty Queens, Allison and Sabrina both enter and it’s a big fucking deal and stuff. I don’t remember what Allison’s talent was–reading? I think Sabrina gets Miss Congeniality. Whatever. I haven’t read that book in ten years.

Synchronized Swimming.
Have you ever done synchronized swimming? No? Well, in middle school book girl world, schools have synchronized swimming teams. Wtih costumes. And underwater stereo systems. Perhaps there were editors out there with Esther Williams fantasies. Again, it’s our Allison who does this sport, in Allison, Shape Up!. Jessi, our ballerina, gets this plot in Jessi’s Gold Medal. Of course, these girls take to “synchro” (that’s what the cool kids call it) and win medals and shit. But because it’d be too boring a plot to include in chapter 2s, no matter how good at synchro-ing your heroine is, it’s always a one-book deal.

Horseback Riding.
According to movies and tv shows and books, before girls love boys, they love horses. Randy, because she likes to be surprising, had this plot in GirlTalk. Surprisingly, it was a multi-book arc for her. The other girls tried it, but sucked. Mallory also tried it, and naturally sucked. Mallory and the Dream Horse is easily one of the most snarkable books of the series. Who can forget Mallory, dressed like she is from the 1965 Sears and Roebuck catalog, hanging out at a cool rich kid’s birthday party where everyone else is dressed like they are auditioning for “Kids Incorporated”?

Poor Mom, Rich New Dad.
Is your mom a harried, overworked, lonely single mother? Have no fear, because soon a really rich dude will walk into her life, marry her after like a week of dating, and soon you will all be moving to an awesome mansion, which you will have to share with your new stepsiblings. If you’re a main character in a middle grade book series, at least. Both Katie Campbell and Kristy Thomas watched as their moms were swept off their feet, and soon they had to leave the little houses they had known all their lifes for mansions. Oh noes. Katie’s new stepdad’s mansion is way cooler than Watson’s, if you didn’t read GirlTalk. It has an elevator, an indoor pool, and is fully staffed. I want to go to there.

The Baby-Sitters Club is rife with examples of glaring violations of child labor laws. Logan works as a busboy at the Road Spud. Laine poohs baby-sitting in favor of working as a cashier at Flowers and Bows, the boutique on the Upper East Side (or West? Please, someone with Stacey’s Ex-Best Friend handy, let me know!). Stacey works at Kid Center in Bellairs.

But in later books, someone seems to have sent Scholastic a memo saying, hey, THAT IS ILLEGAL. Sunny says that Ducky is the only friend of hers who can work at Winslow Books, because he is sixteen. Maureen Spencer says that none of Stacey’s friends can work at her new, as yet unopened store, since they’re not old enough. While in many ways the series got more unrealistic as time went on (oh hai princess in Stoneybrook and field trips to Europe), when it got to be CA Diaries/FF time, things seem to have become more realistic. Nothing in the plots of either series are as outlandish as things often found in later BSC.

Another thing I noticed in my reread of Stacey’s Problem: Samantha is one glamorous woman. She is a former model turned fashion photographer. Now, this kind of woman is not going to date just some normal guy. I would imagine that she would probably end up with someone high-powered and rich, because that is the kind of person she would come across in her work. We’re told over and over again that Watson is Very Rich, yet Stacey buys all her clothes at Bloomingdales (which is not cheap–Stacey is rocking the cost equivalent of Marc by Marc Jacobs in eighth grade), she went to a fancy private school in Manhattan, they had an apartment overlooking Central Park, Ed takes Stacey to fancy restaurants and Broadway plays all the damn time. So how come the obvious was never stated, that Stacey is very wealthy as well, in addition to being sophisticated? It seems odd to mention Kristy’s wealth in every Chapter 2 and not say anything about Stacey’s.

One of the complaints about Friends Forever is that people don’t like the fight between Claudia or Stacey, especially since they were fighting over a boy who seems pretty boring and non-descript. One of the great friendships of children’s literature, and they let some guy whose distinguishing characteristic is a leather shoelace worn around his wrist come between them?

While rereading Claudia and the Friendship Feud recently, a question popped into my mind. Who did I side with: Claudia or Stacey? It’s a hard question. Claudia feels that Stacey stole her boyfriend, except that he never was her boyfriend. Stacey feels that since Jeremy admitted that he had no feelings for Claudia, but that he did have feelings for Stacey, that she should be free to go for him.

On the one hand, it goes against “girl code” that a friend would go after a guy she knew you liked. On the other, it would be selfish of Claudia to stand in the way of Stacey’s happiness when there was, according to Jeremy, no chance that he would develop feelings to Claudia (although this proved not to be true later).

The best answer I can come up with to this question is that there is no black-and-white, true answer. Stacey was wrong to go after a guy Claudia liked, BUT it is also not really fair, in my opinion, to expect Stacey to not go after someone she liked–and who liked her back–just because Claudia said she liked him first. Is there no other boy at Stoneybrook Middle School? And I don’t like how Claudia sees it as “Stacey stole my boyfriend” when HE WAS NEVER HER BOYFRIEND.

Opinions? Who do you side with?

There are several character-memes in the BSC fandom, and one of them is “Stacey is a ho.” I.e., you will find Stacey underneath the bleachers sucking off the basketball team LOL. I have always found these meme to be unfair and distasteful. Yes, as we saw in Stacey and the Boyfriend Trap, Stacey sure has had a lot of boyfriends for an eighth grader. But to be fair, Stace was in eighth grade for a very long time. (Oooh, another fandom meme!) Really, is it so hard to believe that someone who is smart, attractive, and pretty damn nice would be attractive to the opposite sex? And wouldn’t have a hard time finding a boyfriend (or seven)?

SOmeone on the BSC boards, however, pointed out that they didn’t really like the message that it sent that Stacey moved right on from one serious relationship (Robert Brewster) to another (Ethan Carroll). This criticism kind of threw me for a loop, because I’ve done the same thing. I am what a women’s magazine would call a serial monogamist. I don’t have one night stands. I date people for about two years, and enter into a relationship state known as being Brooklyn-married. The longest time since I’ve been seriously dating that I’ve gone without some sort of romantic attachment: two weeks. Shortest: twelve hours. So as you can see, for me Stacey’s serial monogamy that occurs later in the series doesn’t strike me as odd at all, and I never even thought to fret about the messages that Stacey’s boy-attachment sends to young, impressionable readers.

Then, like in Beavis and Butt-head when their very small and ineffectual brains begin working, a dim, small lightbulb appeared above my head. Out of all the BSC members, Stacey is the one whose family situation most resembles my own. My dad has always worked a lot, my parents got divorced, and he found his own Samantha Young while my mother is still single. I can say, easily, that things that are easy for my friends with parents in loving stable relationships (getting over things, breaking up with someone), are very difficult or near impossible for me. I then began to think about some of the other members of the BSC, and their attitudes toward men and relationship.

Mary Anne, Jessi, and Claudia are probably the healthiest. Jessi’s parents seem to have a really great relationship, and Squirt is still a toddler so you know their marriage is still Hot. Jessi is usually pretty level-headed, and she tells Quint where to go when he wants to take their relationship further and more serious than she is comfortable with at age eleven.

As far as Mary Anne goes, well, my hatred for Logan is still strong. Despite her meekness, Mary Anne is able to stand up for herself and dump the dead weight and bossiness to rival Kristy Thomas that is Logan Bruno. Yeah, she takes him back a few books later, after he promises to smother her less, but she finally realizes that Logan is not the guy for her in Mary Anne’s Big Breakup. She knows that she needs to be her own person, and having Logan Bruno around will hinder that. It is easy to criticize Richard Spier for being nerdy and over-protective, but I think that Richard, especially later Richard, is one of the BSC parents who is actually the most tuned-in and active in their kid’s life. It was Richard’s help, after all, that Mary Anne recognized that she needed to dump Logan–for good this time. Even her friends in the BSC blew her off, but Richard recognized that the relationship wasn’t really working for Mary Anne anymore.

Claudia is someone who should be on the same boy-attractiveness plain as Stacey, but she doesn’t even have a boyfriend who’s not a Vacation Boyfriend until Mark Jaffe. Janine dumps her Hottie Boyfriend Jerry and have her pine after her for the rest of the series. Go Janine! The Kishis, like the Ramseys, have a really strong marriage.

On the divorce side, we also have Kristy and Dawn. While many pin Kristy as a lesbian, I don’t think that not caring about clothes and a love for sports automatically defines someone as a lesbian. Kristy manages to keep Bart as her sort-of boyfriend until Kristy + Bart = ?. Bart gets fresh (Peter Lerangis’s memorable makeout scene!), Kristy freaks out. Kristy realizes that she is not ready for that kind of action yet. Some people read this as Kristy will NEVER be ready for this kind of action if a penis is attached, but I think that might not be necessarily true. I think it has far more to do with the fact that her father abandoned her. Kristy: probably should go to therapy now that she has a millionaire stepdad who can afford it.

Finally, we have Dawn. Dawn is one of the more contradictory characters in the BSC, and perhaps in children’s literature as a whole. We are told over and over that Dawn is such an individual, but yet she often changes her California Casual self to satisfy what she perceives as what other people would like. The two most glaring examples of this involve boys: Travis and Lewis. Dawn did everything Travis told her, because she thought that Travis liked her and if she cut her hair and pierced her ears again that he would like her even more. And then she made that kind of psychotic-sounding phone call–”I was already a beauty!” And for Lewis, Dawn did that weird makeover/personality transplant, and then immediately went back to Old Dawn when he revealed that he liked Old Dawn more. Insecurity stemming from the fact that her parents, who for most of her life seemed to be happy and loving, very suddenly got divorced and her family was ripped in half? It’s the only explanation I can come up with that makes sense.

I am sure that there are people with divorced parents who are OK with relationships, and people with happily-married parents who are messed up about them, for various life factors. But it sure does seem to be an explanation for a lot of what goes in BSC lovelife land.

Until I was about sixteen, I lived in my own head a lot, daydreaming about what I wanted to happen in my life. The BSC don’t seem to do that much, except in Chapter 2s where one of girls is riding their bicycle on the way to a meeting and thinking really, really hard about their friends and almost crashes into a telephone pole.

I suppose my tendency to drift into a fantasy world, especially when I was thirteen, was because I had no friends. Perhaps my tendency to fantasize had more to do with that than age. Perhaps the lack of daydreaming in the BSC (except for thinking about their awesome friends) has to do with their active social lives organizing carnivals for children and having sort-of boyfriends.

But then when I really think about it, it’s Claudia and Stacey, the coolest (arguably) members of the BSC, who daydream the most. My favorite fantasy sequence in BSC, the one that inspired this whole post, is the one in Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls where Claudia imagines a situation where she and Trevor are on a field trip to a place with a garden maze, and they find a secret door in the garden and it turns into a winter wonderland and it is very romantic. It is exactly the kind of stupid thing I would have imagined at that age. I also like it because it seems like it would lead into a very strange magical pornographic film.

Stacey usually dreams about future careers and money, so hers aren’t as funny. Stacey in a red convertible! Stacey the famous movie director!

Do I just have a selective memory? Did the other girls daydream more frequently than I remember? Was I just a loser nerd with no friends? (Yes.)

Stacey and the Bad Girls happens to be one of my all-time favorite BSC books. It might in fact be my #1, but I haven’t really considered this question thoroughly yet. Anyway, this book, if you’re one of those people who missed out on the later series, takes place after Stacey vs the BSC, where Stacey is kicked out of/quits the BSC, depending on whether you ask Kristy or Stacey. Stacey realized that maybe there is life outside of baby-sitting, and starts running with a different crowd. She starts skipping BSC meetings and sitting jobs to go to dates at places like Pizza Express and Burger Town, and throws a blowout party and only invites Claudia. Stacey is BSC history.

So in this book Stacey has these cool new friends, who are into things like nose jewelry and like to come over every day, watch MTV, and eat. Stacey’s mother thinks that it is time for Stacey to get a job. Hi, Mrs. McGill. Let me introduce you to a little something called “child labor laws.” (Paging the Rosebud Cafe.) There is very little for a thirteen-year-old to do except baby-sit, and as someone who was kicked out of the BSC, there aren’t really any baby-sitting jobs for Stacey to do. Stacey’s mom gets her a job at the Kid Center at Bellairs, which I kind of think is illegal, but moving on. Stacey’s cool new job gets her an employee discount, so her cool new friends use her and squeeze some money out of Bellairs, while also shoplifting paperback books. OMG.

All hell breaks loose when Stacey and her friends go to a U4Me concert. They sneak in miniature bottles of wine in their flop socks. Stacey and her new friends are no more. And Stacey doesn’t even get to see the one and only Aristotle Dukas in person. It’s very tragic.

Stacey is let back into the BSC. Good for her, I guess.

The one thing I don’t like about this book is the annoying subplot. Sharon Spier’s cousins are dropping off their six-year-old daughter for two weeks while they go to Europe. Um, yeah. Apparently the dad did not get along with Jack Schafer, so they were estranged or something. So these model parents are dropping off their daughter Amy with people she’s never seen before while they gallivant around Europe for two weeks. Obviously this does work out well, and Amy is really annoying and runs away to… the Bellairs Kid Center. Where Stacey happens to be working. It’s a bit awkward, since Stacey hasn’t made up with Dawn and Mary Anne. It’s hard to forgive a friend who spies on you from behind a jukebox.

One of the most notable things about this book is that it feels the most concurrent with its time, somehow. Now that Stacey has left the BSC, she is free to be a slightly more average teenager, so a lot of this book is filled with MTV-watching. There is talk of grunge, and flannel, and fashion that does not involve papier-mache. Stacey is hanging out with the cool kids, so we get to learn all about the mid-90s from a fashion perspective that does not inhaling paint fumes.

Stacey does not, however, live up to her sophisticated Chapter Two trait in this book. She dresses kind of dorky, bringing a white cardigan sweater to the U4Me concert. She also is hoodwinked by those “friends” of hers. Oh, Stacey. You’re the most sophisticated of the BSC, but it seems as if that is not a very large accomplishment.

I have a file on my computer where I paste funny quotes from the books. Here’s one from Mary Anne and Too Many Boys:

We all walked down to the water’s edge, and I noticed that Stacey and Toby never took their eyes off each other. Stacey seemed thrilled to see Toby again, but I reminded myself that she had acted exactly the same way around Pierre, a boy we met at a ski lodge. And there’d been Scott, the Sea City lifeguard, too. Toby was at the top of the list for the moment, but who knew if it would last?

Yes, MA basically calls Stacey a slut here, despite the fact that MA herself forgot she was going out with Logan when she saw Alex! Why are you so judgmental, Spier? Stacey’s a free agent and can ogle as many boys as she wants!

The Miss BSC Pageant is close to showing which BSC book is the most popular, and Stacey books and Mallory books predominate. The Stacey-Goes-Bad arc (which consists of Stacey and the Cheerleaders, Stacey’s Lie, Stacey vs the BSC, and Stacey and the Bad Girls), which happens to be my favorite, seems to be especially popular. What makes this arc so popular?

  • It’s markedly different from the rest of the series. No one else in the club, besides maybe Abby at the very end, seems to question the value of the BSC in their lives and the overbearing way Kristy runs things. This is the first time someone says, “Forgoing a social life for the sake some bratty kids kind of sucks.”
  • Boys! Cute boys! Romance!
  • The grunge fashion and U4Me, I think, really brings us all back to those mid-nineties. The 80s outfits are before my time (I’m a 2nd generation reader), but the 90s ones I can actually remember.
  • Not so much focus on the baby-sitting plotline. Yes, there is a stupid talent show in Stacey vs the BSC, but this is only memorable for how Stacey totally betrayed Charlotte Johanssen due to fallout from her totally awesome boy/girl party.
  • The Bad Girls are so wild! They wear black lipstick and sneak liquor into concerts! It reminds me of this time I was reading Teen Magazine in like, sixth grade, and they did a big first-person story on some girl who tried to sneak wine coolers into a concert and her car was pulled over and she was totally taken to the station. That story put me off wanting to try drinking for at least like, three months.
  • Again, I think the main point is that this arc finally addresses what we’re all thinking–baby-sitting kind of blows, so why do these girls never try having a normal teenage existence?

    Sadly, after Bad Girls, we get the Stacey of Stacey McGill, Super Sitter who wants to be the best BSC member ever. Luckily, once Dawn moves back to CA and CA Diaries begins, we once again get to see a member of the BSC who also is over the BSC and its strict ordinances. And Dawn? That girl never goes back to her old ways. For me that more than makes up the butchering the ghostwriters did to Dawn’s character after the first thirty or so books.

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