Tuesday, March 21, 2006

We are baby-sitters, not magical flying boys; or, BSC #12: Claudia and the New Girl

So, I totally loved this book the first time around, even though I’m not entirely sure why. Was it my artist phase? Maybe. Had I recently split with friends? Maybe? Anyway…

Enter Ashley Wyeth (no relation to Andrew Wyeth, Claudia asked). She dresses like a hippie, always wears work boots, has three holes in each ear (and wears different earrings in each hole, because ANM is obsessed with that particular fashion statement) and is an ARTIST. In Chicago, where she used to live, she studied at the very, very prestigious/famous/selective Keyes Art Society, and she has no time for anything but her art. And she thinks Claudia has talent (and for some reason, I keep hearing Dr. Allan Pearl say, “I do, indeed, have talent”).

So, of course Claud gets a MAJOR girl crush on her and pretty much blows off school, babysitting and the BSC. She and Ms. Art School (“I think that the secret of sculpting inanimate objects is making them look animated”) start spending tons of time together “in the field” looking for inspiration for a sculpture exhibit. Ashley picks a fire hydrant that’s “almost noble,” and suggests that Claudia either pick another inanimate object or sculpt a concept, none of which appeals to Claudia…finally, Claudia snaps and realizes that she’s not ready to commit all her time to Ashley and art, and reconciles with the BSC. And manages to get an honorable mention for a half finished bust of Little Pete. And manages to patch things up to friendly acquaintance with the Ice Queen.

Secondary plot: Jeff starts getting into trouble and it interferes with Dawn’s baby-sitting.

You know, for being “the best friends you’ll ever have” and for being “so different it is amazing,” the BSC can be ultra-mega bitches to any outsiders. Sure, the have non-BSC friends that only show up when the club is fighting, or someone needs to have a tragedy, or a date, or a class project…you get the idea. And sure, Ashley’s a mini-version of the 80s archetypal superbitch who’s so focused on her career at the expense of everything else in her life, but the girls didn’t exactly jump to welcome her…And they get sooooo petty when a club member steps out of their prescribed position (Mary Anne’s makeover, anyone?). They eat and mess with Claud’s stash, and then leave nasty little notes all over her room…Seriously, girls…whatever happened to starting rumors on the bathroom walls or public humiliation?

Oh, and the fashion? They keep mentioning how super WEIRD Ashley dresses. The girls who admire Claudia’s ridiculous combinations think a girl dressing a little hippie is weird. Now, I’m not big on the hippie love, but I subscribed to YM in late 80s, and the hippie look was in, big time. You have to wonder: don’t these girls ever see any older teens? Kids back from college? There have to be a few Ivy Leaguers home for the summers; this is a rather well off town in Connecticut. Also, Claudia’s “sophisticated” look: “a very short pink cotton dress, white tights, and black ballet slippers…hair way over to one side where it was held in place with a piece of pink cloth that matched the dress.” Um, sounds like a five-year-old going to Sunday school, to me. Now, maybe with black tights, it would have been fairly Edie, but white tights?

Plus, Ashley? Shut up. Thanks.


PoBaL said...

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay, it's back!
For some reason, I never read this one, but I always wanted to.
Maybe the Wilkinsburg Public Library didn't have it or something.
(I read the BSC in the years where I was old enough to walk to the local library by myself, but not old enough to bus to Squirrel Hill or Main, and wouldn't be caught dead getting a to-the-library ride.)

Anonymous said...

Hey you got linked on Jane Magazine's website! http://www.janemag.com/yournews/blogs/guest

IalwaysgettobeStacey said...

Umm, I love this one. I was actually just thinking about it the other day.
You were linked on Gawker and I followed it over- I'll be reading this blog every day.

IalwaysgettobeStacey said...

A message from the reader request line:
Could you review the one with Mallory and those obnoxious twins who have to dress alike and then she takes them to the mall and gives them makeovers? The makeover issues made my ten-year old world spin.

Library Lady said...


Can I just say that this is the most fantastic thing I've seen in a long time!
You're fantastic.
This blog is fantastic.
The BSC was/is fantastic.

As a fellow librarian, I was also extactic to see Mary Anne (my favorite--what's better than "Mary Anne vs. Logan"?) gracing the shelves again.

Three cheers for you!

Rebecca said...

OMG this is SO exciting! My sister and I read these books like crazy when we were kids...What a great idea!

cara said...

I had a dream about the BSC the other night. Probably due to the Nyquil. Anyway, they were up to #228 and it was one about Dawn.

Sara said...

I remember reading this one, and the picture on the cover of that weird Ashley girl holding Claudia's hand was just too creepy.

That said, I wanted to have her 3 ear piercings. Damn!

Claudia's my fave said...

Yay - I love you and I'm jealous I didn't think of doing the same thing.

Wasn't Claudia also sculpting a hand? Maybe Mimi's?

That is what is called "dropping some 10 year old knowledge". Thank you.

Abbey said...

Seriously, this is THE best! (FYI: found this on VH1's Best Week Ever Blog.)

I wish I still had some of my BSC books! Read them all!!! I can't WAIT to read this everyday!!

Great Idea!!!

tiff said...

To echo everyone else, this rocks.

Plus, your name is Tiff. Ditto!

Miss Scarlet said...

I remember this one! I hate it when she describe's Claudia's hair as being parted "way over on the side" ugh, it sounds ridiculous.

Cari said...

Holy crap. Why didn't I think of this blog first? You rock. My favorite has got to be the SuperEdition when they went to summer camp and Mary Ann writes Logan that cheesy-ass love letter to impress her bitchy tentmates.

Anonymous said...

i'm new to the blog, and going through the archives. while i've enjoyed everything i've read, i was compelled to leave a comment on THIS post b/c of the phrase "could have been fairly edie"

edie references ALWAYS get an A+ in my book.

well done!

Anonymous said...

I remember this one. Didn't they short sheet her bed? Real mature...
I love love love this blog!

Natty said...

Nice WFG reference! "One happy squaw in wigwam!"

Melissa said...

Wouldn't Betsy's mom be responcible for Claudia's injeries and hospital bill? Was that even discussed in the book? Did she even act concern for Claudia's accident that her bratty child commited before she freaking called up the club and asked for another sitter?

Can we say Bitch?

linainverse5 said...

was the babysitter's club being such bitches to claudia
i mean
what is wrong with having friends outside of the club
not to mention mary anne and kristy were friends with the shillabars twins
claudia and stacey were friends with erica and pete
dawn was new of course
but yeah
besides there wasnt anything wrong with having an artist friend
who at least gave you a compliment
and who loves art as much as you do
those girls are such jealous bitches
its no wonder stacey left their ass

Jennifer said...

Haha, I love reading your blog as much as I loved reading BSC when I was 9 and finally coming to these same realizations. And OMG the outfits! I tried copying them and thinking, sadly, "I'll never be this cool". Oh the memories.