Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A triple-emergency club meeting; or, BSC #3: The Truth About Stacey

The truth about Stacey is…she sucks? I’m still not sure what the title of this monstrosity refers to. We all found out about her diabetes in the first book; even her ex-(but soon to be current again)best friend Laine knows by this point. Is the truth that her parents are in DENIAL? Cause wouldn’t that be The Truth About Stacey’s Parents? Is it that she cares about the BSC and doesn’t want to have no friends? I don’t understand you, Ann. Why can’t your titles make more sense? Sure, some of them are blunt to the tune of big brick. But others just mystify me.

So, in this book we find out that Stacey was diagnosed with diabetes soon after Stacey’s parents found out that they couldn’t have another kid. So, they spend all their time and money trying new doctors for Stacey. Which she hates. Cause it uproots her life and she misses tons of school. We also get some more details about…[yawn[…when Stacey first got sick. We also learn that Stacey never told Laine because her parents kept it a secret, and this whole thing makes no sense whatsoever. They’re all ashamed or something? So, none of them rely on their BEST FRIENDS for help or support or company in the hospital. I just don’t get it.

So, this is all happening in the background, because the main plot here, despite what the title may lead you to believe, is that the BSC have some serious competition for sitting business in Stoneybrook. The Baby-sitters Agency have lots of older sitters and can stay out late. Run by two 8th graders who kind of work as a staffing agency, the agency connects parents with sitters. So, the BSC start losing their favorite clients to this new business. In response, they develop Kid-Kits (an actually cool idea), and they decide to recruit some new, older (13-year-old) members. Which is a bust, cause the Baby-sitters Agency sends moles to sabotage the BSC. Which is both predictable and kinda funny, cause Kristy gets snowed. Anyway, the BSC persevere and beat the Agency by not being irresponsible sluts that smoke. And by not being typical high school girls.

And Stacey, with the help of Dr. Johanssen, finally convinces her parents to lay off the doctors. And she makes up with Laine. So everything’s coming up Stacey. And, as my brother so succinctly noted, this whole thing makes no sense. What kind of plot was this?

Okay, a few funny notes from an otherwise bleak moment of my reading:

+You know the girls are “bad” cause they chew gum all the time. Oops, I guess I’m “bad.”

+The BSC think that high school seniors are DYING for baby-sitting jobs instead of, say, slopping out Orange Juliuses [I’ve never had to spell that before.] at the Washington Mall. Or any other job you can get that pays more than like, $3 an hour that you can get once you turn 16.

+New York is sooooo expensive. This “expensive,” in fact:

“A small Tab [heh!] and a small popcorn, please,” I said.

“That’ll be a dollar seventy-five,” replied the boy behind the counter.

I gulped. I’d forgotten how expensive things were in New York. At the theatre in Stoneybrook, you can get a soda and popcorn for ninety-five cents.”

Yeah, right. Maybe in the 70s. But I’m pretty sure, even in Connecticut in the late 80s, theatre treats were more than that. Like $3 bucks, which is what I vaguely recall from ice rink concession stand with “Push It” blasting through the PA…ahh, please excuse the flashback…Rick Astley…[SLAP!] Right. Sorry. Suffice it to say that this seems a little cheap, even for 1986. Correct me if I’m wrong, though.

+Okay, the major “fashion” thing that stood out for me in this book is a Stacey moment, not a Claudia one. So, as examples of “unusual” and presumably sophisticated clothes and accessories, Stacey mentions:

“the dinosaur on my beret, red sneakers covered with beads and glitter, leg warmers covered with footprints, plastic butterflies in my hair. For two week in New York I even wore red lace gloves with no fingertips.” Now, with the exception of the gloves, those are all pretty, well, standard 80s fare. In fact, one might think that a number of them were pretty…juvenile. Not particularly wild or sophisticated. And the gloves? Give me one girl over the age of 2 in the mid 80s that didn’t try to rock at least some element of Lucky Star/Desperately Seeking Susan-era Madonna’s style. And fingerless lace gloves were ALL OVER THE PLACE then. It’s not like she had purple hair, which was a lot less common back then.

I hate you and your delusions of style, Stacey. And your fluffy blond hair.


little miss sunshine said...

Thank you. Thank You. Thank you. This site makes me laugh at loud at my otherwise very boring receptionist job.

deb said...

This site is so cool. I love your summaries and ridicule. I loved all of these crazy books and at the time, "The Truth about Stacey" seemed so SHOCKING. The girls all seemed so cool when I was 7 or 8! Did anyone else notice that as the books got higher in number, they became more and more crappy. As a 11 year-old, I was reading them in an hour and finding so many proofreading errors that I was embarrased for Ann M Martin. The stories started to suck more, too. Anyway, keep up the great site!

Rebecca f said...

I JUST wrote an entry about this book, re: cost of living in New York.

See here.

Steffi said...

one thing that struck me in this book was how Mrs. Newton used the Agency because she wanted an older sitter to stay with the baby. makes sense to me, actually. then, in later books, it's all of a sudden okay to leave an 11 or a 13 year old in charge of an infant. .....right.

Library Lady said...

Oh man... Too funny...

Does your copy have Stacey and some anonymous child on the cover in a ritzy choclate shop?

Maybe things wouldn't be so expensive, Stac, if you were going to the 7-11 for Bubalicious and not to the Godiva store for a bon bon.

ccburd said...

This site makes me laugh hysterically. The cover art for THE TRUTH ABOUT STACEY is particularly hideous- Stacey is straight up fugly on this cover. And do you love the stories about how she faints in her soup, pees her pants, and drinks like ten cokes a day and that's how they figure out she's diabetic.

mary_m said...

Shortly after reading this book in the third or fourth grade, I told one of my friends that I thought I might be diabetic like Stacey. She told her mom, who told my mom.

In addition to getting into a shit ton of trouble, my mother was just mystified as to why on earth I would concoct this strange lie.

The whole thing was completely humiliating, and I never liked Stacey after that. I did, however, learn the valuable lesson that having juvenile diabetes does not make you cooler.

Sara said...

I love this blog so, so much! I remember this was my most treasured book, simply because it was #3! The third one!

And re: library lady's comment about the chocolate store -- anonymous child?!?! That's Charlotte Johanssen of course. :-)

And wasn't it this book that Stacey got an appointment with that nutty doctor in NYC who made her "make up stories about inkblots" and run on a treadmill? Good times, good times.

Library Lady said...

*blush* sorry... sniff... I feel so uninformed...


Anonymous said...

To this day, when my sister and I feel that we're abnormally thirsty, we think we're diabetic.

Thanks, Stacey!

Anonymous said...

Maybe "the truth about Stacey" is that she's in denial about her fashion sense.

Anonymous said...

omg! get over the books honey! receptionist??? please... how old are you 30!???
you all suck!
i love the books
see ya old lady!

Anonymous said...

honey please... when you are abnormally thirsty you think that you are diabetic!???
you dont even know what you are talking about
you suck!
i love the books

Chuk said...

My nine-year-old daughter just started reading the BSC books -- she loves them, but the fashions make her laugh out loud. And she questioned me about the theatre prices too -- I thought that sounded dang cheap even for here in Canada.

Janaob said...

I love how while walking though the Stoneybrook snow, Stacey reflects on how they never really had snow in NYC. Her theory being, the streets were too warm from all of the activity going on under those bustling city streets (subways, ect). So, it turned to gray mush as soon as it it hit the warm streets. EXCUSE ME? My dad is from Brooklyn and Ive aunts, uncles, cousins who still live on Long Island. In January 1996 they recorded 20 INCHES of snow in Central Park! Feb 12, 2006 brought record snowfalls of 27 inches to NYC literally burying the city! And Ms. Martin supposedly LIVES in MANHATTAN? Uh, yea. Right.

Tamara said...

This book leaves me baffled. Why is having diabetes something to be ashamed of and kept secret? I think I'd react a bit like Laine did if my best friend suddenly became secretive and constantly "ill" with no explanation at all.

And why are the BCS girls the ONLY group ever allowed to even THINK about babysitting? Jeez, you'd think Kristy invented the idea.

Julie F said...

Yes every time I feel thirstier than normal I
too always think "maybe I have diabetes" thanks to Stacey! And when I lived in NYV for a short while I was expecting the grey mush snow and was delighted to see real actual snow!

Julie F said...


metamorphstorm said...

What I really hated about this book was that parents like Charlotte Johannsen's were hiring girls from the Baby-sitters Agency - when it came to the Newtons, with their new baby, I understood. I even applauded the writer for the realism. I wouldn't want a thirteen-year-old looking after my newborn, either, though I think I'd be pretty picky about my sitter no matter the age of the sitter AND the kid. But Charlotte's parents had one eight-year-old who, as we're constantly reminded, is a very easy kid to sit for. "Good as gold," I remember one of the books saying about her. So why did her parents hire BSA girls? They weren't even expecting another baby. Maybe the excuse was that with older sitters they could stay out later, but still...one would think parents would happily sacrifice a few hours out in the dark in favor of baby-sitters they trust, especially since one (or both?) of Charlotte's parents is a doctor and probably has to be/wants to be home pretty early to sleep, anyway.