Ah, Stacey and Mallory at their jackassiest.
The basic (and really dumb) premise: The girls win $10,000 in the lottery and split it up ($1428.57 EACH!). Then they decide to use the money to go to Cali for two weeks with Dawn. Poor Dawn’s dad. And his housekeeper. And wee Jeff. And even Dawn’s dad’s trophy girlfriend. Here come the babysitters. Whooppee.
And here’s what’s up with each of the girls:
Dawn: She doesn’t like her dad’s girlfriend, Carol. Yep. She thinks Carol acts too young, trying to be all buddy buddy. But finally, after Carol (rightfully and appropriately) narcs on Stacey, Dawn respects her. And gives her “permission” if Mr. Schafer decides to marry the girl. (Because heaven forbid they have a relationship without heading for marriage, especially relatively soon after the divorce.)
Stacey: Because Stacey is so sophisticated, she gets in a car accident!!!! But doesn’t get hurt other than bruises (boooooo). Yep, Stacey catches the “surfing bug.” So, Dawn hooks her up with some people she used to know when she lived in Cali (like two years ago) who were a couple of years older than the BSC. She goes to the beach with them everyday to ride the waves (which I can’t say without picturing Spicoli, sorry.). Then, another friend of theirs tags along (his name is BEAU. LAME. ) and drives like a maniac. Or a teenager. Take your pick. And on the way back, he gets in a multi-car wreck. And he totally asks all of the surfers to cover for him and lie to the police. But Stacey does what’s right (finally, after blowing off all her friends for like two weeks) and rats him out. Then she calls Carol, cause she thinks that Carol won’t make her tell her parents. But she totally does. [Aside: um, don’t they BABY-SIT? And don’t they tell their charges’ parents if they do something stupid or go to the hospital or whatever? And doesn’t the hospital need to contact Stacey’s parents? What with the whole being a minor thing?]
Claudia: She meets this boy, Terry, on the beach. Only he’s a brainiac, so she tries to pretend she’s, well, Janine with “better” clothes. Finally, though, she tells him about her family and her art and she finds out that they have more in common than she thought. And she learns the lesson that people will like her for herself. But then she writes him letters, and he’s totally gonna dump her when he finds out she’s borderline mentally-challenged. And it’s gonna be awkward.
Mary Anne: Because she’s not on vacation or anything, Mary Anne agrees to babysit for Stephie when no one in the We <3 Kids Club can do it. But Stephie has asthma, so M.A.’s kinda freaked out. But nothing happens until M.A.’s last job with Stephie; see, Stephie gets all worked up because she really likes Mary Anne and is going to miss her, so she brings on an attack. Which M.A. handles pretty smoothly. Why is Stephie so attached after, like, 3 days? Cause she’s mini-Mary Anne. Her mom died, and her dad treats her like a toddler. And her room looks like M.A.’s used to. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Kristy: Is a dumbass. First, she gets all competitive about the We <3 Kids Club. Cause she’s an idiot. And she also takes a job, but hers if for two obnoxious little brothers who have never been disciplined in their lives and are headed straight for the Ritalin. And Kristy learns that she’s not the best baby-sitter on the whole fucking planet, and other people know something or other about sitting. Shut up, Kristy.
Jessi: 1. Jessi visits her old baby-sitting charge Derek on the set of his TV show, P.S. 162. And the director puts her in the show as an extra. And Derek tells her she should get an agent. So, she entertains fantasies of Hollywood stardom for a few days, then remembers her true love. Yeah, remember ballet? That she tends to forget very easily? Yeah, that one. And, 2. Jessi totally lets Mallory walk all over her. Jessi gets pissed at Mal for being a jackass, then keeps lending her money, etc. Then she’s all, well, I could be more supportive, and nicer about lending the money to someone who blew all her money because she’s stupid. So, Jessi makes up with Mal, and apologizes. (You know, this is the one time when she has a right to be totally pissed, and she’s such a fucking wuss about it.)
And finally, award for stupidest girl ever?
Mal: First of all? You can’t really lighten your hair with temporary hair dye. You can’t wash blonde out of red hair, cause you have to bleach it to lighten it enough to call it blonde.
So, right after getting to Cali, Mal decides she needs to be a “California Girl.” Which, apparently, means blonde hair and buckets full of makeup. Seriously, I’ve been trying to figure out how much she spent on makeup in this book (shut up, you totally want to know); and here’s what I’m thinking: around $400. Follow me:
$1400 (lottery winnings)
-900 (cross country plane trip, no stopovers, in the late 1980s)
=500 (for 2 weeks in Cali, to include trips to amusement parks, etc)
Now, let’s say she spent a little bit in the airport, some to go to the Max Factor Museum, etc. Now, let’s say she drops FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS ON MAKEUP IN ONE TRIP! Then, she’d be in a position to need to borrow buttloads of money from Jessi. Now, I know this is pure speculation, but I think $500 in spending cash is about what each of the girls would need to get into attractions, get food, buy souvenirs…Any other thoughts on this? Now, I spend a lot on makeup, and I am thoroughly addicted to Sephora and random expensive perfumes, but I have never spent more than $150 on makeup in one day, and that was once, as a college graduation present to myself, and it included a $60 bottle of perfume. And I just can’t figure out how she spent that much at one makeup counter in one sitting. And if she really did, what kind of unethical bitch would sell that much makeup to a CHILD?
So, she thinks she’s hot shit, until the director of P.S. 162 says she doesn’t have the right look. She’s devastated…how could she not look right? She was a California Girl! Or a bottle blonde with a complexion all wrong for blond hair. And tooooooo much makeup. Finally, Claud and Stacey rescue her from her depression (but not from her ugliness) by buying her makeup (I’m assuming at quite a discount). Blah. Happy ending.
The single funniest thing about this whole book? Most of the girls leave shit out when writing to their parents, and then the first sentence of the chapter following the postcard says, essentially, “there’s so much I didn’t tell my parents.” Yep.