Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Laine somehow seemed very young and innocent just then; or, BSC #28: Welcome Back, Stacey!

Gee, Stacey, could it be cause she’s only 13? Even if she’s worldly-wise for her age, she’s still ONLY THIRTEEN!

Anyhoo, this is one of those rare BSC books in which an outfit described in the book actually shows up on the cover of that same book. It’s true!

“Same old Claud, I thought as we trudged up our front steps. Her hair was flowing down her back, pulled away from her face by a headband with a huge pink rose attached to it. She was wearing a long, oversized black-and-white sweater, skin-tight black leggings, pink-and-black socks, and black ballet slippers.” And that’s what she’s wearing on the cover, see?



The plot: Stacey’s parents are fighting. A lot. So, they decide to get a divorce. And Stacey gets over it relatively quickly. But the problem is, she has to decide whether to stay in New York with her dad (“But I’ve never lived on the East Side”) or move back to Stoneybrook with her mom. And she decides, after literally examining the pros and cons (seriously, she’s not too upset to dot her “i”s with hearts), to go back to the BSC. Awww, aren’t we just thrilled.

So, they all pack up and move, with a few spats thrown in for good divorcing measure. And Stacey’s back in Stoneybrook, not quite happy to be back, but fairly sure she made the right decision. Blah.

Nitpicking time: Speaking of the cover, I sincerely doubt that even Stacey would move wearing a white button-down shirt, a light-colored, flimsy-looking skirt and patent leather flats. Girl’s gotta own some jeans and we know she has a small army of oversized t-shirts. And hightops. What “self-respecting” girl of the 80s didn’t? What, is she going to change before lugging boxes in? I’m just curious.

Speaking of clothes, I know Stacey’s all about clothes, and she’s sooooooo sophisticated, but I sincerely doubt she’d put crazy effort into her post-divorce-news outfit. Supposedly, she’s super upset, but she manages to put this together:

“I put on one of my better outfits—short red pants with purple suspenders over a bright yellow and black sweat shirt. On my feet I put my purple push-down socks and a pair of red hightop sneakers [see! She has some!]. I added jewelry—a big necklace with wooden bananas and oranges strung on it, and dangly earrings shaped like sunglasses.”

My first problem is…THIS IS ONE OF HER BETTER OUTFITS? Seriously, this sounds like she’s been hit by an ugly truck. Purple, red and yellow all together? Uck.

Problem #2: I could understand if Ms. Martin were using this outfit to describe how upset Stacey was, like she couldn’t even pick out an outfit. But she wears it as one of her better outfits…Now, I’ve never been through a divorce, but when I’m down, I dress all in black like any self-respecting Smiths/Joy Division fan. Or, I’m so out of it, I throw on the first thing on the pile of clean clothes. And maybe not everyone has the same sartorial reaction to downers, but I can’t imagine anyone who’s mildly upset would bother with one of her (or his) better outfits.

Finally, continuity problem of the book:

Dawn: I just wish you guys would be absent more often so I could fill in for you. Kristy, I don’t think you’ve ever missed a meeting. I’m dying to be president for a day” But, [excuse the Simpsons moment] Kristy did miss a meeting with the whole “my dog is dying” thing in BSC #11. So, there, “manuscript assistant.”

Ooh, and Laine gets the outfit of the week: “this amazing black pants suit. It was made from stretchy cotton. The bottoms of the legs were cuffed, and the top was short-cropped [um, redundant much?]. She was wearing a leopard-skin leotard under the top.” Sweet.

26 comments:

Jess said...

ANM strikes me as kind of like a sad cat lady so maybe that's why she doesn't know from clothes
(Even for the time, c'mon now)

Anonymous said...

Is it sad that Claudia's outfit is the one and only thing I remember from this book? First of all, I can remember seeing the cover and thinking, "Wow, Claudia's actually wearing a crazy outfit!" And then when it got to the description of the outfit, I kept checking back with the cover to make sure she hadn't left anything out.

I was a sad little girl.

Oh, also, I remember that stupid list. Especially something she said about how, if she decided to stay with her father and he went away for the weekend or whatever, she could stay with Laine or he may let her stay by herself. Um, Stacey? You're thirteen. What father would leave their thirteen year old daughter home alone in New York City? Douche bag

Anonymous said...

What “self-respecting” girl of the 80s didn’t [own hightops]?

I was not a self-respecting girl of the 80s. My parents said they cost too much.

...although "self-respecting" and "80s" seems redundant.

Kelly said...

This cover brought me back. I remember thinking that the outfits in writing sounded much more outrageous than the lame portraits on the cover, on the few occasions that the two actually matched.

comicstar said...

Lugging boxes? But Stacey's from New York! CITY! She's far too sophisticated, don't you know.

Sara said...

Those outfits just make me CRINGE. And Claud doesn't look so hot on the cover, now does she...kind of like an aging dance teacher?

The only thing I remember from this book is that when Stacey's parents broke the news, they put a Monopoly-esque note on her bedroom door...something like, "Do not go in your room. Turn around and come talk to us."

Library Lady said...

"Monopoly-esque note"

Gold, Jerry, Gold!

Bhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...

rooroo said...

And then when it got to the description of the outfit, I kept checking back with the cover to make sure she hadn't left anything out.

anon, i totally remember doing the same thing. i've said this before but i think this might be my favorite website of all time. i lived by these books and i am loving the reminiscing. :D

KO said...

Ha, as I started reading this post, I thought "man, the only thing I remember about this one was Stacey's post-divorce-news outfit with fruit jewelry and how totally awesome it sounded, but I guess the outfit mention of the entry is the Claudia cover thing." But of course, Tiffany, you did not let me down.
So, in ANM's defense: it's not like she had Stacey dress up so she could sit around her room and mope - she was going to school (I think), and I agree that when something shitty happens and you are still required to go out into the world and function, one of your "better" outfits usually makes for good armor/morale-booster.
Unfortunately, that does not explain why the outfit described was one of Stacey's "better" ones, nor does it remotely justify my thinking it was totally awesome.

Miss Scarlet said...

Haha I remember reading about that fruit necklace...shudder.

Annie said...

This was also the fastest divorce/move in history - in like 2 weeks, the divorce was final, and Stacey and her mom were moving into their new house. These things usually take time. But, I guess she had to move on so she could go on to have 6 more Christmases during her 8th grade year at SMS...

Mols said...

Is it me or does Stacey dwarf everyone else on that cover? I know Claudia is kind of bending, and I know she was supposed to be one of the shorter babysitters, but there is something very disproportionate about her...

Jen said...

I've been reading these recaps for awhile, and I apparently missed the in-joke that is ANM! Can someone please explain it to me?

Joanna said...

Haha! Good stuff! I found you quite coincidentally, and posted a link to you in my LiveJournal, so don't be alarmed if you suddenly see a bunch of people surf in from LJLand... :-)

Anonymous said...

You didn't mention those bills Mrs. McGill was racking up out of "boredom". What was it, $2000 at Tiffanys...in one day!? Oh my Lord!

And wow that divorce did go over pretty fast, or maybe we didn't get all the details. But everyone I know that has divorced had at least a few months of signing papers and dividing property and whatnot.

bennett said...

i really doubt stacey is going to be carrying boxes. i know it seems crazy, but grown people (like stacey's mom) often get movers to do that. it also makes sense to me that stacey would wear something semi-fancy for the specialy occasion. finally, re: her "better outfit" i would like all of you to think back to yourself at 1988/1989, when i'm pretty sure this book was pubbed: COULD YOU HAVE DONE ANY BETTER? I am pretty sure the answer is NO. Well then!!! Cut the poor girls some slack. I think they look awesome.

Cassandra said...

Ok but it's not like the movers do everything. You DO have to unpack and arrange all your stuff yourself, and there is a lot of carrying of heavy things involved (take it from someone who's moved eight times in 22 years). It's not a job for skirts and nice shoes. I'm just sayin'.

greer said...

even when I was a kid I did not consider that atrocious purple-yellow-red ensemble to one of ANYONE'S better outfits, especially super-sophisticated Stacey. Honestly, a lot of Stacey's "cool" outfits sound horrible--like that aztec-print short jumpsuit she wore in Stacey and the Bad Girls.

And there's a big scene where Stacey, Claud, and Maureen are switching the beds in Stacey and Maureen's rooms and either Stacey or Claud makes this really awkward comment about how mothers can't be fathers. So obv. even if they did hire movers, there was some physical labor to be had. Not exactly a day to wear your office wear, Stace/Hodges Soileau.

L said...

I remember that after reading this book I insisted on wearing pink and black socks to gymnastics class....except I didn't have pink and black ones, so I wore one pink and one black. Way cool. I took entirely too many fashion cues from the BSC growing up.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Back Stacey was the first BSC book I ever read. Yeah, there was some silly stuff in there but I'll always have to laugh at "woodbug fup, so expee, pre-war bulldog, and bark wools."

sarah said...

When I read this one, I wanted that necklace so badly. I was seven or so, but I thought Stacey really did have amazing fashion sense. Oops.

mzmeg said...

basically, this is my new fav. blog. excellent work.

Anonymous said...

The Lowell kids are wearing the outfits described for them in the book on the cover of "Keep Out, Claudia." Too bad they're actually the outfits they wore when Mary Anne sat for them....

Anonymous said...

Why'd Stacy's mom just roll up on the lawn with the car? Seriously, I know they're moving and so the movers probably need the driveway for access, but why is the car just plonked down in the middle of the lawn?

Rebecca J. said...

The cover art for this one always pissed me off. I remember while they're house hunting in Stoneybrook Stacey's mom says things like "we're on a tight budget" and "besides, it's out of our price range (in reference to their old house in Stoneybrook)." Look at the house on the cover! The house I grew up in would have fit neatly on that front porch!

Anonymous said...

another "manuscript assistant" problem - it says in this book that mallory is getting braces but in the last book she already had braces. has she got braces or not!