So, this was my first time reading this one. And I picked it purely for the cover.
Oh, yeah. One, I still think arcade dates are awesome. I'm not even kidding about that. Two, Claudia's rocking this weird pseudo-goth, pseudo-prom dress on a date. Plus, she looks wicked stuck up. I don't care if "This wasn't exactly what Claudia had in mind..." I think maybe she caught some of the Bitch from Laine.
And this doesn't happen in the book! Weak!!!!
So, Claud starts the book all moony cause she wants a boy. But not just any boy. She wants the perfect boy. Because there no way to ensure failure like setting your standards way way way way too high. Anyway...Claud winds up running a personals column in the SMS paper. And it's a lot of work. And she starts matching people together by their ads. But she can't find any boys for herself. Well, she goes out on a couple of dates, but they're all duds. And she decides that she can wait, because...wait for it..."I also discovered that finding Mr. Perfect wasn't so important after all. I had my friends. And I had myself. Everything I needed to be happy had been right here all along."
Subplot: Marnie Barrett's all allergy-rific (I hear ya, sister!), and it turns out she's allergic to the dog, Pow. So, much to the horror of Buddy and Suzie, they have to get rid of the dog...by giving him to the Pikes! Because they're insane! And eight children aren't enough time/money/space/cleanliness strain!
- This one even starts out a winner: "I would have died if anyone had seen what I was doing! I mean, it was so embarrassing...I was sitting at the end of my bed, hugging myself. Why? Because I wanted to know how it would feel to be locked in a dreamy, romantic embrace with the boy of my dreams." Yep.
- Claud comes up with a(n overly ambitious) list of her own...I'll keep her spelling:
Mussels (not too many, not to few)
Taller than me
Easy to talk to (a good lisner)
Intresting (lots to say)
Good spellar (willing to corect mine)
Crazey about me
- "You'd be amazed by the colors that go together. Take pink and gold. You might not think to wear pink socks with gold stretch pants [because the gold stretch pants aren't the big problem here, no matter what American Apparel ads are telling me], and then add a gold turtleneck under a pink sweater." Um, don't they make fun of Kristy for wearing turtlenecks and sweaters?
- Kristy starts a meeting by saying "This meeting of the Baby-sitters Club is about to start." That's not right.
- Oh, yeah. Mal's out sick, so Shannon's coming to meetings. I never read the one where Mal gets mono. And Dawn's out in Cali for six months.
- "Tough thing number two: the number of times she's had to move." Okay, Stacey's moved three times, between the same places. By thirteen, I'd moved seven times, twice from coast to coast (literally). So she can suck it.
- Oh, yeah, and Stacey's already started dating Robert.
- Hee! "Or she has the personality of Homer Simpson." Let's see what the random Simpsons quote generator has to say about that: "Nelson: Hey I'm sure it's just a phase, like when I used to stand on the overpass and drop computers on the freeway."
- It's really hard not to include all the personal ads. But I don't have the energy. So, I'll only put in the ones that Claudia goes out with. "Eighth-grade boy seeks beautiful, interesting girl. I swim, sketch, and enjoy stand-up comedy. If this sounds good to you, I'd love to get to know you better. Call Good Listener at 555-3829, or write to this address..." Brian Hall. Date doesn't go well.
- Stacey teaches Claud how to use a computer for word processing. And spellcheck. And my thought was this was [check title page verso] 1994, have they never had a computer class? Cause I started having them in, oh, 1987 or so.
- I still remember some of my old DOS commands. Hee!
- I always forget that Mary Anne wound up in therapy.
- I almost forgot! One of the personals includes the horrible line: "Other days I want to crawl into a shell like a teenage mutant, injured turtle." I didn't make that shit up. There's also a reference to the real Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Which I can't believe is still around, in whatever new forms. And, I have it on good authority, the new cartoon includes lots of bad shell puns. Which seems apt for this bullet point.
- Claud responds to personals with the following letter:
Claudia here. Let me tell you about myself. I'm good-looking, pashionate about art, like laffter, freinds, and I want to meet sumone who will like me as I am and not try to change me. From your ad I got the idea that we mite have a lot in comon. There is nuthing to lose by finding out. Sincerly, Claudia Kishi.
- It was a second attempt. Sad, but true. Oh, and don't worry, she used spell check to fix it.
- Claudia's big date-with-Brian Hall outfit? "a long white shirt under a green tapestry vest, green corduroy pants, and low boots." Sounds a little earthy, casual even, for Claud.
- Blah. I don't want to read about a bad, boring date. I've had my own, thanks.
- Oh, Rock. (Real name: Richard.) He's a winner.
I'm getting desperate. [Great start to a personal ad, there.] I need a girl who doesn't giggle and act like a little kid and preferably one who doesn't wear pink. She should be smart, funny, pretty, and sort of hip. I've been told I'm good-looking, I play rock guitar, paint, and study eastern culture. No cheerleaders, please. Call Rock at 555-2984.
- Claud's initial response: "He sounded pretty cool to me. Also, I fit his qualifications and I don't look good in pink." But wait! Didn't you wear gold and pink together just a few bullets up? You little liar.
- He goes to a private school. So, how/why is he posting a personal in the SMS Express?
- "From that moment on, I thought of nothing but Rock: how I would create the cover for his first rock album; how he'd insist that I sing backup vocals onstage with him, although before that moment I'd never known I had singing talent. We'd ride around the countryside on his motorcycle (which I was sure he'd eventually get even though he was too young for one right now). We'd sit on a hillside and paint together. It would be so wonderful." Yeah, with that buildup, are you surprised the date doesn't go well?
- Claud's date outfit: "new brown suede cloth pants...with a simple yellow button down shirt and a brown and yellow brocade vest." Is she rocking the hippie look intentionally? Does she think it's 1974?
- As for Rock, he's got a mad case of Yellow Fever. He's obsessed with everything "oriental." And he has a tattoo! Of "a skull with roses growing out of it and worms crawling on top." Yep, he's gonna be wicked metal someday.
- Claud decides to place an ad herself: "Eigth-grade girl how loves art, misteries, and lafter seeks boy who is handsum with some musles, medium height or taller, athletic, sensative, artistic, a good dreser, not too criticil, has no tattos, and can make me lagh. Write Chosey but Fair at..." She gets a lot of response, none great.
- Stacey sends fake Mr. Perfect responses in a misguided attempt to make Claud feel better. Yeah.
- Hee! Fake "Mr. Perfect" looks like Jason Priestly
- One of the responses to her ad asks if Claud looks like Paula Abdul.
Yeah. Lame. Also, all the Claud quotes are totally pissing off my