Friday, January 18, 2008

On a return to my childhood (and why that's a bad idea)

Okay, so I am, despite the accusations of a couple of acquaintances, a generally contented person. I'm not unhappy, I'm not angry. I am opinionated and outspoken, frequently sarcastic (I consider it an art form), and occasionally bitchy (going by my family's preferred definition of "bitch," it being "a woman who just got her way"). I now have reason to believe that my constant tweenhood diet of Baby-Sitters Club books can be held somewhat responsible for this.

What else could make a woman go from this
I’m not sure how I felt reading these the first time around, but the early books are the biggest stretches…they’re not the realistic-ish conflict that happen in some of the books (friends ditching friends, stupid fights, etc) nor the really outlandish stuff (getting lost on an island in Long Island Sound, winning the lottery, best friends’ parents getting remarried)…

and this
ANM really likes the mysteries, but really not so good at writing them. Her mysteries remind me of the witch and ghost stories I used to write when I was young. Nothing was connected other than superficially, there’s no depth. Now, I’m sure part of that was me being influenced by her. But, a crazy rich published writer should have worked a little harder. (Ouch, I know.)

to this?
First of all this book should totally have been called "Stacey is a Selfish Fucking Cow." Now, I know she's usually selfish and inconsiderate in general, but this book positively revels in her assitude.


Oh, and there's this uber-lame subplot. Haley Braddock and Vanessa Pike have a huge fucking fight because they both got the same bathing suit. Yawn.


Stacey is just positive that Mal will be a knockout one of these days. I, for one, am not convinced. Also, Stacey is monumentally fucking condescending. In addition to being a bitch. And a liar.

It's got to be more than two years of steady exposure to some of the craziest-making tween-targeted books on the planet. I freaking loved those books. I had all of them (the ones available at the time, anyway). I wanted to be them. I wanted to start my own club, like Kristy. I named my cat Tigger because of Mary Anne. I got my hair permed because of Stacey (big mistake. Big. Huge). I tried to dress like Claudia, much to the dismay of my parents, because it resulted in outfits similar to this,
... I wore the coolest tuxedo I'd recently bought in a thrift shop, including a silky, piped shirt and a bright red velvet cummerbund. I removed the shoulder pads from the jacket, which made it really slouchy (I love that look). Then I bought a pair of white socks with silver glitter. I decided to wear a pair of red sneakers to match the cummerbund. I swept my hair up and fastened it with a rhinestone barrette in the shape of a musical note.

resulting, I'm sure, in muttered editorial comments from my parents something akin to this.
Wow. I think she's destined for a future as a backup dancer at the Tonys circa 1982.

Regardless, I feel a true kinship to brave Tiff, who is blogging her way through the Baby-Sitters Club series at the rate of one excruciating novel a week. I think it's awesome. How often do you get such a bracing recap of the abject inanity that you sucked up unquestioningly as a child? Why did I never appreciate what a bitch Stacey was? Why did I never wonder why the entire damn club always managed to go on vacation to the same spot at the same time? Why did it make sense to me that a couple of eleven-year-olds might be put in charge of children? Why in God's name did I ever think that red leggings and a purple turtleneck could possibly be a good idea?

I'm sure I'm projecting on Tiff here when I speculate that that kind of question is responsible for the vehemence of her posts. Reading over her recaps, I find myself thinking, Ann M. Martin, what the hell did you do to me? What gave you the power and authority to fuck with the mind of a twelve-year-old? How dare you impose the gospel of Laura Ashley on an impressionable tween? Dawn was not laid back; she was uptight to threaten Kristy's uptightness, and her "California casual" outfits sound, in retrospect, hideous. Claudia was a flake and an unrealistically lousy speller. Mallory was a whiny little bitch. Mary Anne was reasonably interesting when she nutted up and stepped to the more overbearing members of the BSC, and she probably had the least ridiculous wardrobe by today's standards, so go Mary Anne. Except that Logan was a controlling asshole, and she needed to stop being such a doormat to him, and to her dad, and most of all, to Kristy. Kristy was a shrew. And you're right, Tiff, they never did think to actually talk to a fucking adult when something, say, illegal was taking place, and Stacey never took a beach trip without whoring it up with some crappy choice of a boy and leaving all of the work on her friends, and what kind of criminally irresponsible idiot parent leaves an infant in the hands of a thirteen-year-old, and... I think I need to lie down.
The book ends terribly. "And that's no lie!" SMACK!!!!!!

I'd totally bring back the silver squiggle pin, though. Those things were boss.

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