by Unknown on Saturday, July 28, 2007

#21: Mallory and the Trouble with Twins

In this book, Mallory spends most of her time complaining about how dorky she is (not without good reason, I'm sure you all remember) . . . which, naturally, includes much discussion of how bomb Claud is. This entry features some serious BSC style, so be prepared!

"Now, let me get back to Claudia Kishi. She's the one who already has pierced ears, remember? Claud is the vice-president of the Babysitters Club and probably the trendiest, coolest kid in all of Stoneybrook Middle School. She's into art and makes some of her own clothes and jewelry - wild things, like socks on which she paints palm trees and coconuts; or gigantic, bright papier-mache pins and bracelets. Whether she makes her clothes or buys them, they are totally cool, and you can count on Claudia to add her own personal touches. "

Mallory is also dying to have her ears pierced, so part of her hero-worshipping includes checking out Claud's ears. "Hanging from them were little pairs of red sneakers. Cool!" She mentions that Dawn is also wearing earrings - clip-on turquoise triangles. "They were cool, too, I guess," she adds doubtfully.

"Claudia was lying on her bed with one leg propped up on a pillow. She'd broken that leg a few months earlier and every now and then, especially if rain was on the way, her leg would give her some trouble. [Betsy's legacy.] She looked absolutely great, though, pillow or no pillow. Her long hair was fixed in about a million braids which were pulled back and held in place behind her head with a column of puffy ponytail holders. She was wearing a t-shirt she'd painted herself, tight blue pants that ended just past her knees, push-down socks, and no shoes. From her ears dangled small baskets of fruit. She'd made those, I knew. She'd found the baskets and the fruits at a store that sells miniatures and dollhouse furniture. Claudia amazes me."

For whatever reason, in this book Dawn and Mary Anne are little fashion plates as well. But they are salad fashion plates - inferior to Claudia, who is both our dinner plate AND desert bowl of fashion. Mary Anne "was wearing a short plum-colored skirt over a plum-and-white-striped body suit. The legs of the body suit stopped just above her ankles, and she'd tucked the bottoms into her socks. I don't know where her shoes were. She'd taken them off. The neat thing about her outfit was that she was wearing white suspenders with her skirt. I immediately decided to use some of my hard-earned Arnold money to buy suspenders. And maybe a pair of push-down socks like Claud's. Or, if I became rich, to copy Dawn Schafer's entire outfit.

Dawn was wearing this cool oversized (really oversized) blue shirt. One of the coolest things about it was that it was green inside, so that when she turned the collar down and rolled the sleeves up, you could see these nice touches of green at her neck and wrists. She was wearing a green skirt - and clogs. I'd never seen a person actually wearing clogs, just photos of people in Sweden. Dawn was the only kid in school who could get away with wearing them. She is so self-possessed."

Deere Dairy: Why is Don so self-posessed? And why wo'nt she shut up about my twinkies? Luv, Claudia.

"Claud, Dawn, Jessi, and I began opening our presents. We opened the ones from Kristy and Mary Anne first.

'These are the things we kept buying at the mall that day,' Kristy informed us. Her eyes were shining. [Creepy!]

Well, you've never heard such squealing. The earring had been chosen very carefully, and we were all thrilled. Dawn has been given two pairs, studs in the shape of California (her home state [O RLY?]) and others that were gold loops with oranges hanging from them. California oranges, I guess. Claud's earrings looked like artists' palettes, Jessi's were ballet shoes, and mine were horses, since I like to read about them.

'Thank you, thank you!' we kept saying.

Then we opened Claud's earrings. 'I made them myself,' she announced.

Even if she hadn't said so, we all would have known. And we began laughing nonstop. Claud had collected little charms and strung together these wild bunches of minature Coke cans, eyeglasses, forks, animals, you name it, and added feathers and beads."

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the Valuable Lesson was about being yourself. Or standing up to your parents. Or getting your ears pierced, maybe. To be perfectly honest, I was more than a little distracted by all the mall visits in this one, so I'm not sure I even have a Valuable Lesson to share with you. For all the Valuable Lessons Ann M. Martin was so keen on cramming in, I'm surprised there wasn't a book in which Claudia has to go the dentist and it turns out that her teeth are rotting right out of her head.


Oh man. I wanted pierced ears so bad. I remember writing a whole ten page short story in fourth grade about a girl who successfully persuades her parents to let her pierce her ears. Of course, now I mostly forget to put earrings in at all. It's a dream come true, I guess.

by shegotzen on 12:29 AM. #

I totally wanted Claudia's hair with a row of pony-tail holders, I thought it was the coolest ice-cream cone look! I am shocked that Mallory had to save money to buy SOCKS!

by Mehreen on 2:31 AM. #

Hilarious. I remember these girls were really into their push-down socks, which I didn't quite get. But I have to say I'm pretty impressed with Mary Anne in this one. I think it was pretty early in the series when she stood up to her dad but this is definitely post-makeover, no?

by Rosan on 11:49 AM. #

When will Logan Bruno get some love?

by So@24 on 9:08 PM. #

The thing that shocks me about the fashion in these books is how much those ladies loved oversized - I mean, really oversized - shirts! I always picture voluminous t-shirts and blouses that come down almost to their knees or something.

by Emily on 1:35 PM. #

I remember reading this one over and over again specifically because of some outift one of the twins got in the mall...I think it involved applique moon and stars perhaps?

by arisisms on 2:22 PM. #

I dunno...when I went to a pretty conservative "football" school, and one DID NOT want to be so unique and 'self posessed'. i, for instance, was inspired by the fashion descriptions in this series, but when i attempted it in actuality, was ousted from the cheerleading squad. maybe in college, but don't most middleschooler's want to gel? really great blog btw, like an indie film or soemthing.

by The Pescetarian on 6:34 PM. #

Claudia's little braids tied back by a scrunchie sounds like the worst...hairstyle...EVER!

by Katie on 1:55 AM. #

Claudia's braids tied with a scrunchie sounds HORRIBLY lame and dorky.

by Katie on 1:55 AM. #

What's the deal with push-down socks? Are those a specific kind of sock? I would have thought they were just normal tube socks that you pushed down (ever roll them? in retrospect, that was a really stupid thing to do). But then why wouldn't Mallory have any?

by Anna on 1:50 AM. #

This comment has been removed by the author.

by stace on 3:28 PM. #

Ahh the fabulous mall trip in which Mallory splurged on socks & still got out-cooled by one of the twins.
I want to read that book again now, damnit. It's gonna take some digging through boxes.
Also Dawn... what? Clogs? I doubt that's classified as Cali casual. Why did she always have to be cool anyway? Like if a guy in a sombrero came running into a BSC meeting shooting at them, everyone would go into hysterics but Dawn, who would just sit there munching celery saying "A freaked out Mexican? Who hasn't seen one?"
Anyways. Great blog :]

by stace on 3:31 PM. #

I was obsessed with that shirt of Dawn's, the green and blue that showed the other colour when you rolled up the sleeves. I knew exactly which shades of green and blue it was and searched for one for years.

by Jennie on 6:35 PM. #

It was the 90s. Oversized was (forgive me) huge, influenced by the hip-hop and grunge music scenes.

by Libellule on 1:15 PM. #

It depends on where you go; plenty of places are less uptight about letting you be an individual--even "middleschooler's" (middle schoolers?).

by Libellule on 1:18 PM. #

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