by Kim on Thursday, March 27, 2008

#84: Dawn and the School Spirit War

To quote our girl, oh my lord. I am exhausted just thinking about the amount of fashion I'm about to bring you. Plus, this book is the ever-so-subtle Nazi metaphor tome. Remember those? I mean, it's not half as laughable as It Can't Happen Here, but it's still kinda "Very Special Episode", if you get my drift. Plus, it's narrated by Dawn, so you know a lot of self-righteous lecturing lies ahead. The fact that I remembered the title of that Sweet Valley book without even having to google it is kind of making me want to kill myself. I'm hoping and praying it's just stuck in my brain because it's so ridiculously melodramatic. And look at that cover! Poor Elizabeth is always in peril. It must be really tough to be her. Oh, and speaking of those wacky Wakefield twins: check it out.

Okay, that's enough sidetracking. (You and I both know this is categorically untrue: in my world, there is never enough sidetracking.) Let's get started.

So the book starts out with Dawn bitching about how it's still too cold in Stoneybrook for her baggy white cotton pants. Predictably enough, she points out that they would be totally weather-appropriate in California. God, quit yer bitchin' and just buy a plane ticket already.

Dawn also backhandedly shits on Mallory, which amuses me. Direct quote:
"despite the age difference, we're friends with Mal because she's also a Baby-sitters Club member." If I was overseeing a rewrite of this book, the next line would be: "Otherwise, we wouldn't be caught dead with this idiot! She's always talking about horses!"

"I smiled to myself when Claudia appeared. Her long black hair was tucked into a wide-brimmed purple rain hat with colorful Native American designs painted on the brim. She wore a matching purple slicker with identical designs along the hum. Even her umbrella matched! She is the only person I know who can manage to look totally fashionable on a disgusting, rainy day.

'What do you think?' Claudia asked when she noticed Mary Anne, Mallory, and me staring at her rain outfit [with looks of sheer horror on our faces]. 'I painted the designs myself. They're authentic. I got them from a book.'"

Oh, a book. Okay, then. Authentic enough for me!

As they're discussing the School Spirit month that this masterpiece will center on, Dawn muses that Claudia's comment about wearing the school colors means that "she was probably already trying to figure out how to work them into a cool new outfit." Damn straight she was! The girl thinks about two things: candy and fashion. And occasionally children, if the little rugrats can't figure out how to entertain themselves. But she resents them for it.

Onwards to Pajama Day. This is where the fun really gets rolling, because shy-to-the-point-of-social-retardation Mary Anne is all tweaked out about the idea of wearing pajamas to school. But let's cut through the bullshit and get back to the fashion.

"'I have an idea for making a pajama set with the initials SMS silk-screened across the front.' said Claudia.

'But aren't you supposed to wear your real pajamas?' Mary Anne asked [while weeping softly into her napkin].

'So I'll sleep in the outfit one night. That will make them real pajamas.' [Touch
, Kishi. Your creative mind never fails to amaze.]

'I'm going to wear these pajamas Nannie bought me that are so weird looking I never actually sleep in them,' Kristy said excitedly. 'They have pink bunnies all over them. They'd be perfect.' [Nannie also knits you sweaters with scottie dogs on the front, K-Thom. What's that about?]

'You want to look ridiculous?' Mary Anne asked incredulously.

'Sure, that's the fun of it.' [That is so Kristy. But I kind of love her for it.]

'Kristy, you should wear your hair all stuck up on top of your head,' Claudia suggested. 'You know, like you just woke up.'

'Good idea! But why just me? Why don't you wear your hair like that?'

'Claudia wants to look like she breezes out of bed in attractive silk-screened pajamas with her hair looking perfect,' I teased.

'Exactly,' Claudia said."

Because she is a super-tranny from Transylvania who is not apologizing for it. Seriously though, you know Claudia grew up to be the woman who, after spending the night with a man, sneaks out of bed at 5am and spends an hour making herself all glowing and tousled and sexified and then sneaks back into bed all "what? I always look like this in the morning!" I, on the other hand, don't even bother to wipe the drool off my pillow. Love me, love my excessive amounts of drool, that's what I say.

California Casual time! "I pulled on jeans, a blue workshirt [what? I guess she means it's from Carhartt or something? Ann M. Martin, I demand you explain this fuckery immediately.], socks [good to know], and sneakers, and raced down the stairs. I came to a screeching halt when I reached the kitchen. Mary Anne stood at the counter eating a bowl of corn flakes dressed in a yellow sweat shirt dress, yellow stockings, and black flats. [This could possibly be cute. I'm astounded.] 'Mary Anne, why are you dressed all in . . .' Then I remembered. 'Class Color Day!' I cried.

Yellow was the eighth-grade color. [Thanks, braintrust, but I think we could have figured that one out on our own, especially since you've been in eighth grade for about ten years at this point.]

'I've been dying to wear this new dress somewhere so today seemed like a good opportunity,' Mary Anne said with a hint of apology in her voice. [Don't let her guilt you with her "morals", Mary Anne. Conform to the demands of society! We're all doing it!] I think she felt a little guilty about giving in to School Spirit Month [lord, it's not like it's going to take away her virtue or anything. That's what Logan's there for. That phrasing sounds like Dawn suspects School Spirit Month might be a date rapist.] after all the complaining she'd done.

I didn't blame her, though. If you have a great new yellow dress on a day when you're supposed to wear yellow, why not wear the dress?

I, however, didn't have anything yellow in my wardrobe. And I don't look particularly good in yellow. [Really? Miss Hippie Happy Sunshine?] 'Do you have anything else that's yellow?' I asked Mary Anne.

'I don't think so.' Mary Anne put her bowl in the dishwasher. 'Anyway, it's getting late.'

'I'm going back upstairs to see if I can dig up something yellow.' I said.

'You'd better be fast.' [That's what she said.] [Sorry.]

'Go ahead without me,' I told Mary Anne.

'All right. Good luck.'

I zoomed back upstairs and started pulling open my drawers. There was nothing yellow. Then I threw open the suitcase which still held my summery stuff from [<3<3<3] California [<3<3<3]. 'Yellow! Yes!' I cried triumphantly [nothing like a good triumphant cry] as I snapped up a pair of yellow socks."

Not. Even. Trying. Anyway, it gets hysterical from here, as Dawn ends up snapping at this television interviewer and then is portrayed unfairly as a raging bitch (which, I mean . . . too easy) on the local news show and her mom Sharon gets all into an uproar and the whole community basically implodes. Have you ever thought about how much of life in Stoneybrook revolves around these seven girls? I'm surprised they haven't erected a statue dedicated to the finest organization ever created. No, not Hooters.

Here is a dramatic pictoral representation. I'll give you a moment to digest. Thanks to dibbly-fresh for letting me steal their scan. Without permission.

After all the brouhaha calms down, everyone decides to let those who want to celebrate Spirit Month do so, and those who aren't interested don't have to participate. I mean, duh. They had to hold a fucking town conference over this. Unbelievable. In the final chapter, Dawn lets us know that on Pajama Day, Claudia "looked chic in her lounging pajamas."

Again, duh.

In bad news, I am totally running out of BSC books and the Hadley Salvation Army is failing to provide me with the cheap paperbacks I need. I am getting suspicious here, because that store is overrun with UMass hipsters who snatch up all the good shit before you get there. (However, I did find this hilariously seventies Mary Kate and Ashley vest the other day. It's like, all velvet and flower embroidery and basically looks like something Claudia would have whipped up on a lazy Saturday morning while eating copious amounts of Hersey's kisses.) Is it possible the hipsters are buying my books? 'Cause, how dare they.

Sorry guys, I was drinking some chardonnay while writing this entry and it apparently made me more chatty than usual. If you made it all the way through, we are now bffs and your hand-woven friendship bracelet is in the mail.

Shegotzen: I feel like I'm answering a personal ad, but e-mail me.


This is my most favourite entry so far. Omg. FTW.
(ps, this is that courtney that you know. just so you know. i am sure the courtneys that you don't know would also agree with me though!)

by courtney on 11:19 PM. #

I LOVED this book. Dawn is such a bitch. Yellow socks? Come on.

by Pamela on 3:36 PM. #

I was wondering when you'd update.

I just thought you should know, if you've noticed a dramatic peak in your viewer ship, it might be because I forwarded it to all of my girlfriends from college.

And Dawn... so preachy, but I imagined her to be so hot. Too puffy hair?

by So@24 on 5:08 AM. #

Your post was frigging hilarious.

I always thought that MA's yellow outfit sounded cute too. Is it odd though, that Dawn has to go to her summer clothes to find socks? Wouldn't she be skipping round Cali barefoot or in woven gypsy sandals or something, not heavy socks?

Why am I thinking so much into this? :)

by Laura @ Hungry and Frozen on 11:15 PM. #

Do you go to UMass Amherst? Or Amherst College? Or some other institution of higher learning in Amherst that I'm not aware of?

by Christine on 11:20 PM. #

I just had a scathingly brilliant idea while reading BSC #21, The Trouble with Twins- to start a blog that discusses Claudia Kishi's outfit choices. Naturally, I figured someone already had. And that someone is you. YAY!

by Kate the Great on 11:26 PM. #

I am assuming that's Mary Ann on the cover right next to Dawn, and I must say, all sarcasm aside-- that outfit is slammin'.

Coupled with her rad haircut, I daresay Mary Ann would fit right in at any coffee shop today.

Dawn, on the other hand...

by kate on 1:06 PM. #

Beautiful and perfect.
Best blog entry ever.

Um, if Sal's army doesn't provide, check the local library or ebay. BSC books abound. Keep writing!

by Sarah on 4:32 PM. #

What kind of paint do you think Claud used so that the Native American designs didn't run?

by Whitney on 5:00 PM. #

Your blog is completely hilarious. I just found out about it from jezebel, and wanted to suggest that you do a special post on all of the ballet slippers (described as plain or decorated) that the girls wear in the series. Aside from Claudia's fashions, that is the main thing I remember from those books.

by Deborah on 5:09 PM. #

I just discovered this blog and it is unbelievably amazing. You are my hero.

by wintourfan on 6:50 PM. #

That's what she said? Ha-lairious, you like the Office too so now you can be my new bff. Just found your blog and love it of course, since when I was in grade 6 I once woke up super early to go line up at the mall and get my book signed by the one and only Ann M. Martin. I still have it lying around somewhere and I'll snap a picture and send it to you.

Keep up the awesome blog.

by Henna on 7:32 PM. #

This is amazing! You should maybe have people send you copies of BSC from their own local Goodwills, etc.

by nicole on 7:56 PM. #

In all fairness Claudia thinks about 3 things...


And in that cover picture, my GOD could those shoes BE any fuglier?!

by Lisa on 9:06 PM. #

Your books might be disappearing because there's a UMass grad student who's writing her dissertation on serial novels for girls. You two would have a lot to talk about.

(I found out about your blog from

by Jeannie on 9:36 PM. #

Well it's no wonder Dawn had nothing yellow if all of Stoneybrook went out and bought yellow dresses for School Spirit Month! I mean sheesh, they all looked like bumble bees! Oh, and greatest update, EVER!

by Mehreen on 10:00 PM. #

everyone: thank you! you rock! european style air kisses on each cheek!

christine: yah, good ol' uMass amherst.

so@24: I was wondering what that jump in hits was lately . . . boy you are a p-i-m-p.

whitney: the world may never know.

jeannie: HOW DARE SHE. kidding, that's kind of awesome.

by Kim on 10:13 PM. #

"It Can't Happen Here" was by far the best Nazi parable for children to ever grace serial novels of the early 90s.

I was so happy when Dawn moved back to California, but then so mad when she got her own spin-off series! Those books sucked and Amalia's handwriting was hideous. Nobody writes like that.

by Meaghan on 10:32 PM. #

I, too, was happy when Dawn finally moved back to California. But as soon as she got there she complained hardcore about missing her mother/mary-ann/the bsc.

The We &hearts Kids Club was crap.

by Murial Mercurial on 2:57 AM. #

the greatest blog I have ever come across...

by sarah on 7:19 AM. #

Oh.My.Lord. How have I not seen your blog before today?! This is my new favorite blog for sure. I used to adore these books. LOL

by April on 9:23 AM. #

This blog is genius. I have a distinct memory of an BSC book when Stacy's friend Lynne (where is this memory stored in my brain?) comes to town and puts Claudia to shame with her big-city style. Epic proportions, I tell you.

by amy on 9:25 PM. #

BEST.ENTRY.EVER. So hilarious!

by Nora on 9:55 AM. #

Two of my girlfriends and I got together to watch the BSC movie last Friday night (yeah that's right I said Friday night, get over it, haha... there was wine and tons of junk food in honor of Claudia). We were laughing through the whole thing! Then we looked over two Sweet Valley High books and read about their perfect attributes as well as their parents' looking attractive enough to be their siblings. EW!!!!! We had a blast.

by Nora on 10:13 AM. #

This made my day so much better! You are hilarious. :)

I have this book in my closet. I'm totally reading it tonight.

by Rachael on 3:37 PM. #

i just sent the link to your blog to some friends, and one responded "this is the best thing you have ever sent me."

i would start a fan club devoted to you, but that might be a little creepersville. you're hilars.

by Movie Maven on 5:06 PM. #

This comment has been removed by the author.

by Ideoplastic on 2:17 AM. #

this is my first time reading this blog - and IT IS HILLARIOUS!

I was more of a "babysitter's little sister" reader - aparently the babysitters club was "too mature" for my young mind.

However, I know enough about the BCS (even tried to start one in my neighborhood) to fully appreciate the hilarity of this website.

by Renee on 11:04 AM. #

Oh my Christ. I just read your entire blog. I love it so much. My name is Mallory, and I remember the day well when my father brought me my first BSC book when I was home sick from school: "Get Well Soon, Mallory!" (I did not have mono, but the gesture was appreciated.) It was the beginning of a long relationship that lasted until I realized California Diaries were more age-appropriate. Then they discontinued it. Whores. I loved Ducky. Anyway, keep writing.

by Mallory on 12:39 AM. #

um, girl.

first of all, this blog is amazing.

second of all, and maybe this is weird, do you know the bsc members' birthdays? if so, could you list them for me?

by erinyoun on 1:50 AM. #

your blog is hilarious.

"Mary-Ann and Child Endangerment Laws"

I always wanted to see that.

by Anonymous on 1:51 AM. #

this blog completes my life. thank you thank you thank you!

by Andrea on 4:57 PM. #

Your blog makes me seriously regret that I haven't worked out a thrift store rotation since moving across the country. My boyfriend is going to be so pissed when I don't have rent money but I do have six new poodle-themed outfits.

Also, how much time do you think Ann/ghostwriters spent just chilling in the little girls' section of department stores?

by Rebecca Pancoast on 11:28 AM. #

i went looking for all my bsc books the other day, only to be told by my mother that they'd been donated to the local second hand book shop. i have never been so devastated in my life.

by sophie on 2:47 AM. #

LOVE this blog! I used to be obsessed with the BSC books and could list all the of the books by title. I was a sad kid.

Sophie: The same exact thing happened to me! I was so sad! I wanted a trip down memory lane.

by Colene on 4:18 AM. #

I'm not even finished reading this, but I feel compelled to point out that it was Kristy who got up at like 5 a.m. to make herself up for a boy when he was snowed in at her house in the super special about snow. Just saying.

by Kara on 4:51 PM. #

those damn 5 college hipsters! snapping up the good stuff and driving up prices. i hear your lament, and i will let you in on a secret... if you have a car, check out the Savers (ahem, thrift department store... yes it is that good) in springfield.

also, please keep up the amazing work.

by Alexandra on 12:06 PM. #

I have never, ever, ever seen a "It Can't Happen Here" reference and my mind is appropriately blown. Awesome.

by Dinah on 8:38 PM. #

I always thought the eighth-graders got screwed having to wear yellow. With only three grades, couldn't they have gotten an easier color? If they had green, Dawn could have worn her clog outfit again!

by MaybeSomeday on 4:28 PM. #

OMG just found out about this blog from the Frankie site - LOVE IT!! So many memories, like telling mum I was going to get a bikini line this summer like Stacey even though I clearly had no idea what it meant (and clearly no need for it as a 10 year old!)

by Bexy on 12:57 AM. #

Dude, it's Mary Anne.

by Libellule on 4:34 PM. #

Such a dissertation would easily land that person the Walmart Greeter job!

by Libellule on 4:40 PM. #

I actually liked that character--her name was Laine.

by Libellule on 4:43 PM. #

BCS? Bowl Championship Series?

by Libellule on 4:46 PM. #

I've never known Claudia to be so matchy-matchy as with the rain outfit. Lazy ghostwriter!

by Libellule on 4:49 PM. #

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