by Unknown on Sunday, May 18, 2008

#12: Claudia and the New Girl

Let's get this straight, folks: the first rule of the Baby-sitters Club is that you don't talk about the Baby-sitters Club (except for Chapter 3, in which you don't talk about anything but the Baby-sitters Club). Second rule is, if you follow my reference, the same as the first. But the THIRD rule - now that's the one where you aren't allowed to have any friends outside the Baby-sitters Club.

This entry will be filed under the category of What Claudia Wore a Little But Mostly What Claudia's Wacky One-Book-Friend Ashley Wore. And yeah, Ashley's kind of wacky. She's obviously the child of seventies peaceniks who, even today, still have a vaguely illegal aroma emanating from them at all times. A.M.M. tries to attribute it (Ashley's outthereness) to the fact that Ashley went to the Keyes Art Society or something. I think a better explanation would be that Ashley found Papa Peacenik's stash and now spends her afternoons getting baked and painting pictures about the concept of effervescence or something.

The new girl's clothes were the first thing to attract Claud's attention, of course. "They reminded me of something. What was it? Oh, yes. On television not long ago, I'd seen this bizarre movie called Woodstock. It was about a gigantic outdoor rock concert that took place ages ago, like in the sixties, and all the young people who attended it were what my parents call hippies. You know - they wore tons of beaded or silver jewelry and funny long skirts or bell-bottom jeans. The men pierced their ears and wore their hair in ponytails and the women looked like gypsies. (Only my mon said they were 'bohemian.' I think it means the same thing.)"

I already love where this is going.

"Well, this Ashford or whatever her name was [serious lols, but is Ashley really that uncommon a name?], looked like a hippie. She was wearing a very pretty pink flowered skirt that was full and so long it touched the tops of her shoes - which I soon realized were not shoes, but sort of hiking boots. Her blouse, loose and lacy, was embroidered with pink flowers, and both her wrists were loaded with silver bangle bracelets. Her hair, which was almost as long as my friend Dawn's and was dirty blonde, was pulled into a fat braid (which, I might add [you might], was not held in place with a rubber band or anything; it just sort of trailed to an end). But the amazing thing was that because her hair was pulled back, you could see her ears. And she had three pierced earrings in each ear. They were all silver and all dangly, but none matched."

Yuck, that is a lot of dangling silver. Claudia sighs over how lucky Ashley is, since the Conservative Kishis would never let Claudia have six holes. Who knew our girl was such a piercing enthusiast, damn.

When Kristy enters Claud's bedroom for a BSC meeting, Claudia wishes "for the thirty-nine thousandth time [that's such a random number to pick, don't you think? 39?] that she'd do something about her clothes and hair." Ha! She then smoothly turns this musing into an excuse to talk about her own outfit, which, I mean . . . good show, Kishi. [golf clap]

"I was wearing a very short pink cotton dress, white tights [I'm so soaked in Gossip Girl that my mind immediately went to Blair, and I'm not (that) ashamed to admit it], and black ballet slippers. I had swept all of my hair way over to one side, where it was held in place with a piece of pink cloth that matched the dress. Only one ear showed, and in it I had put my big palm tree earring."

Claudia doesn't bother to describe Stacey's outfit (and why should she have to, really?) but she does throw us a bone and mention that Stacey'd "painted her fingernails yellow and then put black polka dots all over them."

I really hate polka dots.

"There she was. She was wearing a puffy white blouse, a blue-jean jacket, a long blue-jean skirt, and those hiking boots again. Beaded bracelets circled both wrists, and she'd tied a strip of faded denim around her head, like an Indian headband."

Nicole Richie circa 2005. Am I wrong? Okay, she probably wouldn't have rocked the Texas tuxedo, but you KNOW you saw that outfit hanging off her bony little frame at one point.

When Claud's art teacher announces that first prize winner in the art show will receive $250 dollars, Claudia can't even begin to think of how she'd spend it. So I decided to extrapolate a bit: I've created a shopping list, complete with creative spelling decisions a la Kishi.

1. akrylic pants and pantbrushses
2. scrunchy mayker to compeat with Stacy's NY scruchies
3. hoe-hoes
4. royle blue acid wash pants. lol hipstrs.
5. goald lame hot pants (dont let mom or Janeen the jenius see)
6. buterfingers
7. neon flop sox

Later in book, in the midst of Claudia's Girlcrush, she notes for the reader that Ashley is wearing "two gold balls and a hoop in one ear. A seashell, a real feather, and a dangly flamingo in the other. Pretty cool." I will begrudgingly admit that doesn't sound too terribly horrendous.

And then, Claudia's love begins to wane. "Then I turned around and nearly ran into Ashley. She was wearing a long, all-the-way-to-her-ankles dress with three rows of ruffles at the bottom. A strip of black cloth was tied around her head. I couldn't see her earrings, but she looked . . . well, all right, I'll admit it. She looked a little bizarre."

. . .

Okay, I know this is early on in the series. And therefore it predates a lot of Claudia outfit madness and mayhem. But damn, girl, are you sure you're qualified to make that kind of critique? She of the bungee-cord belt? Well, I guess it doesn't really matter, because in the end Claud drops Ashley like a hot potato and returns to the more normal but also more lame realm of cookie-baking and baby-sitting. They do all eat lunch together at the end, which I guess is supposed to be considered social progress. Even though Kristy displays some shocking Outfit Prejudice:

"Kristy scowled at me, and I knew why. Ashley looked just plain weird in her outfit - a long knitted vest over an even longer shirt which she was wearing tails-out over a skirt that didn't match either the vest or the skirt. [Huh? Pay attention, Ann. I guess on the last page she just stops caring.] And there were those hiking boots again."

Kristy needs to step off. Ashley is just expressing all the colors within her, the ebb and flow of her immortal spirit. Quit hating.


By the way, y'all folks (I was recently visiting my cousins in Louisville) need to thank Bethany from OIT for this entry, because she is the main reason I'm even updating. I had a very surreal encounter with her which began with her asking if I was the girl who wrote [this blog] and ended with me being called a celebrity multiple times, which I did NOT have a problem with. So hats off to Bethany!

And finally, if you are interested in reading a little more about me and my thoughts on the blog, The Phoenix writer Caitlin Curran recently did a short piece on What Claudia Wore. I was NOT aware they were going to use this picture. Now all The Phoenix's readers know that I am the shameful owner of a dirty bathroom mirror.

25 comments

Congrats on the press!

I could not let this go by:

She was wearing a very pretty pink flowered skirt that was full and so long it touched the tops of her shoes - which I soon realized were not shoes, but sort of hiking boots.

Am I missing something? Since when are hiking boots not shoes?

by Amanda on 8:20 PM. #

Dude, congrats on the article, that's awesome!

by ames on 9:29 PM. #

I found this blog linked on another blog and have quickly become obsessed. You make me want to dig out all of my old BSC books and reread them.
This would be super lame because I'm pretty sure I was ashamed that I read those books in sixth grade and I am now 17. Luckily, I have a six year old sister who I can use as an excuse to reread the books.
Also, I feel an undeniable need to watch the BSC movie...
Anyway, congrats on a seriously addicting, guilty-pleasure blog.

by Ally on 11:50 PM. #

Let's get this straight, folks: the first rule of the Baby-sitters Club is that you don't talk about the Baby-sitters Club (except for Chapter 3, in which you don't talk about anything but the Baby-sitters Club).

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She's obviously the child of seventies peaceniks who, even today, still have a vaguely illegal aroma emanating from them at all times.

+

THE SHOPPING LIST (!!!!!!!!!!!)

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Okay, I know this is early on in the series. And therefore it predates a lot of Claudia outfit madness and mayhem. But damn, girl, are you sure you're qualified to make that kind of critique? She of the bungee-cord belt?

+

Kristy needs to step off. Ashley is just expressing all the colors within her, the ebb and flow of her immortal spirit. Quit hating.

Oh em gee, you were ON, girl. I'll let you know when I stop laughing. It could be a while.
Also, CONGRATS on the article. It was effing awesome. No one's looking at the dirty bathroom mirror. They are looking at the ~*face of a genius*~. Seriously. I love this installment so much. Gimme more, as Brit-brit would say.

(the) courtney (that you know)
(I always fear you won't know it's me since my google id gives nothing away)

by courtney on 12:42 AM. #

I know I've got this book somewhere in my storage closet. If I remember the cover right, Ashley looked like the Swiss Miss girl on the cocoa box.

Congrats on being recognized in The Phoenix and I'm glad you're back!

by carol on 12:28 PM. #

Glad to see you're getting some press! I need to stop by my mom's tonight to grab all my old BSC books.

by OCD OD on 4:47 PM. #

oh my lord (hahah) this was fantastic!!!! i remember this book - Ashley's last name was Wyeth, and Claudia was like "omg are you related to Andrew Wyeth", and Ashley, in her marijuana haze had no clue what she was talking about, as I recall.

by amber on 5:28 PM. #

Oh man, this was always one of my favorites. Thank you so much for your posts, I love this blog!

by Britas on 6:31 PM. #

I am so happy that you have written another post! I stalk the blog waiting in anticipation of having something to entertain me while at work as I adore this blog! :) Congrats on the press - keep writing please!

by Mary on 10:24 AM. #

Just wanted to congratulate you on the press. I found your website a few months ago when tracking some links on a Sweet Valley High tribute website (my other teen obssession). Wish I had kept my BSC books. I have no idea what happened to them. My mom probably donated them to charity or something.

Can't wait to read more!

by Chantel on 4:11 PM. #

I don't know why, but I always remember the most about this book! I never figured out how Ashely made a fire hydrant noble or how Claudia won a prize for half of Jamie's head, but that's great. I also happen to have 3 holes in each ear and thought that made me supremely cooler than Ms. Kishi. How hateful were the girls shortsheeting Claud's bed and eat all her junkfood!

by Mehreen on 1:51 AM. #

Glad to see you are back.

by evilcat on 5:48 PM. #

I find it amusing that the length of Ashley's skirts is used to indicated how weird she is, as if no normal person wears a long skirt. They probably don't team them with Timberlands and the like, though.

Glad you're back, also.

by anti-zeitgeist on 7:38 PM. #

I used to LOVE this book...and I think it was what incited my love of hippies.

by Fear Street on 1:36 AM. #

oh ho ho ho! i saw the article in the phoenix and had to stop by your blog... this is hysterical!

and my friends used to call me claudia. haha. although i think the similarity ends with both of us being asian...

by Oh Lady E on 5:37 PM. #

oh god, so happy. i love that this makes me want to pee my pants with laughter. thank you for being you.

by alicia on 7:04 PM. #

Well deserved press recognition!

And of course, being a dude, the first thing that caught my eye in this post?

"a very short pink cotton dress"

Ann M. Martin! Snaps! Giving the boys something to visualize!

by So@24 on 9:21 PM. #

I loved, LOVED this one, and remember trying to recreate the best possible hybrid of Ashley and Claudia's outfits.
Do you think today some horrid store would have recreated BSC outfits and sold them to people like us? I just remember shopping with my mom and thinking that none of it would help me look more like Bam-Bam...
Although in middle-school, I like to think I out-Claudia'ed Claud with my earrings that looked like sushi. Although the sushi may have been more Dawn's category...

by jb on 1:48 PM. #

Ah! I'm so glad you posted again. I'm hanging out for the next one!
And Stacey is totally boring. I hate they way she thinks she is bette Claud. Smug Bitch.

by Lady Smaggle on 11:37 PM. #

Killing time at work wasn't half as fun as it is now thanks to your critique of written genius that is babysitter's. Thank you a million times over for curing my boredom with childhood past times.

by jj. on 6:47 PM. #

I love, love, LOVE that you had claudia spell her sister's name wrong. good choice there.

by Mandy on 12:59 PM. #

This was the book that totally cemented my hatred of Kirsty.. WHAT a discriminative so and so. And why was she Anne's (M.Martin) favorite? I always imagined Kirsty having onion breath. Vaguely remember crying about a pic of a butterfly that Claudia's dumb teacher did not understand.. but her gran did. From that moment on I felt I understood Claudia. We connected like. Your blog has brought smiles to my lunch break. Thanks you so much!

by Caitriona on 10:43 AM. #

I just had an "aha!" moment regarding the three ear piercings in EACH EAR i have...despite the fact that i wear earrings 10x per year. thanks, BSC, for pushing me towards self-mutilation as a tween.

by Laura on 3:36 PM. #

Since they were boots.

by Libellule on 9:13 PM. #

Vegeterians don't eat fish, unless they're some variety of "asterisk vegeterians," such as pesci vegeterians, who make an exception for fish. Fish are animals and as such, vegetarians as a rule don't eat them. I don't recall Dawn making a reference to eating fish, or not.

by Libellule on 9:18 PM. #

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