It's been close to two months since I've posted an entry. Trust me, I have plenty of very good
A. It's all tumblr's fault.
B. In love; snark levels compromised.
C. Existential crisis brought on by the realization that all of my clothes are too small or falling apart.*
D. Moved into new position at job; am tired at the end of the day.
E. My television isn't going to watch itself.
F. Cease and desist letter from Ann M. Martin's Army of Lawyers.
But enough about Kim "Lazy Blogger Extraordinaire" Hutt. The eleven year old prima ballerina of the BSC snagged yet another lead role, and now she must pay. Or something.
On with the
We all know Jessi is not exactly a fashion icon. She further proves this by celebrating the fact that she is restricted to black leotards and pink tights during ballet class. "I could just imagine the scene if we were allowed to wear anything: There'd be so much neon in the place that it would look like Times Square."
Other things it might look like: an American Apparel ad. A Forever 21 dressing room discard rack. The inside of Lady Gaga's brain. I too can work a simile, Martin!
As you may have guessed from the title and cover art, Jessi is getting seriously stalked here. She's creeped out enough about it to consider giving up the role of Princess Aurora. However, the other babysitters won't stand for this defeatist, "I wish to escape with my life" attitude.
"Mallory gasped. 'Give up the production!' she said. 'You're nuts, Jessi. That may be the best part you've ever gotten. You can't let them scare you out of it.'
'Mal's right,' said Claud. 'You can't quit. I've already bought a new outfit to wear to your opening night.' She laughed. 'I'm only kidding.'"
She's not. Jessi's safety means nothing compared to the joys of a new minidress.
Eventually they unmask the crazy (in a really stupid plotline involving an incriminating calligraphy pen) and all is well. Opening night arrives just in time for A.M.M. to think up more wacky outfits for her little posse of teen & tween fashionistas.
Jessi "Best Ballerina Evar" Ramsey wore "a black velvet dress." Yawn.
Stacey "I AM New York" McGill wore "a tuxedo! That's right, a tuxedo, just like one a boy would wear. But it was made to fit her perfectly, and she looked great. She must have gotten it in New York."
Kristy "I'd Rather Be Coaching Softball" Thomas wore "a dress, for once, and it was strange to see her in something other than a turtleneck and jeans. She looked really pretty."
Mallory "The Oft-Mocked Or Forgotten One" Pike wore "her best skirt and blouse." Again: yawn.
Dawn "Can I Go Back to California Yet?" Schafer wore "Mary Anne's new Laura Ashley dress", while Mary Anne "Huge F'in Crybaby" Spier sported "Dawn's pink jumpsuit".
Claudia "No Fanciful Nickname Could Possibly Encompass The Awesome" Kishi "looked extremely cool and exotic, as usual. Her hair was braided with silver ribbons, and she wore a shimmery dark blue minidress. On her feet were silver sandals, with laces up the calves - kind of like toe shoes."
* My inner cheapskate is sad about this, she really enjoyed buying $12 jeans at Forever21. Anyway, I'm solving this crisis by slowly filtering in classy, well-made items from (I know, I know, this is so mature and adult I can barely even stand it) Banana Republic. Today I set my progress back considerably by purchasing this doofy acrylic sweater coat thing from Urban Outfitters. Which is also not my fault: I was Christmas shopping. SOMETIMES THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU ARE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING.
Courtney Summers* frantically tweeted a link to me the other day. "HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?!!!" she asked. I'm not sure what I was expecting. Maybe a Jon & Kate Plus 8 parody or an Arrested Development .gif. Certainly not an Amazon listing for a new BSC book.
Before there was the Baby-Sitters Club, there were four girls named Kristy Thomas, Mary Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi, and Stacey McGill. As they start the summer before seventh grade (also before they start the BSC), each of them is on the cusp of a big change. Kristy is still hung up on hoping that her father will return to her family. Mary Anne has to prove to her father that she's no longer a little girl who needs hundreds of rules. Claudia is navigating her first major crush on a boy. And Stacey is leaving her entire New York City life behind...
...in order to find new friends in Stoneybrook, Connecticut.
The Summer Before . . . is a sweet, moving novel about four girls on the edge of something big - not just the Club that will change their lives, but also all the joys and tribulations of being twelve and thirteen.
* (PLUG ALERT) author of Cracked Up to Be and January's Some Girls Are. You can check out the first chapter of Some Girls Are here. It's a pretty heavy book - after I read it I told Courtney it made her first book look like My Little Pony. She was delighted by this analysis, because she is slightly depraved. In a good way. Sure, she enjoys crafting sympathetic characters and then making terrible things happen to them. So what?
#85: Claudia Kishi, Live From WSTO!
By now we've all heard the news about Diablo Cody getting her schticky hands on the rights to Sweet Valley High. I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited fuckin' breath for my opinion. (You: "No, I have not." Me: "Dude, it's like a joke and stuff." You: "Less dudes, dude." Everyone's a critic!)
Here it is: I feel :( about it. Unless Cody would like to hire me as a consultant, in which case I feel $$:)$$ about it.
Cody: SVH characters do not speak in a sarcastic and superspeedy manner. They do not make grating pop culture references. They do not utilize supposedly clever phrases like "honest to blog". They do not have hamburger phones. You have been warned.
Whatever. I was underwhelmed by Juno and I have no interest in Jennifer's Body (I do have an interest in tunelessly singing the chorus of the classic Hole song whenever the film is mentioned - now you've all been warned) and I'm just thanking god she didn't buy the rights to the Babysitter's Club.
Back to the 'brook.
Four pages in, Janine is calling Claud out ("Claudia, what on earth are you wearing?") for her unique and in this case slightly deranged sense of style.
"I was wearing a backward t-shirt, overalls I'd made by sewing together two halves cut from different pairs, and mismatched socks. It was my 'deconstructionist' look. You know, like the art movement?"
This outfit makes me wanna shout WOAH THERE LADY. Picturing this getup - referred to by Janine as "Frankenstein's Jumpsuit" - is making my brain melt. I wish I knew what shoes she was wearing. Probably one black Converse hightop and one white Converse lowtop covered in, like, stickers and food coloring.
Claudia dresses down for her job at the Pikes (in "jeans and a button-down men's shirt [Sorry Mr. Kishi] over a stretch top") because "there's already enough deconstruction in that house."
I feel that. I mean, think about it: Mom & Pop Pike are the original Jon & Kate, except for all the in vitro and Ed Hardy and People magazine cover stories.
The a-plot (and it's a doozy!) kicks into full gear when Claudia wins a contest to host a radio show for a month. Her sudden interest in deejaying is the result of a) that bitch Stacey totally abandoning her* b) Claudia realizing that, like, everybody in the BSC has a love interest except for her. I mean, even Mallory is doing better than Claud is, though she did have to import an Australian** after striking out with all the American boys.
Conclusion: somebody needs a hobby. (I mean, besides eating vast amounts of candy. Although as hobbies go, that's a pretty great one.)
Hence: conveniently timed contest.
In a Wacky Plot Twist, the contest runner-up gets to co-host the show. The contest runner-up? Ashley Wyeth! Except Ashley went to rehab or something, and I'm majorly bummed. She's definitely not the girl we met in book 12, the girl dressed like a Little House on the Prarie superfan who had recently discovered the joys of LSD.
I mean, she shows up at the radio studio wearing a "plain, button-down shirt and khakis with running shoes." Where are the Doc Martens, I ask?
She makes it up for me during the first show by bringin' the sass.
"I put together this great new outfit and trimmed my hair.
I know. Double duh. It was a radio show. Nobody was going to see me. But I could not help it. Honestly. I absolutely had to do it. I don't know why.***
Anyway, 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."
"Ashley was already in the studio when I walked in, dressed in jeans and a workshirt. She was deep in conversation with Bob, but when she saw me, she howled with laughter.
'Are you going to, like, describe your outfit to the listeners or something?' she asked."
It's her show, Ash. And damn straight she is.
*** I love you.
Oh, Dawn. I'm choosing to ignore your teased bangs and will instead focus on your dinner companion. Travis. Travis the Older Boy from California. Travis the Older Boy from California with Suspiciously Pristine Sneakers.
Not so much about the age thing. I mean, I get it lady. Maturity, experience, etc. But this guy looks exactly like my mental picture of Randall Flagg and that CANNOT be a good thing. He's probably two seconds away from eating your face. For god's sakes, woman! Run!
Guys, I know you feel me on this. Just look at him. That is clearly the face of a killer. Dude, he probably has the skin of a killer* as well.
Anyway. Let's get started with some makeovers.
"I glanced around Kristy Thomas's bedroom and saw that all six of my friends were experimenting with lipstick and nail polish. A few of them, like Stacey McGill, were even trying out new hairstyles. It was a sort of mass 'make-over,' and there was a lot of giggling going on. (And some of the 'befores' looked better than the 'after', if you know what I mean.)"
I do know what you mean, but I'm supposed to be the quippy one here. Back off, Schafer.
"Claudia is a beautiful, dramatic-looking Japanese-American who loves exotic clothes. (She's also the vice-president of the BSC.) Claudia's one of those people who can wear anything and get away with it. Today, for example, she had stuck to two colors: black and white. Black cotton bib overalls over a white turtleneck with a shiny black patent leather belt looped around her waist. Black suede ankle boots and white cotton socks. [Wow, yikes. I'm down with mixing up the casual and the formal, but I can't stand behind this. I'm not sure I can ever stand behind visible white cotton socks. Okay, maybe if they're flop socks and I've layered three different pairs so that my ankles look like ice cream cones.] Long black hair swept off her face with giant white plastic barrettes. Anyone else would look like a penguin in that get-up, but Claudia looked great. [Like a beautiful, dramatic-looking, Japanese-American penguin.]
'What do you think,' she asked, holding up a white hoop earring next to her face. 'Too much?'
I nodded. 'Maybe just a little.' The earring was the size of a doorknob."
It's nice of you to get the little people involved, Claud. But you and I both know that the concept of 'too much' doesn't exist in your world. Ignore California Casual over there. She wears clogs.
What? You own clogs? Oh. Well, I'm sure you look GREAT in them. Don't mind me.
Makeover madness continues: "'Stacey had scrunched her own hair into a cloud of blonde curls and was trying for the same effect with my stepsister.
Mary Anne shot me a desperate look [pull it together, Spier] in the mirror, just as Stacey gave a final pat to her hair and said pointedly, 'Doesn't she look great?'
I was on the spot. 'I think it's a nice change,' I began. 'Of course, you wouldn't have to wear it that way every day.'
'She should. It's a big improvement.' Stacey said flatly."
Holy shit, man. It's about to be a (what) GIRLFIGHT**.
The next morning, Dawn meets the Older Boy (henceforth referred to as OB), a friend of Charlie's. The scene is moderately amusing - the babysitters go downstairs, are struck dumb by the presence of cute high school guys, and flock back upstairs to primp.
"Upstairs, I took a quick shower and spent the next hour fiddling with my hair and makeup. I decided that I wanted to look casual (but gorgeous!) and finally settled on a pale blue ten-button top [I'm getting 'henley' from this description] with my favorite jeans."
For whatever reason, said cute high school guys are still chilling in the Brewer's kitchen an hour later. Travis lures Dawn in with ocean talk and mentions of Malibu and his affinity for granola. He even drops some fashion advice, letting her know she should always wear blue. Because it brings out the color of her eyes. Just like the ocean.
I think he should always wear brown. Because he is full of it.
They go on a couple of nebulous date-things (gotta love the nebulous date-thing, staring across the table all "hmm. This feels date-y. I'm totally catching vibes here.") after school involving grilled cheese sandwiches and girly accessory shopping. No joke.
Oh, and he gives her a blue beaded necklace and hair combs. "'When I saw this,'" he smarms, "'it just made me think of you. That's all. It's the same shade as your eyes.'"
You know, I might have found that kinda cute, but he follows it up by being a total douche and not appreciating Schafer for the unique little snowflake that we all know she is. God, what a jerk. It's my job to tell these girls they look like crap.
Check out this gem:
"'Usually, I just brush my hair and wear it straight. It's so long.'
'Oh yeah. That's another thing I wanted to mention.' Travis picked up a strand of hair and looked at critically. 'When's the last time you got your hair cut?'
'Cut? I never get it cut. Well, sometimes I have the ends trimmed a little.'
Travis gave me a very serious look. 'I think you should lose a few inches, maybe three or four. It will give your hair more lift, you know?'" [Seriously, I would smack a guy for telling me I needed to cut my hair.]
"'Maybe,' I said doubtfully. I like my hair the way it is - very long and fine. Whenever I try a new style, I usually hate it and go right back to wearing it straight."
Feel ya, girl. I experimented with bangs a couple years ago and couldn't hack it after a few short months. Now where was I? Oh yeah, somewhere around "this guy spends a creepy amount of time looking at/thinking about jewelry":
"'I saw some pierced earrings in here that would look great on you,' he said. He led me to a display counter and spun an earring tree with his thumb. 'Good! They're still here.' He lifted a pair of delicate silver earrings off the tree and held them out to me. 'Do you like them?'
They were perfect. Tiny butterflies in flight. 'I love them,' I said softly.
[I suspect Merry-Go-Round is the Stoneybrook version of a Claire's Accessories. Have some class, Older Boy.]
Travis held them up to my ear and smiled. 'I knew they'd be right for you.'
'I'll wear them under the stars,' I promised him. (I should explain that I wear two earrings in each ear.)
'No,' Travis said flatly. 'You should wear them up higher. Just get another hole punched in your ear.'"
Hey. Sociopath. Calm the hell down. And then he has the audacity to bring Cali back into the equation, claiming that "all the girls" have 3 holes in each ear. Look, I know I talk a lot of shit about Schafer, but I am very wounded by all this making over of a fictional teenager who is perfectly fine just as she is***.
After Dawn hears that Travis has been hanging out with a girl his age (Kristy's big mouth strikes again), she makes the totally rational decision to stalk him. Yeah, I smell a healthy relationship in the works here. Would more Twilight jokes be appropriate at this time****?
Travis is wearing "faded jeans and a white t-shirt" when Dawn spots him. "But he wasn't alone. He turned around and linked arms with a great-looking girl. Her long red hair tumbled down her back, and she had high cheekbones, just like a model. She was dressed in a white cotton flight suit [I was all 'this must be some high-fashion terminology I've never heard of', but then I google image searched 'flight suit' and the results were precisely what I'd imagined], exactly the kind of trendy outfit that Claudia or Stacey would wear. I hated her on sight, and then I stopped and reminded myself that it wasn't her fault she was gorgeous."
The outfit, on the other hand, is entirely her fault.
So Dawn spies on Travis and Sara (or Flight Suit Girl, as I prefer to think of her) a second time. Travis takes Sara to Merry-Go-Round, and Dawn decides it's time to confront him. She starts by being all 'so, looks like this is one of your favorite spots.' The dig doesn't have the impact she'd hoped for, and Flight Suit Girl interrupts by showing Travis some "heavy gold hoop earrings.
'What do you think, Travis?' she asked, ignoring me. 'Are these too big?'
I couldn't resist. 'Yes, definitely too big. They look like they should be holding up a shower curtain.'
[What does Dawn have against big jewelry? Hrmph.]
Sara frowned and gave Travis a 'who-is-this-person?' look, and he introduced us.
'Dawn is from California, too,' he added.
'Really?' Sara gave me a cool smile. 'Oh, now I remember,' she said, as if a light bulb had switched on inside her head. 'Dawn Schafer . . . the little girl you told me about.'
Little girl? I was steaming. What nerve. I needed a really stinging comeback, but my mind was a blank. And the next words out of Sara's mouth were even worse. 'I'm sure you've turned her into a real beauty, Travis,' she murmured."
Dude, what kind of fucked-up dynamics are going on here?! I'm so disturbed. Poor Dawn pulls it together, but kinda embarrasses herself further with her retort, snapping that she was "'already a beauty'."
In the end, Sensitive Mary Anne reminds Dawn about the plot of My Fair Lady and Dawn realizes she's Eliza Doolittle. And then she starts talking to animals and Mary Anne has to inform her that Eliza Doolittle and Dr. Dolittle are two entirely different characters and then she wonders if maybe Dawn has gotten into Sharon's stash. (I mean, why do you think she could never find anything? And stored her keys in the vegetable drawer and shit? Think about it.)
Nah, that didn't happen. It would've been more interesting, though. Dawn calls Travis on his shit and he doesn't get it but she feels vindicated in the end and then starts an epistolary romance with Logan's cousin Lewis ('cause those Kentucky boys like to keep it in the family). And by book 50 she's totally forgotten all these valuable lessons about loving you for you (or whatever). I think we all remember that particular clusterfuck.
* you: "did she just drop a Twilight reference? oh my GOD, she did. I am NEVER reading this blog AGAIN."
** I know.
*** Assuming she lets me burn her entire wardrobe and start from scratch.
**** Twilight jokes are both never AND always appropriate.
Why did [Dawn] 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?"
- Mary Anne and the Missed Period
- Abby and the Sex Ed Improv Group
- Stacey McGill, Sororstitute
- Dawn Hits the Bong
- Kristy and the Group Project From Hell
- Claudia's Shoplifting Secret
Things to note: Frye Carmen side zip boots I spent way too much on, Paris Hilton pose, vague semblance of a smile (I tried, really I did), shelving unit stocked with skinny jeans, Laine-approved amounts of black and grey closet items, tacky ring (as seen on greasy mobster stereotypes).
In the interest of full shopping habit disclosure: I bought shoes recently. I know, I've been making all these claims about how I'm not shopping anymore because I need to look into this whole 'future' thing. But it's totally fine because these puppies are extremely practical. Okay, whatever, they're not.
Mrs. Obama*, what the heck are you doing? The only explanation for this is that you are a big Kishi fan (okay, there are probably other explanations, but I have a blog about The Kishi so there's a certain direction I need to take this, dig?) and you're rocking some sort of tribute ensemble. Maybe you got some BSC books for Malia and Sasha at a garage sale. You seem like the kind of down-to-earth woman who can still appreciate the lure of a good garage sale, even though you happen to be, oh, the First Lady. So perhaps you were reading the books together - I appreciate your hands-on parenting style, for real - and you found yourself admiring the panache of the Kishi. So you woke up one day and decided 'elegant sheath dresses be damned! I'm going to do this up Claudia-style!'
It happens to all of us. I had a phase where I thought skirts over jeans was a really clever idea (I will try to find photographic evidence later so everyone can point and laugh merrily). But, honestly and with all due respect, I don't think this is the best look for you.
If I start seeing earrings made from paper clips, we are going to have to have a TALK.
* relevant: the entry in which I photoshopped the President's head onto Kristy Thomas' body. I'm still pretty proud of that.
Breaking news: Jessi's hairstyle? A bun, adorned with a scrunchy. BREAKING NEWS, GUYS.
And I'm not even going to address the jeans.
"Stacey's sophistication shows up in the super-responsible and mature way in which she usually acts [book #83: Stacey vs. the BSC. Just sayin'.], but also in the way she dresses. We are pretty casually dressed at the BSC meetings, but even if Stacey is just wearing jeans like most of the rest of us, she goes one step further into cool [?]. For instance, today, when we were wearing sweaters and shirts [well, those both seem like logical choices, kid - do you want everyone else in leotards, too?], Stacey had on an oversized black sweater and a metallic gold t-shirt underneath. With her huge blue eyes and naturally dark lashes, and the shoulder length blonde hair that she keeps perfectly cut, she looked just like a model."
Jessi, what the hell: "But Claudia's sophistication and style are not big city. They're more artistic." The more I stare at this statement, the less sense it makes. Is it possible all the RL4 writing is rotting my brain? Also, why would 'big city' and 'artistic' be mutually exclusive?
Jessica Ramsey, you have so much to learn.
Which is logical, since you're 11.
"Claudia's style is unique. She doesn't often wear jeans, but she was wearing them today - only she'd cut patterns in the legs of the jeans (which were major faded) and was wearing leopard tights underneath so that they showed through. [I feel like we've all seen this on lookbook.nu.] She was wearing her Doc Martens with yellow shoelaces, and she'd used matching shoelaces to pull her hair back into a thick, long braid. Her earrings were a pair she made herself, out of little yellow feathers and black beads. And she was wearing a black and yellow striped flannel shirt buttoned up to her throat, with another pair of shoelaces made into a sort of bow tie."
(I hope season three of Gossip Girl brings us a scene in which Chuck Bass pulls open a drawer and it is just filled with, like, 100 bowties in perfect rows on some sort of custom-made bowtie organizer. They should be organized by color.)
Before sitting down to write this entry I told myself sternly that I need to refrain from stock terms such as 'fierce bitch' because not everyone finds said b-word endearing. (Hi Mom.) Is 'sassy wench' politically correct and socially acceptable? Whatever.
Like our heroine, Susie isn't just a consumer - she's also a creator. She teamed up with Borders & Frontiers to create a gorgeous t-shirt available for purchase through the blog. If I wasn't currently trying desperately to refrain from expanding my wardrobe - it's hard - for the sake of my paltry bank account, I'd already own three.
If you aren't already a fan, go check out the blog. Her link list alone could keep you busy for days. Susie, you rock. Thanks for breaking the mold and sharing your unique viewpoints with the world.
You can also follow Susie on twitter. Thankfully, though she and Claudia may share a willingness to experiment with crazy hats, Susie's got her basic spelling and grammar skills down. Seriously, can you imagine following Kishi on twitter? It'd be all "their is a emergancy meating 2day somthing about not enouf clients shut up kristy".
Abby, sit down. You haven't even been in the Baby-sitter's Club long enough to have built up any righteous indignation. Sure, I like your grey skinnies (they look a little bagged out, I would recommend throwing them in the dryer) even though they look suspiciously acid-washy, like maybe Claudia let you accompany her on her latest trip to American Apparel**. But I hate your shirt. Sure, I'm the least sporty person probably in the history of the world and I really dislike baseball. That doesn't mean I'm biased (it actually does). The shirt really does suck and hits at a weird length. It needs to be longer. Or shorter. Something.
Mallory and Jessi, I'm sorry. I can tell this is really stressful for you both. With that said, enough with the ballerina hairstyles, Jessica. We get it. You're the most dedicated 11 year old in the history of dance. You get up at 5:00 a.m. to practice in your basement every day. Mallory, never wear those colors together ever again. And get yourself to Lenscrafters because those glasses are atrocious.
Stacey, this may be the least "New York" you've ever looked. This is substitute teacher wear, Miss I'm So Very Sophisticated. Next.
Kristy, you know I love you. Upon review of the series, it turns out that the whole 'big mouth' thing is just a euphemism for 'sarcastic, snarky, and generally kinda awesome'. That doesn't make me any more okay with this ensemble. I know, I really have no right to say anything, especially since I own like 4 pairs of the same Forever 21 skinny jeans (they were $12.50, okay?). But at least put on a necklace or something. Flip flops instead of clunky white sneakers. Anything.
Mary Anne, your hair doesn't look completely horrific here. It's actually kinda cute. I don't really have anything else to say about you. I guess maybe I could reiterate my general disdain for the color pink, but whatever. You wouldn't listen anyway.
Claudia, if fashion was a video game, you would have already defeated Bowser and rescued the princess. You're wearing pinstriped denim. You're a sassy train conductor. Your shirt is drapey and involves ruffles, not unlike the one I am wearing right now. You're wearing dangly earrings you probably made yourself while you should have been learning how to spell. Please shift positions so I can see your shoes. With regards to whatever you're yelling at Mary Anne about: you are totally justified and I am on your side. Call me later - we can go shopping and gripe about your fellow club members.
* Trust me, I'm still an internet junkie. I am updating my tumblr, albeit mostly with pictures of Mary Kate Olsen and insightful captions like "fabulous", "give me your closet", etc. I also use twitter to prattle on about myself (because what is twitter for, really, if not vapid navel gazing?), Gossip Girl, etc. I love twitter, it's all about 140 character morsels of sometimes-wit. Also I've been big on channeling 17 year old billionaires lately. I'm thinking about investing in some bow ties.
** You're selling scrunchies now? For 6 dollars a pop? Oh for pete's sake, Dov. Pull it together.
Yeah, me too. Today was ridiculously warm and summery and maxidress-worthy. (I know, maxidresses are a polarizing item, the topic of much debate. Personally, I love 'em. They're California Casual, guys! Totally Schafer-approved.) Since the shoe buying moratorium is still in place (I will admit to trying on a pair of Chloe knockoffs by Dolce Vita at T.J. Maxx today), I'll limit my seasonally-trigged shopping jones to window shopping at etsy.
Kishi-approved vintage (later in the series the ghostwriters started describing her as a thrift-store junkie, remember?) footwear below. Including a pair of ankle wrap sandals - you know how Claudia feels about shoes that lace up your calves.
Salina strappy sandals - size 10
Liz Wear fringe wrap sandals - size 6.5
Mixed Blues tricolor huraches - size 8.5
Pikolinos slingback sandals - size 7
Guijada handcarved clogs - size 9
Rieker laceup gladiators - size 6.5
Those purple Guijada heels . . . damn. Please, someone buy them and give them the love they deserve. They're amazing.
#67: Dawn's Big Move
Photo credit: dibbly-fresh.
Super Special #10: Sea City, Here We Come!*
The above quote reflects Claudia's frame of mind on the last day of summer school. Feel ya, girl. In fact, this is exactly how I feel about my impending graduation. I just want it to be over with so I can start thinking about how many times I will need to change my shoes during my wacky Sea City vacation.
When Claudia pulls her suitcase out of her closet, she finds three bags of pretzels. "So," she narrates, "we snacked while we packed." I'm telling you this because when I read that line my mind immediately went to Xzibit** (yo babysitting-dawg I hurd u like pretzels and travels so I put Rold Gold in ur Samsonite so u can snack while u pack***) and then I had to roll my eyes at myself for knowing so much about internet memes and so little about . . . well, anything of importance, really.
Moving on. Natural disasters follow the babysitters wherever they go, so it's only logical that a "gigantic" hurricane named Bill (we're pretty tight; I'm going to refer to him as Billy) comes along to test everyone's mettle****. Mr. Pike tells everyone to run and pack a few clothes ("enough for two days, tops") within fifteen minutes. This is challenging for Claudia.
"I was having a dilemma. I was wearing the only long pants I had packed, these overdyed navy jeans [more details, please]. I was also wearing a loose black cotton sweater over a white tank top. So if I packed my big purple Hawaiian shorts [I did the mental math for you and came up with a horrifying image, so let's just move on quickly], which were the next warmest pants, I'd be stuck having to wear an orange striped shirt [like clashing horribly has ever stopped her before?], which was the only long-sleeved one I'd brought. Unless I wore the sweater again over it . . .
'Uh, Claud?' Kristy said. 'Bill is a hurricane, you know - not a fashion show judge.'"
I kind of love Kristy Thomas. Bitch is hilar.
"I ended up packing three outfits - one in case it was cold and rainy, one in case it was warm and rainy, and one really nice one to change into if necessary (or if the weather cleared up). I thought that was very sensible. Oh, and some extra shoes and big bag of Mars bars I'd stashed away for a rainy day."
She did a way better job than I usually do, that's for sure. Last time I went back to my hometown I brought a pair of beaded flip flops, a pair of 4 inch cutout wedge sandals (I really enjoy the illusion of height) and a pair of thrifted oxfords which clearly once belonged to someone's adorably blue-haired grandmother. Since it was early frikkin' April in New York, guess which two pairs went totally unworn?
* Part 1. Mallory's makeover deserves a separate entry.
** worth watching.
*** I'm sure you can come up with better. I encourage you to do so - especially if there's hilarious photoshopping involved.
**** Mrs. Barrett exhibits (xzibits) an underwhelming amount of mettle, so Stacey steps in and assumes pretty much all parenting duties. The Babysitters Club: enabling negligent parents since 1986!
A Moment with Kim: Shoe Buying Moratorium* Temporarily Lifted
A Moment with the Concept of 'Hipster': Not Just Parliaments and PBRs! (They Are Still Important.)
- They are otherwise unable to read things that are not in big, bold Helvetica.
- If you say "indie" ten times in the dark and in front of a mirror, Julian Casablancas will appear and blow cigarette smoke in your face.
- They hate the mainstream, socio-political machine, but holy shit, do they love IKEA.
- They prefer to have a full bed or larger so they have room to sleep with their MacBook, iPhone, Moleskine, a pile of dirty American Apparel clothes, a copy of last month's "Nylon", an ashtray full of Parliaments, and an empty beer bottle or two.
- Crazy-ass patterns on hats and hoodies act as a hipster's camouflage in the war against normalcy.
- They accessorize a lot so when their egos become too inflated, they'll be anchored and won't float away.
- Hipster bars smell like unwashed armpits and arrogance.
- Each one is waiting for someone else to say, "Wait. They don't love you like I love you..."
- Most girls love Ed Westwick because they want a guy who is able to lock tongues passionately, be viciously spiteful, and then pass out in a drunken stupor -- all within the span of 3 minutes.
- They'll express their love by burning you a mixed CD of obscure bands they think you should start listening to.
- They don't shower because it's too mainstream.**
- Guys make passes at girls with thick glasses.
** Some of them are just lazy. I mean, not that I would know.
Mystery #5: Mary Anne and the Secret in the Attic
So apparently Mary Anne lays out her clothes the night before. Unfortunately for us, she laid out "a pink sweater and chinos, with these cute little boots [she'd] just bought." She guesses that you could say her style is "basically pretty preppy." Also pretty boring, M.A.
"Dawn's room was kind of a mess that day. Clothes were flung all over the place. Her jewelry was scattered over her dressing table, and I counted about seven different shoes littering the floor. 'How can you even have any idea of what clean clothes you have?' I asked, shaking my head [in a disapproving schoolmarmish fashion, I'm sure].
'Oh, I know just where everything is,' said Dawn. 'For example, I'm thinking of wearing my denim skirt today [I sincerely hope it does not have a frayed hemline, but I suspect that frayed hemlines are the height of California Casual], and it's hanging on the closet doorknob. And with it, I'll wear my turquoise necklace [add some coral and antiqued silver and you'd have yourself a fan, Schafer], which is behind that book.'"
She should try my method.(That is, oh, maybe one-sixth of my necklace collection. I need to hire someone to follow me around whispering "recession" in my ear at all times, particularly when I'm at Target and those bastards are brazenly flaunting jewelry collections with names like 'global', 'tribal', 'wannabe hippie shit'**, etc.)
Mary Anne had Sugar Snaps for breakfast. Dawn had Healthi-Os. I just thought you'd want to know.
According to Mary Anne, Claudia is a really sophisticated dresser. "For example, that day she was wearing a lacy white top over a solid white bodysuit [I'd like to imagine she was wearing this one instead], a black mini skirt with white polka dots on it, lacy white leggings [I checked Urban Outfitters for an example but ended up getting distracted by these, which you know she would love], and red high-tops. Plus some really outrageous black-and-white jewelry (earrings and bracelets and necklaces [pile it on, baby, you got that]) that she'd made herself out of papier mâché. Claudia's an excellent artist. You should see the portrait she once painted of Tigger."