by Unknown on Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mystery #5: Mary Anne and the Secret in the Attic

This was before the mysteries got really out of control and the babysitters were, like, taking down mafia bosses and whatnot. They're good babysitters, Ann, I'll give you that. But you are pushing it with this crimefighter thing, for real. But this one didn't involve any jewel theives or deranged model wannabes (do you remember this book*? Looking at the cover makes my head explode a little.) This is a nice, simple story about Mary Anne's dad losing his marbles after the death of his wife and shipping Baby M.A. to the midwest and then never telling her about it. Okay, maybe not nice, so much.
Looking at this cover makes me think that the whole bowl-cut thing she rocked for the second half of the series was not a wise choice. But seriously, how suspenseful is that cover? She's got a frikkin' Maglite. You know shit's going down if there's a frikkin' Maglite involved.

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."

I'll pass.

"'Stacey and I went to the mall today, and I got the cutest jumpsuit,' [Dawn] said. "It's turquoise, with a wide black belt. Wait'll you see it.'

I didn't say anything, and she just kept on talking. 'Stacey got the same one in pink. I think we're both going to wear them to school tomorrow. Or would that be dumb? Like we were trying to look like twins?'"


Finally, let me introduce you to an insult so scathing it practically [write in something funny here; I can't do all the work].
Yeah. You heard her. "Stacy doesn't know a cactis when she sees one." You can use this. Next time you're at a party and someone drops a drink, just shake your head sadly and say "[Drink Dropper] doesn't know a cactus when [s/]he sees one." When the person you're speaking to asks "huh?" just roll your eyes and walk away. You will be known as a Woman of Mystery. Trust me, works every time.

* photo credit to dibbly-fresh. I bet you thought this was going to be some sort of sassy remark, didn't you.
** hey! Target! Need a marketing mastermind?


Wasn't Dawn all tidy and stuff, complete opposite to her mother?
Why is her room all messy?

by Émilie on 10:22 PM. #

Unlike Stacey, I've seen and known many a cactus—but I did totally copy her handwriting when I was younger.

by jacqueline c. on 10:40 PM. #

I thought so, too, Emilie. In a lot of the books, they go out of their way to say that Dawn's pretty tidy and kind of anal about things being in their proper place.

by Sadako on 10:49 PM. #

wait, is that supposed to be stacey on the cover of the fashion victim mystery? please say no.

by Jessica on 10:53 PM. #

I totally copied Stacey's handwriting back in the day too.

Also I know Claudia's a shit speller and all, but couldn't she at least get her BFF's name right??

by ames on 1:43 AM. #

Um I agree about the spelling thing. The their/they're/there mistake is acceptable but "plam?" Claud sounds like she should've been held back.

Exploding head = totally correct reaction to that Fashion Victim cover. Jesus H. Beanbag.

by Whitney on 9:52 AM. #

okay, I love your perfect prose but you have GOT to stop linking to Urban Outfitters' tights selection, because inevitably they have pictures of "dresses you might also like" and I end up adding 4 or 5 to my cart before I remember that my bank account can barely cover the cost of groceries. every so often, I allow dresses to win over food! clearly this is my own weak-will at fault -- well than and the belief that a babysitter's pay can cover the cost of food, art supplies, and cutting edge hipster fashion.

by sweet jane. on 1:45 PM. #

also, I've never been a fan of the Laura Ashley looks that Ann Martin clearly favors, but damn:

I think I can agree with Mary Anne on this on pairing floral-with-more-floral because I would so wear them, maybe with this:

by sweet jane. on 1:49 PM. #

Yeah, I do that, too, sweet jane, except now I'm wondering if my wardrobe can be complete sans block tights or flower tights.

And those shoes are really cute!

Oh, I also agree about Mary Anne looking cuter with the long hair, at least on the covers.

by Sadako on 2:28 PM. #

I'm pretty sure my friends and I all copied Stacey's handwriting. It was the cool thing to do.

by Shannon on 3:44 PM. #








by 宜蘭民宿 on 1:58 AM. #

I also copied Stacy's handwriting when I was a kid. I wanted to be her, it's a weakness...

by GraceFace on 12:51 PM. #

I'm using that line at my next party...or even tomorrow lol

by Jenn on 5:46 PM. #

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