by Unknown on Monday, August 03, 2009

#37: Dawn and the Older Boy

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.
You look smitten, and I'm concerned.

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

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.


Travis was so OBVIOUSLY gay. Make-overs? Jewelry advice? Hair combs (this one pretty much says it all)? Hello one-man episode of Queer Eye For The Suburban Strip Mall Girl. Clearly Dawn left her gaydar in California. Where she should have also left that terrible satin finish letterman jacket.

by The Cosmopolitienne on 7:37 PM. #

The Cosmopolitienne beat me to it! I was about to wonder aloud if he was gay.

Anyway, this is quite possibly my favorite "What Claudia Wore" post ever.

by Megan on 8:07 PM. #

Fact: It is 2009, not the early '90s.

Fact: I am 22, not 12.

Question: Should I go as a BSC member for Halloween?

by brista on 8:24 PM. #

At first the guys never noticed me. But then I got these 3rd holes punched in.

by jacqueline c. on 8:46 PM. #

So did this guy have any motivation whatsoever for making over a thirteen-year-old girl?

Brista: Yes, you totally should.

by Shannon on 9:36 PM. #

I'm actually quite jealous of Dawn. Nowadays, women pay top dollar to have a gay guy tell them what to wear and what to do with their hair.

by Katy Alvarez on 10:57 PM. #

Nooooo. I'm mid-Twilight snark on my blog and I was hoping for respite! My brain is still cluttered (but nicely dressed).

by Amy on 11:58 PM. #

@brista: Why are you even asking me this. I mean, seriously. Of course the answer is yes. In addition, I think it's HIGH TIME we organize a BSC flash mob. I don't even care if airplane flights are involved.

I will be Dawn, and I will wave my carrot sticks in your face.

@jacqueline c.: this sounds like the beginning of a YM article.

@Shannon: he didn't have any valid explanation as far as I could tell. I think The Cosmopolitienne is right and he was just a total closet case.

@Amy: but I sparkled for you. :(

by Kim on 12:31 AM. #

I had totally forgotten about this creepy book. Sadly, now I realize why I actually had earrings that looked like delicate butterflies in mid-flight. ACK!

by Subfertile Myrtle on 11:26 AM. #

So, a friend had turned me on to this site a while back, and then I switched jobs and lost all my bookmarks and I had apparently never added it to my Google Reader. Another friend reminded me of it, and this was the perfect post to come back into, because I too crack Twilight jokes all the time, appropriate or not. And then insist that they are, in fact, always and also never appropriate.

You're now on my Google Reader :) Thank you for making me laugh!

by Erin on 12:33 PM. #

I do love sparkles.

by Amy on 2:37 PM. #

But you and I both know that the concept of 'too much' doesn't exist in your world.

I laughed out loud at this. Love this blog!

by Ms Avery on 5:05 PM. #

1. Definitely gay.

2. Enjoy this amazingness:

I'm thinking about going as Mallory this year, but can't decide between going classic-Mal (high/elastic waist khakis with a yellow button-down and a green sweater vest), or makeover-Mal (a green jumper with a yellow button-down and a cardigan - and don't forget the Clair's Accessories gold studs!). Thoughts and or advise?

by Liza on 7:31 PM. #

I'm not convinced Travis is gay. I am convinced that he is a future pedo, or at least one of those creepy abusive/controlling guys who tell their girlfriends/wives what they are and aren't allowed to wear/do and who they're allowed to talk to/hang out with.

And the weirdest thing about this entire book was that his girlfriend knew he was trying to control a thirteen year old girl and was totally OK with it! Her and Travis probably deserve each other. I just hope they never breed.

by HelenB on 8:15 PM. #

I wear clogs and also peed my pants reading this.

by Milla on 12:08 AM. #

"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."

I love you.

by Rachel on 1:01 AM. #

"I think he should always wear brown. Because he is full of it."

Thank you, my laptop is now wearing an attractive smattering of coffee.

Is it sad that I got so excited over the prospect of a possible re-enactment of these bitches? I previously commented saying I so got to be Claud, but I've since realised I'm not Japanese nor American, so I can't be. As the non-rascist Ann M. Martin or whichever smacked-up ghost writer so pointedly repeated that they did not care about. At least not beyond mentioning it in every Chapter 2 and god forbid they forgot to mention Jessi being a neat black girl...
Oh yes. I forgot where I was for a moment. Not the nineties, apparently though my bumming around home outfit today of leggings and an oversized jumper/sweatshirt depending where you come from would beg to differ.
I know this is a long and pointless comment. I'm just mad because my brother eats suspiciously like Claudia and is also not fat. I bet he stole one of my BSC books & is channeling her DAMNIT.
I'm quiet now. I swear :)
ps. Sorry in advance for the dumb ass comment.

by stace on 2:28 AM. #

pps. Yes, Travis would most definitely grow up to be similar to, or exactly this man:

by stace on 2:39 AM. #

I always wondered why Dawn had enough clothes at a sleepover to be able to "settle on" something.

by Kate on 1:07 PM. #

As far as serial killers go, considering the weird situation with his girlfriend, I thought more of this guy:
Also, wouldn't a white flight suit pretty much just be painter's coveralls? What is this fuckery?

by Ryan on 6:37 AM. #

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this brilliance. This is one of my all-time favorite books and you captured it bee-yoo-tee-fully. I was fortunate not to be eating or drinking, as my computer would be drenched in Diet Coke, but it's now certain from my cackles that my boss knows I'm not working. ;-) Brava.

by Kim on 2:46 PM. #

Woohoo, go Kim!

now hipster douchebags that are skeptical when i tell them that this is pretty much the most hilarious blog ever (and that reading the babysitters club as an adult is both appropriate and way more hilarious than reading them in the 80s was) have venus to tell them it is OK to look. :)

oh yeah. i forgot. most of said hipster douchebags that I am referring to do not exactly really remember the 80's. if they did they'd remember that leggings with lace on the bottom as pants was completely white trash even back then.

by aimee on 7:15 AM. #

Yes! SO GAY.

by Abigail on 4:36 PM. #

I am currently attempting to re-read all of the baby-sitters club books before summer ends. This is the perfect compliment to reading them... very nice.

by Future_LCSW on 9:34 PM. #

I just heard about this blog a few days ago, and let me tell you that it is the best thing ever. Oh my god, I was cracking up at work like nobody's business. What a brilliant topic. Reminds me of summers spent reading BSC books non-stop with my cousin and cracking on them back then. Sigh :)

by katie on 12:19 AM. #

Found this blog a few days ago and have just finished reading through the archives. BRILLIANT STUFF, I loved me some BSC back in the day. Obviously I loved Claudia, had to rep my Asian sistah.

I hope this blog lives a long net-life. YOU ARE AMAZING, KIM, KEEP IT UP.

by Jade on 12:50 AM. #

UM flight suits?

I also had to google image search them...totally didn't realise they were actually, well... suits for flight. Could anyone seriously be babe in a flight suit? Oh and like claudia would ever stoop that low to wear one Dawn. And that's so not New York sophisticated either...lame D

I think I'm going to claim best post ever here Kim.

by Z on 6:19 AM. #

Just to let you know, I'm waiting for you to one day visit that Super Special where they go on the cross-country roadtrip in RVs. It doesn't need to happen soon but it does eventually need to happen, otherwise I'll never feel any closure about the garage sale my family had when I was 13 that purged me of my BSC books.
If I remember correctly, there's an illustration of Claudia dancing with a potbellied man in it. Also she gets in the most massively awesome fight with Stacey throughout the majority of the giant vogue-sized book. You gotta know what I'm talking about.

by The Cosmopolitienne on 4:19 PM. #

"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."

How many clothes did this girl pack for a one night sleepover?? Or are we really to believe she raided Kristy's closet?

Now, I can see Claudia packing multiple outfits, but Dawn? Really?

Also, this is by far my favorite post. :)

by Anne on 11:01 PM. #

Showing my age, but Merry-Go-Round was a real store back then, not a BSC invention. It was THE place to get the craziest of crazy height of fashion at the mall. If you ever saw a video and wondered "where would they even BUY something like that?!" the answer was most likely Merry Go Round.

by the kelly on 11:39 AM. #

LOL, when Travis suggested to Dawn that she get her hair cut, I thought of the scene in "The Brady Bunch" movie when the modeling agent told Marcia to drop 30 lbs and get her hair cut.

*SLAP!* "Cut my HAIR?!"

by Holly on 4:08 PM. #

I agree with HelenB. At first I thought he was gay, but then as he got more and more controlling about what she should wear (and why?? I don't understand his motivation!), I'm convinced he's one of those abusive boyfriends who tells his girlfriend how to look.

by Janna on 11:36 AM. #

ahaha, this is hilarious!!

'...and finally settled on a pale blue ten-button top...'

she actually knows how many buttons are on her top?!!

by carina on 2:06 AM. #

Yes. If he had a walkman, it would be playing Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall.

by Fanny on 11:01 AM. #

Definitely the best post on here ever.

by Worthington on 1:47 PM. #

In the words of Claudia- Oh my lord. I just discovered this blog, and between your shoes and dissing on the good old BSC, I may have developed the slightest girl crush.

And on another Claudia related note, I once DID dress as her... not for Halloween, but for some kind of school book day event... I remember painting various vegetables on an oversized t-shirt, and wearing it with purple tights, 3 pairs of different colored, layered socks, and sneakers. Probably with some rather scary accessories. And no one had any idea who I was (I must have been channelling poor, nerdy, Mal).
Thanks for the new addiction ;)

by Elle on 2:22 PM. #

I actually think the creepiest thing about this guy is the fact that he appears to be about 40 years old and is dating a 13 year old.

by marmet on 5:31 PM. #

can i talk about how this may be the most amazing blog on earth?

or how, since discovering it last night at 12am, i have spent literally hours laughing and reading ever. last. post?

kudos. kudos.

by allison. on 12:35 AM. #

can i talk about how this may be the most amazing blog on earth?

or how, since discovering it last night at 12am, i have spent literally hours laughing and reading ever. last. post?

kudos. kudos.

by allison. on 12:35 AM. #

I remember the Merry-Go-Round! It doesn't exist anymore, but I actually remember seeing one of the stores at this mall when I was eight and still living in Florida.

by Vani B. on 2:17 PM. #

I must say, I particularly remember this edition of BSC because one of the boys in my class lent it to me and I never gave it back. I still have it.

by B on 1:34 PM. #

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by cosplay on 3:26 AM. #

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