Monday, April 22, 2013

"Don't worry, Mary Anne. You can stay." BSC #65 Stacey's Big Crush (1993)

I've mentioned before that I stopped reading at #73 of the original series books. However, there were a couple of books that came before it that I never read. One was #68, because I couldn't find a copy of it anywhere. Plus, since I read #69, I knew how it came out and didn't see the point. The other was this one, and I could have bought it. I picked it up at the store one day, read the back cover and said, "Heeeeeeeeellllllll no!" and put it back. I have NEVER liked to watch people make fools of themselves, and I could tell that was exactly what was going to happen in this one. So I have never read it before, and I'm already cringing and I haven't even opened the book.

The plot of this one is pretty ridiculous. Stacey's math class is getting a student teacher (read my rant about that below) named Wesley Ellenberg. Stacey develops an instant crush on him. She helps him after class, makes sure all her answers are perfect, and tries to impress him with her clothes. Eventually, she writes a poem to tell him she loves him, which he doesn't take well. When she asks him about it, she ends up running off crying. Finally, he explains that he's much too old for her and tells her they can be friends. She realizes she's been an idiot and starts to move on with her life.

Meanwhile, Dawn and Mary Anne are goat sitting for Elvira, an adorable kid. They take her on babysitting jobs with "hilarious" consequences that mostly end with Elvira eating everyone's garbage.

Interesting Tidbits

The cover amuses me. First, as Tiff of Claudia's Room pointed out, someone involved in making the covers was far too literal. This is just one of several covers where words on the cover are in single quotes. The banner in the background says 'SMS Spring Dance' including the 's. Then, the "hot" student teacher is not attractive at all, and looks ridiculous dressed in a tux at a middle school dance. Stacey looks like a smitten character in a Disney movie, and Jessi is giving Wes a once-over. (This actually sort of happens in the book, but Jessi's actually giving Stacey the look, not Wes. And Stacey's outfit is pretty much the way it's described in the book, right down to the silver hoops and bangle.)

The story starts with a math problem, and I paid more attention to solving it than I did to whatever Stacey was rambling on about.

If Stacey's such a math whiz, why is she only taking pre-algebra? The gifted class at my middle school took algebra in eighth grade, and if you got a 500 or more in math on the SATs (taken in sixth grade), you took algebra in seventh grade and geometry in eighth.

How does Stoneybrook Community College have a master’s program?

"Mr. Ellenberg" is coming in to take over the class for the last three weeks of school. That makes no sense. I taught school, and student teachers usually spend the entire semester with a teacher, first observing, then taking over a bit here and there, and eventually teaching everything. (Add to that the fact that Stacey says its spring, and yet Stoneybrook schools usually don't get out until well into June. Also, most colleges let out in mid-May.)

Claudia calls him Wesley Baconburger.

Why would Dawn voluntarily eat something that has "Nacho-substitute Cheese-food Flavor?" Sounds disgusting. Kristy says they look like moldy cheese doodles, and prefers the "organic marshmallows" in Mallomars.

Stacey says Shannon has been coming to meetings a lot. I wonder if they were already setting up when she took over for Dawn and Mallory?

Mistake! (Or is that Mrs-take?) Stacey refers to Sharon as Mrs. Schafer, when she took Richard's last name and is usually called Mrs. Spier.

When Elvira is first mentioned, Stacey spends several pages being horrified because she doesn't realize that Elvira is a kid goat and not a kid human. It got old about three sentences in.

Somehow I doubt that Stacey sees celebrities all the time in New York and that she just walks on by without a second thought.

Ummm, Stacey. Lust (aka a crush) is not the same thing as love or even luv. Seeing a hot guy and not being able to talk does not mean you're in love with him.

Wait, so as part of his master’s program at the community college, Wes is getting a B.A.? Way to be confusing, ghostwriter!

Heh. This one made me smile: "It's okay. You're human. And, sometimes, quite frankly, I'm not sure Sam is." This is what Kristy says after Stacey tells them all how "hunkified" Wes is.

Of course, Sabrina Bouvier once went out with a teacher! I love middle and high school rumors. Like the one at my high school that the driver’s ed teacher wasn't allowed to be one on one with female students because he'd gotten one pregnant.

Mr. Johanssen is an engineer.

OMG, Wes is an idiot. He can't figure out how to organize his paperwork, and he never realized he could use the filing cabinet in the classroom.

Stacey is an even bigger idiot. She actually thinks that Wes asking her to help him organize is the start of a "relationship."

Okay, they're ALL idiots. They make another of their infamous banners, welcoming Elvira to Dawn and MA's barn.

Stacey references Heidi, and I almost didn't get it.

Mistake number two: Stacey says that Suzi is four. She's five.

Elvira butts Jamie in the butt. Heh.

Claire insults Nicky by calling him a tweetie-bird brain.

Why on earth does Wes have W4 and insurance forms? Student teachers aren't paid, and he's only there for three weeks!

Wes has a beat-ass Toyota. It's only seven years old and, among other things, the bumper is falling off. My car is twelve years old and way nicer than that.

Eww. Stacey writes a lousy poem and then gives it to Wes. Originally she ended it by saying, "and brings two lovers back again," but she changes lovers to young people. She gives it to him and he just blinks at her. Later, she tries to explain the poem because she thinks he doesn't know what it means. And he has exactly the same reaction. There's no way he could have misinterpreted that poem, so why didn't he go straight to Mr. Zizmore and tell him what was going on and ask for help?

Sam calls Stacey, and Stacey asks her mom if it's a boy or a man on the phone. Her mom chuckles, but shouldn't she be concerned that her thirteen year old thinks a man might be calling her?

There's a minor subplot about Charlotte having a crush on a boy in her class. Like Stacey, she writes him a poem. Unlike Stacey, Charlotte's poem actually works, and he keeps bothering her. She actually goes to a lame-o play at the Pikes' (starring Elvira) in an effort to get away from him.

Stacey says she is going to the dance doe, because men who go alone go stag. Lame.

Another mistake, I think: Claudia is going to the dance with Austin Bently. I am certain that's usually spelled Bentley (and the BSC Complete Guide agrees with me.)

A deejay working a middle school dance? We always had one of the staff members work as the deejay.

Ooh, look, I found something positive to say! At least, after Wes finally tells Stacey that she's too young for him, she realizes she's been an idiot for thinking they could ever have a relationship. She uses the word "deluded," which is about right.

Dawn and MA hang yet another banner when Elvira leaves.

Heh heh. Logan comes to Elvira's going away party with a box of tissues, because he knows MA will need them at some point.

And we'll leave the last words on the subject to Stacey and, especially, to Charlotte.

Stacey: "Boys are hard to figure out."

Charlotte: "No they're not. They're just dumb. It's stupid to even think about them."


Stacey: oldish stretch pants, large turquoise men's shirt; long red gown; stone washed jeans and a knit top; paisley stirrup pants; "short, rayon challis tank dress with polka dots;" spring-like dress; pastel floral-print dress with scoop neck and shirred skirt.

Next week: we'll be finishing up April with #51: Stacey's Ex-Best Friend

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