Wednesday, October 2, 2013

“Where’s Logan, Mary Anne? Shouldn’t he be sitting in your lap?” BSC # 41: Mary Anne vs. Logan (1991)

I was horribly, horribly sad when I first read this book. Even though, by that point, #46 had already come out, so I knew that MA and Logan got back together.

The plot of this one is pretty straight forward. Mary Anne feels smothered by Logan, so she asks him to step back their involvement and take a break. (Anyone else hear Ross from Friends: “We were on a break!”) After the break, things go right back to the way they were, so MA breaks up with Logan all together. And that lasts for a whopping five books, until MA narrates again.

The Prezziosos are having another baby, and they worry (rightfully) about their spoiled brat of a daughter being jealous. They try to bribe Jenny, but she’s not happy about getting a sibling until she actually meets Andrea.

Interesting tidbits

I know I’ve said it before (though I’m not sure ever on this blog): To me, it looks like they modeled Logan after Zack from Saved by the Bell (ugh…after writing so much Pike triplet fanfic, I try to capitalize By every time I write it.) This cover is a prime example.

Add to that, I’ve never understood why Mary Anne, who hated wearing braids, always wears her hair in pigtails when it’s long. Is that so she is distinguishable from Kristy on group covers? (It may not have been the intended purpose, but it always worked). Are they trying to make her look like Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island?

MA and Dawn are the only members of the BSC who know what gender of baby Mrs. P is having. They can’t believe everyone else didn’t want to know. I’m wondering about the logistics of that. A online friend of mine (hi Shemona!) had twins, and her husband knew the genders and she didn’t. They did the nursery in yellow and always referred to baby one as “he” and baby two as “she” in order to avoid confusion. Even so, by the time she gave birth, she knew because he’d slipped several times and referred to “the girls.” You know that something would give it away to the rest of the BSC. Had none of them ever seen the P’s nursery? You know that’s going to be the pinkest and frilliest thing in the universe. (I’m only half right. The nursery turns up later and it’s frilly and yellow.)

This is kinda hilarious. MA references all the times she and Logan fought: SS#4 and #25, specifically. When describing these horrible circumstances and the fact that she and Logan always fight in crises, she seems more concerned about the fact that Tigger was missing than that Dawn and Jeff (her stepsiblings!) were missing.

Wait a minute. Jenny is dressed “to the nines” (Mary Anne’s words, though she says they’re Watson’s words) yet she’s wearing sneakers? Ratty sneakers, even? Huh? Pregnancy brain must be getting to Mrs. P.

I like the fact that Jenny knows she’s being bribed into liking the baby.

Real book: MA reads Babar to Jenny.

Truer words have never been spoken: “I must have been the world’s biggest wimp.” (Don’t get me wrong. I like Mary Anne. Hell, I was Mary Anne growing up, except the boyfriend. But she wimps out of just about everything.)

I never got the idea that not needing a bra really bothered Kristy. If that were true, you’d think it would come up in some of the Kristy books, the way Mal’s nose, glasses and braces are mentioned in just about every Mallory book.

I love how the only words used to describe Stacey are sophisticated and super trendy. At this point (1991), that means layers, cowboy boots (my sister, who was eight, must have been super trendy back then too!) and sparkly nail polish (does that make my toes sophisticated now, since they are purple and sparkly?)

Did you know Jessi has beautiful eyes?

HAHAHAHAHA! Claudia and Mary Anne find a big brown stain on Claudia’s quilt and are totally grossed out. Claudia sniffs it and determines it’s chocolate. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often with the way she hides chocolate in her bed. Mal’s disgusted that Claud would actually sniff the stain, but does she really think that Claud would crap her pants and not notice it? (Wasn’t it the movie Baby Mama where the woman’s like, “Is that chocolate or poop?” and then licks the stain to find out? “What if it had been poop?!”)

The Ohdners! I think they’re my favorite BSC clients. They show up once every twenty books or so and book a sitter, but their kids (who are mysteries—no names, no ages, no genders) never go to any of the crazy BSC events. It’s like the Ohdners actually like their kids and want to spend time with them.

Ugh. You’d think someone as into etiquette as the Ps would know that a) you don’t throw a surprise shower for a very pregnant woman (who might pee herself or something); b) family members are never supposed to throw the shower and c) showers are supposed to welcome mothers into motherhood, so they are intended for the first baby, not a second or more. (Sorry. That’s a big pet peeve of mine. I HATE being invited to showers when I’ve already given a gift at a previous shower.)

More real books: Wuthering Heights and To Kill a Mockingbird. MA believes you can’t read these books too much. I love the second, but I read WH once and haaaaaated the characters. Never want to read that one again.

Mary Anne. Never, ever quote Karen again. Or I will stop reading your books.

Why would someone as unathletic as MA have a pair of ice skates? Now, I always had ice skates, but we lived next door to a pond and went skating a couple times a winter.

Logan really is an ass in this book. He actually tells MA she can’t be cold because he’s not cold. Well, Logan, some of us have very poor circulation and get cold very quickly.

Karen’s fighting with her “fiancé” Ricky. Is it really sad that I remember reading that Little Sister book? At ten I read every book I could get my hands on, even whatever my sister was reading (which was the LS books at this point.)

Damn, Karen can mope. She’s like a sullen teenager. Kristy makes her pick out a book and she chooses The Dead Bird. (Is that a real book?)

Heh. Andrew puts glitter in DM’s hair and tells him he’s a punk rocker. These days, they’d have said he was a raver.

Wait a minute. Mary Anne is thirteen, and she’s allowed to stay out until eleven on a date? Richard is okay with that?

I think it’s interesting that the only reason MA goes forward with cutting back the amount of time she’s spending with Logan is because Richard suggests it. She’s been thinking about it for five whole chapters, but won’t go forward without the shove.

It’s so realistic that Dawn has MA’s whole life planned for her. I mean, we know that virtually no one marries their high school sweetheart (Hi, again, Shemona!) but it’s not surprising that a middle schooler would plan her friend/sister’s whole life based on the fact that she’s been going out with a guy for a while. I mean, I know I thought that various people would marry each other back in the day, although none of them did.

I just noticed that 30 books seems to be the length of a middle school relationship in these books. Stacey and Robert are together from #70 to #99, while MA and Logan are together (first time) from #10 to #41.

MA says Logan sits as close to her as possible at lunch without sitting in her food. This made me laugh. He’d apparently been sitting with the BSC at lunch every day for the past couple weeks.

Okay. I’m trying to figure Logan out here. Either he’s horribly insecure and needs to declare to the whole world that a) he’s able to get a girlfriend and b) Mary Anne is his (this was the M.O. of an ex of mine). Or, he’s…what? Why is he up in MA’s grill all the time? Is he trying to get something out of MA physically? Or is he just so clueless that he doesn’t realize how overbearing he’s being? I have no answers here.

Heh. MA can’t concentrate on her homework because every guy in her assignments turns into Logan. I’m picturing this in cartoon form.

I love this exchange:

Mal: “You know, I have seven brothers and sisters.”

Jenny: “I know. I’m sorry.”

This says a lot about middle schoolers, too. Claudia refers to all the guys she had brief relationships with throughout the series and says she fell in love with them. By the time she’s an adult, she’ll realize the difference between infatuation and love.

MA has an overactive imagination when it comes to Logan and other girls. (On a side note, this book is dedicated to the birth of someone named Olivia, and MA imagines that Logan is out with a girl with a romantic name like Olivia.)

Jenny wants MA to diaper her. But how would a newborn diaper fit a four year old anyway? (Is it disturbing that that’s my first thought in this scenario?)

Claudia tries to tell Jenny where babies come from, but MA stops her. This happens because the decorations for the baby shower include a stork. Jenny says she’ll stop the baby from coming by putting up a sign for the stork. Later, Jessi solves stork issue by saying that babies come from inside mommies without any more detail. Which is probably what Claudia was going to say before MA stopped her anyway.

Eww. Sharon put red food coloring in the butter so it would look pink on Valentine’s Day.

Mary Anne worries she’s cracking up because her imaginary relationship between Logan and Olivia has become real in her mind…to the point where she actually mentions Olivia to Dawn.

Logan lures MA to his house by promising her a sitting job, but instead he just “heats up” their relationship without checking with her first. This involves a romantic dinner, a corsage, a rose, 5 pounds of candy (I’m gaining weight just thinking about that), and a bracelet.

Poor Jessi. She’s apparently the last name on the BSC’s list of home numbers. She gets the sitting job for Jenny when Mrs. P goes into labor (side note: what were they going to do if the baby came in the middle of the night? Or during the school day? Or, if like my mom, Mrs. P was in labor and hospitalized for days?) but only because she was the only BSC member to answer the phone.

Okay. So “Mrs. Frank from down the street” is going to come stay with Jenny if it gets too late and Jessi needs to go home. But Mr. P says Mrs. Frank is going to be home all day, so why not just have her come over instead of paying an eleven year old for a few hours?

And so Logan and Mary Anne break up. For now. And my ten year old self weeps.


MA: jeans and a baggy sweater (twice)

Claudia: black leggings (of course!) baggy black and white shirt dress, low black shoes, wild earrings (so many details and yet so vague); large raspberry shirt, short black skirt, black leggings, black cowboy boots, ear cuff with dangly stones

Kristy: jeans, turtleneck and sneakers

Jenny: pink plaid jumper with white shirt; pink jean skirt, red shirt, yellow knee socks, blue sandals (Jessi lets Jenny pick out her own clothes)

New characters

Andrea P (infant)—22

Next month: It’s Abby month. Which is about as different from Mary Anne month as you can get in this series. We’re going to start with our intro to Abby #90: Welcome to the BSC, Abby.


One final Mary Anne note

This picture came from Facebook’s BSC page. The picture comes from Mary Anne’s Book. And it is definitive proof of what I’ve maintained for a while. Mary Anne didn’t really get a haircut in #60; she went bald and bought a wig.

1 comment:

  1. I think the baby shower rule about nothing for Baby #2 and on depends on where you live, because they're normal in my pocket of the Pacific Northwest, especially if the second baby is a different sex than the first. But they're usually smaller things (sometimes we even call them "baby sprinkles"). For example, you'd see more diapers as gifts and not really any furniture, because the crib is still around. I give presents to babies regardless of birth order or the existence of a shower, so it doesn't make a difference to me.

    Totally agree on the stupidity of a SURPRISE shower though! Someone tried to throw my mom a surprise shower when she was pregnant with my younger brother (there's a seven-year gap between him and me, and they'd gotten rid of a bunch of baby stuff). My dad told her about it, so she was ready with decent clothes on and not the comfortable-but-unflattering outfit she might have otherwise worn while eight months pregnant.

    Oh, and your being sad at by this plot? I found a copy of the Friends Forever book in which SPOILER ALERT they break up for real END SPOILER and was so disappointed that I put the book down and tried to forget it. I was at least 16, and probably 17 or 18.