Monday, June 23, 2014

“Try lip-reading someone who’s got a mustache.” BSC #30: Mary Anne and the Great Romance (1990)

I wasn’t ready to go back and finish my British book by reading #45 just yet. So I decided to flash back in time to a book that I blogged but the entry got lost to the mists of time. Enjoy!
Richard and Sharon have decided to get married! (Like anyone didn’t see that coming at some point.) They want to just do a small justice of the peace affair, but Dawn and MA talk them into having an actual shindig, with a church wedding and a fancy dinner afterwards. They deal with realities like Mary Anne being upset about having to move and Jeff not really knowing Richard at all, but of course the wedding itself is romantic and perfect. And Mary Anne and Dawn decide to share a bedroom.
Meanwhile, the Arnold twins (in the most obvious foreshadowing EVER) are fighting and unhappy despite the fact that they are allowed to not dress alike anymore. Marilyn has no friends, so she makes one up because she’s jealous of Carolyn’s friends. Finally, they decide to have separate bedrooms and decorate them in their own styles, and they become friends again.
Interesting tidbits
The Cover! That’s a mighty big wedding cake for such a small wedding. And I can’t remember for certain, but I think both Dawn and Mary Anne are wearing Laura Ashley at the wedding.

This was the first book of the “new” decade.
Sharon-ism: she left a high heel in the vegetable crisper. (One of the most fun things about writing fanfiction in that household is deciding what Sharon’s going to put where.)
Let’s say that you were given a cover-less BSC book, one you’d never read before. You could always tell when a plot point is going to figure big into the plot. If something that normally would be covered in chapter 2 in one sentence is explained in elaborate detail in the first two pages of the book, it will be very important. The first two pages of this book are all about Sharon’s divorce and how Richard and Sharon used to date as teens.
I remember noticing this as a child on about my 16th read-through of this book: Claudia gives out M&M’s during a meeting, and at one point it’s written M&Ms and twice it’s written M and Ms. They’re actually supposed to have the apostrophe they were named after two people whose name started with M, so both ways it’s written in the book are wrong.
I want to know what Marilyn’s been watching on television (or what books she’s been reading.) When she invents her friend, Gozzie Kunka, she gives all these crazy details to what has happened to Gozzie through the years. And they’re pretty good, too—good enough to fool Mary Anne.
Carolyn’s been hanging out with Vanessa and Haley and Charlotte (but not Becca, interestingly enough). That’s something that doesn’t seem to have kept up in later books.
There’s something really sweet about the fact that Richard kisses both Mary Anne and Tigger when he comes home.
Um. Why does Mary Anne have to ask how old Sharon will be on her birthday? She knows that she and Richard are the same age (give or take). So unless she doesn’t know how old her own father is, it’s kind of a silly question. (Plus, she's seen their yearbook and knows what year they graduated. It doesn't take Stacey the Math Whiz to figure out how old they are.)
I remembered wanting to play Sardines as a kid, but there were never enough of us for the game to really be worthwhile.
The title-quote comes from Mary Anne’s diatribe explaining why Matt doesn’t read lips. I remember standing in front of the mirror and trying to read my own lips after reading this.
I think this exchange sums up the Marilyn-Carolyn subplot: Mary Anne (playing with a kaleidoscope) Right now, I see a thousand Carolyns moving around. Marilyn: Great.
Last week, I forwarded the idea that Laura Ashley is rather incongruous to Dawn’s California Casual style. Here, Mary Anne says the same thing.
More foreshadowing: Kristy points out that sometimes stepparents bend over backwards to try to side with their stepchildren so they can form a closer relationship. Which, of course, is exactly what happens in #31.
Heh. Logan says y’all.
A ten minute time out for a two year old seems a little harsh. My friend Zee does a minute per year with her girls, although she adds a minute for every time her four year old says she hates her. (Last time out I heard about was about eleven minutes long.)
Kristy almost calls Karen “young lady” when she gets in trouble, even though she hates when her mom does that to her. Zee and I have had that discussion, too…only in her case, the hated phrase was “missy” and she uses it all the time!
You know, I’ve always wondered about the BSC members getting paid to sit in their own families. I’ve talked with several moms who say that do not and will not pay their older children for watching their younger children, because “that’s not how families work.” I guess it would be different if their children were members of a babysitting business.
I liked this one: Charlie gets the Junk Bucket in this book (although it is not named yet) and takes Karen, Andrew, Emily and Sam for a ride in it. DM comes home a few minutes later and is mad that he didn’t get to go. He makes a sign that says NO PARKING and hangs it up. When Charlie comes home, he gets the message right away and takes DM for his own private ride.
As a kid, I never thought I’d agree with Richard, but considering that they have to pay for Mary Anne to go to college, and probably half of Dawn and Jeff’s college educations, it makes more sense to save money for that than to have a fancy wedding. Especially when they’ve both been married before.
Real book: Baby Island. Maybe Haley recommended it to Carolyn?
Is it really a good idea for Mary Anne to tell the twins that they can have their own separate bedrooms before asking their parents? What is Mrs. Arnold had said no? We readers know it’s the sensible solution to the problem, but the Arnolds may have had a specific reason why the girls couldn’t be separated.
So Mrs. Arnold got new carpets and new wallpaper and all new bedding for three bedrooms in two weeks? She should get a job as an interior decorator.
No one figures out Gozzie is a figment of Marilyn’s imagination until page 126. A seven year old could have had that one solved on page 37, when she’s first mentioned.
Dawn actually turns Kristy off eating her Jell-O, by pointing out that it jiggles. How has Kristy never noticed this before?
I was right! Dawn and Mary Anne are both wearing Laura Ashley at the wedding.
How big is the car if Richard, Sharon, Dawn, Jeff, Mary Anne and the triplets all fit inside? That actually gets answered a minute later when it’s explained that they borrowed one of the Pikes’ station wagons. Everyone could actually be belted in that way. (On the other side of the same issue, why would anyone not related to them willingly take the triplets anywhere?)
The book ends with Sharon throwing the bouquet, in the only cliffhanger in the whole series. I’m really wondering how many single women there were trying to catch the bouquet. I bet it was mostly the BSC.
Claudia: pink tunic over white shirt with pink and yellow umbrellas, yellow belt with pink buckle, black knickers, yellow stockings
Dawn: Laura Ashley dress, blue shoes; Laura Ashley sailor dress
Mary Anne: baggy sweater covered in flowers, green skirt; Dawn’s Laura Ashley dress

Next in BSC Timeline: We’re plunging on ahead. I’m being a rebel and skipping #45 for now, so we’ll be exploring #47 Mallory on Strike

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