Sunday, August 7, 2016

“I need to English muffin.” BSC #127: Abby’s Un-Valentine (1999)

It’s Valentine’s Day (duh…) and Abby’s not feeling the love. Ross Brown asks her to the V-Day dance and she turns him down, because she’s not interested in dating, or dancing, or romance. Most of her friends don’t understand her attitude and try to get her to change her mind. Even Anna is trying to get Abby and Ross together, and when Abby realizes those two have more in common, she tries to get Ross to switch his affection. It doesn’t go right—he mistakes Anna for Abby and thinks the twins tried to trick him--but eventually, he and Anna hit it off and go to the dance together. Meanwhile, Kristy and Abby spend V-Day watching horror movies.
In the B-plot, Scout the guide dog puppy is graduating to real training, meaning it’s time for her to leave the Thomas-Brewer house. Andrew, who had gotten close to the puppy, is upset because Shannon is DM’s dog while the kitten apparently likes Karen best (stupid kitten.)
Interesting Tidbits
I love this cover. Abby has a real WTF look on her face.

Abby-logic: Valentine’s Day is not a real holiday, because they don’t close school for it. I sorta get that—especially if you don’t like V-Day—but then Halloween and most (especially non-Christian) religious holidays aren’t real, either. She also says that V-Day is just an excuse for candy and silliness, and she doesn’t like the silliness. WHAT? You’d think Abby would love ridiculosity. (not a real word, apparently, but it should be.) She seems to enjoy chaos, especially of her own making.
I like that Abby’s main objection to dating is that boys are completely immature at her age. She’s not opposed to dating, per se, and has mentioned several times that she finds various guys cute. (Including Sgt. Johnson…maybe she has a thing for older men?!? They’re…usually…not middle-school immature.)
“Mallory is no longer with us.” Whenever someone says something like that, I assume the person has passed.
One of Abby’s complaints about V-Day? Too much PDA. I have to agree with that one!
Do you think Abby read the BSC books before she joined the club? How else would she know that Erica Blumberg got the Most Creative Excuse award in mystery #4 or that Jacqui Grant was one of the girls who got busted for drinking at a concert in #76? I realize that the others could have told her these things, but who would remember all these details? She’d have to be Dr. Spencer Reid… (Yes, I am watching Criminal Minds right now. I bought the entire series on DVD in the past few weeks…)
Bad pun alert! Josh (remember him? He really only gets mentioned in Claudia book, and it’s been a while since I’ve done one of those) decorated up Claudia’s locker in candy and kiddy-Valentines. Abby mentions how…sweet…it is.
“Email and romance do not belong in the same sentence.” How true.
Abby’s version of the love story between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning (with a little bit of paraphrasing on my part): Lizzie Barrett enjoyed ill health and lying on a couch until the Robster came along. I’m remembering…something…I read once about how in the Victorian era, fainting and looking ill were trendy.
There’s this whole Little Sister plot about how Karen and Andrew’s mom and stepdad, Lisa and Seth Engle, moved to Chicago for six months. Karen and Andrew were supposed to live with them, but Karen got too homesick and moved back to live with her dad. Much like the whole Pumpkin-the-kitten-thing, it’s barely mentioned in the BSC books, until now, when Andrew moves back.
I’m not up on beef suet, but is that the sort of thing most people just have sitting around in their fridge? We never did growing up, and I certainly don't now. MA uses it to make the pinecone bird feeder craft, but I remember making the same thing in Brownies with just peanut butter, which most people DO stock.
Interesting. At one point, Abby says that neither she nor Anna has too many friends. Later, she mentions that she and Kristy aren’t close, because Kristy’s too bossy. (Read: both Kristy and Abby are bossy and the neither of them likes it when the other bosses her around.) So who does Abby consider herself to be close to?
Heh. Abby keeps turning nouns into verbs. Anna is violining, while Abby bagels herself. (Kristy’s response is the title quote.)
Kristy is actually pretty insightful about her friends’ behavior. She tells Abby that Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey all want Abby to get together with Ross because they’re happy with their boyfriends and want Abby to feel that too. Kristy also says that she knows that people can be happy when single, but her friends have a little growing up to do. I don’t know about the last part, but some people do have to learn that they can be happy when they’re single. A friend of mine from high school constantly had to have a boyfriend, and if she broke up with one, she instantly found someone else, no matter how unsuitable, to date. She’s now married to a guy whom she told ‘propose or I’ll break up with you’ and that worked out so well that she’s cheated on him for most of their marriage. But I think it’s overstating things to say that most people don’t know that you can be happy without a significant other, especially at an age where a lot of girls have never had a date before.
Kristy relates the Abby-Ross relationship to hers with Bart. She says that she went out with him to dances and stuff mostly out of peer pressure, even though she knew she’d never feel romantically about him. Abby then stares at her…and somewhere, some people’s minds go straight to the two of them kissing. (I know I made fun of the over-‘lesbianity’ of fanfic. I want to straighten out my opinion…I don’t have a problem with ficters choosing to interpret the characters as gay. I just want to see a logic behind it, or a buildup.)
“Thanks for the roses. They’re very…pink.” Here’s what’s interesting about Ross showing up at Abby’s house with a bouquet. Claudia, Stacey and Mary Anne were all horrified that Abby turned Ross down, and that she didn’t do it gently, because she might have hurt his feelings. Seems they couldn’t be more wrong. She needs to be even more obvious with him.
Claudia spelling: cant, beleve, leeving, shes, warnd. She also uses fore for four (type that four times fast), its for it’s, groan for grown, and to for two.
Nannie has a catering business? That must also have been more of a plot in the Little Sister books. This is pauling me off. I don’t want to have to read those awful books in order to understand what’s going on in Kristy’s house! (I used to post at message board that would turn curse words and certain ‘trigger’ words into ****. The name Paul was considered a trigger word for reasons that are far too stupid and complicated to explain. For a long time, I would say that things pauled me off instead of pissed me off, since both words turned into ****.)
Jessi has to play peacemaker during a BSC meeting. It’s actually a nice role for her; with Mal gone, she’s got no set place anymore. Abby gets tired of the three with boyfriends trying to shove her at Ross, so she (not-so-nicely) insinuates that they would date anyone just for the sake of having a boyfriend. When neither side will back down, Jessi jumps in with a question about the Andrew plotline that throws everyone off her stride.
“Charlie, you’re a guy, right?” If I were Charlie, my answer to this would be so sarcastic: ‘Well, I haven’t checked in the last half hour or so….’ Instead, he actually listens to Abby and then gives her solid advice.
When will the BSC learn that their ‘great ideas’ that involve manipulating people will never work?!?
Is anyone surprised that Valentine’s Day is on Saturday? No, me neither. Moving on.
I love this: Abby makes a pun in her head, and it cheers her up. She doesn’t even need to share it with anyone else.
Kristy and Abby’s V-Day plans? They’re skipping the dance in favor of pizza and a movie: Pepperoni Man, a horror film about a delivery guy. I’d watch it! (Abby makes a horror movie pun about sitting dead center.) She even wins a prize at the theater: a giant box of chocolates to share with her Valentine. She says she’ll take it to the BSC meeting on Monday, but I couldn’t help but think that she went back to sit next to Kristy….
Claudia: blue, white and gray woolly sweater covered in snowflakes, long black tights, thick blue socks, hiking boots with silver snowflake shoelaces
Stacey: short brown leather skirt, pale stockings, knee-high boots, soft butter-colored sweater with pearl buttons
Shannon: jeans and blue sweater
Abby: sweats
Anna: jeans and old sweater

Next: #128


  1. I always loved Abby in this one

  2. I liked the gist of this book: it's okay to be by yourself sometimes!