Sunday, October 30, 2016

"His teeth were very white. Like vanilla ice cream." BSC FF #4: Claudia and the Friendship Feud (1999)

Claudia and Stacey are still fighting, avoiding spending time together, and generally making BSC meetings unpleasant. After a sitting job for the Pikes with Erica Blumberg, Claudia discovers she actually likes spending time with her. The two of them become friends, but Claudia keeps trying to mold Erica to be more like Stacey instead of accepting her for who she is. The situation comes to a head when Claudia convinces Erica to go shopping with her--something Erica doesn't enjoy--and then calls her Stacey. She calls Claudia on using her as a Stacey substitute, saying she enjoys her company but isn't--and doesn't want to be--Stacey. 
Meanwhile, Jeremy has been trying to rekindle a friendship with Claudia, who is still harboring feelings for him. The Pike kids hatch a plan to force Stacey and Claudia to talk--it's a lot simpler and a lot less BSC than most of the Pikes' plots--and the two of them wind up talking. Claudia realizes she's not ready to go back to the way things were with Claudia, but she apologizes to Erica, realizing that she was pretty much a jerk to her.
Interesting Tidbits
The story starts with Claud and Mary Anne going to the movies and spotting Stacey and Jeremy. Claudia's paying more attention to them than to the previews until Mary Anne dangles some Milk Duds in her face. Normally, I'd shake my head at Mary Anne for trying to fix a problem with candy, but this IS Claudia. It's a very appropriate distraction in that case.
At this point, Claudia's still hurt over Stacey betraying her to go out with Jeremy, but acknowledges both that she said some things to Stacey she didn't mean, and that she shouldn't have told Jeremy about Ethan.
Since when does Vanessa Pike take ballet? She doesn't seem the type. Margo or Claire...sure. Not Vanessa.
Have I mentioned I love when Janine tries to be funny? Well, I do. Claudia wears braids like Mary Anne used to when she was younger, because she read that they were coming back into style. Janine greets her by calling her Pippi Longstocking--and later, "Pippi gone hippie." (Mrs. Kishi helps Claudia out by pointing out how determined, spirited and motivated Pippi was. Then tells her not to trip on her shoes.)
Claudia is reading Wuthering Heights in class. It's odd how these books mix real middle school reading (Newbery Award winners) with the sort of things I read in high school. This one was something I read for AP English. My senior year.
Claudia calls Stacey her 'best friend for life,' and I laugh. Not just because the two of them aren't talking--even if I hadn't read the rest of the series, I would have known they'd be friends again by the end--but because I called them BFFs in my last entry. A former coworker of mine used to call people 'BFF for life,' and that was not a compliment. The woman whose slack I used to have to pick up when she'd call off nearly every shift at the last possible second was my BFF for life according to him.
Why does Mr. Kishi ring the doorbell at his own house?
Conveniently, Peaches has a story just like Claudia's, about fighting with her best friend over a boy. Peaches' story has a happy ending, of course, because the fight leads to her meeting Russ, her hubby. (This is actually a decent piece of foreshadowing on the Alan/Claudia relationship.) But the point she's really making is that real friendships can withstand fights, no matter how bad they may seem at the time.
The title quote refers to Jeremy. Maybe it's because my parents always bought French vanilla, but I've never thought of vanilla ice cream as being that white.
Since when does SMS have a salad bar option?
I love how the guy that Erica calls a geek has a geeky name. Back in the day, they would always refer to that kid Alexander (Kurtzman, I think) who carried a briefcase. I think AMM thought Alexander was a geeky name, but then when it came back into fashion, she found an even geekier name: Wellner Wallace.
"It looks like you did your hair in the dark." I love you, Janine.
Claudia said she didn't enjoy going to the mall until she met Stacey. How did she get her 'awesome' clothes from the first few books then, like her clock tights? And her sheep barrettes?
I like Erica. She says she doesn't want to go to Macy's because there are too many people there and it makes her nauseous. It's a view that you don't get in the BSC--even Kristy doesn't mind going to the mall under certain circumstances. I'm one of those people who walks into the mall with a certain purpose in mind, a map of where I'm going in my head, and a timeline to get the hell out of there.
"You can make a disco turkey." Erica's suggestion for Claudia's Thanksgiving centerpiece.
Erica makes an Abby-worthy cheese pun. Twice.
Claudia puts a Wee Sing video in for Lynn to watch. Lynn, who is like six months old. Not to mention the fact that I used to LOVE Wee Sing.
"Never eat Oreo creme filling before bed." That's just plain good advice, no matter how delicious the creme is.
Now Claudia is reading A Tale of Two Cities. LOVED that one... read it Freshman year. Of course, it helped having a very good (but very scary) teacher. (There used to be a Facebook group called Mr. Butler is a Scary Mo-fo. I joined it.)
Stacey tells Claudia she forgives her for telling Jeremy about Ethan. She seems to think that will solve anything...despite not apologizing for her own missteps.
Molly, Peaches' old friend, has a glamorous life as a 'famous photographer,' and Peaches is jealous of that experience. Molly is, of course, equally jealous of the fact that Peaches has a family and roots that she doesn't have.
This is nice: Claudia realizes how much she needs to apologize to Erica, for forcing her to go shopping and, worse, talking about Stacey the whole time and even calling her Stace at one point. When she does apologize, Erica laughs and says she's already forgiven her. She then admits she likes Claudia a lot and is jealous of the pull Stacey has on her.
Still no resolution to the Stacey-Claudia feud. I really forgot how long they dragged that story out.
Claudia: red woolen sweater, navy blue skirt with flowers embroidered at the bottom, platform loafers, braids (This is SO Mary Anne, circa 1986! Except for the platforms on the loafers); blue angora sweater, hair in small braids all over her head; plaid shirt, brown bell bottoms, maroon sneakers
Lynn: blue romper covered in stars
Jeremy: black denim jacket, painter pants, Doc Martens
Next: #5 and a heavy--and welcomed--dose of Cary Retlin


  1. You might have said this somewhere, but why have you skipped Forever Friends #3?

    1. I blogged it in 2013, I think...might have been earlier than that. It's in September of that year though.