#13: Goodbye, Stacey, Goodbye Maybe you've already caught on to the fact that misanthropy is my general life philosophy. Those of you who haven't are probably wondering why I practically froth at the mouth when talking about Stacey. Reason one is that I long for your approval. And you love when I hate. However, there are other reasons (for one, she dots her "i"s with hearts). Let's begin. The woman is a total narcissist. Which I can respect - I spend about 70% of my income on shoes, so it's not like I'm completely unsympathetic to the similarly appearance-obsessed. But she's always talking about her style, as if I'm actually interested in her glitter nail polish or turquoise wool slacks (half the time her style verges on business casual, which is not exactly the image I have of New York fashionistas). She always skims over or outright ignores the vastly superior style of her best friend, and this makes her virtually useless to me. I know when I open a Stacey-narrated book that Claudia will not receive the sycophantic attention she so rightly deserves.
I resent Stacey on Claudia's behalf.
This is not mentally healthy, I know. But once I explain WHY I think you're going to wholeheartedly agree. See, here's the thing. Stacey is spoiled. I'm sure divorce is a terrible thing (I wouldn't know; my parents are that freakish couple who got together in high school and are on, like, year 30 of their marriage and actually still like each other), but the McGills' divorce seems to have worked out pretty well for Stacey. Her guilt-ridden parents are always taking her shopping. Always. And her mom pays for her to have perm after perm. Best believe our girl is not exactly riding the Mom and Pop Kishi gravy train. She has to pay for her fabulous fashions herself, and on a babysitter's salary, no less. And Claudia never had the balls to ask her parents for a fucking diamond ring. At least the McGills responded in a realistic fashion ("bitch, please"). So yeah, Stacey sucks. With that said, this is a pretty sweet book. I really wish Ann M. Martin and company had been able to keep up the sense of realism that permeated the early books in the series. There's even a scene where Claudia and Stacey decide that Stacey can just stay in Stoneybrook and live with the Kishis instead of moving back to New York with her parents. (All four parents immediately shoot down this idea. Which is also pretty realistic.)
Aside from the dangly teddy bear earrings Stacey notices when Claudia is having a conniption fit over losing her first and only best friend, there's only one dose of Claudia style, observed during Stacey's last meeting:
"Claudia was sprawled on the floor, halfway under her bed. She was rooting around in a shoebox and mumbling 'I know I have Fritos somewhere. I just know it.' [Classic!] She was wearing a wonderful Claudia outfit - a purple-and-white striped body suit under a gray jumper-thing. [Descriptive. Thanks, Martin.] The legs of the body suit stretched all the way to her ankles, but she was wearing purple push-down socks anyway. [Because, really, what outfit is complete without a) push-down socks or b) sandals that lace up your calves? Speaking of, I almost bought a pair at H&M the other day just because of the Claudia association, despite the fact that they were sparkly and green and would not match anything I owned and now the more I talk about them the more I want to go back and get them anyway DAMMIT.] Around her middle was a wide purple belt with a buckle in the shape of a telephone. And on her feet were black ballet slippers."
Telephone belt buckle, oh man. And if that wasn't enough, I bring you a mini-edition of What the BSC Wore!
Dawn: ". . . a very short kilt, an oversized red sweater, and yellow socks over red tights. On her head was a red beret with a sparkly initial pin attached to the side."
What? I guess this was before they really settled on the California Casual schtick, because this seems like an outfit straight out of Stacey's closet. In fact, I distinctly remember Stacey wearing a beret with a dinosaur pin in The Truth About Stacey. Get your game on, Martin! I still wished they had dressed Dawn more like Ashley.
Mary Anne: ". . . was wearing an outfit that I had helped her choose. [How philanthrophic of you, Stace.] It was tame, but not dorky - a navy blue minidress with a pink sash, blue tights, and black slippers like Claudia's."
I am so into Gossip Girl that I stopped at "navy blue minidress" and started having happy flashbacks to Blair and Serena traipsing around the city in Lorick's backless dresses. Now those are some fucking New York fashionistas.
Stacey describes Kristy's outfit, too, but I'm not wasting my energy on that crap. You already know what she was wearing.