Thursday, March 27, 2008

#84: Dawn and the School Spirit War

To quote our girl, oh my lord. I am exhausted just thinking about the amount of fashion I'm about to bring you. Plus, this book is the ever-so-subtle Nazi metaphor tome. Remember those? I mean, it's not half as laughable as It Can't Happen Here, but it's still kinda "Very Special Episode", if you get my drift. Plus, it's narrated by Dawn, so you know a lot of self-righteous lecturing lies ahead. The fact that I remembered the title of that Sweet Valley book without even having to google it is kind of making me want to kill myself. I'm hoping and praying it's just stuck in my brain because it's so ridiculously melodramatic. And look at that cover! Poor Elizabeth is always in peril. It must be really tough to be her. Oh, and speaking of those wacky Wakefield twins: check it out.

Okay, that's enough sidetracking. (You and I both know this is categorically untrue: in my world, there is never enough sidetracking.) Let's get started.

So the book starts out with Dawn bitching about how it's still too cold in Stoneybrook for her baggy white cotton pants. Predictably enough, she points out that they would be totally weather-appropriate in California. God, quit yer bitchin' and just buy a plane ticket already.

Dawn also backhandedly shits on Mallory, which amuses me. Direct quote:
"despite the age difference, we're friends with Mal because she's also a Baby-sitters Club member." If I was overseeing a rewrite of this book, the next line would be: "Otherwise, we wouldn't be caught dead with this idiot! She's always talking about horses!"

"I smiled to myself when Claudia appeared. Her long black hair was tucked into a wide-brimmed purple rain hat with colorful Native American designs painted on the brim. She wore a matching purple slicker with identical designs along the hum. Even her umbrella matched! She is the only person I know who can manage to look totally fashionable on a disgusting, rainy day.

'What do you think?' Claudia asked when she noticed Mary Anne, Mallory, and me staring at her rain outfit [with looks of sheer horror on our faces]. 'I painted the designs myself. They're authentic. I got them from a book.'"

Oh, a book. Okay, then. Authentic enough for me!

As they're discussing the School Spirit month that this masterpiece will center on, Dawn muses that Claudia's comment about wearing the school colors means that "she was probably already trying to figure out how to work them into a cool new outfit." Damn straight she was! The girl thinks about two things: candy and fashion. And occasionally children, if the little rugrats can't figure out how to entertain themselves. But she resents them for it.

Onwards to Pajama Day. This is where the fun really gets rolling, because shy-to-the-point-of-social-retardation Mary Anne is all tweaked out about the idea of wearing pajamas to school. But let's cut through the bullshit and get back to the fashion.

"'I have an idea for making a pajama set with the initials SMS silk-screened across the front.' said Claudia.

'But aren't you supposed to wear your real pajamas?' Mary Anne asked [while weeping softly into her napkin].

'So I'll sleep in the outfit one night. That will make them real pajamas.' [Touch
, Kishi. Your creative mind never fails to amaze.]

'I'm going to wear these pajamas Nannie bought me that are so weird looking I never actually sleep in them,' Kristy said excitedly. 'They have pink bunnies all over them. They'd be perfect.' [Nannie also knits you sweaters with scottie dogs on the front, K-Thom. What's that about?]

'You want to look ridiculous?' Mary Anne asked incredulously.

'Sure, that's the fun of it.' [That is so Kristy. But I kind of love her for it.]

'Kristy, you should wear your hair all stuck up on top of your head,' Claudia suggested. 'You know, like you just woke up.'

'Good idea! But why just me? Why don't you wear your hair like that?'

'Claudia wants to look like she breezes out of bed in attractive silk-screened pajamas with her hair looking perfect,' I teased.

'Exactly,' Claudia said."

Because she is a super-tranny from Transylvania who is not apologizing for it. Seriously though, you know Claudia grew up to be the woman who, after spending the night with a man, sneaks out of bed at 5am and spends an hour making herself all glowing and tousled and sexified and then sneaks back into bed all "what? I always look like this in the morning!" I, on the other hand, don't even bother to wipe the drool off my pillow. Love me, love my excessive amounts of drool, that's what I say.

California Casual time! "I pulled on jeans, a blue workshirt [what? I guess she means it's from Carhartt or something? Ann M. Martin, I demand you explain this fuckery immediately.], socks [good to know], and sneakers, and raced down the stairs. I came to a screeching halt when I reached the kitchen. Mary Anne stood at the counter eating a bowl of corn flakes dressed in a yellow sweat shirt dress, yellow stockings, and black flats. [This could possibly be cute. I'm astounded.] 'Mary Anne, why are you dressed all in . . .' Then I remembered. 'Class Color Day!' I cried.

Yellow was the eighth-grade color. [Thanks, braintrust, but I think we could have figured that one out on our own, especially since you've been in eighth grade for about ten years at this point.]

'I've been dying to wear this new dress somewhere so today seemed like a good opportunity,' Mary Anne said with a hint of apology in her voice. [Don't let her guilt you with her "morals", Mary Anne. Conform to the demands of society! We're all doing it!] I think she felt a little guilty about giving in to School Spirit Month [lord, it's not like it's going to take away her virtue or anything. That's what Logan's there for. That phrasing sounds like Dawn suspects School Spirit Month might be a date rapist.] after all the complaining she'd done.

I didn't blame her, though. If you have a great new yellow dress on a day when you're supposed to wear yellow, why not wear the dress?

I, however, didn't have anything yellow in my wardrobe. And I don't look particularly good in yellow. [Really? Miss Hippie Happy Sunshine?] 'Do you have anything else that's yellow?' I asked Mary Anne.

'I don't think so.' Mary Anne put her bowl in the dishwasher. 'Anyway, it's getting late.'

'I'm going back upstairs to see if I can dig up something yellow.' I said.

'You'd better be fast.' [That's what she said.] [Sorry.]

'Go ahead without me,' I told Mary Anne.

'All right. Good luck.'

I zoomed back upstairs and started pulling open my drawers. There was nothing yellow. Then I threw open the suitcase which still held my summery stuff from [<3<3<3] California [<3<3<3]. 'Yellow! Yes!' I cried triumphantly [nothing like a good triumphant cry] as I snapped up a pair of yellow socks."

Not. Even. Trying. Anyway, it gets hysterical from here, as Dawn ends up snapping at this television interviewer and then is portrayed unfairly as a raging bitch (which, I mean . . . too easy) on the local news show and her mom Sharon gets all into an uproar and the whole community basically implodes. Have you ever thought about how much of life in Stoneybrook revolves around these seven girls? I'm surprised they haven't erected a statue dedicated to the finest organization ever created. No, not Hooters.

Here is a dramatic pictoral representation. I'll give you a moment to digest. Thanks to dibbly-fresh for letting me steal their scan. Without permission.

After all the brouhaha calms down, everyone decides to let those who want to celebrate Spirit Month do so, and those who aren't interested don't have to participate. I mean, duh. They had to hold a fucking town conference over this. Unbelievable. In the final chapter, Dawn lets us know that on Pajama Day, Claudia "looked chic in her lounging pajamas."

Again, duh.

In bad news, I am totally running out of BSC books and the Hadley Salvation Army is failing to provide me with the cheap paperbacks I need. I am getting suspicious here, because that store is overrun with UMass hipsters who snatch up all the good shit before you get there. (However, I did find this hilariously seventies Mary Kate and Ashley vest the other day. It's like, all velvet and flower embroidery and basically looks like something Claudia would have whipped up on a lazy Saturday morning while eating copious amounts of Hersey's kisses.) Is it possible the hipsters are buying my books? 'Cause, how dare they.

Sorry guys, I was drinking some chardonnay while writing this entry and it apparently made me more chatty than usual. If you made it all the way through, we are now bffs and your hand-woven friendship bracelet is in the mail.

Shegotzen: I feel like I'm answering a personal ad, but e-mail me.