Wednesday, April 9, 2014

BSC #30: Mary Anne and the Great Romance

By Ann M. Martin. Published January 1990.

Sharon, Dawn’s mom, and Richard, Mary Anne’s dad, are seeing a lot more of each other, and exclusively. No more Trip-Man. The girls are happy about this, of course, and enjoy spending these evenings together.

Mary Anne sits for the Arnold twins. Things aren’t all happy as they were when we last saw them. Marilyn is jealous that Carolyn has lots of friends, like Haley Braddock and Vanessa Pike, and spends her time with them. Marilyn tells Mary Anne about her new friend at school, Gozzie Kunka, who has led an extraordinary life.

That night, Richard comes home and says since Sharon is working late, they should invite Dawn over for dinner. Then he works up a plan with girls for Sharon’s upcoming birthday. He’ll get a client of hers to set up a dinner, but it will really be Richard and the girls there to surprise her. Dawn and Mary Anne have a small, weird fight about what Mary Anne should get Sharon.

The Arnold twins are still being super bitchy with each other, and saying their parents love the other more. They fight about who gets to be in their room, and then Marilyn puts tape down the middle of the room. Mary Anne makes her take it down before her mother gets home.

The surprise dinner goes off without a hitch. And Richard has a surprise for everyone, an engagement ring for Sharon. Apparently getting married is something the two of them have already talked about, but Sharon wasn’t expecting a ring.

Mary Anne finally decided on the perfect gift for Sharon, a charm of a Stoneybrook High ring. Richard couldn’t afford to get her one when they were in high school. Sharon just loves it, but you can tell Dawn isn’t so thrilled. She just got her mother a day planner, even though it was something she wanted.

The girls wait until the next meeting to tell the others in the club about their news. When they do, everyone freaks out, of course. It even brings Janine out of her room. Kristy is not so happy, however. Mary Anne thought that would happen, though, and slips her a note that makes everything ok.

Kristy has to deal with some more jealousy, baby-sitting for her brothers and sisters. Karen has decided she’s jealous of Emily Michelle. She even goes so far as to make a mess and blame it on Emily, getting her in trouble. She at least feels guilty and fesses up, and gives Emily some of her old toys.

The Spiers have Sharon and Dawn over for dinner to discuss the wedding. Dawn and Mary Anne already have this huge, grand wedding planned out in their heads. So the adults burst their bubbles by telling them they want to have a courthouse wedding. But they compromise, and say they can have a small wedding. With the BSC making up most of the guests. Of course.

Then Dawn accidentally lets a bomb drop. Mary Anne and Richard are the ones who will be moving, into the farmhouse. Mary Anne is pissed, y’all. Not only about moving, but because nobody had told her. I don’t blame her for that. Richard is able to talk her down, though.

The next time Mary Anne sits for the Arnolds, she finds things pretty much the same. They’re mad at each other now because they each want to have friends over to play in their room, where the masking tape divider is back. Mary Anne suggests they not share a room anymore. What a novel idea. Fortunately, their mom gets all excited about redecorating, so it’s all good with her.

And what do you know, that change makes all the difference. The next time they have a sitter, they’re back to their old selves. Carolyn even invites Marilyn to play with her friends. They ask her to be part of their club, as long as she’s not too bossy. And it turns out Gozzie Kunka was imaginary. No shit.

Dawn and Mary Anne decide to share Dawn’s room. Seriously, did they learn nothing from twins? Yeah, we’ll see how well this goes soon enough.

So the wedding day is upon us. They have a small ceremony at the Spiers’ church. Mary Anne cries through most of it. Then it’s dinner for everyone at Chez Maurice. Mary Anne starts getting crabby hearing the Schafers complain that there aren’t enough vegetarian choices. And then Dawn gives Mary Anne a “now-we’re-sisters” present (remember this!), and she gets upset she doesn’t have a present for her. Then she gets even worse when she hears Sharon say something about dirty litter boxes. So she’s in a not so great mood when it’s time for the bouquet toss. It sails toward Dawn and Mary Anne.

And then it leaves us with a cliffhanger as to who catches it. Try to contain your suspense.

o   When Mary Anne is dreaming of bridesmaids’ dresses, she envisions a pink dress with a lace collar, and a straw hat. That sounds terrible.

o   Room porn: Marilyn’s room: She wanted the old sewing room, so it’s cramped, but she likes it. New yellow wallpaper, rug, and bedspread. Stacey thinks it’s dull

Carolyn’s room: The old guest room. Blue shaggy rug, blue-and-white striped wallpaper. The bedspread is printed with cats, and the curtains and wastebasket match. Two pillows in the shape of cats are on the bed.


  1. The infamous "now we're sisters" present! Dawn really seems to be on the loosing end of this one.

  2. Poor Emily Michelle. Really, a two-year-old got in trouble for making a mess?? Out of all the Thomas-Brewer kids, Karen would be the *first* one I'd blame if something happened. Though with the way that adoption was handled ("Surprise! You have a sister!"), I wouldn't be surprised if any of the kids acted out.

    1. I know, right? Not to mention being left with baby-sitters every weekend you're supposed to spend with your dad.