Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BSC #37: Dawn and the Older Boy

By Ann M. Martin, ghostwritten by Mary Lou Kennedy. Published September 1990.

Ok so, he looks about 35

The girls are having a sleepover at Kristy's, and are messing around with hair and make-up. Yes, even Kristy. Stacey gives Mary Anne a scrunched hair look, and Dawn can tell she totes hates it, even though she won’t say anything. The girls go to bed without washing off their make-up, so they look like hot messes the next morning. Kristy says it doesn’t matter, and they go down for breakfast like that.

But oh snap, there’s a total hottie sitting at the table. His name is Travis, and he’s a friend of Sam and Charlie. The girls high tail it back upstairs, and spend an hour getting presentable. When they get back downstairs, the boys are still there. Turns out Travis is from California, too, so he and Dawn have that in common. He tells her her eyes are as blue as the ocean. She thinks she’s found the one.

Dawn is obsessing over Travis, and finds a way to work him into to conversation at the next meeting. This only succeeds in annoying Kristy, though. Then Dawn gets a bit jealous of Mal, who has a date-that’s-not-a-date with Ben Hobart coming up. Dawn wants a date with Travis.

Dawn and Mary Anne are raking leaves in their front yard, when who should stop by but Travis. Mary Anne leaves them alone. They talk about Travis’ car and school, and then Travis pulls out a present for Dawn. There’s a necklace, the same color as her eyes, and some hair combs. Travis suggests she use them to wear the sides of her hair back, and then suggests she get her hair trimmed, to give it more lift. Travis. You’re being a creeper dick. Stop it. But he leaves, and Dawn runs inside, telling Mary Anne to get the scissors.

Jessi sits for the younger Hobart boys, and the Perfect Perkins girls come over. They all rehearse a play James wrote. Then Zach comes along, and totally makes fun of it, and of James for playing with girls. James doesn’t let it bother him though, and says Zach is just jealous. Jessi is proud of him.

One day after school, Travis shows up. He wants Dawn to come help him find a birthday present for his dad. Dawn has a moment of indecision, thinking her mom wouldn’t be thrilled, but chooses to go with him. They go to a sporting goods store, and find his dad a compass. Then they go get something to eat, and Travis orders for Dawn. It kind of bothers her, but because he orders something she likes, she doesn’t say anything. He talks about himself the whole meal. They then go to Merry-Go-Round, and he buys her some earrings. He tries to pressure her into to getting a third hole in her ears. She freaking finally stands up for herself a bit, and they leave the store.

When she gets home, she is in some deep shit. Sharon and Richard are home early, and suffice it to say, they are less than thrilled she was out with a sixteen-year-old, that they don’t know, in his car. Sharon thinks something’s not right about him giving Dawn presents. No shit. But then, she softens, and says maybe they’ll feel different after they meet him. Richard gets mad about that, saying she shouldn’t see him at all. They get into a fight about it. Dawn slips away to go get mad at Mary Anne for telling them where she was. She gets over it pretty quickly though, realizing it wasn’t really Mary Anne’s fault.

Kristy sits for her brothers and sisters, and they go “camping” in the backyard. It’s cute.

Dawn sits for the Hobarts, and they’re rehearsing their play again. And yet again, Zach comes over to make fun of James. He says he’ll never be popular if he hangs out with girls and does girly things. He says James should come over to his house and play football. James finally gives in, and leaves with Zach. Dawn is disappointed with him for changing himself for Zach.

Kristy drops a bomb, and talks about Travis dating some lifeguard chick who’s in high school. Dawn is all sorts of confused. So she decides the best course of action is to go stalk him. Obviously. She runs to the high school, and spots Travis, who links arms with a gorgeous girl, and they head downtown. They go to all the places Travis took Dawn, with the added trip to a park, where they sit on a bench to kiss. Dawn is super upset. She wonders if he’s upset with her because she didn’t get those third holes in her ears.

Dawn tells the whole sad tale at the next BSC meeting, and they all agree Travis is a creep. Mary Anne tries to make Dawn feel better, by telling her she’s got a guy to introduce her to. Except Mary Anne hasn’t even met him yet. It’s Logan cousin, Lewis, and he’ll be coming for a visit soon. Dawn really couldn’t care less.

The Hobarts and Perfect Perkins have their play. They get a big audience from around the neighborhood. It doesn’t exactly go the way they planned, because Chewy, the star of the show, is a hot mess. But it’s really funny. Towards the end, Zach shows up, and drags James away to his house. Mary Anne thinks about Dawn and Travis and gets an idea.

Dawn decides to stalk the happy couple again, but this time she’ll confront Travis and embarrass him. So she “bumps” into them, and he’s not embarrassed at all. He introduces her to Sara, the girlfriend, and she says something about the “little friend” he’d told her about.

When she gets home, Mary Anne compares Dawn’s relationship to My Fair Lady, with Travis changing her. Dawn sees her point. They agree she should try confronting him again, and telling him what she really thinks.

So she picks up the phone, and does just that. She tells Travis that he hurt her, that he never actually liked her, he just liked what he thought he could turn her into. And that she thought he had feelings for her. He tries to tell her she’s got it all wrong, but she pretty much won’t let him get a word in edgewise. Then she tells him goodbye.

Mary Anne hasn’t let up on the Lewis idea. In fact, she and Logan have been telling him about Dawn, and even sent him her picture. He’s written Dawn a letter. Dawn’s still not too sure about this, but he sounds like a really great guy. She writes him back, and they start corresponding. She finally tells Mary Anne she’ll go on a date with him when he visits, if he asks. Get back up on that horse, Dawn.

o   Kristy has a fluffy pink quilt. That seems out of character.

o   At one point, Dawn says Ben is Mal’s age, which he is. Then later Dawn says he’s in her class. Er, what? Did he skip two grades?

o   I appreciate that even though Chewy is this huge, goofy dog, nobody ever freaks out about him possibly hurting the kids.

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