Wednesday, July 9, 2014

BSC #51: Stacey's Ex-Best Friend

By Ann M. Martin. Published February 1992.

Can we just all agree Laine wins any bitch face game?
Stacey is about to start her homework, but gets a call from Laine instead. Laine is all excited about her upcoming winter break. She can either spend all her time with her fifteen-year-old boyfriend, King, go skiing with her family, or go to her aunt’s in Florida. But Stacey has a WAY better idea, y’all. Laine could come to Stoneybrook! Because who wouldn’t prefer small town Connecticut to those other options? Especially someone like Laine. Laine sounds really hesitant, but Stacey doesn’t really give her a chance to say no.

Stacey’s excited to share her news at the BSC meeting, and Mary Anne points out she’ll be there for the Valentine’s Dance on the thirteenth. Mal says Ben is taking her. Stacey says she sounds surprised, then snarks that when you’re eleven you don’t expect relationships to last long. Yes, Stacey, as compared to the super serious, drawn out relationships of thirteen-year-olds.

Kristy gets a Great Idea™. They’ll have a Valentine’s party for all the kids. Yay. They decide to have it be a masquerade. Not with masks, but making valentines for everyone signed in a code. Yay.

Stacey and Mal sit for the Pike clan, and, because Claudia hasn’t started on the invitations for the party yet, they set up a Pike sweatshop. Except for Nicky. He’s hidden up in his room, and Stacey finds him working on a secret valentine for his crush. The only hint he gives is that she’s in second grade.

The day of Laine’s arrival, Stacey’s kind of freaking out, going around hiding everything Laine might deem dorky or tacky. Laine is unimpressed driving through Stoneybrook; she wonders where the town is. That night, they have a sleepover with the BSC, and Laine seems bored out of her mind. The others are all doing their hair and whatnot, and Laine asks what they’re going to do that night. They’re like, Ummm, we’re doing it. But then everyone, including Laine, gets excited to watch To Kill a Mockingbird.

Claudia has a job with the Arnold twins. There’s almost a whole page describing how they don’t dress identical anymore, with no mention of the help Mal gave them. Ann hates Mal. Boo. Anyway, they make valentines. Carolyn has a secret crush that she makes one for. He’s in third grade. GOSH WHERE ARE YOU TRYING TO LEAD US?

Stacey gets permission to bring Laine to school one day. Because of course, who wouldn’t want to spend a day of vacation going to school? Laine is pretty bitchy all day, aghast at all the rules they have. During lunch Stacey gets some boys to sit with them, but they’re idiots. Pete Black just stares at Laine the whole time. And Kristy is pissy because Bart called and said he might watch a game on TV instead of going to the dance.

That night, Stacey tells Laine she should ask Pete to the dance. Laine calls him a dweeb. She wonders what King would think. He calls her Babe, and she calls him Heart, btw. Eye-roll inducing. And then, what do you know, King, or Heart, calls. Laine kicks Stacey out of the room. Stacey can still hear snippets of conversation; about the dance, and the word childish. Stacey thinks she must be talking about the kids they sit for. Oh, Stacey, you can be so naïve sometimes. And then Pete calls to talk to Laine. She starts giggling as soon as she hangs up. He called her cute and asked her to the dance. She said yes, and then calls King back to tell him all about it. Stacey eavesdrops, and hears her making Pete sound stupid.

Jessi sits for the younger Hobarts, and she crushes James and Mathew’s spirits by telling them nobody else would be wearing suits, or bringing dates, plus flowers for them. That’s what they were planning to do for the party. They’re so disappointed. Jessi is about to get them started on making valentines. But she’s interrupted by Ben coming home. Why?...

BECAUSE ITS HAPPENING, Y’ALL!!! The event from which this blog got its name! So, here’s the deal. Mal and Ben were looking something up in the card catalog. Mal wanted to search by subject, and Ben by author. They argue that the other’s way is totally slower. The librarian tells them to shut up, and when they try to explain, they start arguing with each other some more. That’s when the librarian kicks them out. When they get outside, Mal yells at Ben that she hopes he has fun at the dance, because she’s not going with him!

So that’s it. One of the dorkiest arguments of all time. I love Mal and Ben so much!

On the phone later, Mal and Jessi wonder if Mal’s problem, Kristy and Bart’s issue, and Laine seeming like she doesn’t want to go, might have something to do with the dance being on Friday the thirteenth. Yes, girls. I’m sure that’s it, and not just a bunch of teenagers doing what they do.

And then at the next meeting, Mary Anne lets everyone know she and Logan are pissy with each other, because he all of a sudden has a problem with Mary Anne not wanting to dance. Shut up, Logan, you knew this about her.

Laine asks if Stacey is planning on baby-sitting during the summer. She thinks it’s about time they got “real” jobs, with paychecks. She got herself one at some boutique. Yes, Laine, because in BSC land, nobody gives a shit about child labor laws!

Jessi interrupts a fight from starting by suddenly understanding that Nicky and Carolyn like each other. Laine can’t believe they’re discussing the love lives of eight year olds.

Friday (the thirteenth!) Stacey comes home intending to hang out with Laine before she goes back to New York the next day. Stacey wants her opinion on outfits, and Laine paints her nails, being bitchy about where Stacey got it. Then she says she’s fat, and says Stacey should go on a diet, too. STFU, Laine. Stacey realizes she may not actually like Laine all that much anymore.

Kristy, David Michael, and Karen go over to Mary Anne and Dawn’s to decorate the barn. Kristy says Bart is coming to the dance, but she’s still mad at him. In her notebook entry (because I guess she’s technically sitting) she bitches about Dawn getting on her case. I adore bitching at Dawn, too, but all she asked was that they don’t fight, and to have fun at the dance. Anyway, Nicky shows up to help, too, and I guess that’s the point of this whole scene.

Stacey and Laine get ready for the dance, and it seems like they’re getting along. But then Laine gets upset that they’re meeting the boys at the dance. She says they’re supposed to pick girls up in their cars. Stacey points out that not even King is old enough to drive. They don’t speak on the way to the dance.

Laine’s pretty much just a straight up bitch at the dance. What really sets her off is Pete wearing sneakers with his suit. They’re apparently his trademark. Now, if they’re Converse, and he looks like David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, then hell yeah, rock that shit, Pete!

But Miss Laine does not approve. And she doesn’t approve of the band, or the refreshments. She tells Pete she’s tired, but then goes to dance with a new guy. Stacey finally snaps, grabs Laine, and calls her out for treating Pete like shit, and tells her she’s sick of her acting like she’s better than everyone. Laine says fine, she wants to go home to New York.

So Stacey calls her mom to pick them up, and then she lays into Laine again, going down the whole list of wrongs she committed that night, and Laine has no idea what she’s talking about. Stacey’s mom wants to know what the hell’s going on. Stacey and Laine lose any of their “sophistication” points, sounding like a couple of little kids. Stacey’s mom calls Laine’s mom, and they get into it a little. Drama all over the place! Anyway, it all ends with Laine on the train back to New York. Deuces, Laine.

The Valentine’s Masquerade is the next day. The kids play a game first, and then eat. Then it’s time to open their valentines. Everyone watches Nicky and Carolyn closely, but neither of them gives the big reaction the girls were expecting. Stacey goes over to Nicky to see what the deal is, and finds a regular card from Carolyn, and a really nice one from Marilyn. Then Nicky runs over to Carolyn, grabs the card she’s holding, and demands to know why she has it. Turns out Nicky got the twins mixed up. Smooth, Nicky. And Carolyn’s actual older man is James Hobart. Everyone seems in eight-year-old love. So it’s deemed a successful party.

Stacey’s still feeling weird about the Laine situation. Claudia suggests that she needs closure, so Stacey decides to write her a letter. She says she’s sorry they fought, but she’s not apologizing. And she’ll miss Laine; not who she is now, but who she used to be. I assume that’s excluding the time when she was so strangely bitchy about the whole diabetes thing.

Then, Stacey does the unthinkable, to an eighth grade girl at least. She also mails back her half of a Best Friends necklace. Oh. Snap. Now you KNOW shit is serious. But Stacey’s all like, whatever, I’ve got my real best friend in Claudia.

o   For once, they get really specific about dates. Laine says their vacation is Saturday, February seventh, through Sunday, February fifteenth. But…close, but not right. In February 1992, when this was published, February seventh, was a Friday. And then because 1992 was a leap year, it was on Sunday in 1993. Ann, you make me crazy. I guess it was to make sure the party was on a Saturday, maybe?

o   I hate the word zooey. The BSC uses it a lot. Ha, spellcheck says it’s not even a word. Good.

o   Laine insists on calling Stacey Anastasia, to sound more mature, and it’s annoying.

o   WHO has so many fancy dances a year, especially in middle school? First the Winter Wonderland dance, now this. The only fancy dance we had in middle school was at the end of eighth grade, and it was a big fucking deal. All the other dances were pretty much jeans and a cool top. But fancy dresses, suits, and corsages all the time like this? What the hell?

o   So seriously, what happened to the nice Laine, who was so great while Stacey was in the hospital, and welcomed four near strangers to her home, and helped one of them hide a dog? It wasn’t very long ago. Did she just change after getting an older boyfriend? Was “nice Laine” time just an anomaly, since the first time they made up and now? It just seemed like a total 180° difference in her personality. But, I guess she’d done the same thing before, from the horrible wench she was before Stacey moved, to the “nice Laine”.


  1. Yay! The card catalog fight! I've been waiting for this book.

    Laine really annoyed me here...not letting Stacey decide what her name is (people try to nickname me sometimes and I hate it), telling the world's most brittle diabetic to diet...But I still laughed when Stacey mailed back her half of the necklace. :)

    1. Heehee, yeah, Stacey's subtle bitchiness there was perfect.

  2. I remember this book but not the card catalog fight. Cool! We were supposed to think "nerdy" was a bad thing then, but now people are proud to be a nerd or a geek (which I'm glad for lol).

    1. Hell yeah! I'm fairly certain a lot of us here are glad for that!

  3. In Stacey's Mistake, practically the first thing out of Laine's mouth when she met the BSC for the first time was bringing up the big fight Stacey had with the BSC from the time Stacey was caught in lies trying to cover up the fact she has diabetes to spare herself dealing with people freaking and distancing themselves from her again. Laine's moments of kindness in the series don't make up for her being a bitch most of the time.