By Ann M. Martin. Published December 1991.
|Well...I wouldn't really classify it as a national disaster...|
So. There was a blizzard. It snowed 23”, and there was a wind chill of minus eight. We learn all this from the first page, which is a “copy” of the front page of The Stoneybrook News. But this is not good enough for our very own Kristy Thomas. She writes a letter to the editor, complaining that there were no human-interest stories. I HIGHLY doubt that there wouldn’t be any, but whatever. Kristy and the BSC are here to save the newspaper’s journalistic integrity. Kristy says all her friends had interesting stories, and they’ve written down their experiences. And Kristy is offering up to the paper. And if they want to pay her, that’s cool.
So let’s back up a few days. Kristy is scoffing at the weatherwoman (she refuses to say weathergirl), who is projecting snow, yet again. So Kristy thinks about the upcoming Winter Wonderland dance instead. All the girls have dates. I think this is the first time Bart is officially referred to as her boyfriend. Oh, and Karen loses her rat, Emily Junior. Good going, Karen.
Holy shit, y’all. Kristy decides to cancel their Wednesday meeting; everyone is too busy that day. But never fear, Claudia will be there and take messages. Thank goodness.
Dawn is all kinds of excited. Jeff is coming on Wednesday to spend Christmas with them. Then both he and Dawn are going back to California, where she’ll stay until New Year’s. Unfortunately, when she talks to Jeff, he’s developed a random fear of flying.
Mary Anne and Mal have a big job ahead of them. Mr. and Mrs. Pike are spending Wednesday in New York City. They’ll get up at five in the morning to catch the train, and won’t return until about two on Thursday morning. They are going to be fucking exhausted. So Mary Anne is spending the night both Tuesday and Wednesday. And Mrs. Pike mentions she really needs to get to the store, but there’s enough for two breakfasts and a dinner. I’m sure that won’t cause any problems. And snow is being predicted again, this time for Wednesday.
By Wednesday afternoon, there is still no snow. And Stacey, for one, is thrilled. She had plans to go Stamford to the mall to get her hair freshly permed. But, her mother hates driving in snow, so if there had been any, they weren’t going. Everything goes well until they’re paying, when someone enters the salon, covered in snow.
Kristy isn’t quite sure what do with herself without a meeting to go to. Then she has the Great Idea™ to invite Bart over to watch some movies and dinner. He’s surprised, but gladly accepts. The two movies Kristy chooses are Uncle Buck and Back to the Future. Um. Has Ann seen Uncle Buck? There’s some racy shit in that movie. I have a very clear memory of seeing it in the theater and my mom covering my eyes. But good for her for choosing some more timely movies, I guess.
Anyway, Kristy is pretty adorable stressing out over whether to sit right next to Bart, or what. But then her little brothers and sisters start being annoying, and bothering them, and no adults seem to give a shit. Jesus, Kristy is always taking care of them, let her have some time to herself. But they finish the movies, and have dinner, where her family embarrasses Kristy some more. Then Karen looks outside and announces it’s snowing.
Y’all are not going to believe this. But Jessi is not dancing the lead role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker! Instead she’s playing the Rat King. Although she calls it the King of the Mice. Whatever, Jessi, it’s the Rat King, and we both know it. Anyway, I guess she got that part because there can only be one over-the-top event for each girl. And Jessi’s event is that Quinn is coming to spend a few days with her family. What. The. Fuck. They are ELEVEN years old. That is way too young to being doing this serious relationship shit. *deep breath* Ok. So Jessi’s in rehearsal, and Quinn is on the train. Jessi’s dad will be picking him up first, then Jessi. But, the secretary comes in and says it’s snowing like crazy, and parents are calling saying they’re having trouble getting there. Jessi’s dad is one of them; he’s stuck in Stoneybrook. No parents show up at all.
The Pike kids are pissed when there’s no snow Wednesday afternoon, but are thrilled when it starts snowing that evening. They think they may even get out of school the next day. That’s really all that happens.
It’s snowing by the time Dawn and her mom leave to pick up Jeff at the airport. And it gets treacherous pretty quickly. They slide off the road and lightly bump a mailbox. Sharon swears, and Dawn is shocked! On the highway, they narrowly avoid an accident with an eighteen-wheeler. They’re upset because they’re late, never thinking that Jeff’s plane may be delayed.
Stacey and her mom make light of the snow situation when they first leave the mall. That is until they almost get into an accident, and fishtail across a few lanes. That’s when Maureen decides it would be best to get off the highway. So they get on a small little road, and Stacey annoys her mother by repeatedly asking if she knows where she is. Finally, Maureen just stops on the side of the road, which is deserted, to wait for the snow to let up. After half an hour, she decides it’s not going to, and they should get going again. But… the tires just spin. They’re stuck.
Back at the mansion, Watson suggests Bart wait a while for the snow to let up, and then he’ll drive him home. Bart says he can walk, but they won’t hear of it. So they all have dessert. When Bart says he really should go, they check outside, but can’t get the storm door open. The snow is piled high against it. So, no driving or walking. Kristy’s mom suggests Bart spend the night, and he accepts. Kristy is mortified. Seriously, my favorite part of this book is Kristy being so uncomfortable and out of her element.
Bart calls his dad, and when he’s about to hang up, the phone goes dead. Immediately followed by the power going out. Oh shit. Things just got real. Since there’s not much else to do, they all go to bed. Kristy is freaking out! She locks her door, because she’s afraid of Bart sleepwalking into her room. She unlocks it later, though; she’s not allowed to have it locked. And then she’s horrified at the thought of Bart seeing her in her natural morning state, so she sets her alarm for 5:30.
Claudia (remember her? Yeah, she’s still part of the story) sits for the Perkins girls after handling the BSC calls on her own. It’s just starting to snow when she crosses the street. Mr. and Mrs. Perkins are going to their friends’ house, way out in the country. Claudia doesn’t realize how bad the snow is until much later, when Mr. Perkins calls. They tried to leave, but had to turn back; the roads were just too bad. So he asks if Claudia can spend the night. What is she going to say? “No, sorry. The girls are on their own!” But she’s excited about it, of course. She calls her mom to let know, and she’s good with it. The girls tell the cats goodnight, but they can’t find Chewy anywhere. Claudia goes to call her parents to see if they have a suggestion, but the phone goes out. And then the power.
Will they all make it through the storm? Will Stacey go into diabetic shock, stuck in the car? Will the Pike kids turn into cannibals? Find out tomorrow in Part Two!
o On the return address for her letter to the editor, Kristy is Ms. Kristy Thomas. That seems really self-important for a thirteen-year-old, but I suppose we’re lucky it’s not Madame President.
o Stacey lets us in on a beauty secret. You’re supposed to look natural, like you’re not wearing makeup or have had your hair done. No kidding! But I admit, I often thought about this advice from Stacey growing up. But Stace, I’ll let you in on a secret. Your hair is not going to look natural for the dance like you’re hoping. There is nothing natural looking about a fresh perm.
o The timeline for Kristy’s afternoon and evening has always confused the hell out of me. She gets home from school and does her homework. She calls Bart. She goes to the video store. Bart arrives, and they watch two movies, which have a combined running time of three hours and forty-six minutes. All before dinnertime.
o So this is where Karen introduces us to sweater pants. She was ahead of her time, y’all. I Googled sweater pants, and this is what I got:
Oh, ok then. I had wondered what these were called when I saw the kids (god, I’m old) wearing them. However, I don’t think this is what Karen had in mind.
I think hers were more along this line:
It’s time, y’all. IT’S TIME.