Thursday, April 5, 2018

Throwback Thursday: The Babysitters Club #4: Mary Anne Saves the Day

Nothing to Declare


We're up to book four, and it's Mary Anne Spier's turn.

Mary Anne lives alone with her overprotective Dad, Richard. Her mother died when Mary Anne was very young, and her Dad has some incredibly strict rules. Mary Anne must wear her hair in braids (okay, Richard), dress very conservatively (penny loafers, sweater vests and corduroy skirts) and be home at 6pm sharp. She can't stay out as late as the others when she's babysitting, and she is forbidden to wear trousers to school because........I have no idea. Luckily, she's close to Claudia's Grandmother, Mimi, who is teaching her how to knit.

Mary Anne feels like her Dad is infanilizing her, to the point where her bedroom still looks like a nursery, with pink ruffles everywhere and childish pictures on the wall. All she wants is to paint her walls navy and yellow and hang posters of kittens and New York, dammit Richard!! At one point she does stand up to him and call him "her jailer", which doesn't go down too well.

As a kid, I'm sure I just detested Richard and had no interest in his uber-conservative ways, but in this one, we get a LOT of back story. He's an overworked lawyer, he's a single parent, his wife died from cancer over a decade ago, and he wrote poetry to his high school girlfriend who had awfully disapproving parents. I'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt.

In this book, we are introduced to Dawn Schafer, California girl. Dawn has recently moved to the neighbourhood with her mother Sharon, and becomes friendly with Mary Anne after the BSC have a massive falling out with each other. With the girls not speaking, Dawn proves to be a godsend - least of all when Mary Anne has an emergency while babysitting little Jenny Prezzioso. The way Mary Anne deals with Jenny convinces her father to loosen the reins a little, plus his old high school girlfriend may be closer than he thinks...

The main outfit mention in this book goes to the one Mary Anne says she'd love to wear if she had control over her own clothing choices - I also had to put Stacey's "one is a dog and one is a bone" earrings in there too.

"Just once, I'd like to go to school wearing skintight turquoise pants, Stacey's "island" shirt with the flamingos and toucans all over it, and maybe bright red, high-top sneakers." 

A special mention to the extra-juvenile/absolute dire unprofessionalism of going to Jamie Newton's 5th birthday party and spilling punch on each other, stepping on each others toes, and throwing wet paper towels at each other. Yes, girls, yes. Please, mind my newborn child. How Mrs. Newton didn't throw them all out is beyond me.

Ring-Dings hidden in a pajama bag.
Ring-Dings appear to be some kind of hybrid between a tea cake and a wagon wheel. They're now called Ding-Dongs. I don't know what a pajama bag is. I presume some kind of bag to put your pajamas in but - why?!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my god! These posts are giving me LIFE! I'm loving the walk down memory lane. This was one of my favourite books, I always connected with Mary Anne (being the good girl, strict parents),it always gave me hope that a boy would like me too when Logan came along!


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