Thursday, April 17, 2008

This will be hard to top in terms of rotten vacations…..BSC #43: Stacey’s Emergency

Memory Reaction

Thanks to the Internet, I know that almost everyone thought they were diabetic when they read a Stacey book. However, my mom is diabetic. So, when I read a Stacey book, I reacted by complaining how the BSC did an awful job portraying diabetes. Granted, Stacey was 13 and my mother is an adult (obviously), so some of those differences probably are to be expected. But as a kid, I didn’t think about it like that.

Revisited Reaction

Stacey’s Emergency is all about poor Stacey and how awful it is to have a disease and divorced parents. I think all the Stacey books were either along those lines or were about her “luv” life. Sometimes both. But anyway, she is not feeling well and doesn’t tell her parents because she is too stupid to say anything about her life-threatening illness acting up. Or as she says, she doesn’t want to worry them. But I think stupid is a better description. Stacey is also feeling really stressed because both her parents always pump her for information on the other. Which, kind of sucks of them. Oh, and she keeps sneaking chocolate, even though she is not supposed to eat it.

Then, while Stacey is visiting her dad in New York, she keeps feeling awful, they can’t reach her doctor, and head to the hospital. She stays for a couple weeks, fights with her parents, makes up with them, has the BSC visit her, then goes home. It is kind of anti-climactic, really. She just feels sick, goes to the hospital, is sort of treated, but not cured, and comes home. Oh, and Charlotte Johansson freaks out about it, and turns into some kind of hypochondriac. Dr. and Mr. Johansson deal with this issue like any good parent of Stoneybrook would: they go out even more than usual so that various members of the BSC can come by and take care of it.

High/Lowlights

  • Stacey doesn’t tell her mom anything about her blood tests being off because her mom has had a hard few months with her divorce and needing a job and all. I’m sure her sick daughter ending up in the hospital because she didn’t go to a doctor earlier helps out a ton.
  • Oh, come on, Stacey. She goes on and on about how much it sucks to be a child of divorce because traveling to see her dad is so hard. It is what, an hour train ride to Manhattan? Some people have longer commutes than that to work every day. Besides, what happened to loving NYC and having an excuse to visit?
  • Stacey says that when she and Claudia met, they literally ran into each other. I must have remembered this description, because for the longest time I actually thought there was a scene in Kristy’s Great Idea where we see it happen. But I just reread that book, and it isn’t there. I wonder if I just imagined it off this description.
  • Kristy’s life isn’t really any more complicated than any one else in the BSC. Her father left when she was a kid, and her mom got married when she was 12. That’s not too different from Mary Anne, Dawn, or Stacey, who all went through various degrees of death/divorce/remarriage/moving.
  • When I was a kid, I never realized what a short stick Mal and Jessi had. But in every book, the descriptions of them are so…. condescending. “Well, even though they only sit in the day, they are still valuable. Really!” Or, “even though they are younger, we still like hanging out with Mal and Jessi. Honest!”
  • Jessi and Mal are playing with these fortuneteller things, that they call “Cootie Catchers,” and chant “eenie, meanie, minie moe” to pick a “fortune”. If these are what I think, I always just called them fortune tellers and picked “fortunes” like this: I don’t get calling them cootie catchers.
  • Stacey’s father books up every minute of her weekend when she visits. He picks all these nice restaurants, takes her to museums and Broadway shows, etc. Considering how Stacey would be happier shopping, he should save his money for that.
  • I never understood how, when the girls were baby-sitting, the kids would sometimes decide they want to bake, and just go and do it. Charlotte decides she wants to make fudge, and since the Johanssons have all the ingredients, they do it. Maybe I was a deprived child, but we never had chocolate or other baking stuff in the house. We would buy it special if we were going to bake for a holiday or something.
  • Plus, who lets their kid use the oven with just a teenager around to watch them?
  • Stacey’s father takes her to the Sign of the Dove and the Russian Tea Room, two fancy restaurants in NYC. I can’t picture a 13-year-old wanting to eat there, even one as “sophisticated” as Stacey.
  • When Mary Anne finds out where Stacey is eating in NY, she asks her to look for celebs and to bring back leftover food from their plates. She is totally the girl who would bid for Britney Spear’s chewed gum on e-bay.
  • I remember this scene so vividly: Stacey being thirsty on the train, not having access to a snack bar, and drinking water from her hands in the bathroom.
  • Ha. Ann Martin tries to get away with saying Claudia has a good memory. Really? Wouldn’t she be….I don’t know, smarter, if she had a good memory?
  • Claud is baby-sitting Charlotte when she finds out about Stacey being in the hospital. And she just….tells Charlotte. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to wait and talk to Charlotte’s parents first?
  • Stacey has a stuffed pig collection. And does an imitation of Porky Pig. Like all the sophisticated gals of the eighties.
  • While she is in the hospital, Stacey expects her mom to stay at her dad’s apartment. Because she doesn’t remember how much her parents fight, I guess.
  • Speaking of her parents, it is pretty immature of them to not even come to the hospital at the same time.
  • I really don’t need to hear about Stacey using a bed pan. Boundaries, ghostwriters. Boundaries.
  • Laine is awesome. She gives Stacey all these funky, random gifts, like plastic neon flowers, a wind-up spider, light up sunglasses, and a mirror that screams when someone looks into it. I totally want one of those.
  • Hot topic at SMS: Cokie gets a nose job. Who lets a 13-year-old get plastic surgery?
  • After she is in the hospital for over two weeks, Stacey has to stay home from school for another week. How much school can she miss and still be allowed to complete 8th grade? Not that she’ll ever finish 8th grade, but still.
  • Charlotte is a little freak. Over the course of the book she thinks she has: strep throat, an ulcer, a pinched nerve, anemia, diabetes, Lyme disease, arthritis, and a kidney infection. Imagine if they had the Internet back then? She would diagnose herself with everything imaginable.
  • Serious lack of outfits in this book. All we get is what Stacey’s mom buys her while she is in the hospital: “a beautiful emerald-green sweater and a matching beret.”
  • Stacey has a talk with her parents about how they put her between their own crap. But clearly, nothing is resolved since there are several more books in the series about Stacey’s crappy divorced parents making her life miserable.

18 comments:

athenasmom said...

"Dr. and Mr. Johansson deal with this issue like any good parent of Stoneybrook would: they go out even more than usual so that various members of the BSC can come by and take care of it."

Funny that.

BadKat said...

I had a thyroid issue for a period of time when I was in my early teens and it made me super thirsty like Stacy's diabetes did to her. It made me think of this book. My parents were separated and fought all of the time and they would take turns sitting with me at the hospital so they did not have to be there at the same time.

I know a hypochondriac child. It is freaky. And she always wants to take medicine, which is even freakier.

I think that this is the only BSC book that mentions puberty specifically. For some reason I remember that, I actually remember this book fairly well. One of the only ones.

nhbsc said...

Oh god, poor Stacey. She is the only only only teenager on earth who has an illness AND divorced parents.

annakelly said...

I still have this book and I don't know why. It's not one of my favorites. I thought the parts with Stacey's parents were just so cringe-worthy ... I can't explain it ...

Mary Ann said...

"I know that almost everyone thought they were diabetic when they read a Stacey book."

YEP! That was so me! And my mom is a nurse, so she would always explain to me how I didn't have diabetes because it was rare for young kids to have it... but then I pointed out how there was a girl in my 5th grade class that had it, so she could have it, then so could I!

Now when I think about Stacey and her diabetes, it just makes me think about all those Liberty Medical commercials where Wilford Brimley says "diabeetus." LOL.

Meghan said...

"I never understood how, when the girls were baby-sitting, the kids would sometimes decide they want to bake, and just go and do it. Charlotte decides she wants to make fudge, and since the Johanssons have all the ingredients, they do it. Maybe I was a deprived child, but we never had chocolate or other baking stuff in the house. We would buy it special if we were going to bake for a holiday or something."

I always thought the exact same thing! Every time I would help my mom bake something, we'd always have to go by the grocery store (or a neighbor's house!) for some of the ingredients. And it's definitely not very responsible to allow a 13-year-old and a little kid free access to the stove.

But I actually think it's kind of cute that Stacey has a stuffed pig collection. It makes her sound like an actual 13-year-old, instead of 25 for once!

snappleaddict said...

"Charlotte is a little freak. Over the course of the book she thinks she has: strep throat, an ulcer, a pinched nerve, anemia, diabetes, Lyme disease, arthritis, and a kidney infection. Imagine if they had the Internet back then? She would diagnose herself with everything imaginable."

Hahaha, Charlotte totally created webmd.com!

...wait, Stacey has diabetes? I don't think they ever mentioned it in every book a million times. Next thing you're going to tell me is that Jessi's black.

Sarcasm aside, I found it hard to feel sorry for Stacey in this book, because she kind of brought the hospitalization on herself by eating all that chocolate and shit. I mean, I know it must be hard to not be able to have any of the things you once loved, but what's more important, a few pieces of fudge or continuing to live?

snappleaddict said...

Oh yeah, and Laine is the hottest ho on the planet. She and her 15 year old bf King deserved their own spin-off series.

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

snappleaddict: Yeah, it is hard to feel sorry for Stacey here (even if her life is SO complicated and hard). Not only does she eat chocolate, she doesn't even tell her doctors that while in the hospital. She finally tells her mom, but not until after she is released.

Susan said...

We always had staples for baking...flour, sugar, chocolate chips, baking powder, all that. My mom did a lot of baking, and every Saturday my dad would make pancakes from scratch (so delicious), so we had to keep everything stocked. And now so do I, which is great when you suddenly want to have something homemade. However...I was never allowed to cook unsupervised until I was in high school.

LemurCat04 said...

Okay, train water = not potable. Apparently ANM never took Metro North.

Kait said...

Does anyone *really* use the word "rotten"? The BSC members seem to use it an awful lot...

Kathryn said...

"Maybe I was a deprived child, but we never had chocolate or other baking stuff in the house..."

I am with you there. As a kid, there were NEVER sweets or baking supplies just lying around. So, now that I have my own house, I always keep supplies stocked in the cupboard so I can make cookies if I get a whim, or if I just want to eat a handful of chocolate chips. I was always envious of book kids who just had that stuff lying about.

Princess said...

I guess my parents were horrible parents because I was allowed to use the oven and the stove by myself when I was in the third grade. We usually had box mixes and stuff, but now I keep ingredients around. Mmmm...now I really want fudge.

And it was pretty crappy of her parents not to even TRY to get along for an hour for their daughter.

Anonymous said...

Stacey says that when she and Claudia met, they literally ran into each other. I must have remembered this description, because for the longest time I actually thought there was a scene in Kristy’s Great Idea where we see it happen. But I just reread that book, and it isn’t there. I wonder if I just imagined it off this description.

it was in good bye Stacey good bye

Melinda said...

where claud and stacey first met bump into eachother bsc #13

Isabel Escalante said...

"◾Stacey’s father takes her to the Sign of the Dove and the Russian Tea Room, two fancy restaurants in NYC. I can’t picture a 13-year-old wanting to eat there, even one as “sophisticated” as Stacey."

I totally agree. I'm an English teacher at a private school, and my 7th graders are 12-13... most would rather eat at a cool restaurant at the mall than to go to some "grown-up" restaurant with one of their parents.

"◾When Mary Anne finds out where Stacey is eating in NY, she asks her to look for celebs and to bring back leftover food from their plates. She is totally the girl who would bid for Britney Spear’s chewed gum on e-bay."

O-M-G! I remember when people used to joke about someone selling a kleenex that some celebrity blew their nose on at $100 on eBay and stuff like that. Ew.

Haids said...

Oh my gosh. I've been reading all of your reviews and this one made me laugh the hardest. So funny! I had forgotten about poor Stacey being so left out and feeling so sorry for herself in this book. I do remember her sneaking fudge into her purse like a Mexican drug lord, though.

When the BSC visits her in the hospital, doesn't Mary Anne bring her damn cat with her? Talk about unsanitary! Also, I remember Claire Pike writing a note to her that says "Get well son."

Buying Britney's gum on ebay. I could see Mary Anne doing that. She's obsessed with Cam Geary and doesn't she buy one of his used jackets or something?