Saturday, July 31, 2010

“If I was going to hand in the fascinating story of my life on time, I had to work on it all weekend”…….BSC Portrait Collection: Kristy’s Book

Memory Reaction

I never read this book when I was younger, so a memory doesn’t really apply. I do remember wanting to read Kristy’s autobiography, but by the time they got to Kristy I had given up the series. I think my reason for wanting to read Kristy’s was that I wanted it to talk more about when her father left. In the memory super special we saw Stacey getting diabetes and Dawn’s parents getting divorced, but nothing about Kristy’s dad.

Revisited Reaction

Kristy’s autobiography follows the same format as the others, but her early years summary has some more detailed stories than the others, starting with her birth: Kristy’s parents were at a baseball game at Yankee Stadium when her mom started having contractions. Her father tells Mrs. Thomas it will be awhile until they really have to go to the hospital, and they should stay and watch the game. Later in the game, he finally agrees. Kristy thinks this may have to do with her liking sports. I think it should have been a sign for Kristy’s mom that she married an asshole. But I guess both could apply.

When Kristy was five, she hated that her older brothers didn’t like to play with her, and that they were allowed to do things she wasn’t (walk to friends houses alone, stay up late, etc). One day, she finds out that Sam and Charlie are going to watch a baseball game at the park, and then go to the movies with some friends. She tells her mom she’s going to Claudia’s house, but actually walks to the park and tells the boys her mom said it was okay to go with them. When Mrs. Thomas finds out she’s not at Claud’s, she gets worried and finds out what happened from Mary Anne. She goes to the theater and actually gets the place to stop the movie, so she can go in and find Kristy. She takes her (and Sam and Charlie) home. Kristy’s brothers are furious with her, but they are allowed to go back and see the end of the movie. Kristy isn’t allowed to do this, but she convinces them to tell her everything that happens.

When Kristy was six, her father walked out, which we all know. He literally just left for work one day and never came back. Her mom called his boss, who said that Mr. Thomas quit and said he was moving west. Six months later, he’s still gone and Mrs. Thomas has found a job. She sends David Michael to day care, but decides that Charlie, Sam, and Kristy can handle being home alone after school (at ages 10, 8, and 6). But the Baby-Sitters Club didn’t exist then, so she really had no choice. For the first week, the kids eat junk food, have friends over, etc. Then Louie (the dog) gets sprayed by a skunk, and Kristy, her brothers, Mary Anne, and Claudia get locked in the bathroom when trying to clean him with tomato juice. They also make a huge mess, which is a predictable result of little kids using tomato juice. After Mrs. Thomas sees this, she decides the kids need some structure. She makes them each do certain chores every day, which they complain about at first, but ultimately decide isn’t so bad. Things go well for the next six or seven years, and Mrs. Thomas eventually finds a decent (and rich) guy.

When Kristy was ten she went to a sports-themed camp for girls. This is bullshit, because in Super Special 2, she said she hadn’t been to camp before. But whatever. Kristy’s in one of two softball cabins – they play each other for intra-camp games, but also come together to play other camps in the area. The two cabins have a bit of a rivalry and play pranks on each other, which get pretty bitter over the course of the summer. After awhile, the rivalry makes them lose games with other camps, their coach gets pissed and “quits,” which encourages the girls to make up. The coach agrees to come back and they all have fun for the rest of the camp session.

When Kristy was 13, her father reappeared in her life, which is what happened in the BSC movie. I can’t decide if I like that for continuity’s sake or think it’s lame for lack of originality. But it does make me a little curious about who owns the copyright of that story. The book keeps the general idea of the story the same, but change the details. Like the movie, she tells Mary Anne, but no one in her family, and her dad has no interest in seeing any of her brothers, which I think is a little weird. Also like the movie, Kristy tries to pretend that his asking her to keep his presence a secret isn’t a bad sign. Now, different from the movie, Watson realizes Kristy was lying about being on a baby-sitting job (so she could see her dad). He doesn’t know why Kristy lied, but he does keep it a secret. Then Kristy’s dad gives her a baseball glove to “make up for all the missed birthdays.” But it is a right-handed glove, and Kristy’s left-handed. Kristy’s upset, but rationalizes it by thinking he may have just not noticed. She decides to take it to a sporting goods store to try and exchange it. The store points out that the glove was personalized with a note revealing it was a gift at some sportswriters’ dinner. Then her dad just doesn’t show up the next time they are supposed to meet, and he has checked out of his hotel. Kristy finally tells her mom, who’s pretty sympathetic about it, but doesn’t seem to angry with her ex. I guess once you marry a millionaire, you lose some of the bitterness about your jerk of an ex-husband. Anyway, Watson gives Kristy a left-handed glove, because he’s actually a decent guy, so the story ends well.

High/Lowlights

  • Isn’t Karen (and maybe Andrew) a Krusher? Kristy has Sam fill in for her at a Krusher practice so that she can work on her autobiography. But Karen is still around to annoy her.
  • Kristy apparently ran her first step. She had pulled herself up with a bench while she was watching her brothers play catch. The ball rolled away from them, and she “ran” over to it and picked it up. I don’t know if it’s realistic for a baby to do that, but I think it’s kind of a cute story regardless.
  • Kristy had her first great idea at age four. She, Mary Anne, and Claudia were building a snowman, when a neighbor complimented their work, and said how she misses having kids at home to do things like that. The girls decide to build one in her yard. The neighbor loves it and gives them each a dollar. Kristy says they should use it to give Mimi a birthday present and when the neighbor hears that, she gives them each another dollar. One thing leads to another, and the girls end up making snowmen for a bunch of other neighbors. They give Mimi a scarf that she wears ever winter until she dies.
  • The movie Kristy tries to see as a kid is called “car man,” about a guy who can turn into cars to fight crime. That seems….really lame.
  • To get Sam and Charlie to tell her how the movie ends, Kristy gets Mary Anne and Claudia to play with some toy cars with her. When her brothers get home, the girls start acting out their own version of the movie, which gets Sam and Charlie to tell them what actually happened. I think that’s actually a pretty smart idea for a five-year-old.
  • Another sign you’re married to an asshole: He thinks it’s funny that you spent part of the afternoon thinking your five-year-old was missing.
  • How old was Louie? Cause Kristy says they got him when David Michael was born, but that means he would have only been about seven when he died. Which doesn’t seem too old for a dog. And since he died before Stoneybrook went into a time warp, it really was only seven years.
  • Even at age six, Claudia had an “endless supply” of junk food. Now, really, how are we supposed to believe that? Where would a six-year-old with no money get access to so much candy?
  • The camp Kristy goes to is in Connecticut, so at least that part is consistent with what she says in Super Special 1 about never being out of the state.
  • Wouldn’t you wash off your skunk-sprayed dog outside?
  • Didn’t Kristy say her most vivid memory was her first real sitting job? Which supposedly happened at age ten? But if Mrs. Thomas let Charlie be in charge of Sam and Kristy at age ten, why would she be so worried about Kristy doing the same thing?
  • Kristy had to apply for a scholarship to go to this camp. She says she wrote about how much she liked baseball, plus how hard her mom has to work because her dad left. I’m still trying to decide if we’re supposed to think she ended up getting a scholarship out of sympathy.
  • Kristy was the second string shortstop on the camp softball team. So, in the games against other camps, she only played in the outfield for a couple innings. This sort of surprises me. These are ten-year-old kids at a summer camp, who are paying to play softball. I would think they’d make a point of giving people equal time. When I was that age I played basketball in a recreation league, and the coaches made a point of letting everyone play. It wasn’t until high school, or maybe eighth grade that the competitive-ness started.
  • So, of course, Kristy and the first-string shortstop have their own rivalry going on, and yet end up great friends by the end.
  • I can’t decide what movie/book the summer camp plot sounds like, cause it sure as hell isn’t original. I’m thinking the beginning of The Parent Trap, before the twins find out they are related. The part about the coach quitting sounds familiar as well, but that must be from something else.
  • The camp had a counselor-in-training. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of these outside the BSC, but I guess they exist. I went to camp once as a kid, but am certainly not an expert, so I really have no idea.
  • Her dad signs his cards to Kristy with a “P” (for Patrick). That seems kind of weird, but probably in character for the guy.
  • Did we know Kristy was left-handed? I feel like it must have been mentioned before, but I could be making that up.
  • When Kristy’s father was younger (it doesn’t say how young), he put itching powder inside his friend’s pants before he went on a date. Classy.
  • Kristy talks to her mom about her dad, and finds out that he used to say things like, “I’d be better off without you and the kids.” I think it’s pretty clear by this point that Kristy’s father’s an asshole.

11 comments:

Kait said...

Yeah, it wouldn't make sense for her to not get much playing time at a softball camp. If parents are paying money for their kids to go to improve their softball, they want them to actually play. It would make more sense for them to have two levels of teams and have those different teams play other camps.

When my sister was in high school, she and some friends went to a volleyball day camp. My sister was placed on a a high-level team, but was a sub, so she didn't get to play much. My mom complained to the company and they said she could go to another camp free of charge.

dragonzflame said...

Did it ever actually say they got Louie as a puppy? If they got him as an adult dog, that could explain only having him for 7 years (not old for a dog - rough collies like Louie live for 8-12 years).

Brista said...

Even at age six, Claudia had an “endless supply” of junk food. Now, really, how are we supposed to believe that? Where would a six-year-old with no money get access to so much candy?

Mimi!

Dana said...

I was a CIT at my camp. So it's not unheard of.

Anonymous said...

Even at age six, Claudia had an “endless supply” of junk food. Now, really, how are we supposed to believe that? Where would a six-year-old with no money get access to so much candy?

Halloween? Claudia probably went to every house in Stoneybrook on that night.

BSC AG said...

Karen's definitely a Krusher. She insists on spelling it with a C so it's not wrong. Never mind about team unity or doing what your coach tells you to.

Devika said...

Kristy’s parents were at a baseball game at Yankee Stadium when her mom started having contractions. Her father tells Mrs. Thomas it will be awhile until they really have to go to the hospital, and they should stay and watch the game.

To be fair, my mom started having contractions 18 hours before I was born, and the doctor told them that they didn’t have to come in right away. (Sidenote: That delay left my parents enough time to pack an overnight bag and finally buy a car seat...way to plan ahead, guys! My parents ended up going to the hospital out of sheer boredom.)

Audrey said...

Wow, did Patrick really said he would be better off without his wife and kids? That sounds very harsh for BSC-universe...

So, what grade did Kristy get for her autobiography? ^_^

Alyson said...

I was a CIT for two years before becoming a counselor. They do exist.

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

Audrey, I guess for consistency's sake I should have mentioned it....Kristy got a B+

Anonymous said...

Based on the fact that their entire family was being supported by just her mom, I'm sure Kristy's family met the financial requirements for the scholarship. She just needed an essay to prove that she deserved the scholarship over other people. I know a few camps that do this.