Tuesday, March 31, 2009

“We’re going to be step-stepsisters! Can you believe it?”…..BSC # 30: Mary Anne and The Great Romance

Memory Reaction

This is the book that is continued in BSC # 31.

So basically, my memories from Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister all apply to this one. The main things that specifically stands out from the Mary Anne book, is how her father disapproved of Mary Anne asking Dawn her mom’s age.

What I also remember is Mary Anne being all upset that Sharon doesn’t like cats, and her father comforts her by saying Tiger is part of their “package.” Now this is probably a perfectly reasonable response, but since I am not a fan of cats I was horrified by the idea.

Revisited Reaction

At the start of this one, Richard and Sharon are supposedly “dating a lot.” And Richard is planning a surprise dinner for Sharon’s birthday. At the dinner, he surprises her with an engagement ring. They had already decided to get married, and were trying to figure out how to tell Mary Anne and Dawn. So, of course Mary Anne and Dawn are thrilled. Later, they do start to argue, because Mary Anne has to move into Dawn’s house, and is upset about it. But it eventually kind of settles down.

At this same time, Mary Anne and Dawn are planning this huge wedding in their heads, and want to be bridesmaids. But, their parents tell them they don’t want a big deal. Eventually, they end up having a very small ceremony with dinner out after. And of course, it ends with Mary Anne and Dawn reaching for the bouquet. Spoiler alert: Mary Anne catches it!

Meanwhile, the baby-sitting subplot is about the Arnold twins fighting a lot. Then, thanks to Mary Anne, they decide to get separate rooms and everything is fine. You know, the typical BSC saves the world thing.


  • This is another book that talks about how much Dawn’s mom “loved to date.” I really don’t remember that at all from when I was a kid. Maybe I was too young to pick up on it or something.
  • Mary Anne’s says that after her mom died, her dad didn’t date anyone until he re-met Mrs. Schafer. That seems, like, not the best way to get married.
  • Claudia: “At our last meeting she wore layers – a shocking pink tunic over a white shirt with pink and yellow umbrellas printed on it. Over the tunic, was a wide, low-slung yellow belt with a pink plastic buckle. The shirt, but not the tunic, was tucked into a pair of black knickers, and below the knickers were yellow stockings.” Who says "knickers"?
  • So, to surprise Sharon, Richard asks one of her clients to request a dinner meeting. It seems unprofessional to do that. If a guy I was dating called one of my co-workers and talked about my personal life, I would be pretty pissed off. Mary Anne says Richard knows the client, but what are the chances of him really knowing one that well?
  • Wouldn’t Mary Anne know how old Sharon is? She was in high school with Richard, and I am sure Mary Anne knows her fathers age.
  • Also, fun fact: Sharon is 43, which means she had Dawn at 30. Now, the story has always suggested that Sharon married Dawn’s father right out of college…but I guess not. Maybe she spent some time after graduating “dating a lot.”
  • Mary Anne gets mad at Dawn, because she shoots down all her ideas for a gift for Sharon. Dawn doesn’t offer alternatives, she is just all “no, bad idea.”
  • Oh, I remember this part: Mary Anne made her own board game about school. I thought it was so cool that she did that. I once tried to make a board game too, but I don’t remember what it was about. I think it was a combination of this and this.
  • What is the point of clear nail polish? Am I just missing something? Mary Anne’s dad only lets her wear clear polish, but why even bother?
  • Karen is a total brat. She makes a mess in the kitchen and blames Emily Michelle. Then Kristy sends Emily to her room and yells at her. Then she is way too lenient on Karen when she confesses.
  • When the twins were introduced, it was a Mallory book and Mal supposedly established a “close relationship” with them. Then in this book, Mary Anne is suddenly the one sitting for them all the time. It always bothered me when they did stuff like that…the did the same thing with that celebrity/actor they sat for. Charlotte and Stacey was the only one that stayed consistent.
  • Mary Anne thinks about getting a bridesmaid dress with a straw hat. I’m thinking it was good she wasn’t allowed to pick out her own clothes when she was younger.
  • Mary Anne and Dawn think they can ask some little kid they sit for to be a flower girl. Because you HAVE to have a flower girl.
  • Dawn gives her mother a day-planner for her birthday. Her mom likes it, but it seems like a slightly insulting gift.
  • Did anyone have a “sewing room” in their house growing up? The Arnold Twins do…Marilyn moves into it and Carolyn moves into the guest room. I think I remember it being mentioned in other books as well.
  • Dawn tries to go to Zingy’s to buy her dress for the wedding…which I remember Stacey and Claud going to all the time. But Dawn’s mother thinks it is too “punk.” I don’t see Dawn liking punk clothes.
  • Don’t Sharon and Richard have any friends? I’m not trying to insult them(actually I guess I am), but they each invite a couple people from their offices, but no one else. Are they that close to their co-workers?
  • Richard gives Mary Anne a necklace that belonged to her mom – she was supposed to get it on her 16th birthday, but her dad thinks she is so mature at 13, she deserved it. Doesn’t this happen again? He gives her a letter from her mom? I think it is that book where Mary Anne meets her grandmother.
  • Oh man, this is another time when my opinions may have come from a BSC book. Sharon hates the idea of being “given away” and so her dad didn’t walk up the aisle with her. I must have at least heard that opinion from somewhere else, right? Cause I have always agreed with this.
  • Richard offers Sharon a bite of her veal at the reception dinner, then looks hurt when she turns it down. Why would he do that? Seriously.
  • Mary Anne cries all her makeup off at the wedding. But in a good way.
  • Well, at the end, Mary Anne and Dawn are fighting for the bouquet. But, it seems like it is only the BSC that is trying to catch it. I guess Sharon and Richard’s co-workers are all married? But why would Sharon even throw it, if that were the case? She claimed to not want to make a big deal, so why throw it when the only eligible people are 13?


Sadako said...

Hey, does that mean that Richard is also 43, since they're the same age? And that he dated around before marrying Alma, MA's mom?

Wendy said...

My mum has a sewing room, so does one of my Aunties.

Anonymous said...

My mum and dad got married when he was 21 and she was 20, so basically straight out of college or even before, and didn't have my brother til she was 28, and me til she was 32. To be fair, it does happen.

Jess said...

This blog makes my weeks better, and the only people I know with sewing rooms are older....weird much?

Lenora said...

I was about to say . . . people can be married without immediately having children.

nikki said...

Yeah, I was gonna say the same thing about being married a while before having kids.

Also, isn't there some sort of inconsistency between this book and the sequel? Like MA gives Dawn a Now We're Sisters gift at the end, but in the next book it was Dawn who gave one to MA? I hate myself for remembering that!

Anonymous said...

Dude, clear nail polish gives you shine without worrying about chips and upkeep (mostly). Can't live without it!

Jan said...

Soooo wait isn't " knickers" British for underpants? So Claudia wore a tunic tucked into her panties,and was only wearing panties and no pants? I am TOTES confused!

maria said...

Mary Anne knew how old Sharon was.
Dawn and she discuss this in Mary Anne Saves the Day, when they are trying to figure out if their parent's knew each other.

And another consistency issue. In Babysitter's on Board, Dawn is considered a "neat freak" and even gets into a fight with messy Kristy about keeping their cruise ship room clean. Now suddenly, Dawn is a slob?

hungryandfrozen said...

Loving your blog :) The one big thing I remember about this is that *gasp* it kind of doesn't resolve itself at the end, but segues into the next book, Sweet Valley-styles.

I always hate it when Mary Anne or Richard get grumpy about the vegetarian thing or like here, offer Sharon veal. You knew she was a vegetarian when you married her! Marriage is about compromise and respect! Argh.

Having said that, I like how their wedding was kind of low-key and casual. Sounds fun.

And one final thing, I also dislike it how a kid's "special" baby sitter can be so ad hoc - like Mary Anne looking after princess Victoria so much then Abby being the one to take her to see the Queen in the European Super Special? Oops scuse my novel of a comment :)

Sadako said...

Nikki--you're right. That was something that always bothered me. In this book, Dawn gives MA a gift, but in the next book, Dawn's all feeling bad that MA got her something.

Also I never got if Dawn and Sharon didn't eat red meat or if it was NO meat...in other books, Dawn freaks out over fish/lobster, so I guess it changed.

HelenB said...

My parents got married when they were 22/21 and still studying, and didn't have kids until they were in their late 30s, so it's not surprising to me that Dawn's parents are maybe a bit older. It's far more of a coincidence that Dawn's mum and MA's dad both had kids at exactly the same time!

Sadako - Dawn's eating habits change pretty dramatically as the series continues! I think in the early books she eats carob instead of chocolate, but in later books she won't eat any kind of sweets at all. How depressing!

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

Actually my parents were married six years before having kids too....hee. I don't think the idea of it is out there, just that it seems inconsistant.

Laura - There is a BSC book where they meet the Queen? Of England? Seriously? I have to find myself a copy of it.

Sadako said...

Kristen--I think that's the BSC European Vacation one. Some go to Europe, some stay home and do a summer camp thing.

m0drnmoonlight said...

Wait - didn't Mary Anne want to give Sharon a day planner, and Dawn turned it down, saying she'd either lose it or never use it? Way to go, Dawn!

booboobrewer said...

I'll bet AMM has always been acquainted with sewing rooms...

I'm not British and I had knickers when I was a kid. At least that's what they were called...long shorts, or short pants, or however you want to look at it.

There is definitely a point to clear nail polish. Your nails look shiny and nice! At least it's something. Wasn't Mary Anne jealous because Dawn was allowed to wear purple? :)

Devika said...

I remember laughing out loud at the thought of a bridesmaid's dress with a straw hat. I can't believe such a thing even exists!

Kaye Adams said...

Wow. Nice and pretty detailed post you have in here. I didn't notice most of what you've highlighted, all I know was that I didn't like Dawn and Mary Annes's behavior in this book.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Australia, and here knickers are underpants.

Doesn't the book end with a line like "we both jumped". I remember thinking that was a good cliffhanger ending.

Annie said...

Richard couldn't be the same age as Sharon, though. Mary Anne was born when he was 24, if that were true, he'd have to be 37, 38.

edkchestnut said...

Funny, I never really disliked Dawn until she became Mary Anne's stepsister and then she got all mean and bitchy. Until then, she really wasn't all that bad.

Leah said...

We had a sewing room growing up in my house too

Unknown said...

Why do the Arnold twins both move out of their old bedroom? Seems like a lot of extra work to me!