The story starts off with Stacey saying to Robert, “Hurry, run!” and I immediately think they’re running from an angry mob of kids who just want to watch TV. It turns out they’re not in danger. They’re doing that cheesy couple run. It turns out they’re running because it’s cold and they want to warm up. I would have gotten some hot chocolate and sat by the fire to read, but I hate exercise. I like hot chocolate with marshmallows but I leave the hot chocolate on the stove for too long and the marshmallows melt. I’m also sure I’m being cheated of marshmallows. That pack did not have enough.
They go inside Stacey’s house and he’s disconcerted by the fact that no one is around and the house is too quiet. Stacey says she never noticed. That’s because you’re used to it, Stacey. I never stop to think how my house might be quiet because both my parents work and my brother either goes out or stays locked in his room. I also don’t question when my mom uses slang from her country because it never occurred to me to. It was just part of my life.
Stacey tells Robert that her mom will be home at six. He’s probably praying she’ll seduce him. The mood music will be “Stacey’s Mom.” It’s just too obvious to pass up. I also don’t know much about thirteen year old boys, but wouldn’t some make a move if they realized they were alone with their girlfriend? Especially if said girlfriend was Stacey McGill. I’m quite sure she’d be perfectly fine with making out a little. After all, she’s sophisticated and from New York. New Yorkers have make out parties all the time.
Mr. McGill calls. He’s uneasy when he learns that Robert is over but Stacey reassures him that they’ll stay in the kitchen. And what’s to stop them from sneaking off to Stacey’s room to make out? Hell what’s to stop them from making out in the kitchen? I think Stacey and Robert might sneak a kiss and a grope here and there. Mr. McGill asks if Stacey wants to do Broadway and she agrees enthusiastically.
Robert states that Stacey really does love the city and she agrees. She gets a carrot and mentions her diabetes, but thankfully doesn’t go into it too much. I don’t remember what I thought about diabetes when I read these books.
Robert asks Stacey if she’ll move back to the city one day and she says she probably will. Robert wouldn’t like living in the city because he finds it noisy and big. I agree. I have no problem going on vacation to New York, but I couldn’t stay there. I’d get lost easily and have trouble on the subways and I don’t like crowds. Stacey’s hackles rise because apparently insulting New York is like insulting her. That’s her berserk button- as well as someone calling her diabetes dumb. Not that Robert is insulting New York. He just said he couldn’t live there.
Stacey counters with, “Who cares about a little noise?” and “The bigness makes it exciting.” Some people are easily distracted by noise, Stacey. I don’t like it to be too noisy when I’m studying, so I can’t study in a café. And maybe people with sensitive hearing care about a little noise. For some people the bigness would be overwhelming. Robert just says the city isn’t for him and Stacey says she can make a city lover out of him. Just because Robert doesn’t like something that’s important to you doesn’t mean you have to try and change his mind. You can just accept it. Besides, Robert isn’t the only person who doesn’t like New York. Not everyone thinks the sun rises and falls there, Stacey.
Stacey insists on taking Robert to see Broadway because she just can’t stand to hear New York insulted. I would pay people to follow her around and tell her New York isn’t that special if I wasn’t such a tightwad with cash. Robert is all set to agree to disagree and I think that sounds like a reasonable course of action here. But no, couples must like the same things, so Stacey resolves to drag Robert on the tour of the city and if that fails, brainwashing.
Kristy calls to ask if they can afford more glue because she wants to make Valentine’s with the kids. I’m pretty sure the families in Stoneybrook aren’t so poor that they can’t afford some glue. And maybe if Kristy didn’t constantly organize pizza parties or Olympics or carnivals or so many activities with the kids the treasury would be in better shape. Stacey says to go ahead and buy the glue.
The romantic mood is ruined by Kristy’s call. I didn’t know a phone call about glue was such a mood breaker. Seeing as they aren’t in the mood to talk about Stacey’s modeling career, they move on to homework which sounds like it would be an even bigger mood killer.
Mrs. McGill arrives and Robert is thanking God. Stacey asks how work was and she says it was zooey. I don’t like that word. Can’t she just say it was chaotic? Janine would know a better word and she would also know if zooey was a real one. Every time I see the word zooey I think it’s a weird spelling of the name Zoey. Robert leaves because he couldn’t get up the nerve to seduce Mrs. McGill. She and Stacey talk while they prepare dinner.
Stacey is still in shock over the fact that Robert hasn’t seen a Broadway play. Neither have I. She has the brilliant idea to take him to see a play even though he basically said he wasn’t interested. Aren’t gifts supposed to be about the receiver and not the giver? Mrs. McGill says tickets cost over a hundred dollars. If I had a boyfriend at thirteen I would have bought him some candy or made him a card or gotten something within my price range. I would not work my butt off to drum up the money to take him to Broadway. He isn’t interested in it. Seeing as how I live in Florida I would also have to get money for plane tickets and a place to stay.
Stacey resolves to take as much sitting jobs as possible. Robert doesn’t like New York, Stacey. Deal with it. Why don’t you focus on getting money to buy Robert something he would like or plan a special day? Suppose Robert still doesn’t want to go to Broadway when you get the tickets? Suppose he goes and he doesn’t like it? Besides, these things don’t always work. Remember Recess where T.J. went through all that trouble to get Gordy to like him and he still didn’t?
Stacey is singing, “Money, money, money, money!” on her way to the BSC meeting. She’s hoping her friends will be busy with other activities so she can get the most clients when stop! Backstory time. I note that Stacey’s fall out with the BSC is mentioned. Just because those friends turn out to be jerks doesn’t mean everyone else is. But Stacey has repented and all is forgiven for her daring to attempt to have a life outside the BSC. She goes to Claudia’s room and is about to flop on Claudia’s bed (her usual place, wink, wink) when she realizes Claudia has art supplies there. Claudia usually cleans up her bed before the BSC arrives. Apparently tie-dye and tights are unusual now. That’s tame as far as Claudia outfits go. Stacey wonders how Claudia can eat so much junk food and stay so skinny. No one has heard of fast metabolism I guess.
Stacey mentions that Kristy is the Queen of the Great Idea. Not all the time. Remember her idea from Kristy’s Worst Idea? The Fall into Fall Festival Block party? Besides, no one will hear, “Kristy Thomas suggested the kids make Valentines” and think, “Genius!” The BSC are too easily impressed. Stacey is kind of mean and says that Kristy doesn’t look very impressive because she’s short and dresses casually. God, I can just imagine her turning up to a board meeting in jeans and a sweat shirt and not realizing why it’s inappropriate attire. She would also have an aneurysm when people questioned her ideas.
Mary Anne runs in, prompting Stacey to mention what a stickler is for punctuality. I almost said punctuation. I don’t know what eighth-grader would break their neck rushing to a meeting run by one of their peers and would cower at a look. More than likely they would roll their eyes, flip Kristy off, or say something sarcastic instead of groveling.
I don’t know why everyone makes a big deal that Mary Anne was the first to have a steady boyfriend because she was so shy and quiet. Shy and quiet people are perfectly capable of being in relationships. The meeting starts and Jessi, Mallory, and Abby are late. They are doomed to get the Look. Is Kristy Medusa now? What’s so scary about a look? Mallory and Jessi come flying in.
Kristy says they’re late, but it’s not 5:31 yet. Shut up, Kristy. This is a middle school club, not a professional work environment. Mallory and Jessi high-five. I suppose it’s because they’re happy they’re not late, but I like to think it’s because Kristy was wrong.
Abby walks in and acts like a normal teenage girl. She isn’t scared of the Look. Just as Kristy is about to strangle Abby for her lack of deference, the phone rings. Stacey volunteers for the job. A new client, Mrs. Cheplin, wants someone to pick up her kids from school and watch them until she gets home at five thirty.
Kristy wants to know how long the job will be. The others have other obligations. Mary Anne suggests they split the job among them, but Stacey says she’ll take on the entire job. Mary Anne is doubtful but calls back. Stacey is too excited to realize her job is going to suck.
The Cheplins are hard to find, but Stacey manages. Mrs. Cheplin was hoping for a high school girl. The house is messy. Mrs. Cheplin really wanted someone mature and reliable and Stacey hurries to say she is. I don’t look at thirteen year olds and start going on about their maturity. Mrs. Cheplin needs someone to pick up Dana and Adam at the bus stop, take them home, help them with homework, and entertain them. That should be a breeze. Entertaining children and depriving the children of the chance to entertain themselves is the BSC specialty.
Mrs. Cheplin also wants some light-house keeping done. Stacey shows her maturity by just managing to not make a disgusted face. I would have hired a certified house keeper, but that’s just me. I don’t see Stacey getting overwhelmed at all. Mrs. Cheplin agrees with me and says it might not work out. She also thinks Stacey is too young to deal with Dana.
Dana has diabetes. She’s just been diagnosed. Stacey says she has diabetes as well. Mrs. Cheplin is shocked because Stacey seems so healthy and energetic. People with diabetes have no energy all the time? Mrs. Cheplin is also shocked that Stacey rode her bike uphill? Is that unusual for diabetics or is Mrs. Cheplin just acting like diabetics are invalids? I’m going to assume she doesn’t know too much about the disease. Mrs. Cheplin thinks it might be a good idea to let Dana meet Stacey and agrees to a trial period of one week.
Stacey is going to be paid a lot of money. Mrs. Cheplin asks if Mrs. McGill knows Stacey is taking the job and she says no. She reasons that her mother is cool with her babysitting so this job should be fine. Yes, but there’s a difference between spending an hour on Monday with Jamie Newton and spending nearly three hours at a person’s house babysitting and house-keeping. Mrs. McGill can easily say she doesn’t think Stacey is equipped to handle the job. Also, why wouldn’t Stacey tell her mother about the job? I thought they were close. Suppose Mrs. McGill says no and Stacey has to decline? Wouldn’t that be embarrassing?
Mrs. Cheplin suggests that Stacey talk to her mom and call her tonight. She meets up with Mary Anne and Kristy. Kristy doesn’t want her to take the job because it’ll be like they’re losing another member. Kristy asks when she’ll be free to take babysitting jobs. Stacey says this is a babysitting job. Thank you! Stacey isn’t taking a finance class, she’s babysitting? And you want to turn down a client because it’s an inconvenience to you, Kristy?
Kristy whines that Stacey won’t be able to take other jobs. And the club is just made up of Stacey, now? Stacey won’t be able to go to meetings. Stacey forgot about meetings and Kristy explodes. Stacey says she can still attend. Why bother? The BSC doesn’t do anything besides sit around and talk while they wait for phone calls. Mary Anne will know when Stacey is free and maybe they just won’t give Stacey sitting jobs since she has a big one.
Stacey will babysit in addition to her big job. You know, some businesses have to turn away clients when they get too busy. Kristy should take a class on how to effectively run a business. She’d be shocked. Kristy yells that she hopes Mrs. McGill says no when Stacey asks. Shut up, Kristy.
Mrs. McGill likes the idea. Stacey calls Mrs. Cheplin. She is still wondering what play to take Robert to see. Give it up, Stacey. Dragging your boyfriend to see a play is not more important than being a member of the BSC. Robert and Stacey are double-dating with Mary Anne and Logan and going bowling. They make lame bowling puns. While Stacey is getting ready she fantasizes about Robert admitting that he loves New York. Give it a rest, Stace. He doesn’t like New York. Deal with it.
On the date Logan goes off with Stacey to ask her to help him pick out a ring for Mary Anne. This won’t be misconstrued at all. I’m not saying that because I read another snark for this book. I’m saying that because misconception plots like this are fairly common and can easily be solved with a bit of talking, but making assumptions is the better way to go, apparently.
Stacey can’t go because of her job, so she suggests that Kristy go with him instead. She would probably know Mary Anne’s tastes better. He also booked a reservation at Chez Maurice. A ring and a date at a romantic restaurant is awfully romantic for a thirteen year old boy. How much money is Chez Maurice? If he’s an associate member I’m assuming Logan doesn’t babysit as much. Does he work odd jobs or something?
Mrs. McGill picks them up. She says that if Logan is getting Mary Anne a ring it must be serious. Stacey thinks they’ll get married, but Mrs. McGill says a lot can go wrong. Right! They’re thirteen! They can change, develop different interests, feelings change… My cousin did meet his wife at thirteen, but they did break up once or twice. Still, not every couple is a match made in middle school. Stacey foreshadows the bullshit that’s about to go down.
Stacey goes to pick up Adam and Dana. Dana is suspicious of her. Stacey asks how school was and Adam chatters away. Dana wants to invite her friend Mandy over. Mrs. Cheplin says it’s fine if Stacey thinks she can handle it. Mrs. Cheplin has left a list of chores. This is really more of a house keeping job. Adam wants a sandwich and Stacey tells Dana to eat because of her diabetes. Dana and Mandy play Sorry while Stacey goes to fold laundry and Adam keeps her company. He’s using a Game Boy. I’m shocked. I thought video games were as bad a TV because they don’t stimulate the imagination. I want to tell the BSC that constantly thinking up games for the children to play doesn’t stimulate their imagination either.
Dana and Mandy have a fight over what to play next. Stacey suggests that they play what Mandy wants because Dana picked the last game. Dana is not pleased. Dana suddenly groans and says she feels weak and shaky. Stacey is worried because that’s not a good thing to hear from a diabetic. It’s not a good thing to hear from anybody. Dana says she ate her apple and didn’t eat any candy.
Mandy goes home and Stacey checks Dana’s blood sugar. She really doesn’t want to have a shot. I can’t say I blame her. I’d get used to it, but I wouldn’t like it. Stacey tells Dana she has diabetes. Dana’s fine and she’s angry that Stacey pricked her finger for nothing. She needed to find out if your blood sugar was low. It was quicker and cheaper than calling a doctor.
Dana makes a miraculous recovery and helps Adam and Stacey clean up his room. Everything is going smoothly when Mrs. Cheplin comes home. Stacey gets paid and thinks she’s a super sitter as she goes to the BSC meeting. After a long job like that, I would not want to deal with Kristy Thomas. I’d want to go home and rest.