Stacey is in trouble. Mrs. Newton told Kristy about the phone call and asked that the BSC keep personal phone calls for emergencies only. Sounds like a reasonable request. Kristy asks if Stacey was speaking to Robert. Does it really matter? Maybe it does because Robert isn’t BSC approved. Now I’m imagining all boyfriends being interrogated by the BSC. I bet they’d interrogate their charge’s boyfriends as well and spy on them. But in all honesty, Stacey tied up the phone. Does it matter who she was talking to? Would it have been fine if she decided to call up Claudia and chat? Would people really care who someone is talking to when they’re tying up your phone?
Logan tells Stacey to watch it because he and Mary Anne were in the same boat when she invited him to talk to Jake and his mom thought Mary Anne was having a boyfriend over being her back. Stacey protests that it’s not the same because Robert didn’t come over. I would have loved that. I can just see Stacey and Robert making out on the couch while Jamie is busy puking and the Newtons come home to that. I can see the uproar the BSC would be in. I don’t know why it amuses me so much.
Stacey is getting upset and defensive, so Claudia deflects and asks if she should make more fliers for the talent show. I’m just imagining the BSC being really mad at each other or two steps away from killing each other and then someone mentions a kid and they’re all like, “Awwww.” I think you could distract the BSC by mentioning cute kid antics. They all start talking about the talent show and Stacey is like “WTF” at them raising their hands to volunteer to help like they’re at school. Stacey kind of zones out. I don’t blame her. I would have zoned out long before this.
So it turns out Robert can’t have his party at his house because his parents are having friends over. They decide to have the party at Stacey’s house. Stacey is worried because how can she hide the party from her friends. Mallory lives near her. Maybe Mallory will just make up a ridiculous story. And suppose Mary Anne or Dawn calls during the party? And people will talk about the party at school? Are middle school parties really that exciting? I only went to my friend’s birthday party in middle school. I don’t know if people were throwing parties in middle school. So now Stacey has to figure out a way to try and hide the fact that she has a life outside of the BSC and people she hangs out with besides them. I’m getting a headache from this. What if Stacey did tell the BSC about the party? I doubt they’d react well. They’d probably demand invitations or be snobby and say the party was stupid. Besides, the BSC mingling with non BSC friends doesn’t really go over so well. Sometimes people have different groups of friends and they don’t all intersect. My best friends is friends with people who aren’t me and they do stuff without me.
Stacey considers inviting the BSC. Then she thinks she can do something special with the BSC. So she’s not totally abandoning them, I think. Sometimes friends hang out with other people. My best friends hangs out with other people that I don’t hang out with, but she hangs out with me. I don’t know if you’re supposed to do everything together with all of your friends. For example, my best friend is more into video games and anime than I am, so I don’t care if she wants to go to the arcade with someone else because I’d be bored. There are certain things you do with some friends that you don’t do with other friends.
Claudia finds out about the relocation and says that they’ll have to invite the rest of the BSC. Why? Are you supposed to invite your friends to everything that you do? Claudia also feels weird about getting an invite when no one else did. She thinks they’ll hate her. Stacey’s like, “Nope. Not inviting the BSC.”
Apparently Mrs. McGill has borrowed from Sharon’s stash because she’s talking to a blender. No wait, she’s just trying to find out the best way to introduce herself to make middle school boys say, “Stacey’s mom has got it going on!” She’s trying to decide on the hip or formal approach. I’m trying to imagine how they would go and rolling my eyes. I’m imagining her using slang and Stacey being like, “My mom knows how to talk hip because she’s from New York.” And if Mrs. McGill decided to use the formal approach Stacey would say that her mom is very sophisticated.
Tonight’s the night of the party. Everyone seems to know about it. Would a middle school party really be this big of a deal? Claudia is getting second thoughts about going to the party and Stacey protests that she has to come. Claudia is nervous because Dawn is asking a bunch of questions. I’m just rolling my eyes at the thought of Dawn being a sleuth. I can see her wearing a hat and a trenchcoat and sneaking around. She’d totally be spying on people to see if they’re eating something she approves of. I can totally see her pressed up to someone’s window with a pair of binoculars while they eat dinner. I can see her bursting into a complete stranger’s house to scream at them. Or maybe she’d go through someone’s trash to see if they threw away anything that could be recycled. It is now my headcanon that Dawn will pull a stunt like this and get arrested.
The party starts. People bring over sugarless cookies for Stacey and she asks how many friends would do that. Doesn’t Claudia have snacks that you can eat? Mrs. McGill is wearing a backwards baseball cap to try and look cool and speaks formally. I don’t think, “Hi, I’m Stacey’s mother,” is very formal, but I’m not a sophisticated New Yorker, so what do I know? The party is in full swing. Everyone is having a great time. Robert even dances with Mrs. McGill. I’m sitting here trying to resist the urge to start singing Stacey’s mom has got it going on. The doorbell rings. Dawn and Mary Anne are here to crash the party. Well, Dawn is. Mary Anne is too busy crying. Dawn’s all, “Did you have an awesome time? Did you drink awesome shooters and then just sit around soaking up each other’s awesomeness?” I seriously think I’d rather have the cops at my door when I’m having a party than the BSC. Mary Anne and Dawn spot Claudia and they got upset because they knew Stacey was a dirty little liar, but Claudia turned traitor now? Claudia yells at Stacey even though she made the choice to come to the party. I know the BSC use peer pressure a lot, but I think Stacey’s pressuring of Claudia was mild compared to the usual BSC pressuring.
Claudia wishes Stacey had never met Robert because he’s the cause of all this. Stacey remembers when she and Claudia had a fight because they went on a trip together and Stacey didn’t tell her Robert was going to be there. I’d be madder at that than the party. I just find it awkward when my friends invite me to hang out and there are people that I don’t know and I didn’t know they were going to be there.
Claudia writes about the talent show in the notebook. At first I wondered if this counted as a sitting job and if the BSC wrote about talent shows and other BSC events in the notebook before I realized that of course they would. They’d run into a parent in town and the parent would say that their baby started teething and they’d write it in the notebook. Stacey decides to skip out on the talent show, despite the fact that she promised Charlotte she’d be there. Claudia went to apologize to Dawn and Mary Anne. I wonder what would have happened if the party had been held at Robert’s house. I bet Dawn and Mary Anne would have still gone over to bust Stacey. I’m quite sure the BSC is entitled enough to demand invitations to events that they weren’t invited to.
Claudia misspells words on the banner. Dawn and Mary Anne helped her with the banner. Claudia misspelled talent as talant. Mary Anne and Dawn didn’t notice until now. There’s a WAAAAANK noise and I can’t think of anything witty to say. It turns out to be Byron blowing on his harmonica. Blah, blah, blah, everything is going downhill and the show hasn’t even started yet. Kristy comes in and takes charge. I wonder if everyone just sits around like useless morons unless Kristy tells them what to do. I can seriously imagine them sitting around in the dark until Kristy comes in and turns on the light. They’d be like, “It’s so dark in here. I can’t see anything.” Then Kristy would come in and say, “I have a great idea. Why don’t we turn on the lights?” Then everyone would say that Kristy is overflowing with great ideas.
I have to laugh at Claudia telling the kids to have fun after Kristy tells them how the talent show is going to go. Stacey says it must be like being in boot camp. Kristy calls this the first annual talent show. I thought they had talent shows before. I’m not too invested in this because I don’t really care about kid antics. Everyone at the talent show basically sucks, moving on. Bill and Melody sing A Whole New World while holding hands. My mom likes that song. I thought it was a love song. My brother will totally sing hammy versions of songs to annoy me.
Kristy announces Charlotte, but when she sees Stacey isn’t there she bursts into tears and runs off the stage. She was going to dedicate her performance to Stacey, which gets Claudia mad enough to call Stacey to tell her that if she doesn’t show up to the BSC meeting Kristy is putting a hit out on her.
Stacey apologizes to Charlotte and she accepts the apology. Stacey realizes that she doesn’t feel as guilty about wanting a life outside of the BSC as she would a week ago. She avoids the BSC members during school. She goes to the meeting and Claudia tells Stacey that she has a lot of explaining to do. I’m sorry, but I’m totally imagining a parent glaring at their child with their arms folded. Stacey laughs and asks if they have any specific questions. This is too much for Kristy because Stacey is supposed to be cowering, damn it! They accuse Stacey of being callous. Then they blame Robert, because if he hadn’t come around Stacey would never have wanted a life outside of babysitting. Stacey tells the BSC that they all want to have a life outside of the BSC and they need to grow up. They don’t want a life outside of the BSC. The BSC is love. THE BSC is life.
They bring up the incident at the Newtons’ again and Stacey is like I know I fucked up, but I learned from it. Mary Anne asks why Stacey didn’t invite them to the party. They’re her friends, right? Yeah, but do you have to invite your friends to everything that you do? Stacey tries to explain uses a Venn Diagram analogy, but realizes that this isn’t the best course seeing as Claudia’s eyes are glazing over at the mention of math. I don’t remember using those in math. I probably blocked it out because I hate math. I think we used them when we had to compare and contrast shit. I remember having to write really tiny.
Stacey tries to explain about mutual friends and how the party was a spur of the moment party for her and Robert’s mutual friends. My best friend and I are friends with some of the same people, but at the same time, she’s friends with people I don’t know. Stacey asks if this is such a big deal. Yes. You can’t have a life outside of the BSC. Stacey points out that her other friends don’t throw tantrums when she doesn’t invite them to BSC events. I think that’s because no one outside of the BSC would want to go to them.
Dawn says that Stacey humiliated them because the whole school knew about the party. Stacey asks why they didn’t call her instead of crashing the party. I’m just going to say a prayer of thanks that I never had to deal with the politics of who to invite to a party. Kristy asks why she didn’t call Mary Anne and Dawn because their feelings were hurt. Stacey says she was angry. Then Claudia brings up what happened with Charlotte. Stacey knows she fucked up. She apologized to Charlotte. Charlotte forgave her. Does this have anything to do with the BSC.
Kristy is being obnoxious and Stacey tells her to stop being a stupid little baby. Kristy accuses Stacey of thinking that they’re all babies and brings up Burger Town. Stacey is like, “You were jamming straws up your nose, for fuck’s sake.” Dawn starts to sneer about how they have to watch their behavior in public because they aren’t mega cool like Stacey and her mega cool friends. Well, I don’t believe in sticking straws up your nose while you’re in public and chewing with your mouth open. I really believe that Kristy has no manners when she’s in public and she’ll throw a fit when someone calls her on it.
Stacey gets angry and snaps back that at least she doesn’t make an idiot of herself by spying behind jukeboxes and acting superior to waiters. Claudia tells her to stop it and if she can’t discuss this- I can just imagine an adult telling a child that if they can’t discuss this calmly they’re grounded or something. I’m just going to copy and paste the rest of the conversation.
“This is not a discussion!” I replied. “This is a firing squad. I can’t believe I’m sitting here and taking this. You don’t want to be my friends. You want to control my life.”
“That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard,” Kristy said.
“Yeah, well, anything you don’t think of is stupid. I’m tired of all your bossiness, Kristy. And that’s not all. I’m sick of the meetings, week in and week out. And the rules. And the talent shows and fairs and contests and field trips and tantrums and stomach viruses and diapers and feeding schedules and sibling rivalries. I’ve had it! I’m thirteen years old! I want to spend time with kids who act my own age and talk about something besides baby-sitting.”
Jessi, who had been silent all this time, said, “No one’s forcing you to be here, Stacey.”
“You’re right.” I stood up and grabbed my coat. “I quit the Baby-sitters Club!”
Kristy shot up out of the director’s chair. “Oh, yeah? Well, you can’t quit!”
“Because you’re fired!”
Fine with me. I turned, left, and didn’t look back.
I have no words. It’s beautiful. I love how someone finally wants to have a life outside of the BSC and calls them out on their shitty attitude. It sucks that her new friends will be jerks so she’ll go crawling back to the BSC. I think that’s a pattern. Someone makes a new friends and the BSC doesn’t approve, so the friend turns out to be a jerk because we can’t have the BSC being in the wrong. I also love Kristy’s “you can’t quit, you’re fired!” If someone died right after getting the last word in an argument with Kristy, she’d resurrect them so that she could have the last word before killing them again.
Stacey is getting kid withdrawals. It’s only been a week but she misses seeing kids. I was about to ask if Stacey couldn’t babysit outside of the BSC before I came to my senses and remembered that Kristy would kill her. She’d probably make all babysitters join the BSC. I wonder if there are other babysitters around that the BSC don’t know about. Stacey misses her friends, but the situation is still sinking in. Stacey goes to Charlotte’s recital and sits in the front seat like she promised. The recital is 5:30 on a Friday. I wonder if the BSC would have been cool with that or if Kristy would have thrown a fit.