|Dawn's Book- part 2
||[Jan. 30th, 2017|10:02 am]
Baby-sitters Club Snark-fest!
Hey, loves! This community's been a little quiet lately, so I am gonna shake it up with another post... hope you enjoy!
Chapter 3- The New Girl on the Block
Dawn is annoyed because the family moves to a new neighborhood and all the kids are younger than her. She is sure to remind us that she is not antisocial. She's really worried about what impression she is leaving with this autobiography, but she's worrying about the wrong things, like that we may think she's weird for liking the beach, or that she's antisocial for not wanting to play with kids much younger than her. Yet she has no issue telling us about being a little demon in nursery school who ruins the blocks at school and causes a classmate to injure himself so she doesn't have to share them. Priorities, have you some.
Dawn apparently had a parakeet named Buzz when she was in first grade. She and Maggie and Jill would write notes back and forth about him. It really bothers me because we see the notes and Dawn had the EXACT SAME HANDWRITING in first grade. How is that even possible? And Maggie writes in perfect script. She's in first grade! How is she able to do that??
Dawn is a little asshole and makes up lies about Buzz to look good to her friends. Because her ego is the size of Texas, one of her lies is that the bird said "I love you, Dawn." Chuckle.
This she tells us rather triumphantly, but still worries about how we feel about her being "bizarre" or "antisocial."
Dawn is all whiny about having no friends on her block, because I guess her parents can't just drive her over to play with Jill and Maggie? When I was little I didn't have any friends on my block, but I had friends from school and I saw them plenty on the weekends. I don't know why Dawn must complain about everything.
Finally, one of Dawn's neighbors moves and she hopes a girl her age moves in. Things always work like magic in Ann's world because not long after, the house is sold and the realtor tells Dawn that the new owners have a little girl about her age.
What does Dawn do when the new family, Sunny's family, a family of hippies, arrive in a "strange looking car?" Go to greet them and introduce herself? Shy away because maybe she's shy around new people or doesn't want to come on too strong?
Answer: None of the above. She's Dawn! Obviously she starts judging them immediately and hangs back not because she's shy or anything, but because their strangeness turns her off. She's disgusted and weirded out. Such a good seed our Dawn.
She starts by snarking their car, which is a "small, banged-up red thing painted all over with brightly colored flowers and white peace symbols. A plastic flowed bobbed on the tip of the radio antenna."
Okay, so it's unusual, but it's hardly a reason to be so weirded out. Sunny's parents emerge from the car. Her dad has a ponytail and her mom has long hair (which isn't unlike Dawn herself!) and an ankle-length dress. They call their house "their home of peace and love." Our supposed-to-be admirable main character is even more disgusted, thinking that they are turning their house into a church. Dawn, chill.
Finally, Sunny comes out and she also has long hair and a long dress, which is a major problem for Dawn, apparently, because she doesn't know people who wear long skirts unless they're at a wedding, and thinks it looks like Sunny and her mom are in nightgowns. What is wrong with a long dress? It's called a maxi dress and tons of people have that look. But oh I forgot, if Dawn hasn't seen it before, if just isn't acceptable!
Sunny and her mom start dancing, then the dad joins in, to Dawn's "horror" which sounds a bit weird to me. It's okay until the dad joins in? Is Dawn sexist or something? But even if she was, what is wrong with the dad dancing? Why is that "to her horror?" The only behavior that's horrible right now is Dawn's, for immediately hating a family she doesn't even know because they are a little different. I'm really wondering what Dawn's teacher thinks of her upon reading how judgmental she is in her autobiography.
Dawn insists that the moving men were laughing at them, but the family doesn't care. First, I doubt the moving men are laughing at them. Generally, adults can act polite in public. Second, why should the family care? They're being themselves. Good for them. But Dawn still declares them "the weirdest people" she's ever seen.
Guys I seriously can't take this. I hate Dawn so much and I never really realized it. As I became an adult and reread these books she's started to piss me off, particularly in little miss Stoneybrook when she makes a big fuss about Jessi and Mal's induction ceremony, every time she's nasty to her friends about what they eat, and when she stole her dad's credit card. But this is finalizing it for me. I know she's a little kid and this is unusual, but she's acting horrific. She's acting disgusted by them, scared of them even, because they're a little different. And most of the things weren't even that bad. Long dresses and hair, a man dancing. So what? What is wrong with this girl?!
So it gets worse. Sunny's whole name is apparently Sunshine (which is also Dawn's nickname.) Sunny's mother calls out to her for help and Dawn actually thinks that Mrs. Winslow is talking to HER. She walks up to their house with a "spooky" feeling, wondering how this woman could possibly know her nickname and why she would have the nerve to ask queen Dawn for help. It's actually kind of amusing.
Then she hears the woman call the girl "Sunshine" and realizes that is her name and she is not some psychic who wants a stranger to help her unpack. And, continuing to judge, Dawn declares the plant Sunny's mom hands her "funny-looking" and decides she doesn't want to talk to them at all and tries to make a break for it. But karma bites her in the ass and they see her. And are extremely nice, I might add.
They introduce themselves as Betsy Winslow and Sunshine Daydream Winslow (Sunny for short.) I'll admit, that's a pretty horrible name. But no reason for them to be treated the way Dawn treats them.
Dawn is too freaked out to tell them exactly where she lives so she just says "around here." GOD, Dawn, they're not serial killers! What is wrong with them knowing where you live?
Dawn shockingly offers to help them unpack, but then snarks their spider plant. It's also a problem that they don't have a couch, don't watch TV, and make a homemade lunch on the day they move in when "on moving day, most people get take-out to eat on the run." Oh the horror! What horrible and unusual people that they are making their own lunch! Seriously Dawn, WHAT IS THE PROBLEM.
Dawn decides not to stay for lunch because they are having kelp soup. I'm surprised. Kelp soup sounds like it would be right up Dawn's alley.
As she sits at home, she decides she "couldn't be friends with a girl as strange as sunshine daydream Winslow." Well maybe Sunny doesn't want to be friends with an asshole girl as egotistical and judgmental as Dawn Read Schafer. Seriously, why is she our protagonist? The protagonist is supposed to be likable and admirable. Dawn is more of the antagonist in my eyes.
The next morning, Sharon asks Dawn if she will invite Sunny to play, but Dawn of course doesn't want to. She only decides to go over to Sunny's when Jeff starts playing with a friend and watching them play is boring.
Dawn just barges right into Sunny's house and up the stairs. They left the kitchen door open, but still. Knocking would be more polite.
Sunny and her parents are setting up their water bed, which, what a surprise, Dawn internally snarks. She goes with Sunny to her room. Sunny has a tie-dyed bedspread, and when she tells Dawn that, Dawn thinks "it didn't look to me like it were made of dead ties." Really? Dawns never heard of tie-dye before?
They unpack the rest of Sunny's stuff and Dawn internally snarks her toys, which are mostly wooden. She laments that she's outgrown wooden blocks. It's not that unusual to play with blocks when you're six, Dawn. She actually thinks, "poor Sunny, her toys are pathetic." No, Dawn, you're pathetic. These are the toys that sunny likes. She even says so. Not everyone is exactly like you.
Dawn asks if she has a Barbie doll and Sunny says her family doesn't believe in buying plastic or synthetics because they're not good for the environment. I find this ironic since Dawn becomes such an environmentalist later.
Then, Dawn has the audacity to insult Sunny's favorite stuffed animal, a stuffed crocodile. She says she "tried to hide [her] disgust" and and says Sunny hugged "the ratty thing." Whose beloved stuffed animal isn't ratty? They get old and worn. Who cares? I seriously hate Dawn.
Then she says "Sunny could probably tell I was bored with her toys." How are you bored with them when you didn't even try playing with them, Dawn? But Sunny suggests they play with Morse Code.
Dawn states that she wasn't even close to interested but was too polite to show it. What amazing manners. If only sunny knew what was in your head.
Sunny wants Dawn to learn Morse Code so they can use it together at school but Ms. Laid-back individual is too embarrassed because I guess she cares what people think of her even though she always says she doesn't.
Another ironic thing happens. Dawn and Sunny head over to Dawn's house and Sunny comments that Jeff and a friend are playing with swords, which is like playing with guns, which encourages violence. Kelp soup, protecting the environment, not liking violent play (which we know Dawn doesn't like because she flips about it in Dawn and the impossible three.) So far, Sunny is really not too different from Dawn, and yet Dawn cannot stop insulting her. So now we can add "hypocrite" to Dawn's list of traits.
Dawn complains yet again when she and Sunny play with Jeff and his friend because she had wanted a new friend so she wouldn't have to play with the little kids. She just won't stop complaining. But for whatever reason Sunny wants to see her again the next day.
Sunny suggests they watch her mom tie-dye curtains and Dawn doesn't think Sunny's tie-dyed shirt is pretty (of course she just has to mention that, because she can't act like a good person for five seconds), but for whatever reason, she wants to tie-dye one of her shirts.
Ms. Individual who doesn't care what others think about her is initially really enthusiastic about tie-dying but then decides she doesn't want to when the neighbors are looking out the window at her and Sunny's family with seeming disapproval. And she decides Sunny is just "too weird" for her.
See, this is another thing I hate about Dawn. One of her character traits is that she's an individual who doesn't care what other people think about her. In this very book she says she's laid-back and takes things as they come. And yet she is constantly preoccupied with what other people think of her and is declaring Sunny "weird." An individual would tie-dye a shirt if she wants and not care what other people think. An individual who is laid-back and takes things as they come wouldn't focus on what's the norm and be afraid of being "weird." Dawn is anything but an individual and yet she always says she is. Sunny, however, is an individual. She does her thing and doesn't care what other people think.
To Dawn's dismay, her mother offers to take Sunny and Betsy out shopping the next day. Dawn is embarrassed to be seen with Sunny and her mother in their long dresses, because she's an asshole. She's upset that people are staring, which is yet another example of how not laid-back she is.
Betsy and Sharon leave them off at the toy store and say they will be back in 20 minutes, which doesn't seem all that responsible. Dawn purposely picks out plastic toys so that she can turn Sunny off and Sunny will leave her alone.Only Dawn would give up a perfectly nice friend because she's too "weird." She nastily pretends not to know her and doesn't notice a storm is starting. Dun dun dun.
Poor Sunny. Dawn is so nasty to her and Sunny just lightheartedly laughs and let's it go over her head.
The storm causes the lights to go out in the store and Dawn is scared. Sunny comforts her and tells her she's going to find her, then she does, using a light-up toy clown. She's a pretty smart kid.
Everyone is cheered up when they see Sunny and Dawn with the light. Sunny tells a sales clerk they need to find their moms just as the lights come back on. Sunny is awesome. In the BSC books, the main characters are usually shitty and the side characters are awesome.
Their mothers still don't come up to the toy store so the girls go down with the sales clerk to the stores where their mothers were but they aren't there either. Because I know that if I was in a mall and in a different store from my kids and the lights went out I wouldn't immediately go up to get them when the electricity came back. Why did they let Sunny and Dawn stay at the toy store alone anyway? They're only six.
Dawn is scared and Sunny is a comfort.
So it turns out their mothers are stuck in an elevator so that explains why they didn't immediately come up to them in the toy store but it still doesn't excuse them leaving them alone to begin with.
And what do you know, they use Morse Code to figure it out. Sunny pounds on the elevator door in Morse Code to ask her mother questions and therefore they are able to figure out who's in there, that everyone's okay, what floor they're stuck on, etc. And everyone thinks it's awesome so Dawn can shove it about people thinking sunny is weird.
When the mothers come out, Sharon says she stayed calm thanks to Betsy.
So both Sunny and Betsy are useful in emergencies. Dawn decides she likes them after all and doesn't even care about being seen in their car on the ride home. What a saint.