Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Friends Forever #10: Stacey's Problem

Tagline: Hang on, Stacey!

Cover: It's Stacey. And she has her fingers over her face, so you know she's stressed.

Plot!: Stacey is concerned because her mom has been down in the dumps...and to make things worse, her dad is getting married! Stacey is concerned about how its making her mom feel, so she does the same old thing of trying to make everyone happy and making no one happy. In the end, she is happy for her father and her mom decides to open a clothing store, which Claudia is super enthused about.

Points of Interest:
  • Stacey's mom loves anchovies. She wants to put them on the pizza that's she's sharing with Stacey and Claudia, but Stacey is afraid that the anchovy juice will contaminate the rest of the pizza and the anchovies will swim all over the rest of the pizza.
  • Stacey's mom also reminisces about a time before Stacey was born, when she and Ed happily ate clams at Sheepshead Bay.
  • Maureen also wants to play Scrabble, and it's like she's never met Claudia before. Maybe Claudia has successfully hidden her word problems from adults? I don't know.
  • Stacey points out that she and Claudia are only recently close again, after getting into a big thing over a boy - a boy who turned out not to be worth any of it, basically.
  • Stacey complains that when you're as gorgeous as she is, with blond hair and blue eyes, people have a hard time believing you're also a math genius. Although I don't think that you necessarily have to be a math genius to play Monopoly...it requires a cutting edge, I think, and the ability to see moves ahead.
  • They end up playing Sorry instead. But Maureen has been distracted by all this Ed talk, so she has a hard time concentrating, and that gives Stacey a chance to talk about the divorce and that she didn't see anything wrong with their marriage but that there were really big loud arguments at the end.
  • Once the pizza has been cooked, Stacey enthuses that it is delicious, and it's something she can eat, which makes sense in a broader context, but seems strange at her house. Like Maureen usually goes around cooking up nothing but liquid sugar and inserting that into everything she makes.
  • Stacey meets Ethan at Grand Central so they can catch up on things and so her dad can see them and be disapproving.
  • She notes that she sees more of her workaholic dad no that he has weekend custody than she did before the divorce.
  • Chapter 3: Ed and his girlfriend, Samantha, announce that they are getting married, nicely setting up Stacey's Problem.
  • The wedding is going to be in about a year, because Samantha wants the time to have plan a big ceremony. Naturally, the BSC will be bridesmaids. No, I'm kidding, but can't you just see it?
  • They eat at a restaurant on top of the world Trade Center. Mentions like that take me right of the book.
  • Stacey's dad tries to push the responsibility of telling her mom about his remarriage onto Stacey. Samantha tells him to man up, but Stacey still breaks the news first.
  • By the end of Chapter 4, Stacey's told her mom about the marriage, her mother has talked to both Ed and Samantha, and Stacey and Maureen have cried and said that they're proud of each other. which feels like the end of the book. It could totally have been a short story or something like that.
  • Oh, never mind. Apparently it's also Mallory's homecoming, or something. That's one thing I've wanted more of - Mallory subplots.
  • Stacey volunteers to stay home with her Mom, but even as she valiantly gives up going to what is sure to be the party of the year, she's resentful about it. And that means we're going to get another book about Stacey putting everyone else's emotions ahead of her and how stretched out she feels.
  • Stacey got Mal a bunch of accessories, and one of them is a hemp choker. Hot.
  • Mallory says that it's great that they've stayed in touch through e-mail. And that might be the most jarring thing about the book to me.
  • Mallory is disappointed that Jessi is so busy that they can't spend every moment together, setting up the subplot that mirrors the main plot - life goes on.
  • Byron has stepped up in Mallory's absence to become the new big sibling. And Mallory seems threatened by this.
  • Claudia and Stacey talk about Claudia dating Alan Gray. Claudia thinks that she's starting to see the real Alan, but Stacey is not convinced. Stay tuned for Friends Forever #12 for more details on that.
  • Maureen tries to help Claudia by saying that Anne Bancroft married Mel Brooks. Because nothing convinces teens like old movie star references!
  • Stacey and Claudia think that Maureen is unhappy because Ed is remarrying, so they get some tapes from a dating agency to try to get some dates for her. Do plans like that ever actually succeed?
  • Mal is still stressing out because her siblings have all moved on since she's been at school.
  • Ugh. Stacey and Claudia (she called a dating agency and told them she needed some tapes for research for a college class) invite all BSC members over to have a party and see the tapes. They have an incredibly long discussion on baldness that just doesn't make sense for a bunch of 13 year olds.
  • Mallory gets all hot for a guy grandfather-aged (and he's also on disability).
  • BUT! It turned out that Maureen got a date all by herself! He's a buyer for a department store or something. But oh no! The date is for Saturday - and Stacey's in Manhattan that day! Oh no!
  • Chapter 10: Stacey's in Manhattan, but she's thinking about her mom. And her mom hasn't even gone on her date yet. She can't concentrate on anything.It's very much like Stacey's Choice (the time her mom is sick but her dad gets a promotion and she goes but is thinking about Stoneybrook the entire time).
  • Samantha and Stacey start to bond, but Stacey feels guilty because of her mom.
  • Oh my LORD. The next day at breakfast, Stacey sees LAINE. And it's all uncomfortable. Stacey calls her "part of my past."
  • Stacey finally talks to her mom and it turns out the date didn't go very smoothly, and they aren't going to see each other again. Maureen tells Stacey not to rush home on her account, and OF COURSE Stacey rushes home on her account.
  • Samantha volunteers to drive Stacey home, and they talk on the drive to Connecticut.
  • It turns out Samantha is also a workaholic, and she's a fashion photographer. Stacey is suitably impressed. Also, I can't believe this hasn't come up before.
  • Mallory feels distant, and not the good kind of distant. Not that there is any good kind of distant.
  • Mallory's the president of the Riverbend Internet Club. Dork!
  • Maureen has made a big decision - she has decided to go back to Spencer. No, not an old boyfriend; her maiden name. And from a feminist note, it's not called a maiden name in the book - it's referred to her 'original name' and her name before she got married.
  • She's also decided to quit her job and open a clothing store in Stoneybrook. Stacey is thrilled.
  • The BSC helps her come up with names for the new store. Kristy - Serious Clothing. Claudia - Funky Petunia. Mary Anne - Amazing Grace.
  • And in the end, to demonstrate how much she's changed (?) Stacey volunteers to eat some anchovies. O...kay.
Final thought: Good luck, Samantha. I think you'll need it.


Sadako said...

God, I'm so angry at Claudia for being friends with Stacey again. She's a bitch!

And indeed, good luck Samantha. You know Ed's going to dump you as soon as you start complaining or asserting yourself, right?

nikki said...

Huh. I want to read this just to see how Byron stepped up to be the New Mallory. Wait....I like Byron, he's my favorite Pike, so maybe I don't want to do that.

nikki said...

You won books on my blog!!! Check out my most recent post.

Also, where you been?

Sadako said...

No update? :(

Emily said...

Missing your blog and hoping you're okay!

Sarah said...

I hope your blog isn't over! I really enjoy it.

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