Portrait Collection: Stacey's Book

It's 5:00 in the morning, but my 14-month-old daughter thinks it's the perfect time to play. While she chases the cats around the living room and (I hope) gets tired out, why not update?

Original Publication Date: 1994

Ghostwriter? Yes, Jeanne Betancourt


The eighth grade has been given an autobiography assignment, and this is Stacey's report. She divides it into sections:

The early years: A lot of things are confirmed in this book, like the existence of Stacey's comfort item, a teddy bear named Goobaw. Stacey also mentions vivid nightmares and a fancy fourth birthday party during which the whole restaurant sang happy birthday...including Pavarotti, who was eating there.

When I was five: Stacey gets to be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on the Cinderella float (her mom works for Macy's). She misses her chance to be on TV because when the float goes by the cameras, the wind blows Cinderella's crown away and Stacey leans to catch it. But she gets to keep the crown!

When I was eight: Stacey and Laine take a ballroom dance class but ditch most of the sessions, taking the bus around NYC instead. In addition to traditional ballroom dances, she learns the foxtrot and the lindy, which I thought were for swing music...? (Edit: but I have learned are valid for ballroom)

When I was ten: Stacey and her family take a back-to-nature vacation on a remote island without phones or grocery stores or much else. She's not thrilled with the prospect, and doesn't get along with a girl her age (Mara) who lives there, but then Stacey's dad breaks his ankle and Mara helps with the emergency. Stacey and Mara end up friends, but don't keep in touch. Stacey also has her first sitting job there, for about an hour for Mara's little sister while her parents and Mara go to the hospital.

When I was twelve: or thirteen...this chapter takes place after Stacey moved back to NYC, which was in eighth grade. And after the BSC visit from Stacey's Mistake. FAIL. Anyway, it's about Claudia coming for a visit. Claudia's out of sorts, and Stacey finally gets it out of her that she's upset because of how much she misses Stacey. After that, they're able to enjoy the visit.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: understandably, none is mentioned

The BSC gives Claudia old and broken jewelry for her to create new things with. I guess that's where she gets some of her surprisingly-vast supply.

Stacey was born at 1:30 am. My youngest nephew was born four days ago at 1:50 pm.

She took her first steps at ten months.

Stacey's been to Ireland and the island of St. Thomas.

Their Families:

Since you (and Stacey) know looking back that Stacey's parents divorce, you can see signs, like Stacey's dad sneaking his briefcase to the remote island vacation, breaking a promise to her mom.

The Club (and clients):

Because of her vivid childhood nightmares, Stacey likes to keep clients' houses quiet when the children are asleep. That way she can hear them cry out if they do. In just a few books Stacey will forget this rule while sitting for Jamie Newton (in Stacey vs the BSC).

Apparently Marilyn Arnold asks for things by saying "You've got to or I'll go crazy out of mind." I don't think that ever comes up again.


Stacey gets an A on her report.

PSA Time:

Snakes aren't poisonous (unless you were to get sick from touching or eating one). When an animal has to purposely inject its toxin into you, as through biting, it's venomous. Venom=vicious poison=passive.


MTV still played music videos when Stacey was a kid (specifically those by Madonna and Sting).

Sure, you can eat the guts of lobster, but EW. Especially when you're not expecting them...

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 7

Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2

Halloweens in 8th grade: 4 (plus one in seventh)

Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 1

Christmases in 8th grade: 1 (Hanukkah is also mentioned, but no one in the BSC celebrates it)

Summers after 8th grade: 7

BSC Fights: 9

SMS Staff and Faculty: 47

Students (other than the BSC): 165; 101 8th graders, 6 7th graders, 42 6th graders, 15 unspecified

Clients: 31

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 97

Mary Anne-2


Laura said...

It would be very cool to have Pavarotti (or any famous singer, for that matter) sing Happy Birthday to you.

This book always makes me think of Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! because they learn the foxtrot for (Marcie's?) party. "Slow, slow, quick, quick."

I also don't ever remember Marilyn (or Carolyn, either, come to that) saying "You've got to, or I'll go crazy mad out of my mind!"

So they really should be calling all of Kristy's - or anyone's - "Looks" venonomous, not posionous then.

Lobster guts - real ew!

SJSiff said...

Yeah, when you're not sure if something's venomous or poisonous, just say it's toxic. Fun fact: the Slow Loris, a small mammal, is considered both poisonous and venomous. It secretes a toxin from its elbows that it rubs all over its fur, making it a poison for any predator that tries to attack it. But it also licks the elbows patches to give itself a venomous bite!

Adelaide said...

Why the question mark about the dances they learned? The Foxtrot and the Lindy Hop both fall under the Ballroom category. Furthermore, even slower ballroom dances can be performed to contemporary music.

SJSiff said...

Adelaide, I didn't know that. I've only ever known of them being associated with swing. Thanks for the information!