The Baby-Sitters Club #50 – “Dawn’s Big Date”


Is it just me, or does Dawn’s date look like every damn YA boy from the 90s? He’s a poor woman’s “Dark Dragon” kid, that’s for sure. I guess the teased-up bowl haircut was pretty popular at that time.

Meanwhile, Mary Anne and Logan are practicing for their upcoming photo shoot for the Whole Milk Council of Connecticut. And WTF is up with that little girl who’s staring backward at Dawn and her date? Take a picture, weirdo, it’ll last longer.

Back-Cover Blurb:
Mary Anne and Dawn are so excited. Logan’s cousin Lewis is finally coming to town, and Mary Anne is busy planning the perfect double date. But now Dawn is starting to get worried. She’s written letters to Lewis, but she’s never had a boyfriend before. What if Lewis doesn’t like her?

That’s when Dawn decides she needs a new image. New clothes, new hairstyle, and lots more makeup. Maybe she could even learn how to flirt a little. But will Lewis and the rest of the Baby-sitters like the new Dawn?

Ok, so Logan’s cousin from Louisville, Lewis, is coming to visit Stoneybrook during winter break. He and Dawn have been exchanging letters for a little while and they’re both pretty excited to meet one another.

Somehow this translates into Dawn having a conniption fit and getting really anxious about how to act around Lewis. She’s never had a boyfriend before and isn’t really sure how to get boys to like her, so of course the idea of having a semi-stranger from Kentucky coming to town fills Dawn with a nameless dread.

What’s everyone’s favorite health-nut to do? Well, for starters, she decides she needs to change her look. She’s way too plain (or “California Casual” as the other girls put it) so she makes with the dread locks and the heavy makeup. She also makes something called a “sweat skirt,” which is made from a pair of cut-up sweatpants.

This actually sounded really familiar to me, so I Googled it and found this:

Picture 1 16-24-08Sweat Skirt by ASOS

Long live the sweat skirt!

Meanwhile, in baby-sitting news, the gals have recently started sitting for Sarah and Norman Hill. Sarah is kind of a bossy bitch, but generally a normal kid. Norman, on the other hand, is a fatty fatty two-by-four. Throughout this book, I imagined an Augustus Gloop-type.

Seems Norman’s got a bit of a weight problem and is continuously sneaking junk food, which is a big no-no for his diet. His parents are even threatening to send him to fat camp for the summer if he doesn’t get in better shape. Naturally, this translates into his sister and parents constantly telling him he’s fat and/or calling attention to his poor eating habits. At one point, Sarah even draws a picture of a fat pig and tapes it to the refrigerator so that Norman will feel more reluctant to raid the fridge.

All I can say is… ouch. Sarah Hill, you’re officially on my to-do list of asses to kick. I don’t care if you’re eight years old.

Clearly Norman has a problem with eating his feelings, which I’m sure we can all relate to on some level. Unfortch, Normie has a lot of bad feelings between his jerk of a sister, his fitness-obsessed parents, and the kids at school calling him “Enormous Hill.”

Ugh. Enough about childhood obesity… Let’s talk about dating and fashion and boys! Yay!

Dawn’s first encounters with Lewis fall pretty flat. She’s desperately trying to be alluring by wearing heavy make-up and getting all “How to Win Friends and Influence People” on his ass, and Lewis seems puzzled by her (at best). Even so, Dawn is determined to stop being “plain old Dawn.”

Meanwhile, Mary Anne is busy giving Dawn seduction tips, which… yeah… WTF? Because MA is sooo good with boys and all? Give me a damn break. MA keeps pointing out Dawn’s many flaws, including her new, unhealthy obsession with thick blue eyeliner.

Thick blue eyeliner which leaks all over Dawn’s face, by the way, when the four of them go out to a movie together. What romantic epic do they choose? Well, “Gone with the Wind,” of course. I can’t think of anything more romantic than slavery, reconstruction, and lots of burning buildings. Naturally, the beauty of this makes Dawn cry some very un-charismatic blue tears.

After the crappy double date, Dawn is pretty pissed at MA for ruining her chances with Lewis with all her shitty advice and constant picking. Never mind that Dawn’s been acting spastic and wearing approximately two pounds of makeup. None of this has been lost on the rest of the BSC, mind you, but we’re much too busy worrying about Enormous Hi– I mean, little Norman, to spend much time talking about Dawn’s makeover-gone-wrong.

The girls want to help him out, and for once, I don’t think they’re being meddlesome bitches. They throw a bunch of ideas out there and finally decide to just go through Norman himself. Mary Anne tells Norman that he should stand up for himself a little and maybe tell his parents how he feels. Norman does so, and suddenly everything gets better. Mrs. Hill stops buying so much junk food (good job, Einstein!) and Sarah stops being such a bossy little jerk.

I guess a little communication goes a long way. That and not keeping a stock pile of fatty foods in the house when you’ve got a kid trying to lose weight.

After defusing the Normal issue, Mary Anne realizes that her constant criticisms of Dawn aren’t helping her step-sister with her confidence problems, so she apologizes. Meanwhile, Dawn also realizes that she’s been trying way too hard to be someone else and that she should just go back to be the granola lovin’ pseudo hippie that we’ve all come to love.

Dawn meets with Lewis again (this time as “herself”) and the two hit it off. Lewis confesses to being a little confused by how different the “new” Dawn was from her letters, but says he’s glad she’s back. He tells her she’s the sweetest, prettiest girl he’s ever met and then slips her the tongue after their dinner date. Then the two of them promise to write “real real real real real” often.

Quotable Quotes:

Here’s the outfit: black ballet slippers; black lace capri leggings; a short metallic silver skirt with all this crinoliny stuff underneath that made it poof out; a stretchy, tight, black-and-white striped top with long sleeves. I’d bought six rubber bangle bracelets, and a new pair of feather earrings that reached down to my shoulders. (I wore both earrings in the two holes in my right ear. I put a pair of small black hoops in the two holes on the left.) This time I didn’t set my hair; I piled it on top of my head, then made six braids.

One word: FIERCE!

I think I saw Sarah Jessica Parker rock this look in an ep of Sex and the City.

The Moral of the Story:

Just be yourself… or don’t. I mean, do be yourself, but only so long as that doesn’t involve experimenting with your appearance and/or acting in a way that is at all contrary to everyone else’s expectations of you.

Oh, and if you’re a pretty white blonde girl from California but NOT Bo Derek, braided hair will never, EVER work for you. I’m looking at you, Christina Aguilera.


Ugh. No. Just… no.

Posted in BabySitters Club, Questionable Parenting, Stereotypes
13 comments on “The Baby-Sitters Club #50 – “Dawn’s Big Date”
  1. Shannon says:

    I hate Dawn so much.

    Why do these kids see the weirdest movies? Gone with the Wind? What thirteen-year-old is going to sit through that?

  2. R. G. Quimby says:

    Seriously. That movie is like, five hours long. I guess there’s nothing more romantic than frequent bathroom breaks and a numb butt.

  3. Sadako says:

    Oh, I hated Sarah Hill and Norman Hill’s parents. You just know he’s going to have all kinds of body neuroses.

    Yeah, I love how you can be yourself but not really. In Ann M.’s world, trying new things or experimenting with your self-image is…TEH EVIL! Everyone must go back to normal! I’m the LAST person to say that you should change for a boy. But it’s totally normal for kids Dawns age (and older in fact) to experiment with clothes, make up, identity. It’s totally healthy. Yeah, sometimes you make stupid mistakes but only so you can show your kids stupid pics of you later.

  4. Megan says:

    I have a homemade sweatskirt, I’m so glad I’m as cool as Dawn!

  5. Speaking of Babysitters Club books, I just made some mock-up covers of BSC books:

  6. R. G. Quimby says:

    OMFG!!! Those are made of awesome!

  7. Sadako says:

    The mock ups are awesome!

  8. Sada says:

    “Take a picture, weirdo, it’ll last longer” totally made me cackle out loud.

    Also, Cover Lewis looks like Shane McDermott of Swans Crossing and Airborne “fame.” (Apparently he was also on an episode of the BSC TV show… where he played Dawn’s dream boy! But I only know that thanks to IMDB. Seriously. I swear.)

  9. R. G. Quimby says:

    OMG, it IS the kid from Swan’s Crossing! I can’t believe I forgot about him–I was obsessed with that show, and I thought he was totally hot shizz.

    Good eye, Sada! I knew I’d seen that fetching bowl haircut elsewhere.

  10. On my blog, I retitled the book, “Dawn Gets Tricked into Seeing, ‘Kaazam'” (that crappy genie movie starring Shaquille O’Neal). I mean, why does “Gone With the Wind” have to suffer?

  11. R. G. Quimby says:

    I agree. I’m sure Dawn could have cried tears of awkwardness at Shaq’s attempts at acting.

    Wasn’t he like, a genie in that? Ugh, it kills me that I know this. And wasn’t there a tie-in video game? I think it was called Shaq-Fu.

  12. charmecia5 says:

    shag fu

    dude, i hated norman hill’s parents too. that sarah was nothing but a bratty bitch, and mr. and mrs.hill were such awful parents to norman. i hated that family.

    the only i liked was norman indeed, and i would of kept him as a son, even if he was fat and ugly. i thought norman was adorable.

    dude, dawn was ridiculous in that book, but i loved it anyways.
    i wish lewis was shown more often, he was such the opposite of logan.

    im totally a fan of the dawn/lewis couple

  13. Andrea Vanhoof says:

    I thought Mary Anne was a complete jerk in constantly pinching Dawn

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