Aside from collecting stuffed cats and brushing my American Girl doll’s hair, my childhood was largely spent poring over Ann M. Martin’s The Babysitters Club series. If you were a young girl with the ability to read after the year 1986, you also read these. You loved them. You wanted to be them. You envied every predicament, good or bad, that the girls got themselves in.
Okay, so maybe not everyone was as obsessed with these books as I was (am?). Still, though, they were awesome. I wish I could say I’ve read them all, but sadly, by the time I got into the books they weren’t sold in stores anymore. For shame!
I guess I should take this opportunity to thank my elementary school’s library for introducing me to this series. Weird, huh, that a library should introduce me to a book? Anyway, I don’t remember the circumstances but somehow I won a prize in some kind of contest, and I was allowed to pick a book to take home, for free, no strings attached. I stuck my impressionable, eager hand into a box filled with books of all shapes and sizes, and drew out a real humdinger. I still remember which book it was, and I still have it (though its cover has gone missing between then and now). It was Claudia and the Genius on Elm Street, written by Ann M. Martin herself. Y’know, the one where Claudia has to babysit this really bitchy kid, and it turns out her parents are lunatics and make her do all these extracurricular activities? Real page-turner, that one. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll probably hate that kid like I did for being such an ass to poor Claudia. I mean, who cares if foxes hibernate? Why are you asking your babysitter such questions, child? Go hang out with Mallory Pike or something.
Since Claudia was the first sitter I read about in the series, she has a special place in my heart. If she existed today, I’m positive she’d be a fashion blogger, and a popular one at that. I mean, the girl would pair the most random items together, and by the time you were done reading the description of her outfit, you kinda sat back and thought, “Wow, that looks awesome in my head.” She’d definitely be a blog I’d follow. I can also relate to her because she sucked at math. I also suck at math.
No matter who you are, though, you know that Claudia Kishi is the head bitch in charge. Kristy was never the leader. The club was held in Claudia’s room, because she had her OWN PRIVATE PHONE LINE. I mean, hello.
She’s who Cher Horowitz wishes she was. Scooch over, Plastics.
- Work it, girl.
My all-time favorite sitter would have to be Mary Anne, though, just because I can relate to her the most. She started out kinda mousy and shy, and it took quite a few books to get her to find herself and her own style. At the beginning, her dad picks out all her outfits (things like penny loafers, frumpy sweaters, and braids–yawn!) and kinda keeps her under his thumb 24/7. He doesn’t even allow her to say the word “swear”!! Eventually, though, he loosens up and lets her pick out her own clothes. She even lobs off her long chestnut hair in favor of a daring pixie cut. I remember this event well. I may even be so bold to say that she is part of the inspiration behind my pixie cut. We’re soul sisters, y’all. It’s serious.
Granted, mine isn’t as mushroom-y…
I almost forgot to mention the most exciting detail about Mary Anne! She’s the only character who had a steady B-O-Y-F-R-I-E-N-D. Yep, Logan Bruno, resident male babysitter/Cam Geary lookalike. He has a dreamy Southern accent and wavy golden hair, making him my fictional crush from the get-go. I identify mostly as Mary Anne because of the haircut, but we both have dreamy boyfriends, too. While I can’t say my own squeeze looks much like a teen idol (he’s more of the lumberjack type), he certainly does have the Southern twang down! I like to pretend I scored my very own Logan Bruno.
I’m just pretending Logan grew up to look like this.
So, who’s your favorite sitter? I know I didn’t get to talk about all the girls, but they all have their good qualities! Kristy had good ideas, Dawn was the original hipster (pretty sure the whole vegan thing started with her), Jessi was a beautiful ballerina. Even Mallory had her good points…uh, what were they again?
There’s a reason you were only a junior member of the club, honey.