The overall plot? It's summer and the Walkers (a family in NYC that lives in Stacey's old building) hire Stacey for a week. They're getting ready for an art show so Stacey keeps their kids out of their hair. Before Stacey goes, she realizes that her boyfriend Robert is hiding something from her--other people see him with another girl and he lies about where he is. She and Claudia try to spy on him but they don't find anything conclusive.
Finally, when Stacey's away, Claudia calls and tells her that she saw Robert kissing Andi Gentile and that they're a couple. Stacey's heartbroken, but she meets Ethan, a boy who's been working for the Walkers and who asks her out. Ethan is a cute artist with long black hair and an earring (that's Sadako speak for hipster in training).
Back home in S-brook, Stacey talks to both Andi and Robert and it ends with tears (as well as Stacey actually wondering if Robert broke up with her because she's a diabetic and he wants a girlfriend he can pig out with over sugar and processed cheese) as well as acceptance and understanding. Boo. Bring on the Brenda Walsh esque "Fuck both of you and everyone you know" speech!
In other non Stacey news, Kristy went on vacation with her family to Hawaii (the same week that Stacey was away), so Abby took over as both treasurer and president. The club works on a Mexican festival to send to some poor orphans. Kristy simmers at the thought of ceding power to Abby. There's some foreshadowing of the tension to come in the book where the club breaks up. And all I'm going to say is that Kristy and Abby need to get a room. Or a gimp closet.
How will Sadako snark this one? By making Stacey into an advice columnist! Since I decided to give Claudia a Project Runway fantasy, I wanted to do something similar for Stacey. She loves clothes and makeup, too, but has no actual talent, so I was thinking of youtube haul videos.
But then I realized that since Stacey's also "a little boy crazy" (read: slutty slut slutterson), she was the perfect girl to go Candace Bushnell meets the Loveline guys. (Though I hold that Claudia fulfilled even the Carrie Bradshaw role better--I'll show you how when I recap Claudia and the Perfect Boy. Well. If I ever find a copy of it.)
I'm Stacey M.! I live in Stoneybrook. I have a great life, great friends, and great taste in guys. Need advice? Write to me. I fill out a B cup bikini AND I had a crush on an older man once. There's no love problem too big for me.
Dear Stacey M.,
I'm still in junior high but I'm going with a girl. I'll call her DJ because that's her name. She's really popular with lots of friends. Her uncle, J, is a rock star and her dad, D, is a talk show host, and even though her youngest sister is part troll, my girlfriend is still really awesome. There's a dance next week that she's planned at school and I don't know how to impress her when she's surrounded by all her friends. I was thinking of drinking beer at the dance to try to relax.
Dear Social Drinker,
No. No. A thousand times, no! Take it from someone who's watched other people drink for five minutes once. Drinking is NOT the answer. Now, the rest of your problem. I've had experience with that, too. My boyfriend Robert had a TON of friends when we first met him. Fellow basketball players, and cheerleaders who were jealous of me for being so hot. With a little perseverance, I got him to drop most of the sporty types and quit b-ball.
Then that summer, I started hanging out with some of his female friends and they used me to get away with drinking and shoplifting. I stopped being friends with them. He didn't agree to unfriend them, but we hung out with them a lot less, and I shot him dirty looks when he laughed at those sluts' jokes about sneaking into R-rated movies. Two of these frenemies even had the nerve to ask us to play tennis with them. Robert wanted to, but I told him that my mom was at work and we could spend some alone time at my place. So don't give up. Roll your eyes whenever your girlfriend talks about her other friends. Pretend you're tired when she wants to do things with them. It'll pay off in the end!
Dear Stacey M.,
I'm in a titillatingly miscegenatious relationship. My babe, D, says she's been true to me and I love her. But my best friend says she's cheatin' and I saw another guy wearing the chill scarf I gave her. Since I've had my suspicions, I don't even wanna make the beast with two backs with her. She has to have been cheating. Right? What should I do?
-O, or Sleepless in Sophomoric Shakespeare-Land
Thanks for writing! That same thing happened to me. My boyfriend Robert was in the habit of making excuses for why we couldn't hang out. And then a friend told me she saw him with another girl. My friends told me it was probably all a big misunderstanding. That I should talk to him. I bet that you're thinking you should talk to your girlfriend, D, to clear things up, right? Wrong! Spy on her. Follow her around like I did with my guy Robert. I followed him to the movies with my friend Claudia to prove that he was cheating.
Of course, he didn't end up meeting any girls that day, but my friend Claudia and I did get him to pay for our lunch when he saw us. Remember, stalking is a girl (or boy's) best friend. It shows you care. And even if they tell you they're not seeing someone else, they could be lying. Love's really a battlefield!
Dear Stacey M.,
My beau, T, is a choice guy. He's famous, rich, and treats me like royalty. A while ago, I found out he's been cheating. With a skank called R. And one called A. And B. And I'll stop before I run out of letters. Last Christmas, T gave me a gift of about $300 million, but I still don't know if I'm ready to take him back. Can I trust my guy again? Or is it time to give T a time out?
Are there promises of gifts to come? Any diamonds? Is he going to buy you an island shaped like a heart? The $300 million is good, and he definitely sounds like a keeper, but I'd hold out a little longer.
I thought my boyfriend Robert was going to break up with me--I kept thinking he was with other girls! But he surprised me the morning of my trip to New York City by buying me flowers, so I knew everything was great. Roses aren't as expensive as what you got, no. But at age thirteen, I knew that if I played by the rules and kept my mouth shut, a shopping trip to Claire's or the Limited Too could be in the works. Which is what I advise you to do. Don't think about what he's done in the past--think about what he can get you in the future.
Dear Stacey M,
I just found out my boyfriend lied to me. We went on a ski trip and he hurt his ankle and couldn't ski. He spent all night talking to this obnoxious freak of a girl. He lied to me about his ankle hurting so he could spend the day with her. Later she kissed him. He told me about the talking but not about the kissing. But I found out when I read a letter she wrote him. I don't know what I should do. This guy means everything to me. He doesn't mind that my parents named me after a canyon in California. He put up with me during my hippie chick phase. And I decided not to move to Pittsburgh with my parents because of him--instead I live with my creepy shut in aunt. Should I never see him again? Call him demanding to know what's up? Spread evil rumors that his little sister was replaced by a cyborg? Help!
-Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered over a Brillo Headed Boy
Call him? NO! He's a boy. Boys pick up the phone to dial. Girls pick it up to receive callers. You wouldn't want to chip a butterfly decal off your nail, would you? When I found out my boyfriend Robert was cheating on me with a girl I knew called Andi, I cried. It was awful--how could he have broken it off before I had the chance to replace him?
Then I went out to have dinner with my dad and his girlfriend. But phoning him would have upset the delicate balance of the universe. Girls don't call boys. Ever! I did call him later that night, but when he came to the phone, I couldn't speak. I was so ashamed of myself for breaking one of the cardinal rules of girldom!
Dear Stacey M.,
I just broke up with my boyfriend, D, when he channeled Rick Sanford from Angus at the school dance. D's cute and I've known him for all my life. As kids we'd even sleep in the same bed and every night before I went to bed, he'd tell me I was his soulmate and that no one else would ever love or understand me but him. But I don't think I'm that interested anymore. D's kind of a jerk. He even read my diary and then yelled at me. I'm thinking of dating J, but it's been all of two minutes since I ended things with D. Plus could J ever love someone from the wrong side of the creek?
-Dazed and Creekfused
Don't be so hard on D. He read your diary? Would a boy read your diary if he didn't really care about you? It just means that he obsesses over your every thought! I've never had a guy do anything like that for me. One time on a trip across America I caught my best friend reading my journal--I guess she's really jealous and secretly wants to be me. Most of my friendships with girls end for that reason, actually.
Anyway, I'd say date J but keep stringing D along in case things with J don't work out. I never break up with a guy till I have the next in line ready to date. So just tell D you care about him but you're not ready for him or you need to find yourself or something. If he starts casting his eye about for other girls, play with your hair or pout so he'll still think you're cute. Practice your vulnerable smile in the mirror.
In hindsight, when my boyfriend Robert was dating Andi, I should have known weeks in advance. But I didn't confront him. I kept pretending everything was okay till I found a guy who was older, hotter, and hipper than Robert so I could break it off with him and then tell him he'd been replaced. Plus, I loved seeing the look on Robert's face when I told him that Ethan was way older and more mature. Ethan can grow a soul patch and has great taste--he only wears the finest of Axe products.
Dear Stacey M.,
I had a great summer with my boyfriend, D. He was sweet, kind, sexy, and the country's leading investor in Brylcreem. But when we reconnected in the fall, he was embarrassed for his friends to see me. I know he's a fake and a phony and I never want to lay eyes on him again. But in spite of it all, I'm still hopelessly devoted to him. How can I get over what I'm feeling? How do you deal with it when a guy blows you off?
-Hopelessly Devoted to Him
Well, I've never actually been blown off by a guy, to be totally honest. Yes, there was Wesley Ellenburg, the student teacher I seriously crushed on. I decided the age difference wouldn't work out, though. As for my boyfriend, Robert, who I always said broke my heart for the first time? I know he was seeing Andi when I was gone. But after I found out, I was only a little sad. Actually, I was relieved to be honest. Things hadn't been going so well between us now. Now that I think about it, breaking up with him was one of the smartest things I ever did. Thanks, Hopelessly, you've made me feel a lot better! Oh--as for your problem, move on. Get a new hobby. Take salsa lessons. Go scuba diving.
In conclusion, guys, if you have romantic woes, write to Stacey Q. instead. You may not get your problem solved, but you'll learn how to dye your hair that perfect shade of magenta.
I couldn't resist one more letter.
Dear Ms. McGill,
Do you mind if I call you by your last name? I know that when I chanced upon your column in the Penny Saver that you only used your first name, but I couldn't help waiting outside the grocery store till a girl picked up a copy of the paper and started squealing. From there, it was just a matter of following you home and rifling through your mail. Any guy who would dump you is insane. I want to show you how a goddess should be handled: with respect, dignity, and plenty of Jergen's. I'd love to have you over. Picture it. Escargots. Caviar on toast points. Champagne with crazy straws. You don't even have to write back. Just look up and nod if you're interested. What do you say?