Ann M. Martin’s series The Baby-Sitters Club first came out when I was about six, and I probably started reading them when I was 9 or 10. I adored all the girls, admired their entrepreneurial ways, and considered them some of my best literary friends. I liked Kristy’s take-charge attitude, though she was probably my least favorite of the girls. I envied Stacy’s effortlessly chic style and big city ways. I was impressed by Dawn’s activism and healthy ways (though in hindsight, I’m not sure Ms. Martin had ever been to or met anyone¬†from California). I admired Claudia’s wild wardrobe and envied her super-cool bedroom‚Äìshe had her own phone!‚Äìand loved that she hid snacks and Nancy Drew mysteries around her room because her parents disapproved of both. I didn’t hide the Nancy Drew books because Mom read¬†them as well, but I did hide snacks‚Äìsnacks my mother bought knowing full-well what was planned for them!
It was Mary Anne with whom I most identified, though. Shy and quiet, Mary Anne shunned the limelight, and so did I. We both loved to read, if what we enjoyed differed. We both had hopes and aspirations and dreams, but didn’t really voice them because it might¬†make us the center of attention. So it was quite a victory when the least-assuming of the bunch got a boyfriend first! It was less of a victory for me, though; I also had a boyfriend before most of my classmates, but we only dated for 4 days, and I was “sick” for one of those days and didn’t see him over the weekend (for the record, I ended it, but the bad karma from breaking up with him over the phone followed me for years. At least it happened before the advent of texting.).
The funniest bit of my love of the BSC was that I never babysat. I’m an only child so there were no younger siblings to care for, and there weren’t that many kids in our neighborhood, and I was one of the youngest anyway, but I never had the urge to babysit. Still, the members of The Baby-Sitters Club opened my world up a bit by sharing their trials and tribulations, failures, and most importantly, successes.
If you’re interested in reading other people’s reminisces on The Baby-Sitters Club (some of which are very funny if you’re an adult), visit the GoodReads page for The Baby-Sitters Club #1, Kristy’s Great Idea.
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Girl Museum Inc.