Stacey visits her dad in New York and they spend a lot of time with his girlfriend Samantha. Towards the end of the weekend, her dad tells her that he and Samantha are getting married. Stacey likes her, so she’s really happy about this news. The one thing that she feels a bit awkward about is telling her mom. Her dad actually agrees to call and tell her so that Stacey doesn’t have to. Only when Stacey gets home, her mom can tell there’s something she’s not saying, so Stacey ends up telling her. Mrs. McGill’s kind of upset about the news and actually cries after Stacey tells her. She tells Stacey she doesn’t know why she’s upset since she certainly didn’t expect to get back together. But it’s definitely a weird position to be in. Anyway, Mrs. McGill takes the high road and calls Mr. McGill and Samantha to congratulate them.
Afterwards, Stacey’s worried about her mom and offers to stay home from the welcome home party the BSC’s having for Mallory. But her mom insists she’s fine and that Stacey should go and have fun. Later Stacey and Claudia decide to try and find a guy for Mrs. McGill to date. Claudia gets some video dating tapes from the company that runs a service by pretending she’s writing an article for a student newspaper (a college paper, since this happens over the phone). Stacey, Claudia, Kristy, Mary Anne, and Mallory watch all the tapes, but can’t agree on any guy as a suitable match for Mrs. McGill. Fortunately for them, this doesn’t matter because Mrs. McGill managed to find a guy on her own who invites her to a country club party. Stacey wants to stay home from her weekend in NYC to help her mom get ready, but Mrs. McGill insists she go and says that she’s capable to getting herself ready. However, the date doesn’t go that well and Mrs. McGill says she won’t be seeing the guy again.
Of course, Stacey’s still worried about how her mom seems distracted. But then her mom makes two announcements. First, that she’s going back to her maiden name (Spencer) and second, that she’s opening her own clothing store in downtown Stoneybrook. Stacey thinks this is great and offers to help as much as she can.
Meanwhile, Mallory’s back in Stoneybrook for the summer, even though the rest of the BSC isn’t out of school yet. She feels kind of weird because she sees her siblings going to Byron for help with things and referring to him as the oldest siblings. Plus, since Jessi and all her other friends are still busy with school and various activities, she feels left out. But she manages to still help out the BSC with some new computer skills she picked up, and she shows them how they can use websites to plan activities for their charges. As if the BSC hasn’t managed to plan tons of activities without the internet? I mean, I love seeing how technology can make life easier, but I’m not sure what it can add to the BSC, unless they are making a digital calendar or something.
- Claudia’s having dinner at the McGills’ and they decide to play a game while they wait for the food to be ready. Stacey suggests Monopoly, but Claudia and Mrs. McGill tell Stacey they don’t want to play with her because she’s too good at math. But are math skills really necessary for playing monopoly? I know it involves money, but you don’t need to know calculus or anything.
- When Claudia’s there for dinner, they’re making homemade pizza. Mrs. McGill starts on the dough while the girls are at a BSC meeting, then they come and join her. Stacey says they spend two hours making the pizza. So, are we supposed to think that Stacey, who needs to eat at regular intervals, has dinner at almost 8 pm?
- Mr. McGill tries to get out of telling Mrs. McGill he’s getting married by saying he thinks it should come from Stacey. But Samantha tells him, no, it should come from him. I agree, just because it’s an awkward position to put Stacey in. If there was no child involved it might be different.
- Mallory’s the president of the Internet club at her boarding school. The point of the club is to teach people how to “get on websites” and do research. Which sounds more like an additional class than a club. But whatever.
- Hearing the girls talk about the video dating tapes was rather amusing. They have this whole conversation about how bald men aren’t appealing, but that older people may not mind. It’s more entertaining when you read it than my description.
- We also hear that while Kristy’s mom doesn’t seem to mind that Watson’s bald, Kristy thinks Watson does mind because she sees him checking his baldness in the mirror a lot. I’m kind of surprised Kristy would notice that.
- Also, is it really surprising that 13-year-olds aren’t going to find any middle aged appealing?
- Stacey owns a cell phone. That seems weird. Even weirder than hearing Mallory talk about the internet.
- Samantha offers to drive Stacey home from the city so she doesn’t have to take the train. This seems super nice of her, but I guess she wants to bond with Stacey. Anyway, on the drive we find out that Samantha’s a fashion photographer. Obviously Stacey finds this cool, but I’m surprised she wouldn’t have already known this. Her dad’s been dating Samantha since that book where they went to Fire Island and it’s never come up? I mean, I would think it’s something Mr. McGill would tell Stacey early on, to give her and Samantha something to talk about. Or to give Stacey a reason to like her.
- Also, does this mean that Mr. McGill’s marrying a second person with ties to the fashion industry? Interesting.
- In terms of Stacey’s love life, she meets up with Ethan each time we see her visit NYC, but she claims they’re just friends.
- When Mallory’s whining about how she’s bored because her friends don’t have time for her, she mentions she’s been watching soap operas and knows the plot lines of every show on every channel. Now, I know soaps aren’t the most intelligent things on the air, but I would think it would take more than a week (which is how long she’s been home) to be up to speed on shows on multiple channels.
- Regarding Mallory’s siblings considering Byron the new “oldest” – they go to him because he’s nicer than the other triplets.
- Stacey doesn’t think very highly of her mom, does she? First she thinks she wants to stay home from a party to comfort her, then she needs to find a guy for her, then she keeps calling her from New York to make sure she isn’t having trouble with hair/clothes getting ready.
- Kristy suggests naming the new store “Serious Clothing,” and Claudia says she’d never go in a store called that. I kind of like it though, not in a “these are clothes for serious occasions,” way but in a “we’re not messing around” way. And really, I wouldn’t go in stores that Claudia thought sold stylish clothes, so maybe her disliking a name’s a good thing.
- In NY, Stacey runs into Laine, who acts like nothing ever happened between them. But then when Stacey mentions having a fight with Claudia, Laine’s all, “yeah, well she was always a loser.” Stacey decides it was for the best that they went their separate ways. She also thinks it’s a little sad since they used to be such good friends. She realizes this must be how her mom felt about hearing Mr. McGill was getting remarried.
- Claudia offers to work at Mrs. McGill’s new store, only to be told that she can’t because of child labor laws. Which is interesting because Stacey worked at Bellairs. And Logan worked at that restaurant in town.
- Mrs. McGill does offer to sell some of Claudia’s handmade jewelry or her painted shirts in the store. The jewelry idea I understand. But I hope Mrs. McGill has better fashion sense than to think the majority of Claudia’s clothes are good. Otherwise her store will not go well.
- I love that Stacey thinks her mom is distracted because of her dad getting remarried, but it turns out to be because she’s planning a huge career move.
- There’s an ad in the back of this book for a dating handbook called “The Rules for Teens.” At first I was horrified such a book exists/existed, but then I realized the sample rules we see are things like not eating like a bird on a date and to expecting a guy to pay for everything. So, maybe it’s not so bad.