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27 July 2009 @ 01:46 am
Baby-Sitters Little Sister #8 Karen's Haircut  

     Hi all! I snuck out of my http://community.livejournal.com/1bruce1/profile Unicorn club meeting to pick up some snarking tips from Kristy and the other BSC members. I can check out any time I like but now Kristy says I can never leave! This is my first post to the BSC community, long time lurker who got bit by the recap bug and had this mad urge to join in the fun over here. 
     So, in this book, Karen gets a really BAD haircut by Gloriana, the the world's most horrible hairstylist and in a pathetic effort to draw attention away from it ends up making a complete ass of herself. Mary Anne even references the bad haircut for me in #60 Mary Anne's Makeover-They destroyed poor Karen Brewer's hair...it might as well be called Gloriana's House of Horror. Horror ??!! Oh, come on, Mary Anne, what's so horrible about taking a sharp object to the head of Karen Brewer? Gloriana is the patron saint to all Karen-haters! 

    In all fairness, if we look deep, deep, down inside ourselves, some of us might actually feel a bit of sympathy for poor Karen. We've all had some kind of bad haircut experience. I had really loooong Dawn-like hair when I was about nine or ten then my Mom took me to the salon, the stupid stylist hacked it all off before either one of us could say anything and I looked like a boy for the next few months till it grew out. It sucked. Needless to say, we never patronized them again and some people should NOT be allowed around scissors. However, in the case of Glorinna vs Karen, I'm fully prepared to make an exception!


      Ta-Da! I give you the greatest Little Sister cover art EV-AH. There's Gloriana admiring her handiwork (with a shit-eating grin I might add) the little freak in the chair is our exceptionally smart, bright, imaginative Karen, looking properly mortified, "I just got my hair cut by Morbidda Destiny and...SHE GAVE ME A MULLET!!!". Suck it Karen, your "OMG Beauty Salon!!!" has been getting on my nerves for far too long. Mine and Gloriana's, you deserved every snip of those sissors. 

         This book reminds me why I only own one Baby-Sitter's Little Sister book, but then, how many more do I really need? Seriously, it doesn't get any better, or should I say worse, than this!

    Our story begins with Karen playing Whorely Lovely Ladies (thank God they're not playing that gay Let's All Come In game) with Nancy Dawes. In case you didn't know, Nancy is Karen's "little-house on the prairie best friend". Did you know that Karen spends weekends at Watson's? He has a BIG HOUSE which makes Karen's "little house best friend" Nancy Dawes while "big-house best friend" is Hannie Papadakis. Why does she create two different nicknames for her friends? Because Karen is such a retard this is the only way she can remember her ONLY TWO friends in the megatropolis that is Stoneybrook.

     Karen and Nancy drink tea and clomp around the house in their dress-up attire but when they stop to admire themselves in the mirror all the Lover-ly-ness comes to a screeching halt. For Karen that is, see, Karen's recently lost some teeth so she has these huge gaping holes, her new front ones look like rabbit teeth, her hair is boring, she doesn't like her glasses, Karen suddenly has an epiphany which she passes on to Nancy, "OMG, look at me. I'm UGLY!!!!" and for a minute I mistake Karen for Mallory, who shatters every mirror she passes, or better yet, Kramer from Seinfeld. "Look away, I'm hideous." www.youtube.com/watch

    Nancy only shrugs, "I think you look fine," Is Nancy blind? Never mind that now because (sqeee-time!!!) it's Friday and Karen's going to Watson's for the weekend! OMG it's teh BIG HOUSE!!!!! 

     Five pages of exposition follow because, God forbid, we forget which family members live in which house! And, oh yes, let's not forget your precious pets, Karen, becuase do I really give a rat's ass? Well, I suppose a mere five pages of exposition is better than the 50 page nightmare we have to endure in every chapter 2 in a regualar BSC book. And why is everyone at the big house hugging and kissing and greeting Karen and Andrew as if they haven't seen them in months, aren't they over at Watson's, like, every other freakin day?

     So, in case you didn't know, I'll repeat for you again, every time Karen looks in the mirror she sees UGLY and has a complete meltdown. Watson and the rest of the family aren't helping either as they make comments all through dinner like how the corn looks like somebody's old teeth and calling Karen "Professor" because she wears glasses. Karen thinks glasses make her look ugly, (because she looks like Mallory) having loose teeth makes her ugly, (because she's a normal, developing child) wearing a side ponytail makes her look ugly (and dated). Karen is so ugly, everyone carries brown paper bags to cover their heads with before they'll be seen with her in public. Karen is so ugly, her doctor is a vet. Karen is so ugly she'll have to trick or treat by phone this year. 

   Ok, I'll spare you any more "You're so ugly..." jokes but, sheesh, I was never this obsessed with my looks at seven. I lost teeth and even sported the jack-o-lantern look for awhile but I never developed a complex about it. That doesn't happen till you're thirteen, an age I thank God daily I'll never have to repeat.

    Ok, this chapter looks promising: Chapter 4, Karen's Loose Tooth, foreshadowing anyone? 

     Karen wakes up the next morning and discovers she has two loose teeth, one of which is quite wiggly. Karen is so afraid she might swallow one of her loose teeth during breakfast, she attempts to eat her cereal with one hand while (I am not kidding) holding onto her TOOTH with the other! This is described as being difficult and messy, but heaven forbid she should accidently SWALLOW said tooth. Karen, you are such a wonder child!

She's a small wonder, pretty and bright with soft curls. She's a small wonder, a girl unlike other girls. She's a miracle and I grant you, she'll enchant you at first sight. She's a small wonder, and she'll make your heart take flight, la la-la la la...sorry, got caught in an another 80's loop again. Just typed that whole thing from memory! 
   So, after the family finishes applauding Karen-the-wonder-child, who did NOTswallow all her loose teeth while eating, she shares her tooth worries with the family and Sam offers to play dentist and pull that offensive tooth out for her. He says he knows all kinds of ways to do it, starting with using pliers on Karen. Karen freaks and hurries off to call Stacey

   Ok, agrees Sam, no pliers but you just can't fail with the old tie-tooth-to-doorknob cliche'. Karen gets as far as letting Sam tie the string around her tooth as he's just about to slam the door when Karen again changes her mind and cries halt. Sam teases her and clucks like a chicken. Karen is highly offended and runs to daddy. Cue Watson who steps in with Kleenex and calmly removes the offensive tooth. Multiple talents, that millionaire. 

    And that's how Karen lost her first tooth, but instead of feeling all grown up and tooth-fairy-excited about it, like I did at seven, she STILL feels--say it with me now--UGLY!!!. Excuse me while I go grab a Kleenex of my own.

    Karen goes over Hannie's house to show off her new hole (and I mean the one in her mouth). That second loose tooth is dangling percariously, it should be falling out any minute now. Karen and Hannie play tag with some other kids. Karen does a spectacular Jackie Rodowsky, trips, falls flat on her face and *ding* that second loose tooth gets knocked out. Now, If there's anyone here who can't stand the sight of blood I suggest you cover your eyes while reading this next paragraph. How you will manage to do this, I don't know. I don't make the rules, I just type the jokes.

    There's blood everywhere. It's pouring out of Karen's mouth. She spits her bloody tooth into her hand, "Gross, that is so disgusting!" sqeals the others who have obviously never lost a tooth in their pathetically short lives. Karen goes inside and Hannie's mom helps Karen get cleaned up. She rinses her mouth with salt water until the bleeding stops. Karen happens to glance at herself in the Papadakis's bathroom mirror. She decides she looks like, you guessed it, a freak. An UGLY FREAK. At that moment Karen decides she's so ugly, she might as well compare herself to the ugly duckling in the story. Karen thinks, "I am the ugliest duckling of all." Hey, look at that, the mirror just shattered.

     Tired of playing tag, Karen and Hannie go inside and decide to play another round of Whorely Lovely Ladies. Karen makes the mistake of looking in the mirror. That's it, game over! Karen wads up her dress up clothes, throws them on the floor and trudges out of the room in a cloud of depression. Natuarally, Hannie can't help but notice this odd behavior and inquires what is the matter with Karen? Karen runs down her "I'm so ugly" list once more for Hannie, just like she did for Nancy except Karen also adds her parents won't let her ditch the glasses and get contacts until she turns fourteen. "Fourteen!" shrieks Hannie, "You won't be fourteen for years." Oh, it's gonna be a lot longer than that, sweetie. You're, both of you, stuck at age seven. FOR-EV-ER!!! *echoes from The Sandlot*. 

      Hannie is not as blind as Nancy. "Maybe you need a change," she tells Karen "something new and special and different," Hannie suggests a new haircut or a manicure. That's it! Karen should go get her hair cut at that new beauty parlor in town, Gloriana's House of Hair. You can almost hear the heavenly chorus as Hannie speaks the name-GLORIANA!!!!! and, what luck! They even do manicures and as we all know, for Karen nothing says "I'm so lovely" like going to a beauty salon and getting a manicure.

     To my utter delight, Karen references my favorite BSC Super Special, the time she maxed out Watson's credit card during the cruise for her manicure at the ship's beauty salon. "Hey, if it worked then..." Karen, excited at the thought of becoming beautiful at last, squees and tells Hannie she'll do it. She'll ask daddy for permission to get a beauty treatment at Gloriana's House of Horror Hair.

    Perfect timing for Karen because Hannie's getting married to Scott Hsu and now Karen will look all beautiful for the big wedding. Um, wait let me double check this...MARRIED? Since when did Stoneybrook became a third world country? Ah, I see, it's just a PRETEND wedding and what's a pretend wedding in Stoneybrook like without including a set date and a guest list AND sending out formal invitations, hiring a caterer, getting David Michael to play the minister and...guess who the wedding photographer is? That's right, give Karen a camera and set her free as the world's youngest paparazzi. Hannie is going to have REAL pictures taken at her PRETEND wedding. And I thought Sweet Valley won the prize for overcompensating. 
Luckily for Hannie, what happens in Stoneybrook stays in Stoneybrook. 

    So, Karen loves Hannie's idea of getting made over by Gloriana. Hannie, returning the favor, tells Karen that now that she's getting a makeover, Karen is no longer a lowly wedding photographer but has just been promoted to BRIDESMAID!!! which means Karen gets to stand in the ACTUAL WEDDING LINE!!! Suqeeeeee for Karen!!! Except...

   "Do you think your haircut will look good, Karen?" Hannie asks, "I want you to be the most beautiful bridesmaid ever. You'll look pretty, won't you?" Gee, Hannie, way to be a "Debbie Downer". But Karen's not worried. She knows, by the time Glorinana gets through with her, she'll be the most beautiful bridesmaid in all of Stoneybrook.

   Karen hurries back to the mansion and finds Watson busy hoeing his herb garden. Woah, Watson has a herb garden? Yes, and this is a direct quote, Daddy was hoeing, he stopped, leaned on the hoe and looked at me (insert your own joke here) Karen pleads her ugly case and begs him for a Gloriana beauty treatment, "Puh-LEASE, daddy?"

      But, before Watson can give Karen permission, he has to OK it with...darn you Karen always calling your mom "Mommy" why can't you just TELL me her name?!! *sighs, opens new browser to look it up* can't expect me to keep track of all these stupid character names... Ah, here it is! 

     But, before Watson can give Karen permission, he has to OK it with LISA!!! The whole thing's arranged in just one sentence. He gives his permission AND his credit card to Karen. He even makes the appointment for her! Watson, have we learned nothing from Baby-Sitters on Board? 

    That night, Karen puts her two baby teeth under the pillow anticipating what the tooth fairy might leave her. The black and white drawing shows Karen lying on her bed and this gets me EVERY FREAKIN TIME I see this. She's grabbing her pillow with this anguished look on her face. Karen totally looks like she's CRYING! I always have to stop and check the book to make sure she hasn't had her horrible haircut yet or maybe she's just a little hung over from playing one of Sam's drinking games. No, turns out Karen is just checking UNDER her pillow, discovering what the tooth fairy left her during the night in place of her two lost baby teeth.



     And what does she discover? A blue barrette. Not a hundred dollar bill. Not even a stinking quarter! One. Blue. Barrette. Karen is supposed to look thrilled here. For loosing two teeth? The man's a millinonaire and a fancy new blue barrette is the best he can do? No wonder Karen looks miserable. 

     At last!!! We've reached Chapter 8, Karen's Beauty Treatment. This is the climax, people, you can just FEEL the earth trembling in anticipation. Look out world! Karen's gonna be hot shit after Glorianna gets through with her. Lisa drives Karen along with Andrew (What, the BSC's too busy organizing the next Baby Parade to watch him?) to the salon for teh BEAUTY TREATMENT! Ever notice Lisa never calls the BSC to book a job? They probably keep hanging up on her, at Kristy's insistance, for ruining her life by divorcing a perfectly good millionaire, forcing her to move into a freakin MANSION and sticking Karen on her 24/7.

    The building that is home to Gloriana's is described as being all fancy silver and glass with a silver colored door and bright pink neon lights that spell Gloriana's House of Hair. Karen is going ape-shit. She squees over all the neon-pink decorations. My God, they're EVERYWHERE!!! It's all so beautiful. So magical. Gloriana-is-the-most-beautiful-name-in-the-universe! OMG, BEAUTY SALON!!! Until I'm begging someone will PLEASE dunk Karen in the nearest shampoo bowl to shut her up. They make their way over to the receptionist's desk who confirms Karen's appointment with Gloriana. Geez, even I'm getting antsy now because we all know what's about to happen! 

     A woman named Sally gives Karen her manicure painting her nails with bright pink polish and Karen is bummed it's not Gloriana. While her nails dried, Karen tells us, a man washes her hair. Dammit, where IS this woman? I thought Gloriana ran the whole show here! At this point, I'm beginning to suspect Gloriana's real name is Dalia and for Karen things are about to get sticky.

    A woman appears with a towel for her wet head. OMG, there she is! It's HER!! That woman approaching Karen it's...the woman with strange poodle hair? She introduces herself as Gloriana and leads Karen to her haircutting chair of torture it's BEAUTY TREATMENT TIME!!! 

    Karen's a little suspicous of Gloriana's choice of hairstyle Some of it was short, some was long, some was dark, and some was light. But it shouldn't really matter what Gloriana's hair looks like, should it? As long as Gloriana gives Karen a decent cut. Right? Right. Heh heh heh

Karen hands Gloriana a picture of the kind of haircut she wants. Gloriana takes one look at the picture, tosses it aside and begins snipping away. As Gloriana works it slowly it dawns on Karen that something is not quite right in beauty-land. She whimpers, "Mommy" as she watches all her long hair fall into a pile on the floor while Gloriana, ala Mrs. Sharon Schafer, continues merrily snip-snip-snipping away.

    When it's all over Karen tells us this "Was not the cut I had asked for." I'm assuming Karen was still all OMG BEAUTY SALON!!! to notice Gloriana whipping out the electric clippers for the buzz-cut part? Too awe-struck by Gloriana-the-most-beautiful-name-in the universe!!! to wake up and tell Cruella to put the scissors down and step away from the chair? Rhetorical, I know, just thought I'd point it out.

    And what is Lisa's reaction after returning from taking Andrew to the potty? She takes one look at Karen and duhs, "Was this the cut you asked for, Karen?" while a practically bald Karen whimpers "No." and bursts into tears. Gloriana merely purrs, "It's the latest cut, trust me, Karen's very fashionable now." Gloriana, you may be the worst hairstylist in the world and I'd never let you within a mile of my hair but, YOU ARE AWESOME! 

    Apparently, Lisa is satisfied, Mommy said my hair would grow back, while I'm betting the bitch is thanking God it wasn't HER money wasted on this haircuting trip while she packs Karen off to the car without another word and that's the last we ever see of Gloriana, a woman to whom we owe a great debt. Goodbye, Gloriana, we the Karen-haters of the world, are now vindicated and we thank you!! 

    Poor Karen cries all the way home. After much thought Karen also decides Gloriana no longer has the most beautiful name in the universe. Yeah, take that, Gloriana, you, you...rotten haircutter, you! 

    Karen dreds going to school the next day because she just KNOWS all her classmates are going to make fun of her horrible new haircut. Well, guess what, Karen? That's exactly what they do. Kids can be so mean. And what does Karen do to retaliate? She overcompensates, making it all the more harder on herself! 

   So it's the next day and Karen struts into class (sporting only her new mullet she hasn't gone all out yet) and everyone can only stare in shocked silence because, dude, the eighties are, like, so OVER. Hannie takes one look at Karen's new hairstyle and stammers "I-you-I-Karen, I don't know how to tell you this..." Yeah, Karen's out. Banned from the wedding. Demoted from bridesmaid to untouchable. Like, right now. Photographer? No way you're even showing your ugly face at MY wedding, girlfriend! Hannie, you now rate as the WORST bff EVER! The rest of the kids tease her, laugh at her and call her the Bride of Frankenstien but Karen feels Hannie's rejection is the worst thing that's ever happened to her.

     That night, Karen takes drastic measures to prove to Hannie that she CAN be glamorous and beautiful and Karen-charm her way back despite looking like a seven year old David Bowie with glasses (but without the heroin becuase this is a G-rated book). She paints over her Gloriana pink nails with sparkly gold polish, (take that Gloriana!) decks herself out with cheap plastic jewelry-rings, bracelets, necklaces, the kind you get at the dentist's office or the 99 cent store-changes her name to Tiffanie and picks up the phone. Watch out, Hannie, the new Karen/Tiffanie is making her debut . 

     "The name's Tiffanie." Karen informs Hannie, "Miss Brewer if you're nasty. It's my new image. I am beautiful AND glamorous (because we're talking on the phone and you totally can't see me???) so...I can be one of your bridesmaids again now, right?" 

   Hannie: "Um, let me think about that for a minute...NO WAY!!!" click

         Is Karen discouraged by Hannie's rejection? Heck, no! She begins a campaign to show everyone if they thought she was ugly BEFORE her trip to Gloriana's, well, this mullet was just the beginning. Karen/Tiffanie continues to pimp herself out for the rest of the week. She finds her mother's old lipstick and smears it all over her mouth, admires her new sparkly nails and annouces to everyone she meets: "My name is Tiffanie." 

     Be glad I'm not including the post-haircut pictures of Karen, seriously, they are awful. With her cheap, plastic jewelry, too much lipstick, and her huge square-framed glasses along with the mullett, Karen looks like an extra in a lesbian porn movie. Not that I've ever seen one... 

   Oh, all right, I'll give you ONE! But don't say I didn't warn you. Big Susan Tang FAIL here...

   Sorry for the bad quality. I no longer have access to a scanner so I had to use my digital camera to include these but here's our bespectacled Karen proudly sporting her new look--painted nails, crown of ribbons in her hair and waaaay too much lipstick for any seven year old to be wearing. Let me tell you, if I had a seven year old, I'd never let her leave the house looking like that.

    I love that all kids keep calling her Taffy instead of Tiffanie or they forget and call her Karen and it drives Karen mad. "It's Tiffanie! I'm Tiffanie, dammit, call me Tiffanie!!! I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and gosh-darn it, people like me!" 

    While all the kids snicker at her behind her back, Nancy is invited to be in the wedding in Karen's place. Hannie, that bitch, is not even speaking to her just becuase Karen has big holes in her mouth and a funny haircut. At home her family can't remember Tiffanie and keeps calling her Karen. No one's taking Karen's new image seriously. But does Karen give up? Never!

     Karen goes through several name changes over the next two weeks. Now it's Krystal. That's Krystal with a K, mind you, not Crystal with a C becuase Karen starts with a K. Her friends and family should be able to remember THAT (um, lest anyone get confused and call her Caren?) Nancy goofs it up anyway and calls her Kristy. Guess it's better than Mallory.

   Of course, no one can remember Krystal any more than they could remember Tiffanie. A week later she's Gazelle. The kids call her Godzilla. LOL! It's quickly changed to Desiree and by the next Friday it's Chantel. Does this woner child have ADD? She's changing her name every five seconds. Her accessores keep multiplying till she's wearing 5 bracelets, 8 rings, 5 necklaces and 6 hair ribbons. She raids Lisa's cosmetics for blusher and lipstick and joins Insane Clown Posse totally overcompensating to make everyone forget about her bad haircut. Things spiral so far out of control that from here on KarenTiffanieKrystalGazelleDesiree shall hereby be referred to as The Artist Formally Known as Karen.

    Hannie's the only second grader who's not going along with Karen's game. She's barely speaking to Karen because only PERFECT people can be in her wedding while Karen threatens to crash the wedding with her new look just to make Hannie mad. As The Artist Formally Known as Karen prances by Hannie shouts, "You still can't be in my wedding...KAREN!" Acting their age for once, they stick their tongues out at each other and the fight continues. You'd think Hannie wouldn't have a problem with a lot of ugly bridesmaids surrounding her as the beautiful, blushing bride. Let the poor girl be in your stupid wedding already, Hannie! Selfish bitch.

    It's Friday again and Karen is dumped at the Big House for the weekend. I can just picture Lisa phoning Watson "I can't take it anymore, I'm bringing her over, hell, I don't even know what to CALL her..oops, she probably makes that phone call EVERY Friday.

    It's Saturday morning. Karen (or whatever her name is now) is outside the Big House, playing with Andrew and Emily Michelle. Hannie comes outside to ride her bike. Karen calls out a friendly hello and come play but Hannie ignores them. Suddenly Karen sees Hannie takes a nasty spill and rushes over to help because Karen's a true friend. Hannie has knocked out her two front teeth! They were baby teeth and getting loose anyway, nevertheless, Hannie is mortified. She covers her face and wails, "I'm uglieeeee. Scott will never marry me now!" runs inside and barricades herself in her room vowing never to come out till all her grown up teeth have come in, she's just too embarrassed. Wish Karen would've done that. 

    After lunch, Karen, at Watson's suggestion, goes back to visit Hannie in her most desperate hour to show she's ready to bury the hatchet and be friends again. After all, she's been there. Karen KNOWS how hard it is to break free from the psycholgical damage caused by a life of ugliness once lived. Andrew must've spread the word fast about Hannie's accident because Scott Hsu arrives at the exact same time Karen does to visit Hannie. He's there to RSVP for their big day tomorrow. They knock on her bedroom door and Hannie shrieks, "Go away, I'm uglieeeee!" but she relents and lets them in. Karen lurks in the doorframe while Scott talks to his embarrassed fiancee.

    Scott turns adult all of a sudden and tells Hannie, "I'm not marrying your face, (you moron) I'm marrying you. See you tomorrow at our wedding." Scott's a thirty year old man stuck in a seven year old's body. Creepy.

    Scott leaves. Hannie, so moved was she by Scott's passionate declaration of loyalty, invites Karen in and the two girls have a nice little heart to heart, BSC-style. Hannie admits maybe she was wrong to bump Karen out of the wedding and stop being her friend just because she got a bad haircut (at HANNIE's suggestion I might add) and restores her to bridesmaid status again. Meanwhile, Karen, in the space of just a few minutes, has discovered her hair and teeth have defied the time warp and grown (almost) back to normal. Now she won't look like such a freak in the wedding line.

    Karen, in turn, admits to Hannie maybe she didn't need all that extra bling to impress everyone. Maybe she didn't even have to go and overcompensate so much just to make everyone forget about her haircut. Maybe she just needed to *gasp* BE HERSELF!!! Yeah, I'm thinking Karen's lesson here was inspired more by the fact she's a bridesmaid again thanks to some quick noblesse oblige by Hannie.

     They have the wedding and it's not nearly as cute as the one in Kristy's Big Day. David Michael's the minister. Karen's the bridesmaid and we even get two outfit descriptions: Karen is wearing her pink party dress, lacey white socks with rosebuds, and party shoes with dandelions stuck in the almost grown-out mullet. I'm wondering which idiot was in charge of flowers. Dandelions are UGLY WEEDS!!! Hannie is wearing her mom's wedding dress (which I find hard to believe Mrs. P would even allow) and high heeled shoes.
      Linny is the best man. Sari is Hannie's flower girl. Mrs. P. is Karen's replacement as offical wedding paparazzi photographer. She clicks away as her daugher, Hannie, walks down the isle to the tune of "Take me Out to the Ballgame" (yeah I don't get it either). The boys are groaning because they have to wear suits, except Scott that is. His grin is twice as big as Gloriana's (anticipating that wedding night already? Whoo, go Scott!). David Michael makes the ceremony short and sweet. "Do you?" yes. "Do you?" yes. "Ok, you may kiss." the bride and groom look at each other and shriek "No kissing!'" and run away (Scott, you disappoint me) all to the clicking of Mrs. P's camera. 

     Thus ends Hannie's wedding. The next day at school everyone is crowded around Hannie demanding details while Karen gets pulled aside for a marriage proposal of her own from "Yicky Ricky". Now, if I'd been Karen, I would've boxed his ears and told him to drop dead because Ricky Torres was one of those kids who called her names, like the Bride of Frankenstien, and threw spitballs at her throughout the whole book. But Karen is all blushing and flattered, guess there's something to be said for Ricky being the only boy in Stoneybrook who managed to remember all of Karen's glamorous names. Karen tells Ricky that maybe someday, yes, they can also get married like Hannie and Scott did.

    Ricky grins happily, "Thanks, Chantel."

    No, no, it's Karen now, Ricky. Just Karen. They grin awkwardly at each other and I breathe a sigh of relief as we've finally reached...


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