"Lonely. Tense. Sad." or California Diaries #7, Dawn

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=areyoutheyoui-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0590018469&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrI’m back folks.  Sorry for the delay in posting, but I got unexpectedly busy the last couple weeks.  A thousand thanks to Sadako and The Unprofessional Critic for filling in my shoes for those two weeks.  Both posts were pitch perfect.  

Well, at the very least, Dawn from Dawn’s point of view is marginally less bitchy than Dawn from Sunny’s point of view.  But that’s not really saying much now, is it?  Jeanne Betancourt was the lucky ghost writer who drew the short straw and had to write such bitchery from a first-person POV and try to have Dawn justify her behavior from CD #6.   Or maybe she needed the money, or something.  Or maybe Lerangis was unavailable.

Anyway, the book starts with Dawn angsting about her fight with Sunny, which she assures us that is, in fact, all Sunny’s fault.  I mean, Dawn moved back to California just to be there for Sunny after her mom’s diagnosis.  Sunny should be forever grateful and let Dawn treat her however she wants to, right?  And Dawn was “trying to help” Sunny when they fought by trying to get Sunny to see that she (Sunny) is letting people down.  Wow, Dawn.  That’s quite a way to help a girl trying to prepare for her mother’s death.  Fucking bitch.   Sunny’s mom is going back to the hospital, and Dawn is sure to note in her journal that Sunny goes rollerblading shortly after her mom is taken away in an ambulance.

Then there’s some foreshadowing about Maggie complaining about being fat.  (There’s a lot of it in the book, actually).  And Dawn thinking that she’ll make Maggie her new BFF since Sunny is out there crying for help being such a meanie!  Because I’m sure Maggie would love to be Dawn’s BFF only because Dawn couldn’t manage to hold on to the bestie that she had.  And then Dawn throws herself a pity party because Dad and  Carol are having a new baby and it’s going to be their new family, and they won’t have time for her anymore.  Which…..OK.  It’s Dawn and I could snark hardcore on her for that, but I think that actually probably would be kind of a shit thing to deal with.  And Dawn isn’t really looking forward to the baby’s arrival, she’s totally bored every time Carol, Jack and Jeff play another rousing game of ‘What Should We Name the Baby?’  What’s this?  Kristy would be SHOCKED and APPALLED.  A BSC member not creaming her panties over the thought of a new baby????

Dawn also hangs out with Ducky a little and he tries to tell her that Sunny needs her. Dawn doesn’t believe him.  She does go to visit Mrs. Winslow in the hospital, and Mrs. Winslow says she knows that Dawn and Sunny are fighting.  Which upsets Dawn that Sunny “bothered” her parents with their fight.  Right, Dawn, because parents fucking hate when their teenagers open up to them.

And the book basically continues like that for a while.  Dawn vacillating between missing Sunny and being mad at her. Dawn hanging out with Maggie.  Dawn feeling left out of her family.

At one point, Jill approaches Dawn to ask how Carol is doing.  They end up going out for a sodapop after school, and Dawn does have a decent time, despite being all snarky about Jill’s clothes.  When Dawn gets home from that, no one is home.  Carol’s been taken to the hospital in labor.  Dawn and Maggie rush to the hospital and wait for quite a while, before Dad comes out and announces that it’s a girl and her name is Elizabeth Grace.  It’s Jeff who decides on Gracie as her nickname.  Dawn, of course, immediately connects with Gracie.

But because she’s Dawn, she does have to get bitchy about the fact that Sunny didn’t use this opportunity to mend their relationship.  Because it never occurs to bitch-face Dawn that she could be the one to mend the relationship.  Finally at the end of the book, Dawn is packing for her summer in Stoneybrook and she’s upset that she’s leaving without saying goodbye to Sunny.  Jesus, Dawn.  So go fucking do something about it.  But she doesn’t of course.

  • Dawn, Ducky, Maggie and Amalia go shopping for the baby’s layette.  And while they’re in the baby boutique, they run into some Cro-Mags who accuse one of the girls of being pregnant.  But then point out that there’s no way Ducky could be the father.  We get it Cro-Mags, you think Ducky’s gay.  We all do, but you don’t see me making a big stink about it. 
  • Do hospitals with the nursery window actually exist or are they a figment of TV, Books and Movies?  Where I had my son, there was no big window to go look at the babies.  Actually, the nursery was small and moms had to request to have their kid sent there.  Otherwise, the baby stayed in the room with mom. 
  • Dawn believes that Ducky may be “too good a friend” to Sunny.  In that she thinks Sunny is taking advantage of Ducky’s kind nature.  Holy fuck.  Shut UP, Dawn.  Ducky points out that “Sometimes you have to stick with your friends even when they aren’t so nice to you.  They just need you to be around.”  Dawn points out that it’s hard to be around someone who won’t talk to you.  Ducky knows.  That’s what he’s doing for Alex, isn’t he?  Dawn realizes this and resolves to do that for Sunny.  But she doesn’t, because she’s a fucking bitch.
  • There is a sweet scene after Gracie is born where Dawn brings Mrs. Winslow from the cancer ward to meet the new baby, and everyone realizes that Mrs. Winslow (who goes by Betsy) has the same first name as the baby. 
  • Also, I’ve said it before, I kind of love Jeff Schafer.  When he was sure the baby would have been a boy, he saved his allowance for a Michael Jordan poster.  When it turned out Gracie is was a girl, he didn’t care and hung the poster up in her nursery anyway. It’s very sweet.  And kudos to Jack and Carol for letting him hang it there and not being hung up on the nursery theme!
  • Dawn in nervous about not seeing Gracie for nine weeks while she’s in the ‘brook.  She said (about Jack) “I wonder if he’ll miss me now that he has two daughters.  I think babies take up a lot mor elove than grown-up daughters.  The fact is, babies need their fathers more than grown-up daughters do.”  It’s actually kind of heart breaking that Dawn thinks that.  1-She’s not grown up, she’s only thirteen. 2- Baby daughters and thirteen year old daughters need their dads.  3-Of course Jack will miss her.  He should let her know that he will. 

Seriously, sorry for the delay in posting.  I’ll try to do better from now on.


About nikkihb

Wife. Mother. Reader. Blogger.
This entry was posted in Ann M. Martin, BSC, California Diaries. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to "Lonely. Tense. Sad." or California Diaries #7, Dawn

  1. Alison says:

    Why do we keep reading books about Dawn? Why is anyone friends with the girl? Why is she so bitchy? Why didn't someone write a BSC high school book about Dawn getting cut out of all social groups and shunned from society?And, why oh why, isn't Dawn shitting herself in excitement over the new baby?

  2. Sadako says:

    Dawn could be annoying but at the same time I do kind of feel bad for her. I don't know that most 13 year old girls necessarily have the perspective to realize a lot of this stuff–from Dawn's POV, Sunny isn't acting out. She just sees her as not caring or being there for her mom. And I can definitely sympathize with her re: the new baby. And while I think Ducky is a good friend to Sunny he does on occasion border on enabler.

  3. nikki says:

    Sadako – I also vacillate between loving a hating Dawn. But she was so fucking terrible to Sunny in #6 and only marginally better in #7. Example, she's being judgey McJudgerson about Sunny going rollerblading after her mom is taken to the hospital. Carol points out that maybe Mrs. Winslow didn't want Sunny to go to the hospital. And Dawn's just "pfffft. Whatever Carol." Even at thirteen, I can't believe the lack of perspicacity about her role in her fight with Sunny. It's astounding, really.

  4. Hate Dawn! Hate hate hate!

  5. Though I do agree with Sadako that Ducky could be a borderline enabler, I really like what he said about your friends needing you around even when they're not so nice.I haven't been in a maternity ward in years (most of my friends who have babies don't live in my city), but I do remember when my brother was born that there was a window. However, that was also in 1990.My cousin/goddaughter is named Elizabeth Grace. No lie. She goes by Ellie, though.I did appreciate Dawn's ambivalence about the new baby–seems more realistic than multiple orgasms, a la the BSC. And yeah, at 13 you don't have relationships with your friends or life perspective figured out. However . . . wow, what a bitch. Your friend's mom is dying. Have some goddamn empathy.

  6. Shannon says:

    There was a decent sized window in the nursery at the hospital where my son was born. He got stuck in there for several days with jaundice. Also the NICU on the same floor had large windows on either side of its door. So it probably just depends on the hospital, I imagine.

  7. charmecia says:

    i agree with sadako,you cant help but feel sorry for the bitch.(wow and i was a dawn fan growing up). but if you think she was worse in this series try reading mary anne's makeover. man was dawn such a FUCKING BITCH in that. i so wanted mary anne to say "well at least your mom is still alive you fucking tofu sucking bitch." i still like dawn but to tell you the truth i like sunny a lot moreas well as ducky.i always thought sunny and ducky were a couple because of the strong chemistry between them in the series. i need to read ducky book 3 though.i agree with everyone. i mean gheesh dawnget a life and stop being such a hypochrite. your friend's mom is dying of cancer, the least you can do is be there for sunny and show some respect.no wonder why so many people hate dawn. i dont blame them.

  8. Sadako says:

    charmecia, I hated Dawn in MA's Makeover, too. She was *so* weird about it. She was all, "Oh, I'm insecure about my dad" but my theory was that Dawn thought of herself as the hot one and she didn't want that to change.

  9. magnolia says:

    it's really funny how i never picked up on the dawn bitchiness until i came back to BSC as an adult. but yeah, she's AWFUL in this series…by the way, i've tagged you in a blog meme. not the sort of thing you usually do on this blog, but why not? here 'tis:http://magnolia-thoughts.blogspot.com/2010/07/bonus-post-blog-games_02.html

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