So...Princess Stacey has decided that she wants a diamond birthstone ring. When her mom says no, Stacey actually gets mad, and doesn't seem to understand why Maureen won't shell out a bucketload of money for a piece of jewelry for her 13 year old daughter. Sheesh. She escapes to the mall with the rest of the BSC, where she sees an even more expensive birthstone ring in another jewelry store. She tells the club how much she wants a ring like that, and how her mom won't buy it for her. To Stacey's surprise, no one jumps in and agrees with her that her mom is mean not to rush out and get it for her. Sheesh again.
At the next BSC meeting, the club gets a call from some new clients, the Gardellas. Stacey ends up with the job sitting for their baby, Tara, and although she thinks Mr. and Mrs. Gardella are a bit weird for fussing more over their cat and dog than their baby, everything seems to go well during the job itself. That's why Stacey is so surprised to get a phone call from Mrs. Gardella bright and early the next day. She'd woken up to discover that her diamond ring, which she had meant to wear the evening before, was missing. She accuses Stacey of taking it, and then says that she'll be calling other BSC clients to let them know what happened. Stacey calls Kristy right away, and Kristy schedules and emergency BSC meeting for that afternoon.
When Stacey fills them in on what's happened, the rest of the club believes her innocence right away. It soon becomes apparent, though, that some of the BSC clients don't. At the next meeting, they only get one job call. The next few meetings after than aren't much better, and they even have a cancellation. The Prezziosos end up leaving a dinner party early after meeting up with the Gardellas there, costing Claud an evening of sitting money. At least they didn't come home early because they believed the Gardellas; they came home because they believe in the BSC, and were upset at what the Gardellas were saying about them.
After her sitting experience that wasn't, Claud heads over to Stacey's. Right away, though, Stacey notices that something is off with her best friend. Claudia is distant and distracted, and she seems to be awfully curious as to the contents of Stacey's jewelry box. It doesn't take Stacey long to figure out what Claud is doing; she's searching for the missing ring. I guess not everyone in the club believes that Stacey is innocent. The girls fight, and Claudia leaves.
At the next club meeting, Stacey decides to take some action. She wants to clear her name, so she decides to offer to sit for the Gardellas for free until the ring is paid off. The club doesn't think Stacey should have to repay Mrs. Gardella for a ring she didn't steal, but Stace doesn't know what else to do. She calls Mrs. Gardella, who agrees to the plan as long as she brings another sitter along with her. Kristy is the lucky winner, and their first job is set for that Friday. While they're sitting, they notice the family cat taking all of his toys out of the room, one by one, and returning without them. Stacey follows him, and discovers a couple of his hiding places. She finds toys, paper clips, and Mrs. Gardella's ring! Stacey shows Kristy, and they leave the ring where it is to show the Gardellas when they get home. Mrs. Gardella apologizes, and says she'll call the Prezziosos to clear things up as soon as she can. When Stacey asks her to call the other clients, too, Mrs. Gardella is puzzled. As it turns out, the Prezziosos were the only ones she got around to telling; the club's slow period was completely unrelated, and things are soon back to normal.
Thoughts and Things
- I have never, in all the many times I've read this book, understood why Mrs. Gardella would let Stacey baby sit again if she really believed that Stacey had stolen from her.
- In a way, I can understand Stacey's frustration with wanting something her parents won't buy for her. The same thing happened to me when I was a kid. The difference between the two of us, though, was that I wanted a Cabbage Patch doll, not an expensive piece of jewelry.
- You know the Gardellas dress their pets up and have their pictures taken for the family Christmas card. I bet baby Tara isn't even in the photo!
- The BSC and all their mall trips were the reason I thought the mall was the most awesome place in the world when I was younger.
- My birthday is in April, so my birthstone is a diamond, too. I've always been a little disappointed by that; diamonds aren't as pretty as amethysts, emeralds, garnets, or other colorful stones.
- At the beginning of the book, Stacey lets us in on her deepest, darkest secret: she actually likes to clean house sometimes. I agree with her on that; the actual cleaning process isn't that fun, but finishing and seeing your room/house/apartment/car/whatever looking all nice and pretty is awfully satisfying. :)