Sweet Valley Twins #68- The Middle School Gets Married

Here comes a recap of a book that is just stupid, asinine and well how many middle schools actually did projects where the kids pretend to be married and they take care of eggs and pretend they are babies? I know they had that on Degrassi ( Degrassi the original which I am OBSESSED with) and Spike and Shane had to take care of that egg baby Eggbert and all, and they had this sort of plot on Saved by the Bell, and I believe the Girl Talk series also did this as a plot- but I sure as shit never did this in middle school, and neither did any of my friends! We did have to pretend to take care of cabbage patch dolls but that was in 10th grade child development class, and we sure didn’t do marriage experiments!

Well, anyway, in this book the history teacher Mr. Seigel sets up a unit for the WHOLE middle school- yep one teacher has to teach every middle schooler about the perils of marriage- and the kids randomly pick names out of hats to see who they will be married to. Here are some of the couples- I will tell you a few of the couples, and recap the hijinks of even fewer ( well the hijinks of the most interesting couples and yes two of the couples have a Wakefield- hey that’s how it goes).

Liz gets paired up with Bruce Patman. Jessica gets paired up with Rick Hunter, a cute seventh grader. Janet Howell gets paired with a nerd named Randy Mason. Sophia Rizzo gets paired up with Patrick Morris, who is a kind of ” fringe” character who does get his own book way earlier in the series- he runs away from his strict parents when they won’t let him join the school band. Very Jade Wu if you ask me. Lila Fowler gets paired up with Todd Wilkins. Ellen Riteman gets paired with Winston Egbert and of course is all pissy over it. Aaron Dallas is paired with Veronica Brooks, the girl who tried to steal Todd from Elizabeth  and tried to frame Jessica. Aaron is really upset over getting paired with Veronica, and Jessica tells Aaron she wishes she could switch partners. And here’s what happens with some of our couples-

Bruce is an insufferable asshole at first- he won’t do any of the work required for the project and is acting ” too cool for school” and it’s driving Liz crazy. Then one day when Bruce comes over to work on the project, he sees Ned Wakefield cooking dinner and interacting with his children and it upsets Bruce- Bruce’s dad is too busy with work to bother with hanging out with Bruce and Bruce is so jealous that Elizabeth’s father is so involved in the life of his family. Hate to tell ya Bruce but Ned Wakefield actually sucks ass. But no matter- Bruce tries to become ” Super Dad” and tells Liz she has to eat more veggies, and insists that he be the one to watch the egg baby all the time. He even made a little pouch for the egg baby. One day Elizabeth is alone with the egg and accidentally breaks it!! Elizabeth decides to just grab an egg from the fridge and she passes it off as the egg baby. It fools Bruce for awhile until one day they are arguing over who will care for the egg, and it drops to the floor and doesn’t break- the egg Elizabeth grabbed was hard boiled! Elizabeth and Bruce begin to yell at each other at the end of the project, and of course every other couple is yelling at each other too, and they all say they never want to be married.  I will tell you later what Mr. Seigel tells all of the kids after they all are yelling at each other.

Rick Hunter is constantly teasing and annoying Jessica and it is driving her crazy. Rick really does say all kinds of nasty and irritating things to Jessica and it almost makes her cry. Jessica’s friends start to say that maybe Rick likes Jessica, but Jess doubts that. Then one day Rick  kisses Jessica while they are cooking their meal in the school kitchen!!! Jessica and Rick decide to start dating ( no mention of Jessica dumping poor Aaron by the way) and Rick is acting all sweet and pleasant to Jess, and Jessica being a cunt, hates that Rick is now being sweet to Jess and she misses the Rick who would make her miserable by teasing her. Jessica and Rick decide to go back to their old relationship of insulting each other, as yes Jessica does yell back at Rick too, and I never remember if Jessica goes back to Aaron or continues to date Rick or what after this.  Jessica also breaks numerous egg babies, and hilarity ensues.

Sophia Rizzo and Pat Morris, usually tertiary characters in a Sweet Valley Twins book, get quite a plotline. Sophia is afraid that if she doesn’t just agree with everything Patrick says, they will get a ” divorce” like Sophia’s parents did. Patrick is very wishy washy and never really has an opinion on anything- he just defers to Sophia. Sophia doesn’t want to make the decisions and wants to defer to Patrick. So at first it’s like this- Sophia- ” Do you want chicken or spaghetti for dinner?” Pat- ” I don’t know whatever you want.” Sophia- ” Whatever you want is fine with me.” Patrick- ” well we can have whatever you want I don’t care” and yes it’s really annoying. Finally Sophia blows up at Patrick one day and pretty much calls him a wuss.  Sophia and Patrick do make up, and Patrick says he likes that Sophia is very outspoken, and Sophia tells Patrick that they can go back to being good friends if Patrick also gives opinions sometimes.

Janet Howell and Randy Mason constantly argue, but then at the end of the marriage project Janet says that Randy is actually very interesting to talk to, and they eat lunch together to discuss what the greatest invention of all time was- the microscope or the telephone. 

At the end of the project, as I mentioned, all of the couples are yelling at each other and each is blaming the other for the project being ruined. Mr. Seigel says to the school that he decided to institute this project to show the kids that marrying someone you barely know ( as the kids were throw together) and not discussing things first is a recipe for trouble in marriage, and Mr. Seigel hopes they all think long and hard before being married someday. I see that Jessica really absorbed this lesson, as she married Mike McAllery after knowing him for about three minutes at Sweet Valley U.

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13 Responses to “Sweet Valley Twins #68- The Middle School Gets Married”

  1. I did the egg project! In 8th Grade home-ec. Even at 13, everyone knew what a fucking joke the project was. So my friend and I co-parented (for lack of a better term) our eggs, who we named Cheech and Chong. My home-ec teacher tried to get us to change the names, but we were insistent on having our egg babies be stoners.

  2. You know, with the exception of Nikki here, I’ve never known anyone who had to do the egg project, either. I always kind of looked forward to it because it was in every show I ever watched, but was disappointed every year when it didn’t happen.

  3. This is a frequent theme both in TV shows and YA books…Fabulous Five and Babysitter’s Club had a project like this, and that stupid show 7th Heaven had something similar. I never got to do it, although I always wanted to.

    As far as the “life lesson” imparted, sounds like Mr. Seigal just went through a bitter divorce and blackmailed school administration to fund this elaborate school wide project to show the evils of marriage. Before the heavy handed principle of the project was revealed, it was actually kind of a cool idea. If I remember, students had to make a budget based on real life salaries (based on “normal” jobs, there were no modeling or rock star jobs allowed), cook 3 meals a day while grocery shopping on a budget (and hit all nutritional guidelines)…that actually would be quite the learning experience. Mr. Seigal was a moron.

    • girltalkread Says:

      Abby you are right-students did make budgets based on real life salaries ( this did not please Lila!) and they did have to cook three healthy meals a day so it would have been a good lesson. But yeah I also see Mr. Seigel as a bitter divorcee who wanted to show the evils of marriage.

  4. I never did an egg project or a marriage project either.

    They got to do one on Dawson’s Creek and there was even a token gay couple…guess that’s too racy for Sweet Valley?

  5. My best friend (who went to a different high school) did the egg project in 9th grade! She had the egg baby in her pocket one night while we went out to, like, I don’t know, stalk the hot boy at the coffee shop or something. At some point we were laughing so hard that we were literally rolling on the ground (ahhh, 9th grade) when my friend stopped abruptly, put her hand in her pocket, and brought it out covered in yolk. RIP egg baby. Gone too soon.

    My school, on the other hand, had a Child Development class that used SACKS OF FLOUR as fake babies, but I opted not to take any class that would require me to pretend that baking materials were children.

  6. girltalkread Says:

    Sada you crack me UP!!!

  7. I totally did the egg project in 8th grade! It was silly and I can’t even remember if I broke my “baby” or not. This was early 90’s

    also, did anyone take awful home ec classes in middle school? My teacher was terrible. I remember we made gross desserts and learned how to set s table correctly. That was it.

    • girltalkread Says:

      Jen OH MY GOD did we attend the same middle school? OK granted I did no egg project but I did have STUPID home ec teachers- and yes in seventh grade we learned to make crap desserts ( like Rice Krispie treats ok granted those are good but not exactly a hard dish to make) and in eighth grade our big final cooking project was taco salad- whoa challenging! and yes we learned how to set a table!!!!! Then in 8th grade there was also a sex ed project and they taught us how to put a condom on- the teacher used her own finger to demonstrate this good times. And our cooking teacher- God love her but she was MORBIDLY obese and was trying to teach us about nutrition and the food pyramid and all that, and in the meantime would constantly eat muffins and brownies- yummy yes healthy no. And I was in 8th grade in 91-92- yeah I am old!!
      In 10th grade as I wrote we used Cabbage Patch kids-mine was a boy named Andrew Jeremy and I got a A I took great care of that kid even took him to the mall w/ me!! By senior year, the child development kids had baby think it over but yeah by then about half the girls who took child development were pregnant already soooo….

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