If you're a '90s kid like me, you very likely spent some portion of your formative years invested in the hijinks of four fictional young girls in Stoneybrook, Connecticut who had the local child care scene on lock. That's right; I'm talking about The Baby-Sitters Club — and today I have an update on those oh-so familiar childhood characters we knew and loved, courtesy of illustrator Siobhán Gallagher's perfectly spot-on Baby-Sitter's Club parody, The Jaded Quitters Club. Be forewarned, though; the images you are about to see will ring so true you'll wonder if you are, in fact, actually Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, or Stacey all grown up.
After all, haven't we all wondered at some point or another what become of those beloved babysitters of yore? By all accounts, they certainly seemed to have everything going for them. Are they running Fortune 500 companies now ... or is it possible they peaked too soon? Judging by Gallagher's hilarious illustrations, it would seem the latter is more likely. Welcome to the winter of our discontent, girls — this world is not as sunny as your memories of Camp Mohawk, and there isn't a collie-embroidered ballcap in the world big enough to shield you from the shade some people throw.
Such is the inking that occurred to Gallagher, so she ran with it. "The girls in the Baby-Sitters Club were impossibly ambitious and entrepreneurial by ages 11 to 13, so I wondered, What if that was their peak? What if, years later, their dreams have been bashed or their efforts have floundered, and they're left to endure shitty day jobs and life's annoying interruptions to their grand plans?" she tells Bustle via email about her inspiration for the satiric series. "I thought it would be funny to find out they're just like everyone else now."
And therein lies the inherent appeal of "The Jaded Quitters Club." I don't know about you, but life today certainly doesn't look the way it did through the lens of my 13-year-old self. That's not to say life isn't pretty great — but as a grownass woman, I'm much more aware of my own limitations and the fact that sometimes I just have very few effs to give. Gallagher agrees, revealing, "I relate to all of them in a way, but I am 100 percent 'Kristy and the Canceled Plans.' Sometimes I pray a friend will bail on plans so that I can enjoy a night in, guilt-free." Good glory, I love this person. She gets me.
For that matter, she gets a lot of us. "These parody covers are very silly, but it's also a way for people to be like, 'Me too!'" she says. "Everyone has a lazy day or feels defeated sometimes, so the Jaded Quitters are those moments personified. I think The Jaded Quitters Club resonates with '90s kids in particular because we grew up with The Baby-Sitters Club, and we're familiar with the characters as well as the formula for the book titles and covers."
So, fellow fans of Stoneybrook's babysitting superheroes, enjoy! These clever parody covers will undoubtedly spark happiness in your now cynical '90s-loving heart. And since Gallagher has been drawing these for fun since 2014 and plans to "keep doing them until they're not fun," you can continue to enjoy updates on the BSC girls for the foreseeable future. Or, if you should be so inclined, take a title and run with it — Gallagher has no plans to develop her illustrations into novelettes, but she is all for someone else giving it a go.
As if all of this weren't gift enough, know this — The Jaded Quitters Club isn't Gallagher's only project that will stir up some nostalgia; she's also currently working on an illustrated choose-your-own-adventure book. BSC-inspired art and choose-your-own-adventure? Is there no end to the happiness Gallagher brings on this Monday afternoon?! I'm sure you'll join me in highly anticipating the release of said choose-your-own-adventure book, but, in the mean time, see more of the Jaded Quitters below, and check out her Instagram to get a daily dose of her incredible drawings.
Images: Courtesy of Siobhán Gallagher