The soft, white kitty named Blinkon is attacking my toes. I pull my feet up to safety and think He would have had a field day with Sue's toes. She used to sit with her legs crossed, with either a book in her hand or her arms crossed as well watching T.V. and unconsciously curl her first tow toes in and out brushing them back and forth against each other.
I sit in the blue armchair in the corner wishing I had a movie that we used to enjoy seeing -- over and over again -- at Sue's house. The only movies I could think of were Troop Beverly Hills, The Neverending Story [okay, I have to interrupt -- I don't think we watched this one over and over, if we watched it at all], and Somersby. Well, Somersby we didn't watch repeatedly, but the first time [and only time] I saw it was at Sue's -- with LeeAnn. That was a weird day. [While watching the movie, the house settled at a key moment, and LeeAnn and I looked at each other and giggled nervously.]
I wish I were at Sue's right now with the four other girls that I went with: Jennifer, Donna, Ashley and LeeAnn. Of course it would be different if we were to sit in that house together now. It would be quiet. It's easy when you're four-years-old to pick up a conversation:
You wanna play a game?
All right, you be green and I'll be yellow.
No, I'll be yellow and you be blue.
But I want to be green.
Okay you be green, I'll be blue.
Hey! I was playing with that!
You put it down!
No I didn't! I was playing with it! I'm telling Sue on you! Sue....!
Let's watch this movie.
We watched that yesterday. It's my turn to pick, and I choose this.
Oh, you always choose that stupid movie.
Sue! She said the movie I chose was stupid, and you said I could pick today, and the movie I picked
she said was stupid!
I did not!
When we were younger, we girls could walk to the park -- which has since been torn down and now has a house on it [sad, true story] -- or read the Babysitters Club Series out loud, each of us taking a different part, or we could make some kind of craft together. There were endless possibilities of conversation, but now we would be spaced out on the couches, silent. And not just any silent, but a nervous, uneasy silent; the kind of silent that manifests itself in you, like a bunch of odd switches were turned on that are only turned on when you're around people you don't know. [Um, interesting imagery, younger Stephanie.] Of course the other four girls and I know each other: I know their names and they know mine, but all we have left besides that is who we were as children. [And man, is that long past. At the time of this blog post, it's something like twenty years.]
* * * *
Jennifer was the oldest. All of us adored her, even her sister, Ashley, did in some small way. I used to copy her all the time. If she played ball, I played ball; if she played hopscotch, I played hopscotch [I still love hopscotch]; if she drew a purple heart, I drew a blue. Okay, so I didn't exactly follow in her footsteps, but I longed to please her because she was [and still is as I assume we both woke up on the right side of the dirt today] two years older than me. I remember one time the five of us had a choice to stay in and watch Gone with the Wind or stay outside and play. I was forced by Jennifer to choose first -- I stayed outside [and now that I've seen that movie, I feel obliged to thank Jennifer for that]. Being the oldest, Jennifer -- who we sometimes referred to as "Fer," never Jenn or Jenny [the only Jennifer I've ever encountered referred to as "Fer"]. [In here was a sentence about puberty, but let's not get into that. Let's sing the Baby Sitters Club theme song: Say hello to your friends (BSC)/Say hello to the people who care/Nothing's better than friends (BSC)/Cause you know that your friends are always there!] In every way she [Jennifer, in case you're now completely lost] was our role model, and between the five of us, she was who we wanted to be. [I was very self-centered 10 or 15 years ago -- obviously everything that I wanted was everything the other girls wanted. Haha.]
Donna was the rambunctious, "wild" child. She was the one who would grow up to be a real lady [dude, have you seen her -- I've only seen Facebook pictures, so I don't really know -- but this is so true], the kind you always see in the movies, with her even dose of tomboy and priss. Donna was really no worse than the rest of us [apparently I was just trying to soften the blow with this line], though she was mean and would make Sue go bonkers with her adventures and wild ideas. These antics never really came along until Jennifer and Ashley stopped going to Sue's, around the time Fer [weird to call her that now that I don't really know her] was entering fifth or sixth grade. When they left, Donna became the leader. LeeAnn and I were scared of her. Usually the three of us would "team up" against each other -- maybe once was Donna the odd gal out. Sue hated when we girls "teamed up," so, for the most part, we tried to hide it from her. Donna never wanted to get in trouble for "teaming up" and LeeAnn and I didn't want to have to fight back or elbow our way back into the fun, so whenever there was an odd girl out, and Sue came to check on us, we would hurriedly act as if we were all good friends again. [There's a line I wrote in here where I feel bad for telling the truth, but this was all ages and ages ago, and doesn't matter anymore, so I'm leaving the line out.] Aside from her mean streak, she was a nice kid. At Christmastime she would organize LeeAnn and I [honestly, how is she not running her own empire right now?], and the three of us would sing Christmas carols around the neighborhood, and at Valentine's, she would instruct us in making cards for our mothers. Of course, if we didn't make the cards her way or if we made ours a little better than she did, she would get upset. [I must have still been bitter when I wrote this 10 years ago b/c this is an example of things I don't remember at all. Actually, that would be most of my childhood, which is why this story was "never told" by me.] She is the oldest of three children -- competition runs in her blood. [This line makes no sense, younger Stephanie.] Honestly, we were all cruel at one time or another -- Donna only looked meaner because she claimed leadership. [A wise thought, younger Stephanie.]
I was the middle child of us girls, but we'll get back to me later. [Snort, that oughta be good.]
[This "story" is continued in Part II]
[This "story" is continued in Part II]