The next oldest is Jennifer's younger sister, Ashley. Jennifer had strawberry blond hair, but nothing could compete with Ashley's vibrant red hair. [Thirty-two-year-old me is still envious.] She had a cute face with freckles and, though she'd scowl at me for saying this, she looked like a Cabbage Patch Kid. She wasn't as off-the-wall as Donna but they got along best when we were younger, before school started. [Add it to the list of things I remember crap about.] Ashley, LeeAnn and I are closest in age [not quite true as I'm only two-ish months younger than Donna and four-ish months older than Ashley] and in the same grade. When Jennifer and Donna were off at school, it was just the three of us [Ashley, LeeAnn and I], and those two were terrible to me! [I remember jack squat.] Even now they admit to being awful to me when we were young. The got me in trouble for their deeds; Ashley told me dreadful things about my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. [Guess that one didn't scar me for life. What the crap did she tell me about my pbj sandwich???] As we grew older, they grew out of it -- thank goodness. When I think of Ashley, I think of men with long hair and muscles. That was her "type" at five-years-old. [I don't know about the hair, but I'm pretty sure the muscles fact still holds true today.] She adored men who played rock and heavy metal and who wore their hair long -- and were, of course, much older. All five of us had it bad for Whitesnake [true confession time - if I heard Whitesnake on the radio or saw a pic of him, I'd have no clue it was Whitesnake], but Ashley always insisted she was the hot chick in the video that got to kiss him. Sue's son, Chris, is a drummer, and played in several bands. [Um, I don't know if it was several or actually one or two at the time.] The first one I can remember was Overdrive. Doug was the first whom Ashley went crazy for, and then it was Stacy. Ashley loved her men, and they knew it. [Near tears right now. My face hurts.]
The youngest of the five girls is LeeAnn. LeeAnn was never a leader to anyone except me. [Noticing a pattern here: I was a sheep! Or a lemming. Take your pick. I probably looked more like a lemming in the face.] She'd always choose the same snack as everyone else, follow along behind Jennifer or Donna, and forever try to please everyone. Donna was the next to stop coming to Sue's after Jennifer and Ashley; LeeAnn became the leader then. She never had me do horrible things like Donna did, but she knew I was too shy and un-charismatic to take off and do things by myself; if she stuck her ground long enough, I would come trailing behind her.
Soon, LeeAnn stopped going to Sue's, and I was the only one left during the school year. Because I lived in the city and didn't have a ride to my county school, I went to Sue's to ride the bus until I entered tenth grade. I believe of all five of us, I was the quietest. I was a shadow. [Little lemming.] I didn't try to copy everyone else like LeeAnn, but I followed her -- and there is a difference. [Is there, younger Stephanie?] Though I did try to please Jennifer when I was really young, after the Gone with the Wind incident [I love that it's an incident. It actually was a milestone in my life, silly as that seems. So once again, you have my gratitude, younger Jennifer] I didn't do everything she did anymore.
Just because I was quiet doesn't mean I was an angel; I was just as naughty [say that word with an English accent. Such fun!] as the rest of them and got in trouble for it. I got in trouble along with everyone else because I did every bad thing they did. [Read: I was a lemming!] I learned "guilty by association" real young because even if I didn't do something bad, we couldn't get very far from each other, so I was always stuck with the guilty party.
I didn't grow up an only child, but because my brother Tony is seven years older than me, we weren't very close and didn't play together often. I never made friends easily because I am so shy, so the only friends I really had were the girls from Sue's. Growing up at Sue's house was the bulk of my childhood.
[And those last few paragraphs are reason enough why this piece has never made it to the world at large. Ehk. Puke. We've come so far in our writing skills, younger Steph.]
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[Please continue on to the next post: A story to tell never told Part III for the remainder of this...whatever.]