We mull over our ideas of retaliating against the Lewton party and decide that the only way we can win this is to assure them that our party is WAY better than their party. But how to accomplish this? Then, as we watch Olivia Newton-John wistfully croon “Hopelessly Devoted To You” I am struck with a brilliant idea: We will call them back and tell them that we are going to an Olivia Newton-John concert. Nevermind that ONJ would never tour through our tiny town, population 3,026.
Birthday Girl picks up the phone and slowly dials Tricia’s phone number. She knows it by heart because up until three days ago, they were best friends. But then, because Tricia wouldn’t let BG hold her new Cabbage Patch Kid during recess, there was a giant rift in the friendship and Tricia’s invite was revoked. Scrambling at the last minute to show BG that she didn’t need her friendship, Tricia decided to have her OWN sleepover, even though her birthday was four months away. She invited her friends, some of which were also Birthday Girl’s friends, putting them in the awkward position of having to choose sides. Most had sided with BG, either because their moms made them since they had already bought her some Jem (who IS truly outrageous) socks, or because, like me, deep down they were frightened by the power that BG wielded around the third grade hallways. One false step around Birthday Girl and you were wearing the elementary equivalent of the scarlet letter.
Time seems to stop as we all hear the phone ringing on the other end. Finally someone picks up but it’s not Tricia. Tricia is too smart to answer the phone. She makes her dad answer it and yell down the hallway that she has a phone call. She asks him to find out who it is. He asks us. We panic and immediately hang up the phone. Close call.
This is going to be harder than we thought. A hush falls over the room as we sit and weigh our options. Beth keeps watch out the window because Tricia’s bedroom is directly across the cul-de-sac from Birthday Girl’s. She reports back that she can see shadows dancing in front of the half-pulled shade. Are they celebrating a premature victory over us or are they dancing along to Tricia’s Joan Jett album? We surmise it’s a victory dance which raises the stakes on this battle that we must now win. Defeat is not an option.
We turn off the light in BG’s room and open our shade. We all line the window and watch a few minutes in silence before dialing again. The line crackles a bit as we all huddle around the receiver to try to hear the other side of the conversation. After a few rings, someone picks up. There is movement on the line, some shifting of body weight and a few hushed shushes before someone says,
“Is Tricia there?” BG says with a steady voice.
A tense moment of semi-silence. Some shuffling around and barely audible whispering before the answer finally comes,
“What do you want?” We don’t know if this is Tricia herself or one of the many minions she has at her disposal. We don’t care because we know that every girl in that room will be in awe of us when we drop our bombshell.
“We just want you to know that we know you called us. And to let you know that our party is way better than yours. We went to see Olivia Newton-John tonight.” (Doesn’t matter that it’s only eight pm, the time when most concerts START or that we are at least two hours away from any venue that could quite possibly house such a superstar.)
This throws a wrench in our otherwise seemingly air-tight plan. How can we prove that we went to a concert that doesn’t exist?
“We got to meet her and got her autograph,” Birthday Girl blurts out in a moment of sheer improvisational genius, hoping that this will be sufficient.
Silence on the line, they are contemplating their defeat.
“Well, my dad’s taking us bowling.”
We won! Bowling compared to an Olivia Newton-John concert wherein we met her, talked to her and got her autograph (And that DOESN’T EXIST)? We began congratulating each other, all of us talking at once. We immediately put on Olivia Newton-John’s Greatest Hits Volume 2 and begin to dance around to Physical, even though at nine years old, we still thought it was a workout song. Our excitement about winning is dashed by the burgeoning realization that we just made a statement we can’t possibly prove….
(IF YOU ENJOYED THIS OR ANY OF THE POSTS, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG: IT’S FREE AND YOU GET THE POSTS CONVENIENTLY DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX!)