I hated high school, hated it intensely. The only thing I liked were the cocoa chewies they served in the cafeteria and sometimes I would buy five of them and call it lunch.
I had a few friends, a few, mostly girls from my neighborhood but they were friends of convenience, not intention. They weren't very loyal and we badmouthed each other behind our backs and frankly I found the whole social process exhausting. My mother would crow at me to "go play with your friends" when all I wanted to do was sit under our cottonwood and read the Banned Books list, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Catcher in the Rye and the occasional MAD magazine.
I would go on to make better friends in college and even more so when I left my husband at age 29. I suffered an insane postpartum depression after my youngest boy was born. I stopped nursing him when they put me on Valium, poor little guy, he immediately developed an intense oral fixation and everything went into his mouth, every little button. They called it the "housewife syndrome" and looked at me like I had advanced leprosy.
The invitation says they are planning a slumber party at a local hotel, good god can it get much worse. I look at the attached page and it is a list of all of us, names, addresses, email info. And under the name column we are referred to as, example here, "Mrs. Arthur Cheeseman, etc;" In the true Catholic spirit we are just extensions of our husbands and I haven't used the Mrs. title in like, forever, okay never.
Inside my head I see girls in pink sponge rollers and Dippety-do glazed curls on their cheeks. There are huge puffy bedroom slippers and baby doll p.j's. The record player is spinning, "Mrs. Brown, you've got a lovely daughter . . ." There is Chef-Boy-R-Dee pizza and glass bottles of Pepsi and a poster on my friend's wall that says, "War is not healthy for children and other living things." For just a few moments I want to go home again.