Well, Em’s Michael Jackson birthday party was a huge hit. Now we begin preparation for Birthday Weekend #2, where four little girls (plus Em) spend the night at our house. My mom is finally going to get payback for all the times she pounded into the living room during my slumber parties at 4:00 a.m. and threatened us with our lives if we didn’t go to sleep NOW!
I’d say from about 4th – 7th grade, I celebrated my birthday each year by inviting about 14 of my closest friends for a slumber party. We stretched our sleeping bags in two rows facing each other and gossiped, told ghost stories and jokes, confessed our crushes and played silly games until the very wee hours. My friends did the same for their birthdays. They were always held on Fridays, and you could practically taste the anticipation during the school day. We’d all pile into the hostess’ bus, sleeping bags in tow, and immediately start belting out “99 bottles of beer on the wall.”
We always got to eat pizza, rent movies and play video games, three activities that occurred far less often than they do today. For some reason, we usually started by playing Spoons. In the version we played, the loser had to eat some wretched concoction put together by the person who took the first spoon – soy sauce, Tabasco, mayonnaise and onion powder mixed together anyone? When night fell, the games got creepier, like Ouija board or “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.” Next there would be a round of confessionals of who had a crush on whom and maybe even ordering a pizza for delivery to one of the crushees. In the adolescent years, we got more daring and sometimes called the boys themselves, passing the phone around from one to another to see who he talked to the longest. We played endless rounds of Truth or Dare. I once went to a summer slumber party where we slept in a tent in the backyard (smart mom!) and one of my friends made good on a dare to run around the tent naked three times. Ah, the glory days!
My brother always had to spend the night at a friend’s house when I had my slumber parties. I suppose my mom was afraid he’d pull some kind of Brady Bunch itching powder prank. I am continuing that tradition by having Jay sleep over at my mom’s on the big night. There’s just no room for testosterone with all that estrogen floating around. In fact, I don’t even think my dad was ever around during my slumber parties. He probably scheduled an overnight business trip or slept in his office or something. Anything to avoid the mayhem of a house full of girls!
Now Em is about to embark on this girlhood rite of passage. In the meantime, I’m already carving out time on Saturday for a nice long nap! “Slumber” party being a misnomer, you see, since nobody really sleeps!Categories: Birthdays, Childhood, Family · Tags: birthday parties, Childhood, Family, slumber parties, The Brady Bunch