Monday, January 11, 2010

My Fifteenth Birthday

I distinctly recall when I was fifteen - more specifically, my fifteenth birthday party.

I was an awkward child, all pudge and no curves. Brown hair that was far too thin to stay in a ponytail holder (and far too stringy to leave down), coke-bottle glasses, buck-teeth and an unfortunate habit of stuttering. I was, quite simply, a misfit.

Oh yea - lemme tell you. Had to beat the boys away with a stick.

Anyways, the term "awkward" didn't even begin to describe me. I was even once given an award by a teacher for blowing my nose the most.

Yea. Thanks Mrs. Leonard. Really. I can't tell you how much that endeared me to my fellow classmates. Nothing says "awesome" like a gratuitous nose-blowing award.

So anyways, there I was at the tender age of fifteen, with one friend in the whole wide world.


She was loud, brash, and opinionated. She never stuttered, and I remember being in awe of her as she poured Jimmy Matlock's soda down his shirt during lunch.

He had been depositing his trash in front of me to throw away - like I was his servant. Louise took offense, and did what I was too scared to do - stand up and tell him to knock it off. Of course, she was one to do it by extremes, and I distinctly remember giggling all day as he walked around with bright orange soda staining his shirt. He never dumped his trash in front of me again.

She was the ying to my yang. We were complete opposites in personality, but despite that we somehow seemed to get along.

We were also born (almost exactly) twelve hours apart. Freaky, I know. She at 11:45 in the morning, me at 11:45 at night. And so we shared a birthday.

Anyways, I remember my dad dropping me off at Louise's house - she promised it would be a birthday I would never forget. I rolled my eyes when she said this - I was expecting some contraband alcohol, or some R rated videos.

Instead I got a seance.

We spent the night playing with an Ouija board - me, her, and her our friend Jorge. Around midnight, Louise decided to inform us of our plans - we would be staying up until three o'clock in the morning so we could trudge our way across the street to the cemetery in order to summon the dead.

Even at fifteen, I thought it was a stupid idea. When asked why she chose three in the morning, she explained that three o'clock was the devil's hour.

Uh. Huh.

However, Louise was not to be dissuaded (Jorge really didn't seem to give a flying flip), and so at three o'clock we bundled up some blankets, grabbed a crucifix and candle, and made our way to the cemetery. The old, non-named cemetery. It only had about twenty graves, and the majority of those were sunken in and falling apart.

So we set down our blanket, put the candle in-between the three of us, and Louise started chanting. Me and Jorge held the crucifix - I recall that his hands were shaking somewhat, and I even caught him saying a few "Our Father"s under his breath.

I also recall that my ass? Yea, it was freezing.

So after about thirty minutes of waiting for the spirits to intervene, Louise decided that she had had enough. Of course she could never say this to us, so she simply stated that she saw ghosts moving in the shadows.

Yea. Sure. I rolled my eyes, blew out the candle, and started hiking back to the house.

I also slept like a baby - which is more than I can say for poor Jorge (he was, apparently, very superstitious).

But y'know what? Even though it sucked beyond measure, and even though I caught a cold the next day and even though now I wince at the disregard to the little things like ethics and human dignity...

it was indeed a birthday I never forgot.


  1. I'm pretty sure I've been Louise for a lot of people and we rarely find out how much we mean to our fledgling social-climbers.

    Do you still talk to Louise? Loved this post, and if you do still talk to her, I'm sure she'd love it, too. :)

  2. Tina: no, I don't still talk to Louise. After she reached the age of 18, she seemed to get this "I can do anything I want" attitude, and when I started dating my first boyfriend she didn't take too kindly to it (my time was, apparently, supposed to be hers and hers alone. He had also offended her because his political views didn't match with hers). We fought, and she wound up threatening both me and him, so needless to say I cut off contact with her. She wound up stalking me and calling me 20-something times a day (that is not an exaggeration), leaving me threatening voicemail messages, etc. She eventually moved on, and we went our seperate ways.

    I miss the teenage Louise.

  3. Damn! Devastating that teenage Louise has left us, leaving a sack of malevolent skin behind :(

  4. Yea. She seemed to base her world-view off of television shows...and then she started hanging out with the wrong sorts of people, who filled her head with nonsense. I stuck around as long as I could for her, but the point came when I just couldn't take it anymore. But she wasn't always like that.

  5. Great post. It's a shame that teenage Louise didn't work out. When I was 15 I had a ying to my yang as well. Her name is Renada and while we haven't been best friends the entire time since I was 15 (we lost contact for about 8 years or so) we are still the best of friends today.

  6. Ha! I remember a ouiji board incident from my youth. No birthdays involved though. Bunch of friends in a horse barn with candles and one of the girls leans forward and her hairspray coated 80's hair goes off like a bomb. We put it out quick and it wasn't really damaged, but it did it ever turn that boring seance around.

  7. Erika: I'm glad to see that you are still good friends with your ying! That's kind of awesome!

    Capt. Dumbass: Oh...I can only imagine the pandemonium. I'm sure it wasn't funny then, but it's pretty damn hilarious now.

  8. Dude. She sounds like ME. Seriously, was I Louise? Because she's just like me. *sighs happily*

    Sounds like a hell of a birthday. I'd have you introduce me to her, but you know. We'd probably hate each other, Louise and me. That sucks. I'll stick with you. We probably get along better anyway.

  9. I had a friend who used to make me play truth or dare at her house in the middle of the night. And it was just us. I was apparently really dumb. Mostly it revolved around her getting me to do stupid crap like moving things around on the neighbor's porch, or put notes on people's cars.

  10. Aunt Becky: Yea...I could see that. The two of you having similar personalities. except you didn't go all crazy and stuff. but hey, next time you do a seance in an abandoned cemetary, i'm all in.

    Aunt Juicebox: Oh, I know all about truth or dare. I was real dumb too - somehow, it was always me who got stuck doing all the weird stuff. or admitting all the stupid little things that teenagers think are important. like my crush on daniel stankowski. mmm.


Because I'm needy.