I am a part of a small group of women who meets once a week for cocktails, a specialty of our host, and snacks and talking. We sit around the table in the dark on the deck, and we speak openly about whatever comes to mind, with the understanding that what’s said at that table does not leave that table. So, you will never hear me spill on my sisters.
“Sisters” is a good term for the four of us. A friend of mine, a man who hasn’t attended one of these cocktail hours, called us the Weird Sisters after Shakespeares’s three witches in MacBeth, or maybe after the Wyrd Sisters in the Terry Pratchett Discworld series. Either way, we’ve taken on the name, and the Weird Sisters are a weekly event.
The other evening, I was telling the others about how I was always one of the boys in high school. I didn’t have a lot of friends in my teenage years, but I seemed to have friends who were boys, although not necessarily boy friends. Even if I were dating a specific boy, I still spent time with boys who were friends.
A specific event came to mind to demonstrate for them—I was at home with my parents one evening when I was about 15, and I was getting ready for bed when a car drove down my street and honked at the mailbox. And then boys shouted, “Hey, Wells!” which is what they called me, Wells being my maiden name. Boys do that to girls who they see as one of them, I think. It was my understanding that if they liked a girl as a potential date, they would address her by her first name, and gently. But for me, it was “Hey, Wells!” Sigh.
I hadn’t changed into my jammies yet, so I ran out to the mailbox in the dark because I knew who was causing a disturbance in the otherwise quiet neighborhood, three friends from marching band. They were all funny and nice and decent kids who meant no harm by honking and yelling late at night. They were just out for a drive and thought they’d stop by. It didn’t occur to them to park in the driveway and respectfully knock on the door, greet my parents and see if I could talk for a few minutes.
They parked the car right in the street, and we sat on the hood and laughed and talked and laughed some more, sort of like the Weird Sisters. The whole time, my father kept peering out through his bedroom window, thoroughly disgusted with his daughter’s behavior. The notion that one of his own would just go trotting out to the street in the dark just because some boys stopped by. And three of them. Three of them, mind you, and all up to no good.
I have such clear memories of that evening because it struck my father as exceptionally inappropriate, and I heard about it until the next day at dinner when I had to hear about it all over again. Three of them! And they just honked and stood right out there in the middle of the street, with you laughing and carrying on for all the neighbors to see! Don’t you care what the neighbors think of you?! You better care! I’ll give you something to care about!
Well, as chance would have it, one of those boys, now full-grown, is a new Facebook friend of mine, and I’ve learned he occasionally reads my humble blog. I wonder if he remembers that evening, although I doubt it. His father didn’t give him the what for afterward.