Twas the year a ouija board saved me from severe punishment.
Let me explain.
My friend Monica and I convinced her mother to let us throw a slumber party in the vacant RV sitting in their driveway. Her mother thought we wanted to feel like we were camping, but in reality we had discovered the stash of boxed wine kept in the garage, and desired the proper venue to explore the joys of drinking alcoholic grape juice from a spout in peace.
Sophistication and class have clearly been with me from the onset of my adult personality-as nothing quite screams those traits like an RV and boxed wine.
In addition to acquiring the proper ‘hotspot’ for such a party-we also ached for a place we could invite the two boys across the street over so as to fully showcase our hip and all-knowing ways of the party scene.
They were skater boys. One of them even had a tattoo, and the other one could play guitar WHILE flipping his long grunge-inspired locks out of those piercing blue eyes. He was two years older, he was a bad-ass, and he and his friend were most definitely the objects of our affections. Butterflies flew in my stomach the one and only time he had grinned and me and told me I had a cool name.
Monica and I were fairly certain that enough interaction with the two would eventually lead to true love. But first we had to prove our coolness in order to turn their pupils into tiny pink hearts whenever they gazed upon our subtle yet hip nature.
I’m fairly certain we paced in front of their open garage watching them tune guitars and smoke cigarettes for a good twenty minutes before gathering the courage to walk in and invite them to the party. Monica did most of the talking, as I was too busy contemplating the oversized studded cuff on my wrist and blushing to manage more than a simple hello. Though I did chime in to confirm that yes-there would be alcohol in the RV, and yes, she and I would like it if the two of them would show up at around midnight and give a little knock on the door.
I’m sure they thought I was mute, but I was so excited my palms were sweaty and I couldn’t believe that simply telling these two sixteen year old boys that we had boxed wine got them to smile at us like that. Who knew that alcohol and girls were all boys needed?
There is a naivety to being fourteen that once lost, can never be regained. But I digress.
At ten o’clock that evening Monica and I decided it would be safe to each have a glass of wine just to take the edge off. While sipping the warm juice we also agreed to consult the ouija board on any and all love prospects that were likely to occur from inviting the rebel boys over for drinks.
Later on, the boys arrived, drinking occurred, and all eighty-five pounds of me passed out at the table.
The ouija board remained sitting on the formica table until seven oclock the next morning, when I woke up to the sight of Monica’s mother as she walked past the cheap window of the RV. I could hear her shrill, excited voice chatting with what sounded like an army of suburban mothers and a herd of rumbling mini-van engines.
Unbeknown to us, she had decided to host a garage sale that morning.
Unbeknown to her, there were two very hungover teenage boys sleeping in the RV mere feet from her junk-sale.
Monica and the two boys were in the bed, hungover amidst the carnage of sleeping bags and spilled cheap wine. I was just piecing together the deep conversation about song lyrics from the night before that I had so desperately tried to look cool in when the door to the RV swung open. Standing there with one hand on her hip and a huge smile, Monica’s mother yelled out:
Good morning girls!! I need your help out here, busy morning with the sale and all. Do you ladies want some break-WHAT THE HELL IS THAT DOING IN HERE?!?!?! MONICA, WHY ON EARTH ARE YOU PLAYING WITH THE DEVIL IN HERE?!?! WE DO NOT USE THE OUIJA BOARD IN THIS HOUSEHOLD RYAN, I DON’T KNOW WHAT KIND OF HOME YOUR PARENTS ARE RUNNING, BUT WE ARE GOOD CHRISTIAN PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!
The board had been the only thing her eyes had settled on, and to my complete and total relief she was so furious about it that she slammed the door in my face while sreaming: ‘MONICA, I NEED TO SEE YOU IN THE KITCHEN THIS INSTANT!!’
It was fortunate really, because while Monica dry-heaved waves of stale boxed wine in the kitchen as her mother ranted on about the devil’s magic, I was able to successfully usher the two boys out of the RV and back from the depths of grunge-guitarism from whence they came.
Standing in the RV after they left, I grabbed the ouija board, threw it in my backpack, laced up my Doc Martins, and waited at the sale for my own mother to come pick me up.
My mother didn’t care about the ouija board, but had Monica’s mother discovered the two hormones masquerading as boys in the bed-I am not sure I would have survived to see fifteen.