In my elementary school class we had two Staceys, myself and another girl. We were friendly with one another for the most part but I wouldn’t say we were ‘friends’. She was more social than I was (back then the lunch lady was more social than I was!) and I would just assume melt into the wallpaper most days at school rather than be a part of a gaggle of girls. That’s why I have so many observation stories to share, I wasn’t like a ‘normal’ kid. But anyways..
If I remember correctly the other Stacey’s mother worked in some position at our school so she was able to keep a close eye on her daughter. In social terms that made her more popular. Her parents had a big house, drove a nice car and she always had pretty clothes. Every year for her birthday her mother would bring trays of cupcakes to her class for all of the kids. She was liked by everyone and everyone wanted to be her best friend. A few of my classmates had mothers that were teachers or worked in the church part of the school while mine was a glorified stay at home mom. (nothing at ALL to be ashamed of because my mom rocked her job!) but in ‘popular kid’ terms that wasn’t enough to join the cook kid cliques. Cliques in my class were easily divided by popularity and that means the only clique I was in was my own. Well, me and one other person, my best friend Tammy. At school her and I did everything together, and when she wasn’t at school I would sit by myself somewhere at recess and patiently wait for the day to be over. My teachers told my mother about it all the time and said I needed to be more social with the other kids. So my mom signed us up with some carpool to school program that the other mothers were doing. Every day a different mom would drive us all to and from school. ( It just so happened that the kids that were in my carpool was a few of the girls who weren’t very fond of me.) When the carpool idea didn’t work, the teachers in my class started putting me and the other Stacey together in the same study group hoping that we would become bffs based on the fact that we shared the same name. Then, one day her mother showed up to our classroom and passed out party invitations to everyone in the class, myself included. Stacey was having a birthday party.
My mom was more excited about the party than I was. She went out one day while I was at school and bought a birthday gift for me to take to the party and then picked out my outfit I was going to wear. Thankfully Tammy was invited too and I knew I could rely on her to help me blend into the surroundings. My mom, however urged me to try to make new friends. All I could tell her was “I’ll try”.
I remember walking inside Stacey’s house and thinking to myself “WOW”. Every inch of her house was decorated up for this party right down to colored balloons, streamers and her name on banners pretty much in every room. Stacey was all dressed up with yellow ribbons in her hair and very politely thanking everyone for coming all the while as her mother was ushering kids into the back yard for festivities. There were games, food, and all of the kids were getting along well for the most part, and I remember I even came out of my shell for a bit that afternoon since the kids that were normally mean towards me seemed to accept me and we all ran around acting like little girls (as much as we could run around in our party dresses, that is!)
Just before the party was over, Stacey’s mother told us all to get in a line and lead us over to a patio table where a big book sat.
“Now, I want everyone to sign this for Stacey!” she said “Write something nice about her and how much you appreciate this party” I looked over at Stacey and she was burying her face in her hands. I think she wanted to fade away into her surroundings like I usually did. The book turned out to be a memory book of some sort. A glorified baby book and beyond, so to speak. Every single social event in her life so far had been documented in this book and her mom carefully made sure that her daughter had a memento that she would look back on in years to come and remember how much fun her childhood was.
By the time I got to the table she handed me a pen and I started to write “Thank you for inviting me to your party, love Stacey” Her mom looked at what I was writing and snatched the pen out of my hand and tossed it onto the table. “What? No!… write something else … something you like about her! You can do much better than that!”. Normally her mother was so sweet and soft spoken, but not now! I looked at all of the other signatures before me and there were things like “I like your dimples” “you have a nice back yard” “your cake was pink, my fav color” Finally I picked the pen back up wrote “I like that we have the same name” and handed the pen back to her. She took it, looked back down at what I wrote and dismissed me with a wave. I guess my entry was sufficient. I then went back into the yard and joined the other kids who were all now looking for Stacey. She was nowhere to be found though, and I think she stayed scarce until the party ended and our parents all arrived to pick us up. After that her mother came out and passed out party bags for everyone that had toys and other things inside them. “Stacey picked each of these out just for you!” That appeased us kids for the most part and everyone seemed to forget the weird book incident.
After that I saw Stacey, and the other popular kids in a different light. Everybody had some form of weirdness they had to deal with in their lives.. whether you were popular or not popular. Her mom wanted to preserve her daughter’s social life in a book, whether she liked it or not. I have no doubt she meant well… but she should have gotten more of her daughter’s input first.
I wonder if she still has it to this day..?