Each evening, after the grand kids are in bed, Mr. C, Pete, Andi, and I gather to spend a few minutes together. We talk about whatever happens to come up. We might talk about hunting or plans for the basement. Sometimes it’s about what’s coming up on our household schedule. This week it’s about our granddaughter’s birthday. It’s her first slumber party and, typical for this family, things got a little weird.
My daughter-in-law, Andi wanted to be sure that this would be a really fun, cool slumber party so she and my granddaughter went online to research fun things to do. They decided on a “Spin the nail polish” game. There is a bottle of nail polish for each girl at the party. The girls take turns spinning a bottle and whomever the cap points toward gets that color. Then they paint their nails with the color that chose them and get to keep the nail polish. I thought this was a cute idea for 10-year-old girls.
Movies were suggested and rejected until they found the perfect slumber party entertainment. Andi purchased a large box of each girl’s favorite candy and we’ll make popcorn so it will be a theater experience…at least as far as snacks are concerned.
Then Andi decided they should make what is commonly called a “cootie catcher.” And that’s when things got weird.
If you were ever a little girl you’ve probably seen this. You pick a color and move the “cootie catcher” the number of letters in that color. Inside there are numbers. After choosing a number and counting the moves for that number you open a flap and your fortune is read.
It’s a simple game and generally meant to give the girls a glowing description of their perfect futures. But Andi wanted to make it a learning experience. And that’s when it became weird and the topic for our grown-up time.
Andi brought the cootie catcher down and read one of the fortunes. “Divorced, two kids, move back in with parents.” she read. “Seriously?” I asked. “That’s actually one of the fortunes?” Andi looked at me a little puzzled. She wanted, apparently, to give the girls an idea of reality. Another fortune was “Rushed to grow up. 2 kids. Live in a trailer.”
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph!” I cried. “Please tell me you printed the number to the suicide hotline for after they play this game!” Andi was confused. She’d gone for a teaching moment and I was shooting down her fortunes. Pete and Mr. C sat quietly snickering.
The last one read stated “Married him for his money. Not happy with him and money can’t buy happiness. Or can it?”
My mouth was hanging open. I had visions of little girls screaming hysterically as they ran down the road trying to escape their dismal futures.
I looked at Pete for support. Surely these fortunes were a bit much for a bunch of 9 and 10-year-old girls. And like a true hero, Pete came through. “Stripper with daddy issues.” he suggested. We all burst out laughing. “Okay.” Andi said. “Maybe I did go a little too ‘real’.”
Still giggling we separated for the night with three of us secretly praying the fourth would rethink this particular slumber party game.
Andi’s since redone the fortunes to things that are, while still potentially realistic, not likely to cause nightmares and a refusal to leave the 4th grade. And I feel better knowing my granddaughter’s friends will still be allowed to visit after the slumber party.