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The Crue

His sister's sad slumber party was proof that the world is a cruel place.

Tiffani smelled like cigarette smoke and perm. She lived in a trailer. It was good manners that forced me to accept an invitation to Tiffani's slumber party. I was the only girl who showed up that night.
Tiffani spent the first few hours crying and calling the other girls from school "tramps" and "cunts" for not coming to her party. She told me that Hee-Haw was coming on that night. This, she said, was her favorite show. I'd never seen Hee-Haw or eaten Star Crunch snack cakes or heard the word "cunt" before. Those things in themselves were as exotic as Hermes to me. I began to like Tiffani. I also hated that I liked Tiffani because this would cause problems at school on Monday. I knew that it was Tiffani or everyone else. I would have to choose.
Her brother, Dustin, came into the trailer with a can of beer and a cigarette. When he saw it was a party of two he cursed mean kids, girls, teachers, bosses, pretty much everything and everyone. His sister's sad slumber party was proof that the world is a cruel place. He waved a five-dollar-bill in front of us and said he was taking us to the gas station for as much candy as we wanted.
In his Camaro, Dustin rolled down the windows and turned the volume on the tape deck all the way up. "This is my fucking song," he said. It was Motley Crue's "Smoking in the Boy's Room," a song and a band I'd never heard. I wouldn't describe myself as sheltered at that age. Filtered, maybe. Too much Montessori and Peter, Paul, and Mary and Free to Be You and Me. All good stuff. But it left me vunerable to Motley Crue. I had a hankering for the exotic. My parents hoped that would lead to a fine study abroad program during my college years. It didn't.
This was the moment I left the WASP fold for good. It may have happened even if I hadn't gone to Tiffani's that night, but I doubt it. Being the only girl who showed up at that party gave me a feeling of solidarity with Tiffani. We were outsiders. She was one by birth, I was one by choice. I knew that I belonged in that Camaro with the Crue, and somehow sensed that cotillions were not a part of my future. At school on Monday I backslid but it didn't matter. The other girls knew that I had gone to Tiffani's. They left the lunch table when I sat down beside them. I saw Tiffani coming toward me with her tray and I wanted to ignore her. She sat down and pulled a Star Cruch snack cake out the front pocket of her flannel shirt. "I hate this shitty food," she said. "Want half?"

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