When I started high school I was mostly friendless. I had lots of friends in middle school, but my best friend had sort of moved on to other, more herbal and adult beverage type endeavors over the summer whereas I was still a giant square who liked to wear baby doll dresses with wacky tights and chinese slippers (which sounds weird now that I read that - but they were just black mary janes from Chinatown that cost like $2 and probably ruined my arches forever). I was also very into french braids and Princess Leah buns.
When freshman year started it didn't take long for me to find "my people" and for the most part they were drama dorks. And older than me. By 3 years. Yes, I made friends my own age as well, (and grew closer with them sophomore year when most of my older friends abandoned me for college) but I was really enamored with my older friends. They were so clever! We could skip school and drive around town in their cars! And I could hang out in the Senior Hall! And get rides home from school! And meet older boys!
Best of all, we formed an imaginary band. It was 1993, we were 90 minutes from Seattle and everyone who was anyone was climbing on board the garage band train. In an effort to mock all the high school guys who were in a band and therefore thought they were SO COOL, we decided to start our own, all girl band. We called it WENCH. An obsession was born. Pink was our theme color and we had official Wench Parties with name tags and invitations. Since we never actually played instruments, I only remember that Darrah was going to be our interpretive dancer. Man, we were dorks.
In the summer of 1994, when most of my friends had graduated high school, my older friends banded together and rented the house of our drama teacher while she performed at a summer festival in another city. We dubbed it The Wench House. In hindsight my parents were supremely cool because they essentially let me sleep over there every night that summer. And to illustrate my point about being a giant square, I will tell you with complete honesty that I don't think we had a single party there that summer. And for certain I never consumed a single adult beverage. But every night felt like a party.
We would make "supreme beds" on the floor, using every blanket and pillow in the house, and watch Reality Bites over and over. And over. Like, until we had the entire script memorized and said the words along with the actors. It was "our movie".
This is going to sound corny, but I really think back on that summer as one of the best summers of my life. It was also the summer after I started dating Jeff so that certainly adds a golden haze to those months. But (sorry Jeff) it was mostly my Wench friends. I was only 15, so it was the last summer I wasn't required to have a job and I had no responsibilities. I was permitted to hang out with my friends and eat Rice Krispy Treats for dinner all the time. Chris worked at Baskin and Robbins and would bring home (pink) peppermint ice-cream when finished with her late night shifts. I was totally in love and I knew it was my last summer with all of these amazing friends before everything changed so I was determined to live it up. I have so many memories from that summer - the morning after a distant friend stayed over with her boyfriend and Katherine wandered into their room to clean up and exclaimed with total disgust "It smells like SEX in here!!! GROSS!" (following which, we all rushed into the room sniffing deeply and acting grossed out), listening to Sarah McLachlan at top volume with Erianna and Heidi after Heidi suffered a break up, laughing til I cried watching Kristin and Darrah do the "Punchy dance", playing truth or dare at 5am and running through the front yard with Chris in our underwear on a busy street, making batch after batch of Rice Krispy Treats with Heidi. But mostly I just remember that my life that summer felt like one long party.
You can imagine the let down going back to high school was for me in the Fall.
This weekend, most of the Wench girls will be in Seattle. For a reunion of sorts. Heidi's bridal shower is Saturday and we're all pulling together to help. Erianna flew in from New York yesterday where she's been living since forever. As I type this, Katherine is flying up from LA, and Kristin is driving down from Bellingham tomorrow. Edie is being farmed out to my parents for the weekend and I am free to stay up late, make a supreme bed, eat a pan full of RKTs, spend the night with my friends, and sleep in. For 2 nights!! Aside from the fact that I no longer wear baby doll dresses or remember how to french braid my hair, it's going to be like 1994 all over again! Except with more gray hairs and wrinkles. And earlier bed times.
The perfect ending to this post would include a photo of Wench from 1994 and I can picture the exact one I want (picture a group of girls with really big hair wearing vintage pink dresses and party hats sitting on the front stoop of The Wench House). But alas, I think it's at Darrah's house in a frame and I'm certain that no one has it digitally.