Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sophie's Birthday Outing: Part Two

The birthday girl at Lake Ella

Well, back to Sophie's birthday outing on Saturday:

Our next stop was CVS. And you know, I didn’t know it was possible to have such an awesome time at CVS. We were giggling in the aisles and ogling the Valentine’s Day candy. Bun and I were so tempted by the sour cherries, and once again I took the opportunity to declare my undying love for liquid-center chocolate-covered cherries.

I said to Sophie, “Sophie, look, I found the perfect thing for you: An entire cupcake concocted solely of marshmallow.”

Sophie loves marshmallows. I believe they are her favorite food. The cupcake was really just a giant blob of marshmallow—and I thought that would be a dream come true for Sophie.

But Kris didn’t think Sophie was impressed enough by the marshmallow cupcake. And she didn’t think Sophie was sufficiently appreciative of the fact that she, Kris, was offering to buy Sophie an entire shopping basket full of red glitter and doilies and stickers and gems so that she and Kris could make homemade Valentines together.

“Sophie,” Bun was saying, “you don’t know how good you have it.”

And then we started laughing about how cheap Mom was in the ‘70s. She’d make you give out these old, crappy, embarrassing Valentines that she’d bought at T G & Y for 25 cents and been stockpiling for years.

Bunny said, trying to remember, “They were almost vintage, right? But not in a neat way. They were just really old and almost discolored. . . .”

“Yeah,” Kris smiled. “Kind of yellow.”

“You could always tell our family's Valentines,” I laughed. “They kind of stood out. All the other kids' Valentines were really high quality—you know, printed on really nice card stock. And maybe they’d reference some bit of current pop culture. You know, Star Wars or something. But not ours.”

“You never got to go shopping and pick out your own Valentines,” Bun reminisced. “You’d just have to go get a box out of that drawer. . . .”

And Kris and I started laughing, because of course we remembered “that drawer.” It was a drawer in Mom’s dresser. And in addition to Valentines, it contained really cheap, terrible, embarrassing presents that you could bring to birthday parties—like, for example, a box of really boring adult stationery with no adornment except for a really staid stripe. (I still remember the red sale sticker on the box that said “25 cents.”)

Sophie couldn’t relate at all. She always gets to pick out her own Valentines. In fact, while we were at CVS she ended up picking out a pack of Valentines with wacky dog pictures on them to give out to her classmates.

“You're sure you like those better than these cute kitten ones?” I asked, holding up a box featuring dreamy, soft-focus pictures of Persians.

“I like zany things,” Sophie explained, making a zany face.

“Well, I’ll have to remember that about you,” I said.

We went on to Quarter Moon, a cute little import shop in one of the little white stone cottages around Lake Ella. It was such a beautiful day, with sun sparkles everywhere. It was so freakishly warm! I felt giddy. I think Saturday was the one nice day we’ve had this winter. We looked around at Quarter Moon, breathing in the incense-scented air and trying on scarves and paraben-free perfumes and longing for sequin-covered maxi dresses (which were actually hanging outside, glittering in the sun).

And afterwards we spent some time playing around the lake. Sophie did handstands and insisted that we all balance on the big logs that serve as borders around the sandy parking lot. I took pictures of Sophie and Bunny and Kris using the logs as a balance beam, and the pictures were so pretty because there were bubbles of light everywhere and the ladies were all wearing blue and they were lined up one after another on the logs, all laughing. And Sophie was dancing. And Kris was falling. I got some really good pictures, but I can't post them or Bunny will get mad. She's very private.

Sophie has taken dance classes since she was three, and she's really good at dancing. She's taking a hip-hop class right now. And Kris will always say, "Hey Sophie, why don't you break it down for us?" And sometimes if we're very, very lucky, Sophie will. Well, she broke it down for us on on the bright green lawn near Lake Ella. She was dancing in the sun sparkles. There were sparkles everywhere, as if the sun were a huge mirrored disco ball. And it was such a beautiful, funny moment. Sophie was making the most hilarious boogying faces; she's a born entertainer.

We went to Black Dog Cafe, a little place on the edge of the lake; it's a coffee shop in an old airy white wooden cracker house. We ordered a whole bunch of fancy drinks--grapefruit sodas and Cokes and a peach smoothie, and then we sat on a bench by the lake in the dazzling light to drink them.

Bunny was telling us about her chickens, Mable and Myrtle. (She used to have other chickens, but they turned out to be roosters, which aren't really suited to city living, so she had to trade them for Mable and Myrtle.) “Mable’s crazy,” Bunny said. “She has all these feathers on her feet. She looks crazy and she acts crazy. She’s totally high maintenance. She’s like Lexi in chicken form.”

(Lexi is Bunny's drama-queen cat.)

Bunny also told a funny story about Lexi. “Lexi hates to be cold,” Bunny said. “So lately Matt has started wrapping her up in a blanket and holding her like a baby on the couch. And the other day Lexi fell asleep in the blanket, but she forgot to put her tongue in. She was lying there for hours swaddled in a blanket with her tongue out! It was so stupid.”

Oh, here’s another funny story Bunny told. She was in fourth grade, and our neighbor, Gwyneth, invited all the little kids in the neighborhood to go to the movies. Gwyneth was about a year older than Bunny. “And Gwyneth was acting really teen-ish,” Bun said. “So I wanted to try to be big too. So I wore my most teen-ish shirt. It was a white T-shirt with . . . a unicorn iron-on. . . .”

We all burst into giggles.

“And I wore clip-on earrings,” Bun continued, giggling more. “I think they were Mom’s pearl ones. . . .”

Oh, I just loved it. Bunny was trying to look like a cool teen, but she was dressed kind of like a baby and kind of like a little old lady.  

We went to Target next, and we were there for literally three hours. As Mom said later, "Well, I hear you explored every corner of Target!" 

We really did. We had so much fun. We had too much fun. We were hula-hooping in the aisles, and bouncing bouncy balls. Bunny was jumping rope. And we were laughing and laughing. And Sophie was telling us to "shet up."

 We (the adults) kept accidentally bouncing bouncy balls into the paths of other shoppers and then blaming it on Sophie. "Sophie!" we'd scold. And she'd narrow her eyes at us.

The main reason we went to Target was to check out the store's selection of Liv dolls. It was quite impressive. We had so much fun debating which dolls were the prettiest and deciding whose dress was the prettiest. We were being really obnoxious in our debates, taking up the whole aisle. And we were being so dumb, saying, "Look how pretty she is!" And: "Yeah, but look how pretty she is."

We were talking Liv dolls like crazy. At one point Sophie informed us, rolling her eyes, "There's a boy doll now. But they don't have him here. His name is Jake, and he is so ugly. I hate him."

"Yeah," I said, "but you should get him because he could cause a lot of trouble and create a lot of drama in your games. He could always be asking the girls out and they could be freaking."

"No," Sophie said, implacably. "I'm not getting him."

But Sophie did actually pick out some presents for herself--wigs and dresses and accessories and all kinds of other fun Liv doll stuff.

Kris got Sophie and Jake each a hula hoop, too, and Bun picked out a jump rope for herself. And then we hung out in the Valentine aisle for at least an hour. We thoroughly explored the stationery aisle too, and Sophie picked out a little bento box full of sushi-print stationery.

"Will you send me a letter on your stationery?" I teased Sophie. "Or are you going to be like Fenna?"

"Sophie is very often like Fenna," Kris said, rolling her eyes.

Let me explain. Fenna was Kris and my favorite teddy bear when we were kids. She was a real character. She was kind of greedy, and she liked to write letters to her friends, but she would never send the letters because she didn't want to give away her stationery; she wanted to keep it all for herself.

"I'm going to be like Fenna," Sophie giggled.

Oh well, I would be too; that sushi stationery was too cute.

. . . And I'll wrap up the story tomorrow. . . .


  1. Hey,Les, it's Sophie.How come you didn't say what i got from Target?!Guess what!I just retruned Draculra and got a new one !Nw you can come play LIV dolls and Monster High dolls!

  2. Oh, I got a comment from my very favorite person! How awesome. I can't wait to play. Let's do it on Saturday!