Is there anything in the world more glorious than a sleepover?
If there is, seven-year-old Keeley Masterson sure would like to know what, because as far as she’s concerned being invited to a classmate’s house for a sleepover is the end all-be all in a young girl’s life. First off, no one’s mother is going to let her daughter invite all of the girls in the class. There simply isn’t enough room in any house, or enough patience in a mother’s psyche for that kind of mayhem. To have been one of the chosen few must have meant that Keeley rated high on the coolness scale! Secondly, Keeley’s older sister had gone to at least four sleepovers already and had always refused to share any of the details with her. Obviously, big things must happen at these events, mysterious things, life changing things.
“I wonder what life changing thing will happen at Sienna’s tonight?” Keeley wondered as she rang the doorbell of her classmate’s house. “Maybe Justin Bieber will show up! Mr. and Mrs. Park seem rich enough to pull that off.”
Dear, sweet, naive Keeley. If only life were that simple. Justin would not end up making a special appearance at Sienna’s sleepover. However, by the time the night was through she would receive her first lesson in what it meant to be a woman.
The first few hours went by like every other sleepover in history has: there was pizza, sugary treats, soda pop, and one movie after another.
“Huh,” Keeley said to herself. “My family does this sort of thing all the time. Maybe sleepovers aren’t such a big deal.”
Then a game of Truth, Dare, Double Dare, Promise to Repeat got underway. That’s when the real fun started. Keeley was the first to be put on the spot.
“Truth, dare, double dare, promise to repeat,” Sienna said to Keeley.
“Dare,” Keeley answered.
“I dare you to go into my mother’s bathroom and put on her foot lotion,” her hostess then said.
“What kind of dare is that? My Mom has foot lotion she uses all the time.”
“Not on her face, though.”
What???? Was Sienna serious? Did she actually expect Keeley to put foot lotion on her face? Surely something made to smooth out calluses couldn’t be good for something as delicate as the face. What if it made her nose fall off? But, the dare had been put out and if Keeley didn’t follow through everyone would hear about it at school on Monday.
“Fine, I’ll do it,” a tough sounding Keeley said.
“Ohhhhhh!!!!” the other girls said.
A few minutes later, while Sienna’s mother was busy in the kitchen cleaning up, the girls opened up Mrs. Park’s medicine cabinet. Awaiting them was more than just a bottle of foot lotion, though. Spread before them was every possible lotion known to the universe. Foot lotion, hand lotion, eyelid lotion, under eye lotion, elbow lotion, fingernail lotion, body lotion…it went on and on.
Bravely, Keeley reached for the bottle of foot lotion and applied it to her face. Then she waited. She waited for her nose to fall off. She waited for her face to sprout toes. She waited for the urge to walk upside down to takeover. Nothing happened.
“See, no big deal!” Keeley said to the other girls who were waiting for the exact same disasters Keeley had been waiting for to happen.
“It’s only been a minute,” Sienna said. “Let’s wait longer.”
“Okay, but now it’s my turn,” Keeley said. “Sienna, I Double Dare you to put your Mom’s elbow lotion on your bum.”
“You’re supposed to give me the option: Truth, dare, double dare, promise to repeat. I pick ‘promise to repeat’,” a defiant Sienna said.
“Why? Afraid of a dare, are we?” a now even braver Keeley asked.
“No, it’s just…oh alright, give me the elbow lotion!”
“Do you think she’ll start growing an elbow out of her butt?” one of the other girls asked.
Sienna did not grow an elbow out of her butt. Steeled by that lack of disaster, the rest of the girls started to put on Mrs. Park’s other lotions in places for which they supposedly weren’t designed. Hand lotion went on feet, fingernail lotion went on elbows, face lotion went around the eyes. When they were done, no one felt any differently. Their skin felt softer, but otherwise everything was the same.
“How come your Mom uses all of these different lotions when they all seem to do the same thing?” Keeley asked Sienna.
“I asked her once why she had so many bottles. She said that it was just part of being a woman.”
“I don’t know if I want to be woman,” Keeley said. “It seems like a lot of work.”
That it is Keeley. That it is.