I was in the Sixth Grade the first time I was invited to a proper pre-teen party. Becky and Mary Katherine – the two coolest girls in my class – had joined forces and invited what seemed to be everyone they knew in town who was generally our age.
Thinking back, I now suspect the entire party was a ruse on Becky’s and Mary Katherine’s parts to get a particular boy from another school into a social setting where flirting and banter could happen, although I could be completely wrong.
The fact that the hostesses were about 200 rungs above me on the social ladder didn’t stop them from inviting me to their epic soiree, bless them. They did, after all, invite pretty much everyone in our grade – they were nice girls and not keen to exclude anyone, not even the dorks like me.
As I remember it, I happened to be sitting next to Becky when the boy in question arrived. (You might have seen Becky – she’s an actress now. She was then and remains today a talented gal. Seriously, check out her bio. She’s been in some cool movies, plays and TV shows.)
As the boy made his way to the snacks table, Becky turned to me all atwitter.
“Oh. My. Gosh. That Guy is wearing loafers with – No. Socks.”
Becky’s dramatic pre-teen expression was one I could interpret two ways. Either she was enormously impressed that The Guy was wearing loafers with no socks, or else she was completely disgusted.
My first instinct was to ask, “Is that good?”, but for no reason that now makes sense, I stopped myself from announcing how socially inept I was. Instead, I did my best to mimic the Becky’s expression – which was either completely shocked or astounded with praise. Either way, I appeared openly dumbfounded.
“Oh. My. Gosh,” I gushed. “Are you, like, serious??? No WAY!!!”
“No, seriously,” she said, eyes wide.
“I totally Can’t! Believe! That!” I replied, hoping my profound disbelief would be enough. A moment later, Becky found a reason to chat with The Guy and I lost track of them.
I’m pretty sure Becky was enormously impressed with The Guy, that he probably rocked her twelve-year-old world. But loafers with no socks? The look du jour or fashion crime? To this day, I still don’t know.