• Caren

seventh grade is dangerous


"i'm not going to be friends with a slut, either," says a girl to her two friends. i am reading a book, a.k.a. flipping pages and dropping some serious eaves. "she texted me but i don't want to deal with her anymore."

"so you're not going to text her back?"

"no! i'm like, leave me alone already!" she delivers the line admirably. light-hearted snottiness. one friend giggles appreciatively

the other friend tilts her head back and twists a strand of her hair. "yeah, well, next year is going to be crazy."

they all sigh. and nod. someone says, "seventh grade is dangerous."

yet again, life proves better than television. i'm so glad i'm around to watch it.

a couple years ago, the librarian would've had a cow. nowadays, librarians only venom-whisper at boys with skateboards and people who use the catalog computers to IM. pre-teens in hollister training bras have immunity.

the munchkins are now talking about kissing and boyfriends, approaching the two topics with such expertise that i'm both put off and a little jealous. one of them rolls her eyes back and lets her tongue hang out, an imitation of something either seen on tv or, let's face reality, experienced behind the school dumpster. her midget friends laugh.

"no, not yet," one says.

"why not?" they demand.

"i dunno. he has to do something for me, first."

"like what? buy you cheetos?"

she considers. "i don't really like cheetos."

to my disappointment, the conversation dies there as barbie's kid sisters gather their backpacks and leave. and even though i haven't looked up this whole time, all my attention is fixed on these smallish alien creatures who dress and talk like people. like real, live, people.

take the cheetos, girl. take 'em and run.