I have been Erica and Olivia’s step-mother for 8 years now and there are a couple of things I have come to know about them. One of the things I know is that the girls are fascinated with the supernatural, and Olivia in particular, loves scary things. For a while now Olivia has wanted a ouija board. She asked for one for Christmas but her dad and I refused to get her one. (Something about wanting a device to communicate with ghosts and the celebration of Christ’s birth really didn’t sit well with us.) Anyway, Olivia’s Christmas wish was recently fulfilled when she received an ouija board from a friend. It is the Milton Bradley game version, but it is a ouija board nonetheless.
The second thing I have come to learn about the girls is that they do not like to share. They do not share anything, clothes, electronics, even food. Sharing is simply not part of their culture. Rather, the girls “trade.” And the trade doesn’t happen unless it is the result of a hard-fought negotiation that works out to the advantage of each girl.
Another thing I have learned over the last 8 years, while my kids have attended catholic school, is that every February, the school has spirit week. Spirit week is part of Catholic schools week. During Spirit Week the kids dress up in a particular theme. For catholic school kids this is big fun, since it means they don’t have to wear their school uniform and the theme usually involves some kind of fun activity for the day. So what is the point of me knowing these things about Olivia, Erica and Spirit Week at catholic school? I am glad you asked.
This morning Erica was taking an unusually long time to get ready. When she emerged from her bedroom she was dressed in bright purple sweater, turquoise tennis shoes, and she had her hair done up into two lopsided ponytails. I thought about telling her that her ponytails were crooked, but we were so late already I decided against it. Erica also came out carrying a big shopping bag with another sweater stuffed on top. Our conversation on the drive to school went something like this:
Me: What’s in the bag?
E: My lunch and supplies.
Me: Really? What kind of supplies?
E: Stuff for spirit week.
Me: Oh. What kind of stuff.
Me: What is today’s theme for spirit week?
E: Wacky Wednesday.
Me: Oh. So that explains the lopsided ponytails, and colorful clothing. (But wait, why did she need a second sweater?)
Me: Why do you have a sweater on top of that bag?
E: I might need it. (From the girl who will wear a tank top in cold, rainy weather.)
Me: What’s really in the bag?
Me: You might as well tell me what’s in the bag because I am going to look inside anyway.
E: It’s a ouija board.
Me: Olivia’s ouija board?
E: Yes. She told me I could take it to school.
Me: Really. Olivia let you take her ouija board? And you think it’s a good idea to bring a ouija board to catholic school?
I made her leave the ouija board in the car. She’ll have to participate in Wacky Wednesday without a oujia board. Tomorrow it’s Letter day. Erica’s letter is Q. She’s going dressed as a question mark. Sigh.