Knowing the truth went beyond skipping. Debbie held her grade six party in her recroom ("It cost my dad ten thousand dollars to remodel it and he had the money!") and her older sister Pamela held dancing contests, which mostly meant she smoked out the tiny sliding window and chose Julie Kazer who took jazz dancing on Saturdays at the community center.
Debbie was a good dancer, too,
but couldn't really expect her own sister to pick her at her own birthday
party, so I would say things like,
"You're such a great dancer, Debbie, really, you should win," and even
in grade six she had a fantastic hair flip thing she'd do and her
hair was like Golden Curling Hair Barbie and she would spin away
and ignore me. I decided, then, that I was the type of girl who was
better at watching other girls dancing than
dancing myself. I ask myself now, do I look weird, there in the recroom,
as I put my hands to my sides in defeat, no chance of winning this contest,
feet barely shifting on the floor, moonily staring at Debbie Briggs?
What does the terribly sophisticated Pamela --
now in high school, French inhaling in my direction -- think when
she hears me say to her little sister, "No, really, you're the best
dancer here. And