Gasp, an update! This has undoubtedly been my busiest year EVER so far. Between getting married, switching doctors, working extra at the radio station, and preparing for a honeymoon in Europe next month, I've ... well, neglected my blog(s) more than usual. So I MUST take advantage of this free moment to give you more old-school Lisa and the Angels (before they were rock stars!).
Unfortunately, this segment isn't nearly as classic as the one coming up after it -- it's pretty much all outfits and one-sided phone calls. Well, I guess the outfits make it slightly more entertaining, particularly Stacie's bizarre reaction to Cyndi's all-white get-up in Chapter Nine... but still.
My days were long and boring and restless.
(Poor, poor Cyndi. That opening really makes me want to continue reading, by the way.)
One day, the phone rang.
(And here it gets even more fascinating...)
"Hi, this is Cyndi ... Carrie! ... Out for the day? Wonderful! Great! ... Sure ... Bye!!!"
(In case you couldn't tell, since it's so clear, I'm pretty sure Carrie just told Cyndi over the phone that Mean Aunt Josephine was out for the day, then invited her over.)
I ran to Carrie's.
"Hi, Cyndi! Am I glad to see you!"
I stared at Carrie. She was wearing some long, baggy blue pants and a flowered blouse. Her hair was messy. Her face was pale, and her cheeks were kind of sunken. She looked quite thin.
("Hot." I was a little obsessed with the image of "sunken cheeks" back then; don't ask me why. Was that in a Sweet Valley book?)
"When was the last time you drank water?"
"When was the last time you ate?"
It was Saturday.
"She's not even your mom! (what, starving Carrie would be okay if Josephine was her mom?) She can't do that! I'm telling!"
"Why? Does she beat you?"
(Wow! Blunt, aren't we, Cyndi?)
"No. It's just that... well, I'm afraid she will."
"Carrie, somebody's gotta tell, or you'll die of starvation ... and humiliation!" I looked at her clothes. "You look like an old lady!"
(And ever so sympathetic, too. I should note here that Carrie's "baggy"-blue-pants-and-flowered-blouse outfit was directly inspired by one of my then-teacher's regular getups. My teacher was about 67. Her pants -- which, by the way, were navy blue -- actually fit her, seeing as she wasn't being starved, like poor Carrie ... at least, not to the best of my knowledge.)
"I know ... but, Cyndi, don't tell! She feeds me every two or three days. And she feeds me eggs and bagels then. She'll feed me today. I know she will."
I looked doubtful.
"Cyndi, I won't be able to trust you if you tell."
"I won't tell! Now, before your parents died, how much did you weigh?"
Carrie glared at me. "Seventy-six!"
"How much are you now?"
"That's six pounds, Carrie. Six pounds!"
"Leave me alone!"
"What did you eat last?"
"A jellybean, now leave ... me ... ALONE!"
(One jellybean? What happened to the eggs and bagels?)
"Fine! I'll just go tell!"
"Fine! I knew you didn't care!"
"I do care! And goodbye!" I ran outside.
"Good riddance!" I heard Carrie scream.
I burst into tears. Nothing was going right! I lost one friend (maybe two, if Blackey dies).
I couldn't wait until ... well, probably Racquelle would heal first. So I couldn't wait for her to get better!
(Yes, I remember describing Lisa, Kathy, and Racquelle's gratuitous injuries to my dad and asking him which would heal first, and he told me a "damaged bicep" would probably heal the fastest. Lisa had a "crushed leg", you may recall, and Kathy had some head injury that had her near death. Of course, all three of them are fine before the end of this story.)
I woke up and put on a very short bleached jean skirt, and a big baggy bright-colored sweater. Then I put on some white nylons and denim flats. I put a denim bow in my hair.
(Cyndi, you fashion plate! I wonder if her denim flats and bow are also "bleached.")
Hmm, what should I do today? I know! I'll call radio stations!
I dialed a number.
"Hello, WSVW, where are you calling from?"
"And how old are you?"
"What may I do for you?"
"Could you play 'I Think We're Alone Now'?"
"I'll sure try."
"Thanks for calling, bye."
(I don't doubt that would be Tiffany's version of that song Cyndi requested, not Tommy James and the Shondells'. Oh... my siblings and I used to call radio stations all the time, and the deejays at one of them always asked us how old we were. At the time, I figured they kept some sort of age tally, but like they weren't just humoring the little brats that were bugging them during their shift.)
I dialed another number. 555-WNLS.
"Hello, WNLS, this is Rob."
"Can you play 'I Get Around'?"
(She might not know Tommy James and the Shondells, but Cyndi probably would know "I Get Around", even though it's an "oldie" -- this was written right around the time that "Kokomo" was a huge hit, and the Beach Boys were on every other episode of Full House.)
"Hello, WROR, who is this?"
"My name is Cynthia Marie Wellman."
"And what may I do for you?"
"Can you play ... 'Don't Rush Me'?"
"We'll play that right now."
530-2020. "Hello, WCON, you're on the radio."
"Can you play 'In the Darkness'?"
Oh, my gosh! I was on the radio!
(Hate to burst your bubble, Cyndi, but I don't think they're going to use your sound bite; I had to google "In the Darkness" to find out what it even was, and now vaguely remember it as the B-side to the aforementioned Taylor Dayne hit "Don't Rush Me." B-sides, just what most radio stations love...)
1-800-321-4040. "Hello, WNDY, country music."
"Oh, um ... could you play 'Daddy's Hands'?"
"'Daddy's Hands' ... I'll sure try."
("Daddy's Hands" was the only country song I "knew" back then; I didn't even really know it, but knew the chorus from some Tife Life classic country infomercial. My sister and I thought it was utterly dorky and would sometimes sing it out loud in mocking voices.)
This day was going okay. I decided to call the three hospital girls. You could only call one a day. I would disguise my voice for Kathy and Lisa.
(Don't ask me where I came up with that rule for a hospital ... and btw, this has almost as much to do with the rest of the story as the radio station phone calls.)
"Hello, may I please speak to Racquelle Arlington?"
"Yes, you may."
"Hi! ... (Who is this?! says Racquelle...) Cyndi! How're you doing? ... Is your arm okay? ... Guess what ... Carrie, well, don't tell anyone, but ..." (I lowered my voice.) "She's being starved. She weighs seventy pounds! But we're in a fight! ... Yeah ... yeah, bye!"
I waited for two minutes. Then I pressed re-dial. "Cen I pleeze tok to Leeza McOrrill?"
"Yes, but she doesn't have her wheelchair yet, so you'll have to call her bed number."
"Whoot iz thot?"
(Zzzz. What an annoying "accent.")
I dialed the number. "Hi, Lisa! ... Cyndi! Is your leg okay? ... Oh, that's too bad! Guess what ... Carrie's being starved! ... I know! And Blackey's sick ... I know. Well, bye!"
I waited for two more minutes. Then I pressed re-dial again. "Hi-eee!" (My voice sounded like a little kid's.) "Can I pweeze talk to Kaffy Bew?"
"But you'll have to call her bed number."
"Which is what?"
"Okay. Fank you."
I dialed the number. "Hi, Kathy! It's Cyndi! ... Perfect! Well, bored! Carrie's being starved! And Blackey's sick! ... Racquelle's your room-mate? Oh! Can I talk to her? ... Thanks!... Hi, Racquelle! ... I forgot to tell you something ... Blackey's sick. Really sick (You dragged her back to the phone for that?! Depressing much?!) ... I know. Bye ... Hi, Kath! ... Okay. Bye!"
I sighed. My friends were still in the hospital (Blackey, too). (I guess a vet is a "hospital.") And I lost one. Things were horrible. Just horrible!
One day, the phone rang.
(My writing skills here just astound me.)
"Hello ... Animal C-care's V-vet? ... Yes, this is the Wellmans' ... My dog! Nice and healthy?! Yippee! ... Soon, oh, soon! ... Bye!!!"
Blackey was better!!!
I put on a pair of tight blue jeans with five dark blue bows up the sides and a light blue International News sweater. Then I put a dark blue bow in my hair. Then I put on some white socks and some dark blue Keds.
(A true late 80s ensemble ... though five bows on her jeans sounds a bit much.)
"Mom, Dad! Blackey's better!"
"Oh, that's great, honey!" said Mom.
"Lucky thing it's Saturday," said Dad. School was resuming on Monday.
(No kidding, school resumes on a Monday? What a weird response from Daddy Wellman...)
"C'mon!" I said.
We drove to the vet.
"Hi," said Dr. Robinson.
"Hi," I said. She walked into a room and came out carrying Blackey!
(That's some fast service!)
"Oh, oh, Blackey!" I grabbed him and hugged him. Mom smiled at Dad. (Snicker.)
"Come on, Cyndi," said Dad.
"Okay!" We drove home.
"Honey?" Dad asked.
"Not you, dear. Shari."
(I think this is the only time Mrs. Wellman is referred to as "Shari"; normally, she's Sharon. Aww, Mr. Wellman has a nickname for her.)
("Git into that kitchen and make me supper!")
Mom walked downstairs.
"I brought home a list of baby names."
"Oh, good! I like Jeremy," said Mom.
"What does it mean?" I asked.
"God will uplift."
"God will uplift."
I shrugged. "What does my name mean?"
(SNORE! Obviously, I'd been looking at my Names, Names, Names book the day I wrote this.)
"Yes. I like Abigail," said Dad.
"Ew," said Mom.
"What about Candace?" I asked. I love the name Candace. Candace Reneé Wellman. Candy Reneé sounds better.
(If you say so, Cyndi.)
"Candace. Nice name," said Dad.
"I like Sara without an 'h'," said Mom.
"What does it mean?" I asked.
I didn't want a sister going around acting like a princess.
(So that's how Sara Crewe got her name! But, relax, "Moon", most people aren't living embodiments of their names. For example, I don't go around acting like a palm tree.)
"I like Emily," said Dad.
"Emily," repeated Mom.
"So," said Dad. "If it's a girl, it will be Candace, Sara, or Emily."
"I like Brian or Dave Jr.," said Mom.
"So if it's a boy," said Dad. "We'll name it Jeremy, Brian, or Dave Jr."
"So," I said, "it will be Jeremy, Candace, Brian, Sara, Dave, or Emily."
(That's what he just said!)
"Right," said Mom.
One day, I woke up and put on a pair of black stretch pants, a yellow T-shirt, yellow push-downs, and black high-tops. Then I put a black bow in my hair.
(Cyndi sounds like a bee.)
"Hello ... Racquelle! Hi! Where are you? ... Home! You're back? ... Oh, good! I'm coming over! Bye!"
I ran to Racquelle's house.
"Hi!" said Racquelle.
"Hi!" I said.
"Believe it or not, he's better!"
"Oh, that's great!"
"Dunno. We're in a fight."
"Oh, that's right!"
(Isn't Cyndi going to ask Racquelle how she is? Doesn't she care about her bicep?)
"Hello ... This is she ... Hi, Carrie! ... Sure! ... Bye!"
(I guess Racquelle is too busy talking on the phone...)
"Cyndi, come with me!"
We walked to Carrie's.
"Hey! No fair!"
We walked inside.
"Racquelle? Is that you?"
Carrie ran downstairs. "RACQUELLE!"
"I didn't tell you to bring her along!"
(Er, who said that? Racquelle or Cyndi?)
Carrie groaned. It was obvious she didn't want to apologize. But reluctantly, she did. "Sorry, Cyndi."
"I forgive you."
"Come on up!" We ran upstairs.
"Carrie, how much are you?" asked Racquelle.
"Please don't ask! Anyway, I'm sixty-four."
"Sixty-four!!!" Racquelle and I said in unison.
"Um, let's not fight," I said.
"Yeah," they agreed.
(So, in case you're keeping track, Carrie is now down 12 lbs!!! Will she waste away before our very eyes??? It's actually more than that -- in Carrie and the Search for a Friend, Carrie reveals that she downplayed the weight loss from her starvation. Why, I don't know... but she's probably really about 52 lbs now!!!! On that dramatic note, this chapter comes to a close, but I'll leave you with one more...)
One day, I woke up and put on a pair of white stretch pants, a baggy white T-shirt, a white bow, white socks, and white flats. Then I ran outside. Stacie was there.
I forgot all about her!
"You!" said Stacie.
I made a face.
(It's a wonder Stacie didn't take to her.)
"Cyndi Wellman, dressed in white! Had a little ball tonight! No one came but Pill Bug Shame, and he danced with her in the light!"
(Now, I'm with Cyndi here ... what in the world? Just, WHAT?)
"You're a weirdo!"
"Hmmm!" Stacie ran inside.
I laughed. Stacia Barnes sure was strange!
"Hello ... Lisa! Oh, you're better ... But you're still home! ... Blackey's better! And Carrie's losing weight, but she's okay ... I know ... Bye!"
Lisa was back! I ran to her house. She didn't tell me to, but ...
I rang the bell. Mrs. McOrrill answered. "Oh, hi, Cyndi!"
"Come on in."
"Okay." I walked in. Then I ran upstairs. Lisa was in a wheelchair.
"Oh, hi, Cyndi!"
(Ha; Lisa's totally being sarcastic here.)
I giggled. "What'cha doing?"
"In your wheelchair?"
"You could read in bed."
(What, Cyndi's telling her friends where to read now? Nothing in this story has rhyme or reason...)
"I know, but Mom said not to."
"What'da you wanna do?"
"Nah. I love reading, but I came over to, well ... do something. I can read anyday."
(So go somewhere else and let Lisa finish her book that she was in the middle of before you barged in. Jeez, Cyndi!)
"Then what can we do?"
"We can invite Racquelle and Carrie over, and we can talk."
"Oh, yeah ... Carrie's stupid aunt."
"Well, we'll invite Racquelle over!"
Soon, Racquelle was in Lisa's bedroom, with Lisa and I. "What do you wanna talk about?" asked Racquelle boredly.
"Don't know," I said.
(Boy, did these girls need their little singing group...)
"How 'bout Kathy and Carrie?" asked Lisa.
"Well, okay," said Racquelle.
"Yeah," I said. "How's Kathy?" I asked Racquelle.
"Well, I don't know why, but for two hours, she was in a coma. Then she got out, and they did something and bandaged up her head. She should've been out two days after she came, but her head is really bad. I don't know when she'll be back."
"How's Carrie?" asked Lisa.
"Well, her aunt makes her wear babyish clothes and study three hours and watch T.V. one hour. (The horror!) And she only feeds her every two days."
"Oooh," said Racquelle.
"I wish for the good old days back," said Lisa.
"Yeah, me, too," I said.
"Well," said Racquelle.
"Well," I said.
"Well," said Lisa.
"Well, what?" we asked in unison. Then we laughed.
(Even their gossip is horrendously dull.)
"Well, I guess I'd better go," I said.
"Me, too," said Racquelle.
"Bye," all three of us said in unison.
I ran downstairs, feeling good and bad. I had Racquelle. And Lisa. Carrie, too. But I was worried about Kathy. And Stacia Ann Barnes.
I put on a pair of baggy bleached jeans, a T-shirt that said You Are Looking At Perfection (there's a blatant rip-off if I ever saw one! hi, BSC!), and a bleached jean-vest (with "baggy bleached jeans"? Beyond hideous!). Then I put on some white socks and some blue Keds. I was going to Lisa's. Racquelle had just called and said that Kathy was home. So Kathy, Racquelle, and I were going to Lisa's.
I decided to call Carrie. 274-9820.
"Hi! It's Cyndi! ... Hi, Carrie ... Well, is your aunt home? ... Oh, that's too bad! Lisa, Racquelle, and Kathy are all back. We're going to Lisa's ... Sorry ... Okay ... Bye."
Well, Carrie wasn't coming. I ran to Lisa's.
"Hi, Cyndi!" said Lisa.
"Hi, Lisa! Hi, Racquelle! Hi, Kathy!" Racquelle and Kathy waved.
"Can't you guys talk?", I joked.
"They can," explained Lisa, "but Mary, Cheri, and Donald were telling them that they talked too much. And they went cuckoo and believed them!"
"You really did?" I asked. They nodded.
I rolled my eyes at Lisa, who giggled. "So what do you want to talk about, Lisa?"
"Do you have any ideas, Kathy or Racquelle?" They shook their heads.
"Gosh," I said. "When our baby comes, if she tells me I have... "
"The baby?!" screeched Lisa. Kathy's and Racquelle's eyes were wide as saucers.
"Oh, I think I forgot to tell you. My mom's having a baby."
"Oh, Cyndi," said Lisa. Kathy and Racquelle smiled. "What will it's name be?"
I sighed. "Jeremy, Candace, Brian, Sara, Dave, or Emily."
(You're probably asleep by now, anyway, but "sadly", I lost two pages of this masterpiece here. Fortunately, it picks up in a much more entertaining place -- Cyndi and Stacie are at war!)
-- two pages later --
... (do) something about Stacie. So far, although I didn't tell you, she had made me pay for five boxes of chocolates (I ate them, too), thrown dirt in my face, beat me up from behind (I'm not a weakling, it just sort of surprised me), and thrown a pie in my face. Plus, she acts like such a snob. Her nose is always in the air. And she always goes "Hmmm!" like an idiot.
(I love the cartoon violence -- Cyndi got suckerpunched! And she's possibly bulimic, if her five boxes of chocolates are any indication.)
I know! I'll do the exact same things to her.
(How very creative. Talk in the right tense.)
I dialed Markey's Chocolates' number. 535-2101.
"Hello, Markey's Chocolates. May I help you?"
"I'd like to order five boxes of chocolate drops."
"Cynthia Wellman." (Uh-oh.)
I gave him Stacie's address.
"Okay, I'll get them over there as soon as possible."
"Okay, thanks. Bye."
("Chocolate drops?" What kind of name is Markey'a Chocolates?)
I hung up the phone, and started to laugh. Stacie Barnes, watch out!
That's all for now, but their feud continues in the next chapter! Coming up ... Cyndi gets tied to a tree!!! Will she survive?