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COME AS YOU ARE PARTY

Sandra Pugh

Unless you were a little girl growing up in the 50’s or early 60’s, you may not know the meaning of the “Come as You Are Party”.  I’ll take you along to one of the parties held at my house when I was in the 6th grade.

It is 6:15 on a Saturday morning; I would usually sleep until 10:00, but not on this morning. I have dressed and combed my hair and I am ready to go. It is a special day that only my Mom and I know about. In a few minutes we will head out and kidnap all the guests and bring them back to our house for the party.

Mom has been up since 5:30 to get the cinnamon rolls ready for the oven. Her (homemade) dough, which can stay in the fridge for days, is ready to be made into the rolls. She makes the rolls while I am dressing and places them in the pan to rise.

We head out on a route that will take us around the town to pick up the girls and then a few that lives on the edge of town and bring them back to the house for the party. The first stop is my best girlfriend Beckie’s house. I get out of the car and go up to the door.

When her mother answers the door I hold my finger to my lips and she immediately knows what is going on. Then I sneak into my girlfriend’s room and pounce on the bed to wake her up. She squeals and comes up swinging, but when she sees me she is immediately awake and knows exactly why I am there.

She is wearing little cotton baby doll pajamas that are white with little pink flowers on them. On each of the narrow shoulder straps is a ruffle with lace on the edge.  Around the bottom of the short baby doll top is another ruffle edged with the lace. The short bottoms are gathered at the leg openings with a little ruffle and the same lace around the edge as the top.

Her thick dark blonde hair is standing out all over her head and she looks like a tousled Shirley Temple. I tell her to get up and brush her teeth, and follow her into the bathroom to be sure she does not brush her hair.

We leave the house and hurry to the car so the neighbors won’t see her in the baby doll pajamas and get into the front seat with my Mom. We drive to the next house and I go to the door again. I always go in alone to kidnap each guest for the party.

The second girlfriend is sleeping in a long t-shirt that must have belonged to her dad because it is large enough for the both of us to get into. When she is dragged from her bed and brought to the car the oversized t-shirt hits her below her knees and looks like a dress. Her slightly curly red hair isn’t looking any better than Beckie’s and is a tousled mess.

The third girl is wearing long pajamas that have teddy bears all over them and have been her favorite for a several years. The long sleeves are too short, almost ¾ sleeves, and the pants fit like high water pants, they are about 4 inches above the ankle. After she is dragged from her bed she is brought to the car with brush rollers still in her hair and a glazed look in her eyes. This scene is repeated over and over.

Of the 13 girls in my class only 8 live close enough for us to pick up for the party. Once the 8 have been kidnapped it is time to go back to our house so Mom can bake the cinnamon rolls for our breakfast.

By the time we arrive back at the house my Dad has eaten his breakfast and conveniently escaped to work to avoid all the commotion that is to come. We burst into the house in all our barefoot and pajama glory, everyone is giggling and trying to talk at once. It is not the first time we have had one of these parties and everyone loves them even though it is a rude awakening when you are not the one having the party.

We play 45 records on my little blue record player and talk about movie stars and gossip about the kids in school until my Mom has the rolls baked and the juice ready for our breakfast.

After breakfast we play some games and talk and giggle some more and finally at 10:00, when we would normally be getting out of bed, we load up the station wagon again and deliver the girls back to their homes.

The girls in my class really enjoyed these early morning parties, if not the wake up call. It was almost as much fun as the slumber(less) parties that we had every month. But at least at the come as you are party we didn’t have the chance to get into trouble.

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