The Right Belt
I spent the very first day of the simmer between seventh and eighth grade with my four best friends: Maria, Gabrielle, Casey, and Emma. It was a day I will never forget. It started off as just a day of swimming and eating because that’s what we planned on doing all summer long. But then on our way back to my house, from the neighborhood pool, we ran into my neighbor, Gage. He was more than happy to see us and invited us to play ping pong with him in his garage.
Halfway into one of the ping pong games, I gave up because I’m a sore loser and I stink at ping pong. So I decided to learn how to ride a rip-stick, which Gage has five of. As I was wobbling down the driveway, the weirdest thing happened. My good friend Kelby’s mom pulled up and yelled out the window of her truck, “Hey girls! Do y’all want to go to the fair tonight?!” we were all so shocked to see her here that it took a while for us to respond. But soon enough we all ran over to her truck with the unanimous answer yes. Within 20 minutes we had all of the details and arrangements all figured out for the fair that night. I was riding with Gabby, Casey was riding with Emma, and Maria was riding with Kelby. So for the first time of many, we four girls walked along Verot School Road and through the Cracker Barrel gas station to Maria’s house to get ready for the fair. Little did I know that at Maria’s I would find out something so stupid and funny about myself that my friends and I would laugh about it for years to come.
When we arrived at Maria’s house we all had the same thought in our heads, “I’m hungry, and sweaty, and I need to take a shower!” After we all ate ramen noodles I jumped in one shower while Casey jumped in the other. I always take super long showers, so of course, Casey was done before me. I dried off and started changing in the bathroom before going into Maria’s room to do my hair and make-up with Casey. I was all ready except for my shoes, make-up, hair, and belt. I went into Maria’s room and started on my hair with Casey. We talked about our plans for the night and I told her I didn’t care what rides we rode as long as I get a funnel cake. When we were done with our hair and make-up I slipped on my little, grey Keds and started putting on my belt, and just as I passed it through the second loop, I heard Casey yell, “What are you doing?!”
Bewildered I asked, “What do you mean? I’m putting on my belt.”
“You’re putting it on to the right! Nobody does that! Everyone puts it on to the left,” she laughed. “See . . . ?” she pointed at her own belt.
“Well we’ll just see what Maria, Emma, and Gabby have to say about that,” I said indignantly and almost as if on cue, all three of them walked in from the kitchen, still smelling like the popcorn they had been eating while Casey and I were getting ready.
“Hey guys,” Maria said. “What’s up?”
“Maria, PLEASE tell Maddy that she’s a retard for putting her belt on to the right because everybody puts theirs on to the left,” Casey said. Maria, Emma, and Gabby all just stared at my belt for a moment and then cracked up laughing. This went on for quite a while, but then eventually everyone agreed that they were right and I was wrong, belts are supposed to go on to the left.
Later that night, at the fair, just after we all got off the Remix, Marie said with a little smile on her face, “Hey guys, I just got an idea.” Next thing we knew, she was running up to a large group of high school guys and before we could stop her, she asked them how they put on their belts, to the right or left. The rest of us were completely astounded, but then after seeing their puzzled expressions, we couldn’t help but burst out laughing. To our surprise, a moment later they actually answered her question: to the left. Without hesitation, Casey hollered, “Ohhh! Burn! In your face, Maddy!”
As we walked away Gabby put her arm around me and said, “Now Maddy, what have you learned today?”
“Belts go on to the left not the right,” I replied sadly, feeling totally defeated as we headed toward the funnel cake stand.