CRACKER COUNT AT THE BIRTHDAY PARTY

My neighbor Christine was turning six and I had been invited to her birthday party. I was about six and a half myself, and despite this maturity, I was nervous: I had already given Christine a birthday present (a set of fruit-flavored Lipsmackers), and didn't want to arrive to the fête empty-handed. After some deliberation, I selected a picture of Minnie Mouse from a coloring book my family owned and colored it with lots of purples and blues. 

Art in hand, I dashed over to my neighbor's house. A half dozen or so girls were seated in the main room, and I joined them after eagerly helping myself to a party cup of lemonade (I don't recall the color, but am thinking it was likely pink). The girls were all talking about their families, and one girl proudly declared of her father that, "he can fit three whole crackers in his mouth at a time". Not to be outdone, the birthday girl said her own father could fit five.

At this point, every other girl chimed in with the number of crackers they thought their fathers might be able to fit in their mouths. I remember not being very impressed, but wondering still if I should mention my own father. I figured my dad's mouth was probably not much bigger or smaller than any other father's mouth, but I hadn't ever really known him to be a big cracker-eater, so I decided to stay quiet.

(I remember going home after that and trying to catch my dad in the act. The next time we had chili for dinner I noted that he did eat a fair amount of crackers, but these were generally placed in his mouth one at a time and not all together.)

That particular birthday party ended with the traditional exchange of presents. I was embarrassed because I had only my Minnie Mouse art to offer, and I ran crying back to my own house. In my haste, I forgot the lemonade.

Juliette Faraone loves the American Girl books, macaroni and cheese, and putting her cats in doll clothes. She hates wearing socks with ruffles on them. Juliette is the founder and editor of CNCPT/LSBN and a staff writer for ScreenQueens. Her writing on women and film can be found here.