Party of 1 – Allie Schuldt

October 19, 2010: 6 years old

“Race you to the candy shop!” she yelled and burst into a sprint, shopping bags from American Girl Doll in hand. Our moms shouted from behind us to slow down but we weren’t listening, and soon their voices were swallowed by the noise of traffic in New York City.

“No way you can beat me!” I shrieked and pumped my legs faster and faster.

January 8, 2014: 9 years old

“Tuba!!” We yelled in sync at our extremely confused younger brothers as they collided on their way into the line for the ski lift and fell to the ground in a tangle of skis and poles. We smoothly made our way onto the lift seat and collapsed onto the metal bench in a fit of uncontrollable giggles as we watched the boys blame each other for the embarrassing incident.

“It’s your fault!”, they both yelled as they proceeded to sit on opposite sides of the lift seat. Our secret language was great for teasing the boys and getting them mad at us. What fun.

July 21, 2017: 12 years old

“Oh shoot.” I said slowly. “Now I don’t want to alarm anyone… but the oven may kinda be on fire?” The mess that was our cake covered the bottom of the oven and small parts of the cake batter had cooked, become over cooked, and lit up in flames.

“Allie!!”, she yelled from the dining room. I heard her running into the kitchen and braced myself for the lecture that was sure to come for my daily act of stupidity.

Flashback – August 30, 2008: 3 years old

I woke up to pink, pink, pink and slid out of bed and into my pink dress. I ran downstairs to get ready for my first day of Pre-K aka my first day of school. Ever. It was a big deal. Pink shoes? Check. Pink backpack? Check. Pink scrunchies for my platinum blond hair? Check. Pink lifestyle?

“Finally we’ll have a break from you!” Dad joked and I laughed. Charlie was bored and, being 2 years old, his brilliant boredom buster was bawling, so he transformed into a crying shrieking mess and mom dropped him in Dad’s arms and Dad kissed me goodbye. Mom carried me to the car, accompanied by rocket ship sound effects and dropped me in my seat.

When we got to the school, I got whooshed out of the car and set onto the ground. The school was beautiful, for someone who was into the “school look”. The white walls of the school reflected the sunlight and the scent of the freshly mowed grass from the soccer fields floated over the pavement. We walked through the glass double doors that were at least 5 times the size of me, and were ushered to the long hallway on the left by a tall lady with high heels and a pixie cut, who I would later learn to be Principal Fox-Santora. With her no-nonsense look and the way that as we walked down the hallway, some of the older kids that were running and talking loudly quieted and slowed, she scared me. A lot. I hung on to my mom’s skirt as we walked into the classroom and Mrs. Fox-Santora guided us over to another woman in more high heels (I guess all the teachers followed trends at this school).

My mom started chatting with the new woman, whose name was Mrs. Kessler I think. I was paying attention to the girl across the room. The girl who wasn’t playing patty-cake with the other girls, or running through the cubbies with the boys. I left my mom talking with the teacher and weaved throughout other toddlers tossing toys and tripping over tables and chairs. I tasted the minty aftertaste of the tic-tac I had in the car and smoothed over my already smooth pigtails, hoping to wave away the strong smell of hairspray that I had stolen from mom and gotten in my eyes when I loaded in on the head. I casually wandered over to the girl in a pink dress like mine, playing with her curly-ish brown hair that ran down to her mid-back in a braid, tied at the end with a pink sparkly scrunchy like mine. I was very, very jealous. Mystery girl here seemed the opposite of me. She wasn’t hanging onto her mom like I was, she wasn’t wandering around, she wasn’t trying to make friends. Since I was bored, and everyone else seemed to have friends, I decided to try and find one myself.

“Hi!” I said, and waved unnecessary amount. “I like your hair. It’s pretty.” The girl looked up from playing with her hair seeming a little surprised, but said thanks, and searched my face and attired to find a compliment.

“I like your hair too!” she said. I beamed and tightened the sparkly pink scrunchies holding my pigtails in place. If there’s one thing that accompanied every outfit, it was my bright pink scrunchies, courtesy of Justice. Duh.

“What’s your name?” I asked excitedly. Maybe I was being over eager to meet this stranger, but this was my first friend. I had no friends. At all.

“Stella…” she said, “what’s yours?” “Allie!” I replied. “Hi Stella!” she laughed. “Hi Allie!”. We waved and laughed and chatted about preschool things before class started, and tried to draw each other during class.

I asked how old she was, and was disappointed to learn that her birthday was in March and mine was in October, which meant she was 4, and I was still 3. Little did we know that 10 years later, Stella would still make fun of me about how she was older than me for the span of 7 months between March and October. It was very annoying. But, school started in August which led to September which led to October which meant my birthday, and she had remembered it, which made her the greatest person in the world of course.

Just like that, we had become friends with a “hi” and a wave. Recesses spent giggling at the playground turned into eating cookies out of school, which turned into going to the carnival, which moved to shopping, baking and sleepovers. Our favorite thing to do together finally moved to just chilling with each other at home, pretending to be James Charles with our makeup bought with pocket money and listening to music until we laughed so hard we rolled on the floor and couldn’t breathe and our sides pounded and ached, and the 10 years and running friendship had all started with two opposite girls, connected by their pink dresses, pink lifestyles, pink shoes, and pink sparkly scrunchies for their hair. One long, one short, one brown, one blond.

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1 thought on “Party of 1 – Allie Schuldt

  1. Allie,

    I really liked all the flashbacks and how you addressed each memory. No other memoir I read was written like yours. It was clever and I really enjoyed reading it. Great job!

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