The greatest pool party the world has ever known

I was thinking today about how in New York I’ll most likely never get to go to a pool party and how much I missed southern California for that reason (and that reason only). Pool parties are fucking awesome, especially if there’s barbecue involved. So this led me to think about some of the more memorable pool parties I have attended, and I landed upon an experience I had when I was 12 that I feel like I need to share with the world.

Getting drunk when you are 12 is almost always fun, but it’s even better when it’s sanctioned and bankrolled by an adult. I had been drunk before I was 12; I think I remember guzzling down some pink box wine with my friend Elisabeth at around age 8, and I remember going, “Mom, let me taste your wine,” then swilling half the glass on many occasions when I was a kid. (Somehow she always fell for that shit.) Anyway, although I had been drunk before, I had yet to get drunk openly at a party attended by several of my friends, a bunch of adolescent boys, and one of my friends’ pervy step-dads (there were many).

My best friend at S– M– Junior High was Bobbie C., and we got into some serious trouble together when we were 12 and 13, including sneaking out in the middle of the night to make out with high school boys, dating 18-year-old dudes our parents thought were 14, and stealing all kinds of shit at the mall. Her parents were super cool, as was her brother Rick, an Ozzy Osbourne fan who gave me my first NWA tape. Her parents were cool like mine were, though, meaning they were cool but they were totally not willing to let us do anything stupid to fuck our lives up. In contrast, our friend Shawna’s parents (at least her dad – I’m sure she had a mom, I just never met her) were, uh, not that strict. The dad was always having these white-trash Budweiser parties and his nasty friends were stoked that he had a 12-year-old daughter who would invite her friends over. One of the dudes he always had over was named Jim (I totally don’t remember his name, but I need to call him something), and Jim had a step-daughter named Shanoz (I think that’s how you spell it), who of course everyone at school made fun of.

Shanoz was having a 13th birthday party and Jim was in charge of the celebration. He invited me, Shawna, Bobbie, and like 5 dudes that we knew from school to a pool party AT NIGHT, where there would be wine coolers for the drinking. We were all stoked. Jim had to lie to our parents to get them to let us go to the party instead of us having to do the lying, so in our minds it was basically the greatest thing that had ever happened to us.

The night of the party rolled around and this guy came to pick all of us up IN A VAN. He immediately started telling the girls to hang out in their bikinis and started passing wine coolers around before we got anywhere near the pool, which was some kind of community pool near their house. Since Shawna, the fast-ass of the group, had a boyfriend who smoked, we all decided we were going to take up smoking that night. It was fucking hilarious, these four girls in bikinis, me being the only one who had boobs yet, sauntering around a pool smoking Marlboro reds without inhaling while drinking Fuzzy Navel Bartles & Jaymes.

Then everyone got drunk. Shawna and her boyfriend were in the van, and I couldn’t find Bobbie or this dude she had a crush on named Jeremy. I wandered around the pool and the parking lot drinking my second (or maybe even third) B&J, wondering why the hell these idiots wanted to hang out in some stupid van instead of getting wasted with me under the stars. I eventually got bored with posing by the pool and went to see what kind of action was going on in the van. Shawna and her boyfriend were practically humping, as I remember it now, and Bobbie was on the floor with Jeremy doing something or other, sort of wiggling. The other two dudes were in and around the front seats with Jim drinking Budweisers (none of that bitch punch for these guys) and smoking, and Jim was asking them whether they “had anything real to smoke.”

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I totally salted Bobbie’s game that night. First, I told her to get up off the floor, leave Jeremy there, and come outside to drink with me. (I already had my priorities straight at the tender age of 12.) Then, when she went to change clothes, I made the mistake of engaging in conversation with Jeremy, who then spent the rest of the night asking Bobbie questions about me. Dick move, but totally unintentional.

By this time it was almost 10 PM, which meant those of us whose parents gave a shit about us would have to go home, so Jim took me and Bobbie to Bobbie’s house. Her dad came outside to check out the scene, and he apparently could tell Jim was drunk and was super pissed. I could tell because he called my dad to discuss it, which would have stricken fear into Jim’s heart had he known, considering the size of our two dads and the football and bar fights in their collective past. We went to Bobbie’s room, where she began to divulge the details of her first contact with a boner, something I wouldn’t understand for another few years. “I like touched his thigh and then he had like this really hard boner.” Great. I had already asked my mom when I was 9 what a boner was, and she had replied tersely, “a penis.” I knew not to inquire any further. Bobbie was about as helpful. I already KNEW a boner was a wiener and it was hard, but what was it LIKE? Nothing. Totally fucking useless.

I think that’s the end of the story. Loose ends: We thought we had gotten away with getting drunk, and I guess we sort of had, since our dads thought it would be unfair to bust us when an adult had gotten us drunk. Shawna had her first kid when she was 15 with my friend Richard, and her second one when she was 18 with my friend Bryan. Bobbie moved away a year later and we didn’t really get to hang out anymore, except for the time when we were 13 that me and my friend Janette got some 18-year-old dude named Willy to drive us the 115 miles to her new house. But that’s another story.

There’s a feminist message in there somewhere, no?

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3 thoughts on “The greatest pool party the world has ever known

  1. I always thought America’s so prudish. Wow.

    I mean, I had sex at that age which is rather normal here but… apart from that….
    I never attended any pool partys at night, nor dated 18-years-olds. And that I got drunk (at 12 or perhaps even 11- but never at 8, and not as much as you say you were) was due to being me, not because any of my friends had been. We typically met our boyfriends in their rooms (well, the more intimate meetings- those in public of course were more diverse, like eating, watching cinema, ….) at day time hoping our parents are busy, and while we did desire 18-years-olds and I don’t even think such relationships if mutual must be harmful, it would have been very unusual (and I’m not even 20 and assume you’re older) for me and I now wonder about America. But then again, America is big- I wonder how much European perceptions of it are always as universal (not universal in the sense of applying to every individual because in that sense no perceptions are, but universal in the sense of generally true).
    And you’re older than me, aren’t you? 30 or 40, at least, correct me if I’m wrong.
    Though even then, what we here always hear of are American media and American law, and youths tend to stray from both.
    You really suprised me, though. I always thought, average American girls don’t have boyfriends and sex before 13 or 14, vow to have none until marriage and are forbidden to until 16 or 17 (of course, I still have assumed for the majority and not for individuals).


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