Sleepover!JANUARY 24, 2009
- Nora attempts to prank call the boys.
- (Maureen Wellner)
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- New Langston Hughes Poems Discovered
- Conversations with America: Concluding the Conversation
- Weekend Soundtrack: "Shattered" by the Rolling Stones
- Saving the Story
More From Hillary Frank
More From Jonathan Menjivar
If you're an adult this weekend, your entertainment options are limitless. If you're a kid, they're limited. Can't drive, got no money, got very little freedom. But you can still engage in that time-honored kid tradition: the sleepover. The fun of a sleepover is how liberating it is. You stay up late, eat crazy foods, maybe watch a movie you're not supposed to. Gossip. Prank. One of our favorite stories on Weekend America was first aired a couple of years ago. Hillary Frank and Jonathan Menjivar are both reporters in Philadelphia who also happen to be married. They went to two sleepovers occurring on the same night. Hillary hung out at a sleepover of girls at Claire's house. Jonathan went to Brice's house down the street, to hang out with a gang of boys.
Jonathan Menjivar: It's seven o'clock. Early still. But Brice says that when you sleep over at his house, you basically sign a contract. You fall asleep first - you're in for a prank.
Boys: I'm scared of falling asleep. I'm very scared. I'm not falling asleep. Do you have Coke, do you have Coke? Darn it! Coffee, cappuccino, anything?
Hillary Frank: While the boys are scavenging for caffeine, the girls are hanging out at Claire's house. They're dancing on bunk beds and singing to their favorite - Avril Lavigne. The music's coming out of a pink Hello Kitty boombox. The girls know there's a boy sleepover happening down the street. They're dying to know what's going on over there.
Girls: Boys, they're boys - and girls are girls - it's a totally different world! Boys are so into those video games and violence - stuff like that!
Jonathan: Yup, that's pretty close. The video games at least. And the boys, they think they've got the girls figured out.
Boys: They're probably all like, "Ooh, nail polish!"
Hillary: Mmm, not exactly. The girls don't seem to have much interest in makeup. They even seem confused when they find lip gloss in their goody bags.
Jonathan: OK, so maybe the boys don't have a clue. But they know they want to bother the girls - tear them away from whatever it is they're doing. Around eight o'clock they pick up the phone.
Boys: Hello? Um, this is Brice. We're at the other sleepover and stuff. Can we prank call the girls?
Why'd you tell them we were prank calling?
It was the parents!
What'd they say?
They said call back in 15 minutes.
Hillary: Claire's dad lets the girls know what the boys are up to.
Girls: We have to call them back! They prank called us! They prank called us! Who has their phone number?
Hillary: They hit *69. There's a lot of frantic passing the phone around as it rings.
Boys: [phone rings] Hello?
Girls: This is Ashley, a person from Philadelphia News Inquirer - and I'm telling - OK, never mind.
Boys: You guys are really bad prank callers.
Jonathan: Actually, they all are. Prank calling is about as primitive as you get when it comes to flirting. But none of them are able to play it cool enough to pull it off. The boys spend the next three hours doing things that come more naturally. They watch "History of the World," they hog the Playstation controllers, they call each other names.
Boys: You guys are retarded.
Your mom's retarded.
Your mom's mom's retarded.
Hillary: Meanwhile, the girls dive into their goody bags.
Girls: Sugar! Gonna eat candy!
Hillary: And they play all kinds of games no one's ever written down the rules for: Zap, Mash, Winky, Blob.
Girls: A person gets picked to be Blob and they have to put the sleeping bag over their head.
Hillary: And then they have to find someone in the room and tackle them to the ground. It makes so much noise that Claire's dad comes upstairs.
Claire's Dad: OK, OK, guys, let's get, um, like into some sort of sleep position? Let's just turn the lights out and…
Girls: What if we have fun, but without you knowing?
Claire's Dad: That - let's see if you can do that!
Hillary: This is the moment the girls have been waiting for all night. It's when they go from regular old hanging out to having a sleepover. They lie down in their sleeping bags, huddle their heads together and get ready for some serious bonding.
Jonathan: The boys also start doing things they wouldn't do with their parents around. They start cussing. And they decide it's OK to watch a violent TV show because it's clay-mation.
Boys: It's clay blood. Yeah, it's clay blood.
Jonathan: Anything goes. It is almost midnight. Sebastian's even counting down.
Boys: It's in like 30 seconds.
Girls: It's a new day - I wonder if the boys are actually asleep?
Jonathan: They're not. Well, one of them is. Tyler's older than the rest of the boys by a couple years, and all night he's let them know it. He called them spazzes and said he doesn't even really do sleepovers anymore. But then he was the one to fall asleep first. For Brice it means it's time to follow through on his prank contract. He can't decide whether to use Colgate or Tom's of Maine.
Boys: We're going to put some toothpaste on his hand, get a feather and make him hit his face with the toothpaste.
Jonathan: They sneak back to the couch where Tyler is sleeping and place about a week's worth of toothpaste on his hand. He doesn't slap his face, but the toothpaste gets all over his shirt.
Boys: [giggling] That was good, that was good.
Jonathan: By the way, they went with the Tom's of Maine.
Hillary: The girls want to stay up, too. Not because they're afraid of each other, but because they want to connect. These hours with no threat of parents or little brothers barging in are sacred.
Girls: Life without sleepovers would be a disaster because it's like you'd have no time to tell your secrets.
You like hold it in and it's like, you start to feel droopy and lousy.
Makes you feel happy you have people you can actually trust with your secrets.
Mimi: And like some things you're a little scared to tell your parents.
Hillary: Things like crushes. Mimi's mom doesn't think she talks about boys yet, but she's the one who brings it up.
Girls: Ashley, who do you like?
Hillary: OK, hang on. The girls made me swear, "No telling who we like on the radio."
Girls: You could learn to like him. I mean, you used to like him, so it's sort of like, you could just - just go back and think of all the things you thought about him. Then you two could - go out! And then you could get access! Access to things like boy sleepovers, what they talk about.
Jonathan: Hate to break it to you girls, while you're busy getting close, the boys are falling apart. They're spread out on couches across the room and barely saying anything to each other. Brice is driven to playing a round of Sorry! against himself.
Boys: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Jonathan: Brice eventually goes to sleep, so there's no more pranking to be afraid of. But the last two kids stay awake anyhow and watch Simpsons episodes they've already seen.
Boys: After this episode, I might fall asleep. [heavy breath]
Jonathan: Is there a point at which it stops making sense to stay up?
Boys: Yeah, we've done it before, we slept off the next day. It was terrible.
Jonathan: Tomorrow's gonna be terrible, too. It's 2:30 by the time they give in.
Hillary: The girls are also losing steam.
Girl: I'm bored.
Ashley: Go to sleep.
Girl: I tried.
Hillary: Finally the last girl seems to have given up. She's hugging one of Claire's toys - a ball that lights up when you squeeze it. It glows green through the fabric of her sleeping bag.
Jonathan Menjivar and Hillary Frank brought us that story two years ago. They recently sat down with one of the boys and one of the girls from the piece: Brice and Mimi. Brice is 14, Mimi is 12. She's the girl who wanted "access" to what boys talk about at their sleepovers.
Mimi: I still don't have a clue.
Jonathan: Do you guys feel like there will be a time in your lives when you won't be as confused as you are now?
Brice: Yeah, definitely. We'll grow older, we'll find more stuff out, get married, whatever.
Mimi: I think that I'll never know completely. Like, I feel like a guy will always be confused about a girl, and a girl will always be confused about a boy. And it's just the way it's supposed to be.
Jonathan: Do you feel like you'll ever be too old to have sleepover parties?
Brice: Yeah, like, not many adults have sleepover parties. I mean, college will probably be one of the last times you're with someone like that. Dorm rooms and stuff.
Mimi: I think that definitely I won't have sleepovers for the rest of my life. But it'll be a long time til I don't have them. Because even if I was in a dorm room, it might be like a sleepover every night. If I like them.
Hillary: Mimi, I just remembered something that you did at the party. There was birthday cake and you bashed your face into the cake and we have a picture of it. Is that something you would do now?
Hillary: Is that something you would only do at a sleepover party or that you do anytime?
Mimi: Oh, just at a sleepover party. 'Cause at a sleepover party, it's not like you get a free ticket to do whatever you want to do. But it's more like you want to do things that you wouldn't normally want to do. Like, I wouldn't want to do it at someone's wedding.
Hillary: That was actually a question we had, right? What's the difference between a sleepover and regular old hanging out?
Brice: I don't think there really is a difference. It's just, sleepover's longer. And if they sleepover at my house, I have to clean up all the stuff they leave afterwards.
Hillary: Mimi, is that sad for you? To hear that for boys there's not really a difference between sleepovers and just hanging out?
Mimi: Not really, because it's their thing. It's not my thing. Y'know, they do what they do, and we do what we do.
- Music Bridge:
- Rewinding Sunday
- Artist: Colorlist
- CD: Lists (Off)