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The Tea Party Project
Olivia (or rather “Livie”) March is a 5-year-old, confident, young lady who prefers spending her days throwing lavish tea parties and building the grandest of forts. Instead of riding bikes and sucking on popsicles like the other kids in her neighborhood, Livie spends her summer days playing dress up and casting spells on her baby sister, Margaret. Although she does not have many friends, she certainly does not have trouble making new ones due to her imaginative personality and miraculous clothing choices. But how will she handle kindergarten?
“LIIVVVIIIIEEEE,” hollered my mother. Once again she was maddened by something, who knows what. That woman always seems to be infuriated about something or another.
“Yes, Mother?” I replied as sweetly as I could. Maybe my soft tone would calm her down, at least for now. If there is one thing I have learned in my five years of existence is that the stomp of mother’s wooden clogs marching up the stairs never results in a tranquil conversation- the exact opposite of tranquil actually. I was prepared for the very worst when she threw open the door, but not carelessly enough to knock down my fort. She knows better than to mess with my fort.
“Did I ever tell you that you could get into my make-up?” she belted. Well, it was not going to be easy to get away with this one. My face was stained with blush, mascara clumped on my lashes, and lipstick smeared all over my lips. Although, I thought I looked rather glamorous.
“Oh no, of course not, Mademoiselle! Where ever would you get that outrageous idea?” I replied generously. Her face immediately flushed redder than mine, and that was quite the accomplishment considering I had enough make-up on to make any tea party host green with envy.
“Olivia Marie March! I know you’ve been into my make-up and I have my filthy bathroom counters and your face to prove it! Now wipe off that ridiculous look and come downstairs for dinner.”
Now my mother is a wonderful woman, don’t get me wrong. But she just does not understand high fashion, obviously. She would not have rejected my bold fashion statement if she just kept up with the latest trends. What am I to do with her? But I washed off my spectacular look just to please her, being the angel-child that I am. Then, I clickety-clacked down the grand staircase and lowered myself into the only decent chair at the table – a pink, wired stool with jewels and ribbons. My chair was one of my proudest pieces of art, no one sat in my chair. When I looked up from my plate of who-knows-what, I realized everyone was giving me the most outlandish stare– that certainly alarmed me.
“Are you all going to inform me of my mistake or must you leave me to guessing?” I proclaimed, breaking the silence at the table.
My dad added to my sudden outbreak, “I’m sorry, sweetie. It’s just that… that… well you know you start kindergarten tomorrow, right?”
This is what they were worried about telling me? I might be their “little shrimp,” but I did not have the brain of the shrimp! In fact, my preschool teacher told me I was an astounding pupil. Whatever that meant…
“Why of course not, father! I am very much looking forward too it. Now, would you please explain what this “kindergarten” is and its scheduling? I must be home in time for my 12 o’clock tea party, our special guest is Mrs. O’Rielly’s (our newest neighbors) guinea pig, Sandy.”
Not to brag or anything, but I am a splendid mind reader. Sometimes my mom says I’m a little too good. But at that very moment, I was caught off guard. I could not comprehend the expression on my parent’s face to save my life. Fear? Pity? Amusement? I was completely lost.
“Sugar,” my mom whispered, “Kindergarten is just like preschool. You go early in the morning, stay for snack and a few games, and I will be right around the corner to pick you up before you know it!”
“Wonderful!” I exclaimed in a relieved tone. After noting their expression I didn’t know what to expect!
“Yes!” both my parents shouted in unison, “It is wonderful! I’m just sure you will love it,” my mom rejoiced. “Except for I will be picking you up at 3 o’clock, instead of 10. I bet you won’t even be able to tell the difference.”
Suddenly, it hit me. This was why they were so worried. When I got home from my 10 o’clock preschool I had all the time in the world; host my regular tea parties, greet Tim, the mailman, and request my mail (usually none), then get my beauty rest in my palace. But 3 o’clock?! Did my parents want me to just walk off the face of the planet? It certainly seemed like it. They knew I couldn’t handle this! I can handle a lot of things (layers of tutu on a 100° day, hosting tea parties for 8+ people, and even model walking down an escalator) but entertain my fellow peers until 3 O’CLOCK?! This simply could not be done, even by a pro like myself.
I immediately threw my stool back (careful not to do any damage to my art work) and clickety-clacked myself back up to my wonderful room where I knew no “kindergarten” could come and get me. And this was no brief visit; I was planning on staying here for quite awhile.
While scrawling down an invitation list to my next tea party, I briefly wondered if they were kidding. I knew my parents loved me dearly (who doesn’t?) and wanted only the very best for me, but why must they place this evil curse upon me? It was just not right. I had made up my mind; I must go teach them a lesson. I strutted down the staircase once again, but this time with purpose. As I nearly ran into our kitchen, I noticed no one had moved. I had been up there for a lifetime! How could they not have moved?
“Dear parents, why are you not busying yourself with this wretched mess?” I simply stated, gesturing to the disaster that took my kitchen captive. “I understand you or worried about my well-being but I have been locked away in my room for at least a few hours. Besides, it looks like there is work to be done.”
“First of all,” my mother announced in an irritated fashion, “we have been finishing our dinner which you so kindly excused yourself from. And second, you have only been “locked away” in your room for 15 minutes. I hate to say this- but we were very much enjoying ourselves in your absence.”
Well, I did not see this one coming! They were mad at me? For what reason? I should be the one infuriated at them. For the first time in a long time, I was completely taken aback. With no response to give, I made sure my hair flip was extra voluptuous and my stride rather fierce as I sauntered my way up the stairs- for good.
The next thing I knew I was engulfed in blankets and pillows, and extremely hot. A princess nightgown isn’t the coolest thing to wear to sleep on a summer night. But that’s the price I pay for being a trendsetter. I was very proud of myself for sleeping through the night in such hot attire, but immediately I became panic stricken remembering whatlay ehead: kindergarten. It was five o’clock (according to my Tinker Belle clock) and I figured I should spend my last few hours of freedom enjoying myself- I was going to go all out.
I gathered the tea cups, tea pot, picnic blanket, and sparkles and threw the greatest tea party ever. The whole room glittered, the “tea” was the best I had ever made it, and the Oreos I found under my bed were delicious! They say time flies when you’re having fun- so true. I didn’t realize it was already seven o’clock when my mother came to wake me. She looked rather startled as she slowly creaked open my large door.
“I’m not even going to ask, but it’s time to get ready for school.” Mother stated before questioningly closing my door.
She did not leave time to protest, so I picked out the most fashion-forward outfit I could find and made sure to style it beautifully. By the time I got done dressing, I thought I looked rather divine in my sparkly, pink tutu, “I LOVE TEA PARTIES” shirt, and purple converse. Making sure I didn’t say a word to either of my parents (I was giving them the silent treatment- but they seemed to enjoy it), I hopped into the car with my backpack I got during summer camp. Mother started the car and we cruised to the elementary school. I was not nervous. Why should I be when I was obviously the most fashionable student there? Still not saying I word, I accepted my mother’s invitation to walk me in to my classroom- the first thing I noted was all the colors.
“Not bad,” I thought to myself. But everyone seemed to have a friend, where was I supposed to go? I saw a girl about my height that seemed friendly, although she could use a lesson in wardrobe choices. Who wears khakis in spring? Besides that, she looked pretty decent, so I decided to talk to her.
“Hi, my name’s Olivia, or Livie, March- and you are?” I said in the sweetest voice I could. She immediately spun herself around and talked to the girls across the room. “Wow, tough crowd,” I thought to myself in amazement. But I decided she was probably just jealous. I tried again with another small crowd of girls, “Hi, my name is Olivia, or Livie, March. What are your names?” Again, I suffered another cold stare as the girls spun their selves around to ignore me. All I could think was how harsh kindergarten was. What did a girl have to do to make a friend? I gave up. Turning around, no longer a spring in my step, I sat down at the extremely dull table in the center of the room. Just then another girl walked in, I noticed how shy she was. She was wearing white shorts and a rainbow t-shirt. I thought she looked cute, but apparently the other girls didn’t, judging by their cowardly snickers and finger-pointing. The poor girl hadn’t even said a word before being made fun of. I was nervous to talk to her with the fear of being made fun of. “I guess I will just leave her for now,” I thought as I grabbed a marker and started coloring on one of the multiple pieces of paper on the table. But the bullying never stopped- they played with her hip-long hair, made fun of her boxy glasses, and stole her brand new supplies. I didn’t know what to do! The rest of class went rather slowly, but the pestering never stopped. During recess, I pondered my choices. Stick up for her and be her friend? Or be lonely and have no friends for the rest of my kindergarten year. I had made up my mind.
When we got back to the classroom, I sat next to her. She told me her name was Celia Simons and that she had moved here from London over the summer. I told her how much I loved her British accent and her long, dark hair. She complimented my fashion sense (finally I got some credit) and asked if I wanted to color with her. We immediately hit it off and it got me to wondering if kindergarten would really be too bad after all. All day we talked and talked and talked until the teacher gave us the “warning look.” I was surprised to find myself disappointed when the bell rang to go home. But I looked forward to seeing my new friend, Celia, tomorrow!
When I got home, I decided to be nice so I talked to my parents; although they looked kind of disappointed about me abandoning the idea of giving them the silent treatment for the rest of my life. I told them about my new friend over dinner and they seemed delighted, but that could be due to the fact that I wasn’t complaining anymore. After a celebratory ice cream sundae, I decided to head upstairs for bed. It had been a long day after all. But before I went to bed, I made sure to rewrite the guest list to my next tea party. And this time I only made one change, I made sure to add Celia to the party.