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April 14, 2008

Each guest rings the doorbell, surrenders a wrapped gift, accepts a balloon on a string and enters the fray.

The girls know what to say to their hostess, to cross their ankles, and to not sit on shady ground. It rained last night, and the wet grass might soil their ruffled bottoms.

Jacked up on treats, games and the zing of eleven other girls, they occupy the party room like a band of giggling savages, ripping streamers, tripping, rubbing balloons against their once nicely curled hair to static-cling them to the walls.

A tussle breaks out over a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey prize. A blonde girl cries about possession of the piñata bat, and the one in pigtails holds her thick braids away from the flames as she leans over to blow out the candles ahead of the birthday-girl, impatient for a wedge of cake.

Hopefully, it’s a corner piece with a frosting rose…

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