Thursday, April 24, 2014

Girl Talk #9: Peer Pressure

By L.E. Blair. Published 1990.

So apparently, there is a countywide Winter Carnival, and they have an Olympics. Each school sends representatives, and Katie tried out for the synchronized skating team. Because not only is she an awesome hockey player, she taught herself some figure skating moves by just watching tv, and trying things out. Ok.

They announce the Bradley Junior High team at an assembly, and it takes forever to get to the skating events. There are two pairs for synchronized skating. The first pair is Stacy the Great and a girl named Kim, and then Katie and Laurel, Stacy’s best friend. Katie is not so sure about this.

Laurel obviously isn’t too sure, either, and tries to get Katie to quit. She thinks Katie’s not good enough because she plays hockey, and has never taken figure skating lessons.

Katie’s friends all have roles for the carnival. Sabrina and Randy are both in the band, Sabrina playing clarinet, and Randy percussion. Allison is a reporter for the paper. She’s nervous about having to talk to people.

Stacy says they’re going to try to get the teams switched around. Randy tells her that’s a good idea, because Kim is really good, and would be better matched with Katie’s skills. It pisses Stacy off.

Katie is excited to tell her mom the news. She’s happy for her, but she doesn’t really get it. She does get all excited though when Katie’s sister Emily comes home and announces she’s been named Winter Carnival Queen for Bradley Senior High.

They have their first practice, and it’s awkward. Laurel does everything she can to make things difficult. Their coach says they’re just nervous. He also tells them they need to bring their music to the next practice. Laurel invites Katie over to her house the day to go through music.

So Katie goes over to Laurel’s super huge mansion, and she actually has a pretty good time. They find a great, jazzy piece of music to use. The only downside is meeting Laurel’s mom and sister, Lana. They’re totally stuck up, and her mom is only interested in Lana’s ballet career. They remind Katie a little of her own sister and mother.

At their next practice, Katie and Laurel kick ass. The guy’s high school hockey team even applauds them. Stacy tries to get bitchy, but Laurel stands up to her, and tells her she’s just jealous. Katie then goes over to Laurel’s house, and they bond over their shared family issues. They also make plans to go pick out their costumes that Saturday.

Sabrina starts worrying that Katie is starting to be too good of friends with Laurel, and she won’t want to be friends with them anymore. Katie doesn’t really want to be on the decorating committee for the Winter Carnival Dance, because she’s so busy, and then Katie’s going shopping with Laurel instead of them. Sabrina calls Randy, and Randy calls Allison. Allison rightly points out that it will be good for the competition if they’re friends.

The girls actually decide to talk to Katie, and she tells them not to worry. She thinks they should maybe try being friends with Laurel. So she invites them all over to her house after the shopping trip to work in the dance committee.

The girls are able to find an inexpensive costume that will look great. Then Stacy and the rest of their group shows up, and they all decide to go get something to eat. Katie is a little weirded out hanging out with them. But then the tables are turned back at Katie’s house, when Laurel is part of Katie’s group. Sabrina forgets herself, and says something bad about Stacy. Laurel gets upset and leaves.

But the next day at practice, they’re both worried the other one is mad at them, so they make up easily, and get to work. They have a great practice, and their coach tells them if they skate that well for the competition, they’ll win a medal.

They continue having practices all week, and keep getting better.

They have the dance the night before the competitions start. The decorations are kick-ass, of course. Maybe these girls should go into party planning or something.

Then it’s the day of the competition. Katie and Laurel are the first pair to skate. Katie gets lost in the music, and they absolutely kick ass, of course. Their scores are great. When Stacy and Kim take the ice, Stacy keeps trying to show off, which gets them completely out of sync, so they don’t score very well. The last pair, from another school, do really well, and their scores are really close to Katie and Laurel’s. But, surprise, surprise, Katie and Laurel get first place. What a shocker.

Katie’s friends are thrilled for her of course, but it’s a bit awkward with Laurel’s, since Stacy is all upset. Katie asks Laurel to go to Fitzie’s with her group, but Laurel says she better not. The girls wish their friends would get along, but decide that doesn’t mean they can’t be friends themselves.

o   I really have to call bullshit on Katie just teaching herself everything. She can even do an axel. Sure it’s only a single, but it’s not exactly easy.

o   Bradley Junior High sure has their priorities straight. The girls get to skip three whole periods to decorate for the dance.

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