Alan Allen is a new boy in our class. Yes, that’s his real name. I figure his parents hated him as soon as he was born and that’s why they did that to him. In my opinion, parents should have their heads examined.
He isn’t a total gross-out or anything, I’m pretty sure he brushes his teeth, and he doesn’t wear white socks and loafers, which I hate when a boy wears those, but still, nobody asked me if I wanted to be his partner at Debbie Katz’s birthday party and I don’t think that was right.
When I got to Debbie’s house everyone already had a partner except for Alan Allen, and the whole thing was so unfair but I didn’t say anything because then everyone would just have said
it’s too late to change things now. I can read their minds before they even open up their mouths.
So this is how it went: Robert Silverman and Rachel Dubin were sitting together, which I expected, because they went to the same sleep-away camp and Rhonda Glick went there too, and she says they were going steady in camp, so everybody knows they’re boyfriend and girlfriend, even though Rachel tries to deny it.
Debbie got Roger Gelber, but I’m positive he just went with her because it was her party. He’s the cutest boy in our class and I know for a fact that he really likes AnneMarie Flynn, but Debbie didn’t invite AnneMarie. And Bessie Levine and Howard Melcher were partners, which was a big relief to me because Howard's always sneezing, he's allergic to the world, and I wouldn't want him to get any of his boogers on me.
So then Debbie Katz spins the bottle, because it’s her birthday and it's her house, and it lands on me, so Alan Allen and I had to go into Debbie Katz’s parents’ bedroom for Seven Minutes in Heaven, which is where you’re supposed to kiss on the lips for seven whole minutes without stopping.
Now before you start to think something happened I want to tell you this: nothing happened. Honest to God, we didn’t do a thing. I sat on the edge of Debbie Katz’s parents’ bed and I folded my hands in my lap and I stared at the little lamp on Debbie Katz’s father’s desk, and I don’t know what Alan Allen was doing but he sure wasn’t kissing me on the lips for seven minutes. I think I might have been holding my breath the entire time because I got this terrible headache and I got sort of sweaty, too.
Then, after a hundred years, Debbie Katz knocks on the bedroom door and she says, “Come on out, lovebirds,“ and Alan Allen and I go back to her living room. But just before we go in, Alan Allen grabs my hand and smiles, so then I smile too, and when we walk in the room all the boys begin to yell things and stamp their feet, even Roger Gelber who’s usually more mature than the rest of them, and Bessie Levine goes "Ellen Shapiro, you didn’t." And of course I didn’t, but I wasn’t going to tell her that.
So now everybody thinks we did, and Alan Allen got to be a real popular boy in my class all of a sudden and I’m even more popular than I was before, which makes me so mad because it’s like I’m being forced to live a lie, but if I stop being friends with Debbie and the rest of them, there won’t be anyone left to be friends with except AnneMarie Flynn and Paula Gleason, and they hate me.
So I’m going to go to Bessie Levine's party with Alan Allen next Friday night, now that the entire class thinks we’re going steady, but no matter what happens I am definitely not going to marry him. Because Ellen Allen is such a dumb name you could die from it. And I think Alan Allen may be the kind of person who would want to name his kid Alan Allen Junior. And then I’d just have to divorce him because I don’t think parents should do something that could maybe ruin their child's life forever, do you?