“Birthday Standards,” Friend, Aug. 2010, 4–5
Lisa could hardly wait until Stephanie’s birthday party. The invitation promised fun games and tasty refreshments. Lisa carefully wrapped the stationery set she’d chosen for Stephanie and tied a purple ribbon around it.
When all the girls got to Stephanie’s house, Stephanie led them to the garage. It was decorated with crepe-paper streamers, and a brightly colored piñata hung from the rafters.
The girls took turns swinging at the piñata with a papier-mâché stick. Lisa gave the piñata a whack, but it didn’t break. When it finally broke, small candies spilled out, and everyone scrambled for them, laughing and squealing.
“We need some music,” one of the girls said.
Stephanie turned on a CD player. The music was loud, and the singer was singing some bad words. Lisa grew more and more uneasy. Finally, she couldn’t stand it any longer. “I need to go home,” she whispered to Stephanie.
Stephanie looked surprised. “What’s wrong?”
“The music is making me really uncomfortable,” Lisa said.
Stephanie looked disappointed, but Lisa knew she needed to leave. She called her mother and told her what was going on.
“I’ll be right there,” her mother said.
Lisa went to wait outside. But soon Stephanie and the other girls joined her on the front porch. “We turned off the music,” Stephanie said. “Please don’t leave.”
The rest of the girls nodded in agreement.
“None of us liked it,” Stephanie admitted. “We just didn’t have the courage to say so.”
Lisa smiled. “Let me call my mom back before she leaves to tell her I’ll be staying after all.”
Stephanie threw her arms around Lisa. “Thanks for staying. The party wouldn’t be the same without you.”
Lisa hugged her friend back. Standing up for her standards hadn’t been easy, but she was glad that she had.