Children Fiction posted January 11, 2011

This work has reached the exceptional level
about wanting to belong

Healthy Health Club

by kiwigirl2821

In the fifth grade life is confusing enough, but when you desperately want to belong, and you don't well; I'm not sure it's something you ever get over.

Hi. My name is Della Caulfield and this is my story.

Fifth grade was pretty much like all the rest of my elementary school days. I had grown up with most of the kids that year in Mr. Biggs' class but, there was something new in the air, clubs!

The membership I coveted was the "Healthy Health Club". On hindsight, a ridiculous clique to belong to. But, in my fifth grade year you weren't anyone at all in school if you did not belong to that particular club.

At recess when other kids were playing four square or volley ball, the Healthy Health Club was having secret meetings and plotting the next great adventure. I don't remember wanting anything so bad in my life as membership.

I desperately wanted to know what it felt like to belong to the most popular group of girls in school. To forget what it was like to come to school in hand me downs from my older sister and dresses made of feed sacks.

A brand new dress was something short of a miraculous event especially if it was a store bought one. Those only came for Easter and Christmas or a birthday if I was really lucky.

In our family birthdays meant coloring books, crayons, paint by numbers or something necessary like a pair of functional shoes. With little money and seven kids, the birthdays came often and the presents from Winn Dixie's five and dime. None of us knew the difference. It was simply how we grew up.

On that fateful day when the Healthy Health Club was taking applications for new members, it felt more wonderful than all my holidays wrapped in one gift. It was my best chance to be popular.

I knew all the girls and we got along pretty well so I thought, "This is it! My chance to see what it's like to be one of the popular girls!"

As luck would have it, I had been given my first store bought dress of the year. A cute lavender mini instead of the regular feed sack number Mom usually made. That purple dress looked fantastic with my tricky white go go boots which I had begged for only a month ago.

I was so happy to have my pretty clothes to wear on the day my application took place. I felt confident and lucky to be alive. I mean, the girls already liked me so how could I possibily not get in?

Felt like heaven on earth hanging out with those girls just like I was one of them. We played games and giggled as school girls tend to do. It was the best day of my life.

Just before school let out the leader Sandra Gaskins said that the members would vote and let me know. With a pounding heart and a happiness unlike any I'd ever known, I got on the school bus and went home.

True to their word the members gathered around me the next day with an official club letter wrapped in a pretty pink flowered envelope and the club's decision written inside . My hands were literally shaking in anticipation of an acceptance that I wanted more than anything else in my life.

I opened it trembling with giddy excitement. That decision was written on sweet smelling pink floral parchment that matched its envelope perfectly.   My heart was pounding out of my chest as I began to read.

Dear Della,

We took a vote and we decided you are absolutely NOT what we want in our club. We want someone better MUCH better than you. That's our decision.


Sandra Gaskins (sorry)
Wanda Zimmerman (sorry)
Dana Mokrey (sorry)
Roxane Venuto (sorry)
Claudia Fey (sorry)

Devastated doesn't begin to cover how I felt. Tears of joy, turned to tears of anguish and more pain that any self respecting eleven year old should ever feel at such a time in her life.

So what's the moral to this sad little tale you might ask? That's easy!

Don't strive to be something that you're not and being "popular" doesn't mean that life will guarantee you happiness or that popularity equates to being nice.

You see hard work, honor, truth, and love will out; every single time!


And as for the "Healthy Health Club" girls well...

Sandra Gaskins ended up anorexic.

Wanda Zimmerman ended up married, but her husband was a mean little man.

Dana Mokrey grew up over seven feet tall and an old maid.

Roxane Venuto divorced four times and ended up a bag lady.

Claudia Fey, well the last anyone saw of her she was chattering to herself about having to take care of her deceased husband's mother in a rickety old trailer at the end of scary old Farmer Turner's back corn field.


As for me, well it seems I come from an ancient clan of Karma witches and was rewarded many times over with a wonderful family, a healthy life, riches and the ability to make all my dreams come true.

Life has consequences. Be careful yours are worth having.


Thank you to lippi1 for the use of "1st day of school"

Sometimes growing up is a magical event just waiting for the right time to happen ...
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