That Saturday Karen and Veronica arrived a few minutes before noon for the second business club meeting, each carefully toting shoe boxes containing their items to present at the get-together. Lydia was already prepared and munching on the snacks she laid out when they knocked on the door.
“Come on in!” she shouted from the dining room, choosing to be less formal now that they were all becoming friends.
The two girls found their way into the dining room and set the boxes down on a chair. “Mmm chocolate!” Karen exclaimed as she grabbed a handful of the M&Ms Lydia put out in a bowl.
“Yeah, my mom didn’t think coffee would be appropriate to serve kids, so let’s get our sugar rush on and start the meeting!” She and Veronica reached into the bowl to grab handfuls of chocolates themselves.
While waiting for Mr. Wyley to appear, the girls showed off the products they had been working on since the last meeting. Veronica pulled out a fat stack of beautifully crochet square pot holders. The girls oohed and ahhed at the ones she made with the sparkly yarn and complimented Veronica on her craft. Next, Karen showed them four bracelets, two crafted from twine and buttons and the others made from wood, covered in decorative tape. She let the girls try them on and they shook them around their wrists admiring her workmanship.
“How did you make the wooden ones? Did you carve them out of twigs or something?” Veronica wondered.
Karen gave a muffled snicker, “Well I wouldn’t have been able to whittle wood that fast! I used sticks from all the popsicles my dad’s been scarfing down lately.”
The girls were impressed either way. Then it was Lydia’s turn, she pulled out the updated pencil holders and set them on the table.
“Veronica was right, these do look great!”
“No way! Wow, Lydia, these look even better than the last time I saw them!”
Lydia glowed with appreciation. Next, she brought out the four Tupperware containers and handed one to each girl to have a closer look.
“I’ve decided I want to sell two items, sort of like Karen. So, friends… I present to you... farting slime! It’s pretty, it’s squishy and it passes gas! What do you guys think?”
Veronica and Karen opened the containers and poured the contents into their hands. They mushed the slime between their fingers and let it slowly pour back into its plastic home.
“PFFFFTTTTTTT BUUUUURAAAAAP!” A great, disgusting flatulence blast came from Lydia’s direction. “Um… Lydia… was that you or our slime?” The girls burst into giggles, covering their noses just in case.
“It was the slime! I promise,” Lydia defended and showed her friends how to make the sound for themselves.
They were having a wild time making fart noises and pretending the slime was drippy boogers when Mr. Wyley came into the dining room dressed in another suit.
“What an excellent way to start the meeting,” he joked. “All work and no play makes Lydia a dull girl,” he added, quoting a movie she wasn’t allowed to watch until she was at least 16.
Clapping his hands together to start the lesson, he wrote on the large pad of paper: THE NAME GAME.
“I see you have all brought your creations with you. They look wonderful. I love the style each of you has shown!” He gave a mini bow as he complimented everyone. “So today, let’s cement an official name for your shop. Does anyone already have some ideas?”
Lydia went first this time, “I was thinking my shop could be called Lydia’s Variety Shop or This & That since I’ll be selling different items and all…”
“Ok, that’s a pretty good start.”
Mr. Wyley nodded his head towards the other two girls prompting Karen to announce hers next. “Wacky Wrist Bangle Shop since I am selling bracelets.”
“Ok, a little long in the title, otherwise I love your creativity!” Karen noted the minor criticism by Mr. Wyley in her notepad.
Veronica was last, “Square Knot Top Shop since I think I am just going to continue crocheting things. It’s fun having a purpose making these squares instead of just wasting my yarn.”
“Nicely said, Veronica. That’s a great way to view a hobby you love to do anyways.”
“Dad, do you think our shop names are ok?”
“Well, I think you three as a team can give each other constructive feedback and come up with stronger shop names. Remember to have fun with it; try to pretend you’re a customer. What would you think if you didn’t know what was sold in the shop?”
“Oh, this will be fun!” Lydia exclaimed. She loved brainstorming ideas, now she had two friends to do it with!
Mr. Wyley left the girls to go talk to Mrs. Wyley about the groceries they needed. Lydia, Veronica, and Karen worked well into the evening tossing around silly business names until the phone rang around dinner time. Mrs. Wyley answered in the other room and brought the phone into the dining room.
“Karen, it’s your dad. He was wondering when you were going to call him to pick you up, he has a couple places to be tonight.”
Mrs. Wyley looked around the dining room table, observing how much fun the girls were having; she didn’t want to break it up.
She covered the mouthpiece on the phone and whispered to Karen, “Do you want me to ask your dad if you can sleep over?”
Karen nodded with such enthusiasm it ran down her arms causing her bracelets to jingle.
“Uh, Mr. Hackett she is so sorry, Lydia is having a sleepover tonight and it must have slipped her mind to ask. Is it alright with you if she stays over? I can drop her off in the morning.”
There was a long pause and the girls held their breath as they awaited his reply. Karen hadn’t been able to go to a sleepover since her dad got his second job and it would be so wonderful to have a night away from her little brother.
“Mmmhmmm. Ok, yes, thank you. I will let her know. Did you want to talk to her, she’s right here – okay, okay I’ll let her know! See you in a bit!”
The girls stared at Mrs. Wyley waiting for some type of explanation. No one ever said tonight was a sleepover night! Veronica looked to Lydia with hurt confusion in eyes.
Lydia put her hands up defensively, “I didn’t know there was a sleepover either!”
“Well, it’s a SURPRISE SLEEPOVER! Surprise!” and Mrs. Wyley shook her hands in the air. “Karen, your dad will be stopping by later this evening to drop off an overnight bag. Your brother is going to go to your auntie’s tonight.”
“Yay! I love surprise sleepovers, this is so awesome. Thank you, Mrs. Wyley!” Karen gave her an enormous hug.
“Veronica, let’s ask your parents too. How about I drive you so you won’t have to walk in the dark, then you can ask and pick up anything you’ll need. Lydia, Karen, and Mr. Wyley can go pick up some dinner and a movie for us! If that’s okay with you...”
All the women turned expectantly to Mr. Wyley giving him their best puppy dog looks. He gave her the thumbs up signal and they split into the two groups.
When everyone was reunited around the dinner table, they dug into two large pizzas the group brought home. A regular pepperoni topped pie and no sauce on the other, just pepperoni and cheese.
“No sauce? That’s weird, at least you guys got two,” Veronica reached over to get a slice of the pepperoni slathered in tomato sauce. She was so excited her mom had given her the okay to sleep over.
“That’s what I said when they ordered it!” Karen chimed in across the table.
“Have you guys ever had cheesy breadsticks and run out too quickly, wishing you ordered more?” Mr. Wyley asked. “Well, think of it as a gigantic cheesy breadstick instead of sauceless pizza. It all depends on your perspective.” He grinned and grabbed three slices of the giant cheesy “breadsticks.”
When they were stuffed to the brink of falling into a food coma, they gathered in the living room to unwind. Mrs. Wyley brought out a pile of blankets and dropped them onto the couch. Then she instructed Lydia to grab some pillows from the hall closet and asked the girls if they were ready to watch a movie. They said they were, but first wanted to get Mr. Wyley’s opinion on the rest of their ideas for shop names. Shaking his head, he told them he had some things to take care of before the night ended.
“Besides, you gotta take some time to be kids before you transform into robotic business women. Try to take breaks away from the grind,” he advised the girls.
Reluctantly agreeing with him, they settled down on the couch, snuggled up with fluffy blankets and pillows ready for the movie to begin.
After viewing two movies, snacking on insane amounts of popcorn and giving each other wacky hairstyles, the girls fell sound asleep on the couch dreaming of fortunes to come.