In middle school, a friend of mine introduced me to a friend of hers one day, and I somehow ended up invited to that friend’s birthday party, which was, I believe, the upcoming weekend.
I knew very little about this girl, but I got her some kind of present and showed up to the party.
At the party, I knew few people, but really, really hit it off with the birthday girl – we created our own no-hands cake-eating contest (just the two of us, while everyone watched), and, because we were having such a good time together, turned the birthday party into a birthday slumber party, having girls call their parents (or check with them as they arrived originally to pick up their daughter) to request staying and having a change of clothes delivered.
During the slumber portion of the evening, when everyone was splayed across the TV room floor in sleeping bags and pallets, and the version of “When Harry Met Sally” that has the miniature interviews with old couples interspersed through the film (and therefore adds an extra hour or more to the run-time) was playing, the birthday girl and I were snuggled right next to one another.
I remember my hair being wet still, because we had also turned the party into a swimming party earlier on, and I had swum in borrowed clothes.
Anyway, she and I were watching the movie and chatting with one another off and on, when we came to the topic of being ticklish.
Neither one of us had much of any resistance to being tickled, but we both had the desire to be able to resist the way other people we knew could – mostly people with lots of siblings.
I had (and have) many siblings, so I felt like I was missing out on this special skill that people with siblings seem to have.
And so, by reasoning that it must be a matter of having been conditioned that allowed these people to resist, we agreed to test out our own conditioning.
Therefore, dozing off during the film, we both slowly and gently ran our fingers back and forth across one another’s feet bottoms (yes, the soles), so that we each could practice deep breathing and calming ourselves in the face of being tickled.
Fast forward to today, and I can tell you that our night of tickling practice paid off – most people have no idea that I am at all ticklish (this includes, of course, all the people who actually tickle me – I’m not just saying it because people don’t try or anything).
I can’t resist forever, but I still have a solid thirty seconds to a minute or so that I can resist quite well, even when the tickling is intense.
When the acrobats were hanging with us, we all had a tickle fight (because what’s the point of giving up tickle fights amongst friends, just because we’re adults?)… almost every attempt to send me into crying giggles failed, due to my power of resistance – vive la résistance! – but our fingers grew sore from jabbing at what felt like concrete or brick walls, because the extremely muscled abdomens of the acrobats were also extremely ticklish.
(This went in many different directions… now, back to my original concept with the instant friend in middle school.)
And so, years later, I still recall Sayrah, the girl who became my instant friend that one week in middle school, just about every time I consider a no-hands food-eating contest or event or when I consider my awesome skill at resisting being tickled.
***As a quick note, I totally can be tickled like crazy, and I willingly give in to it instantly when I’m in the mood for a good and deep laughing fit, but it’s nice to be able not to have those when I really just want to be a rock of calm. 😛
Anyway, I miss having that, instant friends… we even mentioned that tonight, missing the social aspect of school, where you get to be surrounded by people of similar age and intelligence at least five days a week, and friends kind of abound… adulting is tough in that respect…