In Which Our Adolescence Series Kicks Off With Three-Way Calling and Aladdin

This is the first entry in our series on Adolescence. You can find the archives of our series on Childhood here, and eventually you’ll be able to find past entries from Adolescence here.

A Whole New World

by Rebecca Wiener

I developed early. That’s one thing that “explains a lot.” I got attention from boys, and I will say that I knew what to do with most of it. Some of it I didn’t, obviously, because grabby boys can be very scary to a 14-year-old with braces who likes math.

Anyway, I had a lot of boyfriends and boy friends in middle school, and I also had Three-Way Calling. I was the only girl in our friend group that had it, so whenever anyone had a problem with a best friend or wanted to test the waters with a potential new FK (that’s French kissing) partner, they would call me to facilitate.

I was on the line when Ryan sang “A Whole New World” to Lauren, which totally floored her and earned him second base. I helped Ricky smooth things over with Kelly after he’d been freakin’ (we actually called it that) with another girl at Homecoming. I helped Bobby find out if Jenny liked him by pretending he wasn’t on the phone at all (she did and they dated for a full 3 months). But I also used Three-Way for evil. I was to the Three-Way call what Alex Carnevale is to the Bcc.

I pretended Ricky wasn’t on the line when I asked Kelly if she’d ever let him get to third base. She said no and we hung up. Then Ricky dumped her and started dating me. I asked Jenny if she liked another boy while Bobby was secretly listening. She did just a little and Bobby dumped her. And started dating me.

Yet somehow I maintained all these friendships. They kept coming back to the Three-Way call no matter how many times I screwed them, so I just kept on collecting their boyfriends. Clearly, I was very good at 1.) feigning innocence, 2.) apologizing with genuine feeling, and maybe most importantly, 3.) displacing blame. Case in point:

Jenny: Becky, how could you start dating him the day after he dumped me?
Becky: What? I had no idea. I am so, so sorry, Jenny. So sorry. Sorry. I really am. He said you broke up with him! I can’t believe he’d lie like that.
Jenny: Oh. Okay. I like Brandon a little anyway. Want to watch Friends at my house after volleyball?
Becky: Yeah, I love Friends. Chandler’s super cute. New York is cool.
Jenny: Okay, bye. [click]
Bobby: I didn’t say that.
Becky: Shut up or I won’t FK you on the bus tomorrow.

See? She didn’t even ask me to stop dating him.

Then at the end of 8th grade, my mom decided Three-Way Calling was too expensive and shut it off. I blame her for why I had no friends in the 9th grade at my new school.

It certainly couldn’t have been the fact that I cut my hair like a boy’s and wore a bulky beige sweater wrapped around my waist every single day.

Rebecca Wiener is the editorial director of Heeb Magazine. You can find more of her work on This Recording here and here.

Ms. Wiener’s prom night. Holla!

Check back on Friday for the second and much more violent part of this groundbreaking series.


Will discussed the New Yorker.

We looked at the search for the new Madonna.

We opined on Bob D.

Molly reviewed Superbad.

We destroyed the golden mean, and yet there’s restraint.

25 thoughts on “In Which Our Adolescence Series Kicks Off With Three-Way Calling and Aladdin

  1. Three-way calling? Ooh, sounds scary if not a little fun for destructive potential.

    like The Vitamini String quartet stuff.

    Ed, 17 seconds

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  3. I will need to return once again when my course fill abates — nevertheless I am maintaining an open eye your own Feed in order to read your web website offline. I really need to say thank you.

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