Sleepovers have been a popular occurrence since forever. We still have sleepovers, but they’re a little different, either involving someone of the opposite gender or waking up on the floor or random piece of furniture in someone’s undersized room. Something like that. But I’ve recently been thinking about the days of sleepovers when I was a kid. Good fucking times, man, let me tell you. Before we all had cell phones, it started with an awkward yet important phone call to initiate the plans. “Hi this is Eric Hammer is _____ there?” A few sentences back and forth followed by the cordial invitation, succeeded by “hold on let me ask my mom”. Might as well have read off a script.
And better than a one-on-one sleepover was a group of your friends all crashing at someone’s house. Video games, often tournaments, became routine. For a lot of us, it was simulating seasons of Madden, never actually playing, and seeing where your team finished. Staying up late ordering Pizza Hut and eating candy and snacks and doing stupid shit that seemed hilarious for absolutely no reason. Over the years the video games stayed constant, but lost its importance in the grand scheme of the evening’s events. It turned into playing poker, making fun of kids at school, and talking about the hottest girls in school followed by a story someone had about talking to a girl on AIM or AOL. I don’t know about everyone else, but it was like clockwork at my house, my mom or dad would come downstairs at like 3am because we were “too loud” and everyone else in the house was “sleeping” or some shit. And you either slept really late into the afternoon or you woke up super early to play more video games and coincidentally made noise that woke everyone else in the house up. All followed up by a bangin breakfast, usually bagels, sometimes pancakes or eggs. One time I woke up at a friends house to find McDonald’s breakfast sitting on the table. The worst part about hosting was cleaning up after everyone left in the morning (folding blankets, rearranging furniture, etc).
At Brandon Gerstein’s house, we used to play a game called War, where we split into 2 teams and drafted furniture/props from around the basement, used them to build forts, collected all the soccer balls/footballs and unloaded on the other team in the pitch black, trying to destroy the forts and break each other’s faces. At Chris Lopez’s house it was hide and seek, but everyone hiding had 5 minutes to set up traps and anything else that you can’t see (in the pitch black) and that would definitely absolutely hurt every time. At Eric Berman’s house it was Madden and trying to get there as early as possible to reserve the best couches in the basement before you ended up sleeping under the pool table, which wasn’t so bad I suppose. And how about waking up in the middle of the night or the morning having to go to the bathroom, so you pissed on the outside of the bowl to make the least amount of noise and then absolutely refuse to flush. And you never wanted to be the first one asleep because you’re guaranteed to be fucked with by your friends (enemies).
I imagine girls all did the same things, except probably not video games, and I also imagine pillow fights, lots of pillow fights with minimal clothing. Nailed it.