Thoughts of an 8th Grader On A Class Trip Who Doesn't Have Money To Buy Something From The Gift Shop

  1. "Let's ride El Toro. The lines aren't even that bad because everyone's so obsessed with the Kingda Ka which is, like, a great experience, but it's not even really like a roller coaster, you know?"
  2. What?
  3. Amanda and Faith want to go shopping.
  4. Why would we go shopping?
  5. We're at Six Flags.
  6. Danny and Joe won't want to...
  7. What?! Danny and Joe are down to check out a few gift stores?
  8. Wait. Wait. Wait.
  9. Why are we shopping at Six Flags?
  10. ...
  11. Bridget, everyone is going to realize mom only gave you money for lunch.
  12. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.
  13. "Guys, we haven't ridden Batman: The Ride yet."
  14. Everyone is already paging through neon Six Flags tank tops, Bridget. You've lost them.
  15. You're going to be the 5th, just like you were when we all paired up to ride Superman.
  16. That's what we get for walking around an amusement park in a party of five.
  17. Quick, check your wallet.
  18. $3.50 leftover from the pizza and drink.
  19. You just had to get the Souvenir cup, Bridget.
  20. You've had to lug that thing around all day, and it's not like you'll ever even use it again. It's two feet tall, shaped like an hourglass, and impossible to wash.
  21. What do I do?
  22. I can't let myself be the only one in my friend group to not buy something on a class trip.
  23. I need to enter that bus with a bag, damnit, or I'll be further behind than I already am.
  24. Maybe I can get a key chain?
  25. "Oh my God, Faith, yes to the Tweety Bird trucker hat."
  26. It says "Hawt" on it.
  27. Danny wants to get a hoodie.
  28. You know how much a hoodie is at any gift store on earth?
  29. If you have to ask, you can't afford it.
  30. Face it, Bridget. You're just not like them.
  31. You don't have "money for the gift store" parents.
  32. You have "used tube of sunscreen and 'I can't believe that school isn't paying for your lunch'" parents.
  33. Just once I want money for, like, an ironic bucket hat that actually looks cute.
  34. I will always be the 5th. I will always be riding in a cart with a weird guy who willingly raises his hand when they ask if anyone is riding alone today.
  35. All because I don't have money for the gift store.
  36. Amanda has bought the souvenir photo from every single ride we rode.
  37. Even the swings.
  38. And I didn't even think the swings had a souvenir photo.
  39. "Hahaha Joe, an invisible dog leash?! Can you imagine? You should get that. You should totally get that."
  40. Like, they are looking at garbage.
  41. Amanda is buying earrings.
  42. And not even Six Flags earrings. Just, like, normal studs.
  43. Why can't mom and dad give me money to buy at least one stupid thing? Like for once in their lives why not just let me be an absolute idiot with their money?
  44. So I don't stand out on class trips more than anything.
  45. Joe paid to play ten games of ring toss earlier and eventually just asked the guy if he could buy the massive stuffed penguin.
  46. My family snuggled ziplock bags of trail mix to every movie growing up.
  47. Faith is asking if I'm seeing anything I like.
  48. Bridget, you're standing near visors, you dumb whore.
  49. "Eh, not really seeing anything I love."
  50. Oh great, there's some necklaces over near Faith that she thinks would look great on me.
  51. Why am I wasting my time here? There are so many amazing rides all around and we've barely ridden any.
  52. Earlier, Amanda forced us to stand under the misters for 15 minutes, and we all know it was because she wanted Danny to see her with her hair wet.
  53. "Oh no, this necklace looks terrible."
  54. God, that necklace looks great on me.
  55. But it is $18.99.
  56. I wish I could just buy a t-shirt with cut-up tassles and move on with my life having participated.
  57. But no, mom and dad have "principles."
  58. I'm pretty sure we're not even poor.
  59. But I'm always Bridget, the girl who never has money for dumb stuff.
  60. Bridget, the girl who wasn't able to buy astronaut ice cream at the Air and Space Museum.
  61. Bridget, the girl who one time said "photo booths are lame" because she didn't have the $5 for one.
  62. Bridget, the girl who couldn't afford the camel ride on the 5th grade zoo field trip, because apparently not everything is included in the price of admission.
  63. Oh no.
  64. Everyone wants to get matching sunglasses.
  65. To remember the true crew before we all go to different high schools.
  66. I do not have the money.
  67. They will literally all be the same, and I will be different.
  68. Don't cry, Bridget. You're developing a reputation for crying on field trips.
  69. "Um, no thanks."
  70. Oh, wow. Faith is really pushing it, demanding to know why I won't buy sunglasses with them. You know why, Faith. And in front of Joe, which, like, not my fault he texts me first when he wants to hang out.
  71. "Yeah, I..."
  72. They need you to say it out loud. You have to just do it.
  73. "I don't have any money."
  74. AND THIS IS THE PART OF THE CLASS TRIP WHERE EVERYONE INSISTS ON BUYING ME THINGS.
  75. "No, no. Really, no. I'm fine."
  76. This is the worst moment of my entire life.
  77. They are talking to me the same way everyone talked to Kashif, the foreign exchange kid. Equal parts compassion, condescension, and pity.
  78. I'm pretty sure Kashif was visiting the U.S. because he won $10,000 for innovating a solar powered irrigation system. Like, Kashif is doing better than all of us.
  79. What do I do?
  80. "No, thank you, I don't really want to owe any of you guys money."
  81. Everyone gave quiet "ok"s, and my world is over.
  82. Faith wants to go to a different store to look for a Lola Bunny shirt she saw someone wearing earlier.
  83. "NO."
  84. Bridget, woah.
  85. "WE ARE RIDING EL TORO. IT'S THE WORLD'S FASTEST WOODEN ROLLER COASTER AND IT'S AWESOME. I'D GO ALONE, BUT YOU ARE MY FRIENDS AND I WANT TO SPEND THIS TIME TOGETHER, BUT IT'S MY TURN. MINE. SO STOP BUYING STUPID THINGS, AND LET'S GO FLY THROUGH THE AIR AND SCREAM TOGETHER."
  86. We're off.
  87. Faith is definitely going to be the 5th.