By Diane Ako
Olivia and I joined a new club this weekend. We are now proud members of Tiger Stripes Club - or The Stripes for short.
It's the brainchild of our seven year old neighbor, who formed her own club after facing rejection from her big sister's organization, the Crazy Cats Club. Exclusive membership to the CCC is limited to the three BFFs, and not even a real cat can join. I asked if my cat, Ocho, could apply for membership - she being an authentic feline and at times, crazy-acting - but they said no. You have to be ten and into Justin Bieber, and Ocho is neither.
Hence, The Stripes. Kira formed the club and enlisted her schoolmate, Kea. Kira picked a club name for herself as Black Shadow. Kea's club name is Flamey Flame, in reference to the fiery orange of a tiger's coat.
If Olivia and I wanted to join, it was put to us that we had to select a tiger-themed name. Kira suggested to me that Pink Nose would be an excellent moniker for myself, so I immediately adapted it. She absolutely did not approve of Olivia's choice of name, Pink Sparkley. "Tigers don't sparkle," she informed us.
Olivia insisted that she had to have that name, and it being so close to naptime and all, was clearly obstinate. I realized I had to demonstrate good faith as a new member and step in to arbitrate this brewing situation.
After suggesting a number of possible compromises, it was agreed that we could officially enroll Olivia as Orange Sparkle, but she could choose to go by her preferred nickname of Pink Sparkley, please note there is a "y" at the end of that name. I'm glad we resolved this issue.
Now, to board elections. Kira dictated that she is the leader of the pack, though if she takes to adding Dear to that title I will have to gracefully recind my membership because I want to continue to enjoy my human rights. I was appointed Secretary on the qualification that I'm the only one who knows how to write.
As for club activities, our goal is "to meet at the playground as often as we can", and to sometimes pretend to play invisible video games, "like this, hold out your hands," demonstrated Kira.
"I can't, I am using my hands to hold my Razor," responded Olivia. Kira let it pass; we Stripes have a flexible agenda.
We also have a secret handshake, and by handshake, we actually mean dance choreography. The little chant goes like this: Turn around, touch the ground, kick your boyfriend out of town, never to be found! You have to act it out as you say it. If the neighborhood boys are paying attention it will not be very secret after a few greetings; we'll have to think this through a little more.
Right now the club is pondering a serious issue that has long-reaching implications for the entire identity of the organization: Do we admit males? "Can my daddy join?" asked Olivia.
"But he's a boy," Kira said. Like, duh?
While our leader is deliberating this pending action, Olivia and I have already struck up a backroom deal. Should he be accepted, Claus' club name will be Leaf Glitter. We're currently working on teaching him the secret handshake.