What: A *~*~*PARTAY*~*~* for the 15th Anniversary of My Grudge Against That Bitch Cindy McDermott
When: Saturday, September 8, 2018, at 7:00 PM
Where: 57 Minuteman Drive – come right around back!


The summer before eighth grade, I purchased two tickets to see Avril Lavigne at the FleetBoston Pavilion and invited my best friend Cindy McDermott because that’s what best friends do, right? We both loved Avril and each other and had friendship bracelets to prove it. It would be weeks before I learned that she was a heartless liar who was rotten to her very core.

Cindy said no because she had to visit her grandmother in Chatham that weekend. It was a shock since Avril was our favorite singer/songwriter, but what could she do? Grandmothers just don’t understand.

The weekend before the show, Cindy came over to help me choose my outfit. All appeared normal. However, she did not let me borrow her best striped tie. She claimed her father mistook it for his own and wore it to work—a likely story! That should have been my first clue.

On September 8, 2003, I arrived at the FleetBoston Pavilion with my second best friend Caroline Shea. She was fine and whatever and loved Avril but didn’t get me like Cindy. She also refused to use the code I invented when we passed notes in Earth Science and so it’s all her fault that Jenny found out I liked Robby M. even though I told her I didn’t because I knew she liked him. UGH. (Robby and I totally made out after prom, though.)

Caroline’s parents dropped us off at the concert. Our ties were Double Windsor-ed like William and Harry at a polo match. Our eyes were lined as thick as the treads on a BMX bike popping wheelies behind CVS. We were so ready.

After dropping $35 each on our official tour t-shirts, Caroline and I found our seats and I experienced the betrayal that has plagued my memory for fifteen years.

Three rows ahead of me, sitting next to Annie Casputo from Algebra II, was Cindy.

Cindy, who said she couldn’t go to the concert with me.

Cindy, who said she and Annie only ate lunch together to go over their math homework.

Cindy, who was wearing the striped necktie she claimed her father had appropriated the previous week.

Cindy, whose grandmother doesn’t even live in Chatham.

The concert was ruined. I spent the whole time watching Cindy instead of rocking out with Avril. Caroline was oblivious to my pain (so surprising that she’s a marriage counselor now, right?). Despite a teary catharsis during “Complicated,” from that moment on Cindy was dead to me.

Of course, seeing as our group of girlfriends still sat on the bus together and had weekly sleepovers throughout high school, I never told her. In fact, we roomed together at Amherst and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding in 2012. (Yes, Annie Casputo was the maid of honor. I’d rather not discuss it.)

My grudge against Cindy has been one of my longest-running relationships. When Cindy beat me out for senior class president, I knew that karma would eventually take down that two-faced poser. When Harvard Law rejected me for the third time, I took comfort in knowing that Cindy is a garbage human. When Rob broke up with me on my twenty-fourth birthday, I consoled myself by remembering how terrible Cindy was that one time.

My grudge against Cindy is the oldest of all of my grudges, older even than the one against Ms. Hastings (my skirt passed the fingertip test and she knew it). It has provided me with a rare steadiness in our ever-changing world. I invite you to join me in celebrating its 15th year.

My party will feature:

  • The vocal stylings of Sk8tr Grrrl, Greater Boston’s best Avril Lavigne cover band
  • A champagne toast at 8:13 PM, the moment I spotted that two-faced liar with her stupid tie
  • Gift bags of authentic merchandise from Avril Lavigne’s Let Go tour (include your youth T-shirt size with RSVP)
  • The surprise arrival of Cindy McDermott Johnson, who thinks this is her birthday party!

RSVP by September 2 so I don’t have to host a celebration for you in 2033!

Hope to see you there!