Boston, MA December 15th, 1773
“So, Elizabeth, are you going to the Boston Tea Party tomorrow evening?” The two young ladies took a break from their board games by the fireside to discuss the matter.
“My goodness, Rebecca, I haven’t the slightest.”
“Neither have I, and I have yet to gather the details. The town crier’s rumor segment was quite choppy today. Do you not concur? I think he has consumption.”
“Agreed, I could barely hear him over all of that nasty coughing. I did catch that the Sons of Liberty organized the tea party- whoever they are!”
“Oh, I know, dear Rebecca! There are so many various, social groups. I can just never keep up. Rachel heard that the theme is ‘Native Garb’. Actually, she said they are all dressing like Indians, but, 'Native Garb' has a better ring to it.”
"You have such a way with words, dear Lizzy! I must say though, it all seems a bit socially insensitive to me.”
“Yes, I thought that too. A delicate matter- the natives. Maybe we should not attend. Regardless, where is this Tea Party being held?”
“On a boat at Griffin’s Wharf.”
“Rebecca! Griffin’s Wharf and on a boat! It’s settled, we're going! It has been so frigid out, we must wear many layers. Do you have anything with leather and fringe I can borrow?”
“Yes! My brothers wore native men costumes to last year’s masquerade ball."
"Perfect! I will pilfer some of dear mother’s ‘war paint’ for our faces!”
“Oh, my goodness, Elizabeth, you are so wild! Did you catch what time it begins?”
“Yes, it starts at 7pm. Do you think they will spike the tea with rum?”
“If they don’t, we will!”
The young ladies stayed up through the night planning their secret excursion. Overflowing with giggles and notions of misadventure, they spoke more of the event.
“I heard from Rachel that Sam Adams will be at the party.”
“Oh my! I know of him. He frequents my father's pub. Do you think he will exchange words with us?”
“Wouldn’t that be just outrageous, Rebecca? Will Rachel be joining?”
“No, she had a premonition about the whole thing.”
“Oh poo! Rachel is so stuffy at times. My father says she spends too much time in the library.”
The next day Elizabeth and Rebecca made themselves up like Indians between the hours of five pm and six o'clock. They ironed their hair, twisting it into long braids. They smeared Elizabeth’s mother’s lipstick across their cheeks and they helped each other into the layers of leather, fringe and feathers. After tricking Gregor the coachman into escorting them to the wharf, they were on their way to the Tea Party.
When they stepped out of the carriage at Griffin’s Wharf, the girls were surprised by the sheer silence that greeted them. They could see silhouettes of people on the boat, but it all seemed rather tame. No one noticed when they stepped onto the grand ship. The other guests were quite preoccupied with what seemed to be a bunch of treasure chests. There was no music, no dancing and no tea to be seen. The girls spoke in hushed whispers.
“Rebecca, this party is a bore. Do you think they went too far with the theme?”
“Yes, I agree, Elizabeth. I don’t understand tossing the party favors overboard either. Those look like very expensive cedar chests. Are we meant to dive in after them?”
"I say, abandon ship, Rebecca, rather than walk the plank."
Disappointed, the two young ladies slipped away into the night and back to their awaiting carriage. After Gregor had delivered them safely home, they returned to their board games and gossip around the fireplace in order to calm their nerves.
Washington DC, USA January 6th, 2021
“OMG, Liz, there’s some kind of rally going on right now at the Capitol building? Do you think we should get over there and check it out?”
“I don’t know, Becca. I’m not very political. Why are you watching the news anyways?!”
“You’re right! Lame. I’ll change the channel.” Becca switched back to Reality Girls- their favorite show.
“Yeah, honestly, I couldn’t even tell if it was the Democrats or Republicans this time.”
“Well, Becca, I haven’t really picked sides anyway. I kind of like the sound of the Tea Party, but I can’t figure out which team they play for.”
“Shut up, Liz! You literally slay me, like, I’m so dead right now and buried.”
“It looked like people are dressed up crazy over there and hanging out on the lawn. Some guy was wearing a Native American costume. So racist!”
“Ok, wait wait, so, like, costumes and almost like a festival? Sold! Let’s do this! What are we going to wear?!”
“Yeah!!! Why not? Let’s get weird with it! We should totally wear those Colonial dresses your mom has in that old chest in the attic. That will totally make a statement!”
“Yes! That’s perfect! I love it!”
Liz and Becca spent a couple hours primping. Liz wore the robin’s egg blue dress with lace fringe and Becca wore the dusty rose one. They curled their hair, teased it up and powdered it like the old wigs women used to wear. Once they had painstakingly painted moles to their stark white cheeks, they felt prepared. They called their Uber, waited 4 minutes and were on their way. When they got there they could see across the vast lawn that the crowd was flooding into the Capitol Building.
“Oh wow, Becca! They’re taking the protest inside. Come on! Hurry up!”
“Yeah! Let’s do this!”
“This is crazy, Liz! You are so my bestie!”
Grabbing up their long, layered skirts, the girls raced to the main entrance. Giddy and giggling, they rushed into the building with everyone else. Playfully, they danced around the opulent foyer of the building and felt like princesses at a ball for about 3 minutes. Winded by the running and commotion, they finally paused to take things in. Looking around they saw much more camo, weaponry and weird than they had anticipated.
“Whoa, Becca, look at that guy. Are those zip ties?”
“Yeah, this is getting a little scary.”
“Maybe we should get out of here.” They slinked back toward the door and slipped out of the building.
Just as Liz and Becca’s Uber driver showed up, two heavily armed officers slammed the door of the Capital building shut and there was a loud, locking noise. A little freaked out by the protest, the girls went back to Becca’s and watched their favorite show Reality Girls to lighten the mood.