Judy Blume is on my list. 3 times.
Today I started with, “Are you there God? It’s me. Margaret.”
It’s the story of an 11-year-old-girl-going-on-12 who moves from New York to New Jersey. She discovers the Jersies a bit perturbed with her lack of religion, although she has a personal relationship with God. Should she be Christian? Jewish? Catholic? In the end, she gets her period.
But seriously, it was a good book. Blume has a very authentic voice, and I think that’s because she writes on her personal experiences and converts it to fiction. The character of Margaret is very real, and I had horrid flashbacks about puberty. Speaking of which, those girls in this book should have read, “It’s Perfectly Normal.” Probably would have save them quite a bit of drama.
The main character says and does things which remind me horribly of my pubescent years. Growing into a woman was terribly uncomfortable. On one side, you desperately wish to be like your friends- wear your first training bra, start your godforsaken period and start shaving your legs, all these things- which your mother resists, but ultimately relents to.
Well, sort of. My mother isn’t the relenting type. When she still lived with me, I remember practicing every day to get her to say yes to me shaving my legs. She always said no, claiming that horrible phrase, “you’ll wish you hadn’t started when you get older.” Finally after days and weeks of prodding she finally gave in. We were at our local Walmart picking out shoes and I said, “oh how gross, look mom how much hair I have on my legs!”
And without skipping a beat she berated me with, “well then just fucking shave them.” It was magical.
Getting my first period wasn’t nearly as momentous. I didn’t live with my mom anymore, but as a little girl, she always had colorful names for those communists in the fun house. You could also always tell when they were proletariat-ing because she would lie on the couch in agony for a few days while my dad made emergency rushes to the store for New York Mint Patties. Fabulous times. Anyway, by the time mine came at the age of 13, I was mostly prepared, except for that bright blue jogging suit I wore that day. (I have no idea why I owned a fuzzy, bright blue, jogging suit, but I certainly did.) I had to tell my dad and he made sure I had the necessary equipment. Later that evening I called my mom to tell her, and she was enthusiastic. Do all moms get weird about their daughter’s periods?
Also one of my best friends shrieked in the hallway, “YOU’RE A WOMAN NOW!” Yeah, she had her period since we were 10.
I’m sure you were riveted, wondering where the story goes from here, but let’s just say, it ends with less magic and more horrific “Twilight” images. (Bad writing, Angst, blood, and glitter makeup… hey teenage years were rough.)
So to get back to Blume here, it was an enjoyable book. Very fluffy, As to why it was banned, I can only guess that it was partly to do with who the author is and some of her other works. Besides the fact that the main character decides to not choose a religion and gets her period, it’s really not a pushy read. There is a part where Margaret talks about her father’s Playboy magazines, and the boob sizes of other girls, but it’s not offensive at least to me. It feels like the voice of a tweenie being naturally curious about the ungodly stage of puberty.
It is becoming increasingly obvious how difficult it is for me to read banned books and then talk about why the might be banned. I disagree with censorship. I believe that Milton had it right when he talked about the marketplace of free ideas. Basically, the truth will be sifted out only when there is a free exchange of thought entering the competition of human discussion. Bit more to it then that, and he was talking specifically about censorship of the writing press in 16th century England, but you get the drift, right? That man was a pamphlet god.
Well, that’s all I really wanted to say today on this particular book. I read the whole thing in a little over an hour, so it’s a pretty easy read for anyone interested.
As for my day: there was a significant amount of temper tantrums. It wasn’t such a good day. I only had four hours of sleep. I hate waking up in the morning even when I get a full night’s rest. Without it… face tentacles. I also took care of my grandma. I felt pretty terrible because I had zero patience. Since her CNS Lymphoma has been going on, she generally moves a little slower and needs help with small tasks like zippers and opening envelopes- and things of that nature. Usually I let her do what she can at her own speed, but today I was a ferocious naysayer and do-for-her-right-awayer. I hate being like that. She has always been patient with me. I need to work on controlling my temper even with lack of sleep.
Yeah. I was klutzy too. I made carrot and apple juice for her and promptly spilled it all over her magazines, tissues and special salt. Couldn’t get her seat belt on in the car to save my life. Burned myself while curling her hair. Spilled coffee on my pants and on the counter. Then we took a wrong turn when taking a back road to go into town. Forgot things at the store so we had to turn around even though I was on limited time constraint because I had to drop her and her groceries off with my grandfather before I could leave for work. I was huffy and puffy all day, and feeling that way just made me feel more pufferfishly. Fortunately, I had a short shift at my first job. Normally a 2 hour shift would frustrate me, but I did not want to be there. So I came home, made fried green beans and read Judy Blume. I feel better now, except for the lumpy way my body has been looking. Now I face that ultimate question- go the gym.. or go to sleep?
You can do sidebends or situps, but please don’t loose that butt.
I’m just kidding. I don’t have a butt. I sat it off.
Also that video is refreshingly disturbing and demeaning.
Unfortunately, it’s also like a hug from Jesus.