Its a Lot
of Work Being a Girl
by Jerry Guarino
Joey and Sam were watching
his sister Susan through the window of Sams
house next door. They used the telescope Sam got
for Christmas; Susan left the window shade open
to get some natural light as she got ready for a
Whats she doing now Joey?
I dont know. Putting some kind of
cream on her face.
I thought she already did that.
This is makeup, I think. Its
How long does it take?
Once last year during prom it took two
Two hours! Impossible.
I swear it Sam. On my baseball card
Well, where is she going?
Some dance at the college.
The college? But shes still in high
What can I tell you? Some guy saw her
studying at their library. I dont think he
knows shes in high school.
Do your parents know?
No, they think shes going out with
her friends to the high school dance tonight.
They would never let her go to the college with a
guy. Theyre afraid
Afraid of what?
Remember what your Dad told you about how
babies are made?
Ew! That. Think she wants to do that?
I dont know. It seems thats
what college guys do with college girls.
But Susans seventeen. Isnt that
against the law?
Not if she wants to. I think. How should I
know? Im eleven.
Wait, shes left
the room. Probably to get dressed.
Sam, you have that Playboy, the one with
the college girls?
Yeah Joey. Its
under my bed. Why?
Those girls, you know. They do it. Lets
see what they wear. Thats some
funny underwear. Why is it shiny?
I guess thats
so the boy can find them in the dark. Whats
I dont know.
Looks like a dog collar. Why does a girl need
Beats me. Has a nice
pin in the middle, but no way it would hold a dog.
It looks more like ribbon.
Look, see here. Thats the same dog
collar, black with a white pin in the middle. Oh,
now I get it.
Never mind. I thought it was something to
hold on a cape, but heres a girl with just
the collar and underpants on.
Man. Youre right. Wait, shes
wearing shoes too.
Oh, yeah. OK. I didnt see that. Dont
look like shoes Ive ever seen before, more
like something from a fairy tale.
Yeah, like Cinderella. Dont look
comfortable though. Too high off the ground.
Hey, your sisters
coming back into the bathroom. Whoa!
What, let me look.
Shes wearing shiny underwear and one
of those collar things. Now shes putting on
a red dress.
My turn. Give me the telescope. Oh. This
She put the collar in
her purse. Guess she doesnt want your
parents to see it.
Wow. Thats some
Let me see. Uh oh.
Thats the red dress she wore at junior prom,
the night she got in trouble for staying out too
Did she wear shiny underwear that night?
How do I know? We were camping in the
backyard that day, remember? And we didnt
have the telescope.
Yeah, the telescope was a great Christmas
present that year.
So, is she done
Nope. Now she has to do something with her
Her hair is already
dry. I saw the hair dryer.
Yeah, but now she
curls it with some hot thing and some spray.
How long does that take?
Another half hour. I timed it.
No wonder she started at five. Its
six now. When will she leave?
Probably not until seven. After she gets
dressed, she talks on the phone with her friends.
They talk about what theyre wearing and
boys and other stuff. I dont listen too
And what time is she supposed to be home?
a half hour after the dance ends.
But shes not
going to the dance. Shes going to the
I know. But she would be foolish to be out
too late, not after prom last year.
Im going to get dinner. You want to
come over? We can see her up close when she
OK. Let me hide the magazine first. Mom
doesnt know I have it.
Yeah, they never look
under the bed.
If she did, she would
have talked to me about it.
All right. Im going home. Tell your
mom youre coming over to my house for
Hey! If I ask her to sleep over, we can
wait till your sister comes home.
Thats great. Yeah. Maybe you should
bring the magazine, you know, in case we get
Yeah. Ill roll it up in my sleeping
Bring two, OK?