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It’s a Lot of Work Being a Girl
by Jerry Guarino

Joey and Sam were watching his sister Susan through the window of Sam’s 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 date.

“What’s she doing now Joey?”

“I don’t know. Putting some kind of cream on her face.”

“I thought she already did that.”

“This is makeup, I think. It’s different.”

“How long does it take?”

“Once last year during prom it took two hours.”

“Two hours! Impossible.”

“I swear it Sam. On my baseball card collection.”

“Well, where is she going?”

“Some dance at the college.”

“The college? But she’s still in high school.”

“What can I tell you? Some guy saw her studying at their library. I don’t think he knows she’s in high school.”

“Do your parents know?”

“No, they think she’s going out with her friends to the high school dance tonight. They would never let her go to the college with a guy. They’re afraid…”

“Afraid of what?”

“You know.”

“No, what?”

“Remember what your Dad told you about how babies are made?”

“Ew! That. Think she wants to do that?”

“I don’t know. It seems that’s what college guys do with college girls.”

“But Susan’s seventeen. Isn’t that against the law?”

“Not if she wants to. I think. How should I know? I’m eleven.”

“Wait, she’s left the room. Probably to get dressed.”

“Sam, you have that Playboy, the one with the college girls?”

“Yeah Joey. It’s under my bed. Why?”

“Those girls, you know. They do it. Let’s see what they wear.” “That’s some funny underwear. Why is it shiny?”

“I guess that’s so the boy can find them in the dark. What’s that thing?”

“I don’t know. Looks like a dog collar. Why does a girl need that?”

“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. That’s 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 here’s a girl with just the collar and underpants on.”

“Man. You’re right. Wait, she’s wearing shoes too.”

“Oh, yeah. OK. I didn’t see that. Don’t look like shoes I’ve ever seen before, more like something from a fairy tale.”

“Yeah, like Cinderella. Don’t look comfortable though. Too high off the ground.”

“Hey, your sister’s coming back into the bathroom. Whoa!”

“What, let me look.”

“She’s wearing shiny underwear and one of those collar things. Now she’s putting on a red dress.”

“My turn. Give me the telescope. Oh. This isn’t good.”


“She put the collar in her purse. Guess she doesn’t want your parents to see it.”

“Wow. That’s some dress.

“Let me see. Uh oh. That’s the red dress she wore at junior prom, the night she got in trouble for staying out too late.”

“Did she wear shiny underwear that night?”

“How do I know? We were camping in the backyard that day, remember? And we didn’t have the telescope.”

“Yeah, the telescope was a great Christmas present that year.”


“So, is she done getting ready?”

“Nope. Now she has to do something with her hair.”

“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. It’s 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 they’re wearing and boys and other stuff. I don’t listen too well.”

“And what time is she supposed to be home?”

“Eleven o’clock, a half hour after the dance ends.”

“But she’s not going to the dance. She’s going to the college.”

“I know. But she would be foolish to be out too late, not after prom last year.”

“I’m going to get dinner. You want to come over? We can see her up close when she leaves.”

“OK. Let me hide the magazine first. Mom doesn’t know I have it.”

“Yeah, they never look under the bed.”

“If she did, she would have talked to me about it.”

“All right. I’m going home. Tell your mom you’re coming over to my house for dinner.”

“Hey! If I ask her to sleep over, we can wait till your sister comes home.”

“That’s great. Yeah. Maybe you should bring the magazine, you know, in case we get bored.”

“Yeah. I’ll roll it up in my sleeping bag.”

“Bring two, OK?”

“Yeah, two.”