So You Want To Be A Girl, Do You - Chapter 7

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So You Want To Be A Girl, Do You - Chapter 7
By Barbara Lynn Terry

As I left the school with Sally and Michelle, Donny Baird decided to come up to me.

“Say, beautiful, what say I walk you home?”

“Mr. Baird, why don’t you go flt a kite?”

“Awww, now look, Stephanie, all I want is one date with you. Is that too much to ask?”

“Yes, Mr. Baird, it is. I don’t like you. Because you have the manners of a … a … uhm … ogre. Yes, that’s it, you’re an ogre with the manners of one. So, don’t think I am going to cross that bridge so you can have me for dinner. Another thing, too, is, I am not infatuated with you, like you are with me.”

“Stephanie, I am not infatuated with you. I just want to take you to the dance.”

“Mr. Baird, I have told you and told you, Fred is taking me to the dance. If you keep bothering me, I will tell George, and we will see who takes who to where. Quit bothering me, Mr. Baird. I mean that.”

“But, Stephanie, I just …”

“I know what you just … Mr. Baird. Now leave me alone. If you follow me home, I will have my parents call the police and tell them what you have been up to.”

Donny decided it wasn’t worth his time to keep asking me. After he left, we went to the next bus stop and waited for the bus. When we got to 27th street, we got off and went to the north bound bus. We all lived in the same neighborhood, so we got off of the bus at the same stop.

Sally, Michelle and I went in my house. Sally and Michelle called their house to let their parents know where they were at. Then we went in the kitchen where mother was sitting having a cup of coffee. I got out three glasses, and poured a grape juice for me, Sally and Michelle.

“Mom, after school today, Donny Baird was bothering me, to let him take me to the school dance. Another boy already asked me, and this other boy, Fred, is already taking me to the dance. Donny Baird refuses to leave me alone. I have tried and tried to tell him to leave me alone, but he won’t. Can you call the school tomorrow and ask that something be done?”

“Yes, dear, I will. Mom, can Sally and Michelle stay for dinner. I’m sure if they call their moms they would say they could.”

“Alright, sweetie. Sally, Michelle, you call your parents and see if you can stay for dinner, and a study group afterwards.”

“Mom, how did you know that is what we were going to do?”

“I wasn’t always a mom, dear. I had friends who stayed for dinner, too, and we had a study group afterwards. If it is all right with their parents, it is all right with me.”

Sally and Michelle went to call their parents. They came back a few minutes later.

“My mom said it would be all right,” Sally told my mom. Michelle said the same thing.

“Alright, girls, dinner won’t be started for another hour, yet. Go and do what you want before then.”

“Mom, we will be in my room. We are studying about the different points of interest people visit each year.”

“Well, that is interesting. Don’t forget about Mount Rushmore, it was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum, and it has the faces of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Tomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt. The sculptor stands 5,725 above sea level. It is one of America’s shrines of democracy. I have a book about it, I got from there when I visited it several years ago. That was about three years before you were born, Stephanie. Some day in the summer we will go there. I think you will the experience worth the trip.”

“May I borrow the book, mom? I want to write down the information it has in it. This sounds like a place I would like to visit.”

“Yes, dear, I will get the book out, right after dinner.”

I gave mom a hug and Sally, Michelle, and I went up to my room. We opened our geography books to the chapter we were studying.

“Sally, after dinner, I will mom’s book about Mount Rushmore, and maybe we can do a group essay. I will ask Mr. Davis tomorrow. I think he was about the midnight of Paul Revere. I’m not certain, but, he took out a book of poems as we were leaving.”

“A group essay,” Michelle started to say. “Would be great. Then we could all get one grade for all of us.”

“That would great. Then we could tell Mr. Davis that great minds think alike,” Michelle stated facetiously.

“Wait a minute,” I said thinking about what I said earlier. “I said I was going to Kathy’s sleepover. Duh. She isn’t having a sleepover, she is having a social, of which Mr. Nesbitt invited me right after church was over. I have to remember, I am going to a social, not a sleepover.”

“Yes, Steph, but it could turn out to be a sleepoever.”

“I think,” Said Michelle, “that what Sally just could be true. It just might turn out to be a sleepover.”

“I think,” I started to say. “That I should invite Kathy to a sleepover first for a weekend. That way, we get to know Kathy a little bit better, and she gets to know us.”

“That is a wonderful idea, girlfriend. Talk to your mom, then talk to Kathy when you get there. Find out what she is doing on a given weekend, because we want her on a weekend when she isn’t doing anything. If she has homework, she can bring it with her, and we will have a study group.”

“That sounds great, Michelle. I will definitely ask her when I get there.”

The next thing the girls knew, was that Stephanie’s mother was calling them for dinner. They went in the bathroom and washed their hands, then went downstairs.

As they stood around the table, Stephanie’s mother asked Sally to say grace.

“Lord, thank you for this food, our study group, and maybe a sleepover. Bless our houses and families, and may Stephanie enjoy herself at Kathy’s social. Amen.”

“That was good, Sally. Alright, everyone, pass the meat around first, then the potatoes, the vegetables, and I will get the dessert when are all finished.”

They passed around the corned beef, then the baked potatoes, the heated sauerkraut, the cooked carrots, and then the girls poured their own milk, while Stephanie’s mother had coffee.

“You know, girls, that if you put corned beef and sauerkraut on rye bread, they call that a reuben sandwich.”

“I have had a reuben sandwich before. Sometimes, the corned beef can be tough. You have to know how long to cook it, so that it is tender and moist. Then it tastes good.”

“You are right, Michelle. Cooking meat the proper way and at the right temperature for the right length of time, makes it tastes really good. There are some delis that over cook their corned beef, and that is what makes it tough; almost like a rubbery leather. It is almost impossible to eat, unless you have sharp teeth.”

“Mrs. Kelly, do you make reuben sanwiches?”

“Yes, Sally, I do. My reubens are tender and moist. Not hard and dry like in a deli. You can also make reubens with pastrami, swiss cheese and sauerkraut. Put that on pumpernickel rye, and you have a very delicious sandwich. Just remember that no matter what style of reuben you make, drain the sauerkraut. There are many ways to make a reuben.

“The next time we stay for dinner, you have to make reubens with potato chips on the side,” Michelle said, with a wide grin.

“You know, Michelle, that isn’t a bad idea. Would you like any vegetables with that?”

“Mrs. Kelly, I would be so full, I don’t think I would have room for dessert.”

“I know what you mean, Sally, I would be full, too. I don’t even think I could eat any chips. A Reuben is a meal by itself.”

“I agree, mom,” Stephanie said, holding her tummy. “I feel full just talking about it.”

Before they knew it, they had finished their dinner. The girls all chipped in to help with the clean up. When the kitchen table was washed, the dishes washed, rinsed, dried and put away, plus the kitchen floor was swept and mopped, they all went in to the living room to watch a little television. The girls said they had better get to their homework.

The girls went to Stephanie’s room, while her mother sat and watched t.v. When the girls got to Stephanie’s room, they got out their American history books. Then Stephanie remembered to ask her mother for the book she had on Mount Rushmore. So, she went downstairs to ask her mother for the book.

“Mom, May we use your book on Mount Rushmore?”

“Of course, sweetie. I will get it and bring it to your room.” Stephanie returned to her room.

“My mom said she will get it and bring it in here.”

About five minutes later, Stephanie’s mother brought in her book about Mount Rushmore.

“Here is the book I got fromMount Rushmore, when I was there before you were born, Stephanie. It has a lot of information you girls can use for your essays.”

“Mom, we’re going to ask Mr. Davis, if we can submit a joint essay. That way we all get the same grade, because we all helped write the essay.”

“Why, that sounds really good. I would definitely ask him. If you get the essay done before bed, may I see it?”

“Yes, mom. It always helps to get another opinion besides that of the teacher.”

“Yes, it certainly does, dear. By the way, Sally, Michelle, your mothers called and I told them what you were doing. They both said you can s[end the night. It is Friday, and you don’t have class again until Monday. So, you have all weekend to master your essay.”

“Thank you, mom, for letting us use the book, and thank you for calling Sally and Michelle’s mothers to ask if they could spend the night.”

“I can’t fool my little girl for a moment. Can I?”

“At least nothis time, mom.”

They all giggled, because Stephanie’s mom had a wonderful sense of humor. She has joined the girls in more than one of Stephanie’s sleepovers and actually turned it in to a girls night in. They had more fun as a girls night in, than they would have had with just a sleepover.

However, tonight, Stephanie’s mother needed to get the wash done, and the girls all said they would help fold them. She accepted their help. This way, of course, the laundry could get put away faster, too.
In the meantime, the girls were doing their homework, and discussing the various points of interest at Mount Rushmore, of which the sculpture of the heads of the four Presidents, was only one. There were other things to get involved in at Mount Rushmore. There was the Mount Rushmore Memorial, and the Mount Rushmore gift shop. There was a lot that people could do and see at the Mount Rushmore Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

“You know, Sally, if we put a lot of this information in our essay, it would take more than just one page.”

“I know, Steph,” Sally answered back. “I am thinking more like maybe four or five pages.”

“I agree,” Michelle said, with a serious look on her face. “We all will have something to write in the essay.”

“So, let’s see what we can come up with.”

As the girls started to write, they looked through the book. They found a lot of interesting things to write about Mount Rushmore. Below is the body of the essay they hope to turn in as a study group.

“Mount Rushmore, near Keystone, South Dakota, in the
Black Hills is dedicated to 150 of Democracy by Gutzon
Borglum. However, the Mount Rushmore we know today,
is much different than its original concept. In 1923, his-
torian Doan Robinson had the idea of having Indian lead-
ers and key early American explorers who helped discov-
er the American frontier. Mr. Borglum wanted to start car-
ving in granite pillars known as the Needles. But he real-
ized that the Needles were too thin, so he couldn’t sculpt
his masterpiece of the four presidents we know and love
today. So, he chose Mount Rushmore, named in 1885
after New York attorney Charles Rushmore, because the
stone was suitable for carving and faced southwest so
that the sculpture would have maximum exposure to the
sun. When Mr. Borglum saw Mount Rushmore, he is
quoted as saying, “America will march across that sky-
line”. 85% Of the funding for Mount Rushmore was
funded by Congress because of the efforts of Doan
Robinson, Senator Peter Norbeck, Congressman
William Williamson, and businessman John Boland.
Each of the faces on Mount Rushmore were dedicated
as follows: George Washington, July 4, 1930; Thomas
Jefferson, August 30, 1939; Abraham Lincoln, September
17, 1937; and the Teddy Roosevelt face on July 2, 1939.
The actual cost of the construction of Mount Rushmore
was $989,992.32. Today that figure would be multiplied
many times more. Probably in the millions. Each year,
about 3 million people visit Mount Rushmore from all over
the world.
Submitted by,

Stephanie J. Kelly
Sally Langston
Michelle Dearborn
September 7, 1961”*

They took their essay down to Stephanie’s mother, and had her read through it. She read it with interest.

“This is good, girls. I mean, without writing a book, this gives a lot of information. There could be more, but at the risk of writing too much, and there is such a thing, this essay is good as group essay. You did good, girls. Stephanie, put this in your geography folder, so that you have it for Monday.”

“Yes, mother, and thank you for reading our essay, and giving us your opinion.”

“Oh, Stephanie, you know I will always do that. Well, I think you girls should take a break and watch a little television? I will make some popcorn for us to share.”

They looked through the TV Guide to see what movies were on. There was only one good movie, but that didn’t come on until ten o’clock, and that was Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman with Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney, Jr.

“It doesn’t matter how many times I have seen this movie, it always makes me laugh. Maybe someday they will make a movie that is a really, realy scary horror movie. You know, one that is nail biting, sitting on the edge of your seat type. Well, maybe someday.”

“Well, for its time, this movie was considered actual horror. We know better today, because we know it is just a movie. Something to entertain us with. But, you are right, Sally, this isn’t as horrific as it could or should be. There are some dramatic moments, but not that many. Anyway, that is for later. Let’s what’s on now, if anything.”

They looked through the TV Guide again, and found one movie they all said was a good one. This one didn’t come on until eight o’clock, and it was only seven, now. The movie they all agreed on was, The Long, Long Trailer with Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball and Marjorie Main. It was made in 1953. They had an hour to spare, so they talked for a bit.

“Mom,” Stephanie was saying. “Were Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball married when this movie was made?”

“Yes, they were. They were married in 1940. But, their life together was not a happy one. They were finally divorced last year. I think you would do nicely, if you even did an essay on Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. The library downtown has back issues of the paper, and you could find out a lot about them.”

“So, is The Long, Long Trailer a comedy, like I Love Lucy is?”

“Yes, but instead of an apartment, their misadventures happen in a trailer while they are on their honeymoon. I can’t tell you any more, or it will spoil the whole movie. It is getting on time for the movie to come on. I will pop some popcorn for us to share.”

Stephanie’s mother went to the kitchen to pop the popcorn. It would be another fifteen minutes for the movie to come on. After ten minutes went by, Mrs. Kelly came back in the living room and set a large bowl on the coffee table, filled with buttered popcorn. She brought the salt along, just in case the girls want some on their popcorn. Which they didn’t.
The movie started, and they watched with interest and laughed all the way through the movie. It was very hilarious, especially the antics of Lucille Ball. The girls picked at the popcorn, and there was still some left over when the movie had ended. Mrs. Kelly put the popcorn, which was cool by this time, in to a plastic freezer bag. She then put the popcorn in the cupboard.

Yawn, the night was still young, yet, but, not the bodies of three little girls. Stephanie hugged and kissed her mother good night, saying “I love you”, as she walked up the stairs. Sally and Michelle did the same and thanked Stephanie’s mother for having them over. Mrs. Anne Jeannette Kelly, then set about straightening up the living room, and washed the popcorn pan and bowl. Then she went to bed, also.

The next morning, the girls all slept in. Stephanie’s mother woke them all up at ten in the morning.

“Wake up, sleepy heads, half the day is gone already.” Stephanie yawned and looked at the clock on her bed stand.

“Mom, it’s only ten o’clock.”

“Yes, it is. In two hours it will be noon. We have a lot to do today. First we’re going shopping at the mall, then we’re coming back here and polish each other’s nails, and then set each other’s hair, then go out to eat.”

“Mrs. Kelly,” Sally said, yawning. “If we did all of that, would it still be a girls night in?”

“Well, technically speaking. I thought we would just have a nice weekend. Just us girls. Besides, as you get older, you will find out that the mall is a girls second home.”

“Don’t you mean first home?” Stephanie said, facetiously.

“Well, yes, since you put it that way. Anyway, girls, get done in the bathroom, and when you are dressed, come downstairs, and we can go. We can get breakfast on the way.”

DENNY’S!!!!!! The girls all shouted together.

“Well, I guess it’s Denny’s, then.” They all giggled.

Sometimes, the problem with shopping isn’t how much time you have in the shopping day, but rather, what outfits to get for what occasion. The girls, all clean and dressed for the day, went downstairs, and off they went to Southridge. Southridge is a mall, two stories high, with countless number of stores. They had everything from Boston Store to Sears, and everything in between. There was even a Macy’s.

There was even a piercing pagoda, where you got your ears pierced for free when you bought the … whatever style of earrings you wanted. It was a good place to buy earrings, too, because these earrings were hypoallergenic. Stephanie thought what she wanted at Denny’s.

‘We didn’t have to worry about parking, because we took the bus everywhere. The bus that said Southridge in the little window above the windshield, was the one we had to take, because it left you off right in front of the mall. But, first, we were going to Denny’s for breakfast. I wanted the new strawberries and cream breakfast. That had two buttermilk pancakes, with a vanilla cream topping and strawberries. I ordered bacon with my sunny side up eggs. I also ordered orange juice and milk’.

As they entered Denny’s on South 27th Street, there was a hostess that seated them in a booth. They were lucky, because it was the only booth available. They all ordered the same thing as Stephanie. They talked about what they were going to get at the mall. Stephanie wanted to get a nice skirt and blouse, or shirt, a pair of shoes, and tan nylons.

Sally said she wanted to get a set or two of ‘bumming around’ clothes. Michelle wanted to get two pairs of earrings. A girl just doesn’t seem to have enough earrings.

They were finished with their breakfast, and went to take the bus back toward Forest Home Avenue, and take that bus all the way to Southridge. However, when you took the Forest Home bus, you had to make sure it said Southridge in the destination window. They got to South 27th Street and West Forest Home Avenue, and waited for the bus going to Southridge. There was alos a Forest Home bus that went all the way to the Boerner Botanical Gardens and the Wehr Nature Center. But, today, the ladies were going to Southridge shopping mall.

When the bus came, they got on and there was room for two on the front bench seat, and the seat facing it was empty. They were able to sit together, which everybody who has taken a city bus, knows is next to impossible. As they rode toward Southridge, they talked about their adventures, but left out that Stephanie was transgender. As they were talking, two teenage boys stood in front of the seat that Sally and Stephanie were sitting in.

“Hey, babes, wanna go get a coke and fries?”

“Excuse me, gentlemen, but do you have a problem with my daughters?” Asked Stephanie’s mom.

“Erm, no, no, ma’am.” Upon which the two hurridely got off of the bus.

“I guess they won’t bother any young ladies on the bus, because they won’t know if the lady sitting next to them or around them, is their mother,” remarked Sally.

“Yes, Sally. But, as you get older, you know how to put a fright into mashers like that. Maybe their intentions were honorable, and maybe not. It is best not to wait until it is too late to find out.”

“I agree, … mom … we are very vulnerable when we are around teenage boys or even men.”

“Yes, Michelle, that is a good way to look at it. When young girls finally get that through their heads, they will be a lot safer. Alright, girls, we’re here. Now stay together and don’t go wandering off by yourselves.
*I don’t have a 1961 calendar, so, the date I have set as the date the essay was submitted by the girls, is purely guess work. But, since this is fiction, I guess it really doesn’t matter.

Next Chapter: The girls are at the mall

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