Squeaky is annoyed that Cynthia Proctor pretends she doesn’t have to practice the piano.
We know that Squeaky prefers that people be honest and not have false humility because she gets upset when Cynthia Proctor pretends that she does not need to practice the piano. She acts like she does not need to study for spelling bees and can just sit down at a piano and play.
And what do you know—Chopin’s waltzes just spring out of her fingertips and she’s the most surprised thing in the world. A regular prodigy. I could kill people like that.
Squeaky is upset because she knows that Cynthia actually does study and practice. She has seen her. Squeaky herself values hard work. She honors commitment. It annoys her that Cynthia is pretending that she does not need to practice the piano and just knows how to play.
Squeaky does study, and does try hard. She is constantly practicing running, and is not afraid to let anyone know it. Even though it embarrasses her mother because of how she does it, she practices all of the time.
Now some people like to act like things come easy to them, won’t let on that they practice. Not me. I’ll high-prance down 34th Street like a rodeo pony to keep my knees strong even if it does get my mother uptight ….
Squeaky is confident in who she is. Running is a part of her identity, but the bigger picture is that she believes in honesty and commitment. She understands that you have to work hard to accomplish something. This is part of what makes her successful as a runner, and one of the reasons she is so annoyed at Cynthia’s dishonesty and false humility.