Chapter 10 Summary
In November, Laura Danker wears a sweater to school for the first time. This shows off her breasts, and supposedly Mr. Benedict cannot stop staring at her. Margaret does not actually notice this, but Nancy mentions it later. As for Margaret, she is more interested in being annoyed at Freddy, who asks her why she does not look so good in a sweater.
Margaret still has a crush on Moose, whom she watches secretly whenever he cuts her lawn. She does not dare show her face in front of him anymore, not since the day he and Evan eavesdropped on the PTS meeting and overheard the girls reciting the rhyme about increasing their busts. Now Margaret stays in her room when he is around, watching him through her window. She is disappointed when she learns that lawns do not need cutting in the winter.
As the months pass, Margaret becomes good friends with Janie. Janie is a Christian, so one Sunday, Margaret attends a church service with her. To Margaret’s surprise, it is “just like temple.” The whole service is in English, but it has the same structure: pretty music, a bunch of prayers, a sermon that makes no sense. Afterward, Margaret shakes hands with the minister, who hears that she does not have a religion and looks delighted at the idea that he might convert her.
Back at home, Margaret talks to God about the church service:
I didn’t feel anything special in there God. Even though I wanted to. I’m sure it has nothing to do with you. Next time I’ll try harder.
At school, the teachers put on a square dance for the sixth-grade class. Most of the kids do not know how to square-dance, so they learn in gym. Mr. Benedict always practices dancing with Laura Danker as his partner. He says this is because she is tall enough to reach his shoulders, but Nancy thinks there is another reason. Margaret likes dancing, but the boys annoy her because they spend most of the time trying to step on the girls’ feet.
On the afternoon of the square dance, the boys and girls line up on both sides of the room to match up with partners. The girls shuffle around a lot because they are all trying to get paired with Philip Leroy, or at least to avoid dancing with whomever they hate the most.
During one dance, Margaret partners with Jay Hassler for a while. He is nice, and he does not try to step on her. Then the caller tells everyone to change partners, and Margaret gets to dance with Philip Leroy. This upsets Nancy, who was with him before, but it pleases Margaret. Unfortunately, Philip tries to step on her feet for the rest of the dance.