Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret Chapter 11 Summary

Judy Blume

Chapter 11 Summary

By December, the PTSes stop using their secret names when they hold meetings. Their ordinary names are less confusing. They also give up sharing their Boy Books every week. Nobody’s list ever changes. Nancy, who has the most names on her list, manages to change the order pretty regularly, but nobody else has enough names to do that. Philip Leroy stays on the top of everyone’s list, and Margaret privately wonders whether the other girls actually like him. She reflects that they might be as scared to write the truth as she is.

Some things remain constant at PTS meetings. Above all, the girls continue their fascinated and minute discussions of bodies and bodily changes. One day, Gretchen sneaks in an anatomy book from the office of her father, who is a doctor, so they can all look at pictures of a naked man and the male reproductive system. On that occasion, the PTSes meet at Margaret’s house, where they block her bedroom door with a chair for privacy. Janie asks whether Philip Leroy really looks that way naked, and everyone agrees that he probably does. Nancy, eager to one-up the others as usual, brags that she sees her brother naked all the time.

Margaret’s father subscribes to Playboy, so the other girls demand to see a copy. Margaret sneaks into her parents’ bedroom to get it, and as she does so, she wonders whether it is against the rules for her to look at Playboy. A magazine cannot be too bad if her father subscribes to it, but it has not escaped her notice that he does not leave it lying around in the living room. She decides that if she gets caught with the magazine, she will play it safe and say she wants to cut it up for a project.

Back in her room with the other girls, Margaret opens the Playboy to the centerfold. They stare at the model’s breasts, amazed at the size of them. Reading the text, they marvel at the fact that she is eighteen years old. “That’s only six more years,” Nancy says. They agree that they personally might not look like that in six years, but that Laura Danker probably will.

As for Margaret, she is not sure she wants breasts as big as the ones on the centerfold model:

If you ask me, I think there’s something wrong with her . . . . She looks out of proportion!

However, she keeps this thought to herself. At the end of the meeting, she joins the others in a rousing and extra-long round of their bust-increasing exercises.