Chapter 16 Summary
Because Grandma is away in Florida, Margaret goes to the Lincoln Center with her mother. This is not as much fun because Margaret does not get to ride the bus to New York by herself. Also, her mother thinks Margaret should pay attention to the show at the Lincoln Center, whereas Grandma shares Margaret’s interest in watching the people.
The rest of Chapter 16 consists of a series of letters between Margaret and Grandma. These letters are notable because, unlike the in-person conversations between the two characters, they have little content. Margaret mentions a few of the important parts of her life, and so does Grandma. However, both characters seem unable to share their feelings the way they do when they talk.
In the first letter, Margaret gives updates on her health, school, and the Lincoln Center performance. She mentions that she likes snow in New Jersey much better than in New York. It stays white, and there is more room to play in it.
Grandma’s reply discusses winter colds and cold-weather clothing. She says she hopes Margaret has a good doctor in New Jersey, and she adds, “There must be one or two good doctors there.” She also tells Margaret to take her boots off whenever she is indoors, even if her mother says to do otherwise.
At the end of this letter, Grandma comments that she has met a man, Mr. Binamen, whose wife died. Apparently both he and his kids think he ought to get remarried, but Grandma is too coy to say whether she has any interest in marrying him herself. Still, the fact that she mentions the topic suggests that she is thinking about it. She ends by asking whether Margaret would like to come visit Florida during spring break.
Margaret’s reply says that her parents will probably let her go to Florida during spring break. She is really excited because she has never been on a plane, and Florida sounds fun. Besides, she wants to meet Mr. Binamen and find out what he is like. “You never tell us a thing when you call!” she complains.
At the end of her letter, Margaret gives a few updates about the weather and about her family. Then she mentions the topic that has been foremost in her mind lately: “Did I tell you my friends Nancy and Gretchen got their periods?” She does not say anything about feeling left out, but the matter is probably still bothering her.