Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret Chapter 17 Summary

Judy Blume

Chapter 17 Summary

One weekend, Margaret takes a trip to New York with Nancy and her family. Evan brings Moose, whom Margaret still likes. To her disappointment, the boys avoid the girls all day. However, Margaret manages to snag a seat next to Moose at the Steak Place, where they all go for dinner.

After everyone orders, Nancy and Margaret go to the bathroom. Margaret is alarmed when Nancy locks herself in a stall and refuses to come out. “Oh no—oh no—” Nancy says, but she refuses to explain what is wrong. Margaret runs to get Mrs. Wheeler.

Mrs. Wheeler comes to the bathroom, but Nancy is too upset to open the stall door and let her in. Eventually Margaret crawls underneath and unlocks the door from the inside. Mrs. Wheeler goes in, and after a while she opens the door and gives Margaret some change to buy a maxi pad from the machine on the wall.

Margaret thinks it is strange that Nancy would react with such horror to her period. “Does she always act like that?” she asks innocently. Mrs. Wheeler explains that Nancy has never had her period before, and she is scared. This disgusts Margaret because it means Nancy lied when she said she had her period before.  

A few minutes later, Mrs. Wheeler leaves the girls alone. As soon as she is gone, Nancy begs Margaret to keep the lie a secret from the other PTSes. Nancy claims she really believed she had her period before, but she made a mistake. Margaret does not believe this, but she promises not to tell the others.

The girls return to dinner, where Margaret enjoys eating next to Moose. He is left-handed, so their hands bump several times during dinner. To Margaret, getting to touch him is a big bonus. She also likes the way he smells. She reflects that he really has the top spot in her Boy Book, even if she has not said so to anyone.

That evening, Margaret tells God about her annoyance at Nancy. As badly as she wants her own body to develop, she would never stoop so low as to lie to her friends about it. In fact, she is inspired to be more mature about the subject from now on:

I will wait to find out from you if I am normal or not. If you would like to give me a sign, fine. If not, I’ll try to be patient.

However, she does request that God not let her get her period at school, because it would kill her to have to tell Mr. Benedict.