Eleven year old me only read it once or twice. It might have been the library’s copy. Maybe it was my then bff’s tattered copy. I read it and I loved it. That’s how I traveled to New York. I went to confession with Margaret for the first time. That’s how I found out about other religions. Seriously. I didn’t know details about Christianity and Judaism, I just knew they were different. I didn’t know people argued about such things, especially the adults. I also had friends who seemed to know a lot more than seemed knowable at the age of eleven.
I organized a small watch party for the movie this past weekend. Adults only, until my thirteen year old invited herself. Okay. This is rare. I bought another ticket.
The movie theater wasn’t full, but it was one of those that reminds you to turn off your phone and remain silent or you risk getting kicked out. When movie Margaret takes a walk in her neighborhood, I yelled out “It’s HER!” as if she was there with me. Judy Blume. Being a sucker for fangirling over authors, I can imagine what I’d do if I met her in person.
Then came “I must, I must, I must increase my bust!” Except now, my chant has changed the word increase to decrease. In true book nerd form, there we were, chanting and doing said exercise along with a bunch of pre-pubescent girls on the big screen, laughing. Go ahead, try kicking out a bunch of hormonal middle-aged women.
Memories of enjoying this book took us back in time. If this movie would’ve been around back then, would I have enjoyed it in the same way? Would I have read the book? Our post-flick discussion had us telling stories of our own initiation into womanhood. Some are funny, some terrifying, but they all tie us together. Just like a good book.
Are you still there Judy? It's me, Ally. I know you're there. I know you would've made sure this movie was made the way you wrote it. I wouldn't have missed it for anything and I'll gladly watch it infinity times. Thank you, Judy. Thanks a ton...