Study Guide

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things Friendship

By Carolyn Mackler

Friendship

But Froggy and I don't score high on the communication front. Especially once we've stuck our tongues into each other's mouths.

I think it's because we're not boyfriend and girlfriend or even friends, for that matter. (1.8-9)

Why would you make out with someone who isn't your friend, especially when you have a feminist sister who's told you time and again not to get busy with a guy who doesn't respect you?

Back when Shannon was here, lunch was no big deal. We'd grab a table in the back and talk and laugh like we were the only people on the planet. But so far this year, it's been a panicky occasion. I never know who I'm going to sit with—or if I'll sit with anyone. (4.2)

Is there anything worse than a high school cafeteria? Not unless it's a junior high cafeteria.

On the far end of the cafeteria, I spot an available seat at a table of girls from my chemistry lab. The only problem is, Froggy Welsh the Fourth and his friends are at a neighboring table. (4.11)

What a bummer that Virginia doesn't think she can say hi to Froggy in front of his friends. Automatically assuming you're a leper to your peers stinks big time. Of course, it's often not true, but Virginia doesn't know that.

Sometimes I think our handicaps (me = heavy; Shannon = stutter) are what initially brought us together, back in sixth grade. From there, we totally connected. (4.19)

Shannon and Virginia became friends for much the same reason as the Bri-girls, except in the opposite direction. They bonded because they were outcasts; the Bri-girls bonded because of their (supposed) perfection.

I must be an evil person, but I'm not exactly thrilled that Shannon is making new friends. What if she forgets about me? (7.109)

Virginia's self-esteem is so low she doesn't understand that Shannon doesn't view her as replaceable. It's like she can't imagine that anyone could love her as much as she loves them.

Hunter has aquamarine hair and Sabrina has "Mom" tattooed on her arm. But I don't care. They were the only people who treated me like something other than a stuttering misfit. (11.4)

We actually think Hunter and Sabrina sound pretty cool, no buts necessary. Finding some new weirdos to love is a good thing.

I'm a little worried that you're going to forget your boring old best friend now that you've found these exciting new people. Well, I hope you know that I won't let you escape that easily. (11.15)

This sounds a little creepy, but fortunately Shannon realizes Virginia's just lonely, not a stalker.

I'm relieved that Shannon isn't getting a boyfriend on top of everything. Even so, it's hard to hear about these great additions to her life. Especially since all I've got is a failed diet and a kink in my lower back from remaining sedentary for the past twenty-nine hours. (14.33)

After Virginia finds out about Byron, she's so depressed she can't get out of bed. When you feel like that, other people's happiness can seem like a slap in the face.

As Alyssa and I settle into some aisle seats, I notice that Brinna Livingston is sitting in Brie's usual Queen Bee spot. To her right is Briar Schwartz, Lady in Waiting #1. To her left is a skinny sophomore named Brittany Felsen (29.11)

How messed up is it that the popular girls have "ladies in waiting"? If you have to wait around for someone to let you be friends with them, they're probably not worth it.

1. My best friend moved to the other side of the earth for the entire school year. I thought I couldn't survive without her. While I still miss her like crazy, I think it's good that I've had to venture out on my own. (31.28)

If Shannon had stuck around, Virginia would have had someone to lean on, but she also wouldn't have learned the lessons she does from finding her own courage and acting on her own.