Study Guide

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things Chapter 17

By Carolyn Mackler

Chapter 17

  • Does Dr. Shreves give Virginia permission to go to Seattle? She does not.
  • Her reason? She's planning the family's annual Thanksgiving shindig, and says there's too much doing on.
  • Too much denial, maybe.
  • The details of the date rape have been slowly coming out over the past few days.
  • Byron admits he slept with Annie—that's the girl's name, Virginia remembers now—after the Virgins and Sluts party.
  • They were both drunk, he says, and he can't remember anything.
  • Virginia's depressed, and Byron's depressed, and Virginia's dad stays home from Connecticut and takes Byron—that's right, Byron—to the Yankees playoffs to boost his spirits.
  • Virginia's spirits? They might as well not exist.
  • After they leave, Dr. Shreves goes to the grocery store, something she hasn't done in years; the family normally lives on restaurant food, but tonight she's cooking.
  • Why? To boost Byron's spirits, of course.
  • That night at dinner—which is, by the way, candlelit—Virginia's dad drinks more than usual, something he's been doing a lot since Byron came home.
  • Byron says he's thinking of going to Paris for the rest of the semester, and he plans to leave soon, before Thanksgiving.
  • Virginia's had all she can take. She asks why Byron can skip the family Thanksgiving dinner, but she can't, and her dad responds by asking if she's met her body goal yet and if she wants to go on that shopping spree.
  • As her mom clears the dinner dishes and Dad and Byron clear out, Virginia sticks her finger into the flame of a candle that's still burning, scalding herself on purpose.

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