Study Guide

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things Chapter 20

By Carolyn Mackler

Chapter 20

  • On Monday morning, Virginia takes the tickets out of their hiding place in the cedar box on her dresser.
  • She broke down and told Ms. Crowley she's going, but she still hasn't told the parental units.
  • At lunch, Virginia eats a poppy seed bagel in Ms. Crowley's room and heads to the second-floor bathroom to pick the seeds out of her braces.
  • Who should be back in the stall but Brie? And guess what she's doing?
  • Making herself throw up.
  • Virginia contemplates Brie's eating disorder on the bus ride home from school, and she actually sort of feels sorry for her.
  • Back at home, surprise of surprises, her mom invites her to a special event.
  • Why not Byron? Because he's in his room being unshowered and oily and depressed.
  • Virginia agrees to go, and Dr. Shreves suggests she wear an ugly sweater from Salon Z, the fat-lady department at Saks where she buys all Virginia's clothes.
  • Her mom's being interviewed by a television journalist named Joy Lassiter, who tells Virginia how lucky she is to be Dr. Shreves's daughter. Sure, lady, whatever you say.
  • During the interview, her mom spouts a bunch of stuff about how parents should remember teenagers aren't children anymore.
  • Virginia can't take it and bails. She gets a hot chocolate from a street vendor, meanders around for a while, and slowly makes her way back to the 92nd Street Y, where the event's finally over.
  • Dr. Shreves is waiting outside, and she's furious. She had no idea where Virginia was, and furthermore, Joy Lassiter asked Virginia to stand up in the audience.
  • Virginia, of course, was nowhere to be found, and Dr. Shreves was mortified.
  • It's not exactly the perfect moment, but Virginia blurts out that she's going to Seattle.
  • Dr. Shreves forbids her to go.
  • So Virginia takes a deep breath and says she's going anyway.

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