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FREE STUDY GUIDE FOR THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS
“Rule #1: The customer is always right. Rule #2: If the customer is wrong, please refer to rule #1.” --Duncan Howe
The action returns to Tibby at Wallman’s. She thought that she was dying a slow death at the drugstore. Just while she was bemoaning her fate and unpacking adult diapers onto the shelves, she heard a crash and found a young girl of about ten lying unconscious on the floor, ironically having crushed Tibby’s deodorant display in the process. She took the girl’s wallet with the thought of calling her parents and had Brianna call 911. After they load the girl into the ambulance, Tibby for some reason asked to go along and they allowed her to climb into the vehicle. The girl woke up on the way to the hospital with only one thought to express, “Why is the girl from Wallman’s holding my hand?”
The story shifts to Carmen. She was sitting in the bedroom at her father’s new house with her suitcase still unpacked when a knock came at the door. It was Krista, her soon-to-be step-sister. She asked if she wanted to come down to dinner, and all Carmen could do was mutter she’d be down in a moment. And then, at the dinner table, she was disillusioned by the new way her dad was living: multiple pieces of silverware, homemade food in white covered china, people holding hands for grace. Krista commented that Carmen didn’t look at all like she imagined. This only allowed Carmen to take offense that Krista was commenting on the fact she was Puerto Rican and that perhaps her dad hadn’t told the new family that. After that, she refused to do more than make minor comments, because she was so angry she didn’t understand herself. She hated that her dad was enjoying himself so much and that Paul, the son, was just sitting there saying nothing. She got up from the table and asked to call her mother.
Carmen’s call to her mother was a cry of sympathy, but even though her mother was angry that her father hadn’t told her about his new family, her curiosity about the new wife and children was more pervasive than her anger. Then, her mother shoved Carmen’s real feelings right back in her face: she wasn’t angry at the new family; she was angry at her dad. It made Carmen realize that she ought to feel happy for her dad, but she still hated them all and so she hated herself for hating them.
The scene returns to Bridget. She asked Diana if she would trade teams with her so she could be on Eric’s. Diana just laughed and the told her that he would be going for a run in five minutes. Bridget quickly got ready and met Eric’s group for a six mile run. She ran alongside Eric and introduced herself while Eric turned to the group and explained that they were expected to run seven minute miles. She hadn’t run in a while but was determined to keep the pace all the while giving Eric the opportunity to know her better. She spoke to him about her dad being from Amsterdam, but stopped short of saying much about her mother, something that had been true from the beginning of the story. So she switched the discussion back to him and his attendance at Columbia. They also discussed her age and her thoughts about college all the while she was picking up the pace. As they circled back up the beach, she called out to him that she would race him. They finished together on the beach, where Bridget stripped down to her bikini and dove into the ocean. He hesitated at first, but then dove in with her. While she is underwater, she touched his ankle light as a triggerfish so he wouldn’t know it was her.
With all three girls presented in this chapter, the reader sees how each one deals with an introduction to someone new in their lives. Tibby meets a young girl who takes her mind off her dislike of working at Wallman’s as she has to focus on helping her rather than thinking of herself. Birdget actively seeks to know Eric who is really off-limits, but who makes her break the rules. Meanwhile Carmen meets her dad’s new family around the dinner table and feels only great anger and hatred at the surprise she wasn’t expecting. All three will have to come to terms with these new people in their lives in some way whether positively or negatively.Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version