Thank You, Judy Blume

Age 5: The phone rings. A stranger on the other end of the phone asks, “Do you play with yourself?” I consider telling the truth, but I’m embarrassed. No one has ever asked me about this before. My aunt swoops in fast, telling me to hang up.

Age 7: A bully on the playground tells me to pull my pants down OR ELSE. He flicks his Swiss Army knife open. By some stroke of grace, he doesn’t chase me when I run.

Age 9: Enter Judy Blume. Are you there God…? Yes. God is there. On every page. Of every book. Tales of a Fourth Grade NothingThen Again, Maybe I Won’t; Deenie; SuperfudgeBlubber; Forever (Forever, forever, forever).

Until Judy Blume’s novels came into my life, the only people inclined to communicate with me about sex were predators. The impact her work on my formative years is immeasurable. She shaped my ideas about myself, about love, about sex. I can’t fathom what waiting for my first period would have been like without having read Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.

Take this: a boyfriend’s palms covering his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend’s naked breasts. He squeezes (gently, if I recall) one, then the other, over and over. He is sad. And she is, too. But they’re parting ways because it’s for the best. That’s from my memory of Forever, and the image has stayed with me all this time. I swear if I hadn’t read that book I would have married my first love. I would have missed out on zillions of adventures. I would have been trapped in rural suburbia, the best thing on my calendar dodging former classmates and allergens at the annual hay-infused county fair.

Judy’s stories didn’t have to be about puberty or sex. I loved getting lost in her characters’ lives. She made me into a hungry reader. And I suspect she made me into a writer, too.

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Photo credit: Steven Guzzardi | Used under CC by ND 2.0

This post was written for Wicked Wednesday, a site where writers share erotic stories (fiction and non) every week. The fun is hosted by the brilliant and gorgeous Marie Rebelle of Rebel’s Notes, whose endeavors you can support at Patreon.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Read more fab Wicked Wednesday “Books” entries here!

19 thoughts on “Thank You, Judy Blume

  1. Ahhh Judy Judy. Amazing. I adored her books – just made everything make sense. Such an important discovery.
    I’m going to read the reader’s letters too! Thanks! X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so bad with names that I cannot remember if I ever read any of her books. I read so much when I was younger…
    I love how you have written this post to show how important she was in your life.

    Rebel xox

    Like

  3. “Tales of a fourth grade nothing”. Even with a boy as the main character it had a huge impact on my life.

    Gotta love Judy Blume.

    Great piece. 🙂

    Like

  4. So much YES! Forever was such an important book for me. Made me realise I could be proactive about contraception and that sex was not something that boys just did to you. Also, made me utterly convinced that naming your penis was NOT a sexy thing 😉

    Mollyxxx

    Like

  5. Oh my gosh. All of this. I can still remember flicking to ‘the’ pages in Forever (90 & 105 if I remember!), but Tiger Eyes was my favourite (reread last year) and I loved Deenie too! Xx

    Like

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