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HAPPY JUST TO DANCE WITH YOU ANGELA KRAMER Jeannie and I met at school back when we still had to wear jumpers and knee highs—we didn’t get to wear skirts and jackets until high school. It didn’t make much difference to me; the skirt still hung a good inch past my knee. Jeannie was tall, though. She was constantly being hounded by the Sisters to pull her skirt down. I don’t know why they even bothered; there weren’t any boys at St. Joe’s, and there wouldn’t be until after I graduated and my little sister Margaret started there in 1970. I liked Jeannie from the very start. She made me giggle so much the Sisters would make me move seats. I think that’s why my mother didn’t like her: it was Jeannie’s fault she was always getting calls from school about me. Or maybe the fact that her family was German. They may as well have come over on the Mayflower as far as I was concerned. Her parents didn’t have accents like mine and they only made her eat sauerkraut on New Year’s, while my mother made lampredotto twice a month. Jeannie was an only child. I had Maria Elena older than me and Margaret younger than me, not to mention four cousins in town who might as well have been my siblings; we saw them often enough. (Well, only three in town since Agnes went to the convent.) Maria Elena said we had a brother too, but he died before I was born. I love my family, especially the little cousins, and even Margaret when she’s not being a pain, but sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to be the only one. I liked to go over to Jeannie’s and pretend it was just us. Her parents let me stay over for dinner whenever I liked. There was always more than enough food, and her mom made us meatloaf Kramer 33

Profile for Red Cedar Review

Red Cedar Review Vol. 54  

Red Cedar Review Vol. 54  

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