Early on, Charley loved school. Because she was bright, friendly, and excelled at games, she had no shortage of playmates. She grew up in a time when girls didn’t wear pants to school. Cora dressed her in good, serviceable styles that didn’t get in the way of fun since she had no interest in frilly dresses or fussy hair. The minute she flew in the door, she skinned out of her dresses and pulled on her pants. None of the family focused on her clothes, figuring the girls had been through enough. Little Ginny, her greatest admirer, was always waiting expectantly for Charley on the front porch or at the front window. Ginny was as feminine as her mother, though their differences were not an issue for the girls.
Naturally, Cora bathed the girls together and Charley had remarked on their differences, to which Cora replied, “If everbody was just alike, it would be a mighty dull world.”
Charley accepted that, remarking, “Ginny’s plain and I’m fancy!”
“You’re just a little different, that’s all. Just like your hair is red and Ginny’s is white, but don’t say nothing to make her feel bad. It’s all good.” Cora answered.
Satisfied with Cora’s explanation, Charley gave their differing anatomies no further thought, going back to her soap and bubbles.
In her comfortable world, Charley hadn’t dealt with gender confusion, cruelty, or peer pressure. Then hormones kicked in. Charley was among the tallest in the class, so not surprisingly, she showed early breast development, for which she received unwelcome attention. One day, she was groped as she played football. “Hey, Charley’s got titties!” A boy jeered.. She kicked him and strode off, furious and humiliated.Her peers and her body left her feeling alienated, mortified that a familiar game had turned mean. The rules were changing. Charley, of course knew women had breasts, but had never considered the the calamity of having them sprout on her flat chest. Horns or hooves would have been more welcome.