Marian May Kaufman, a creative writing major, reads a story entitled “Real Ladies” from her senior seminar portfolio, a collection of short stories. Her excellent use of voice and language allows me to be drawn entirely into the story. I can almost imagine the feeling of receiving “oranges and lottery tickets” for Christmas. When the narrator is happy, the audience is happy. When she is sad, we feel sad. Marian portrays the life of a young girl, Lacey, living in the south, her story unimaginably detailed. Every other sentence sends the audience off into a stream of giggles or near-tears. The personalities of the characters are so well-defined that neither could have been confused for anyone else, in or out of the story.
This story is undoubtedly one of change and expectations from the viewpoint of Lacey as she describes her life and the events that occur after getting a visit from her cousin, Minnie. As the story goes, Minnie sends the narrator into a flurry of confusion with her newfound personality and dressing habits, not to mention the obvious sexual habits. Minnie decides to set up her cousin Lacey on a “date” in order get her to have carnal relations with one of the guys in town. The narrator is so far beyond nervous that she is covered in “glue-like sweat”. She goes along with it in order to become a “real lady”. Eventually Minnie sends the young man, named Jud, over in order to have sex with Lacey in the bathroom of a gas station. She describes the event as a “bad trip to the dentist”. Here, we discover that Minnie has actually never had sex, despite having convinced Lacey to lose her virginity. Soon after, Minnie leaves the town, leaving the narrator alone with her mother, “marked” for life.