Jeannette often worries about failing young Maureen, so she, Lori, and Brian save up to give Maureen some gifts for her seventh birthday. On her birthday, they share stories with her about California, where she was born. Though Maureen can not remember California, she is amazed by their stories and decides she will live there when she is older. Before school is over for summer break, Mom has a breakdown and refuses to go to her job. Jeannette thinks that Mom needs to be stronger, but Lori sympathizes with Mom's situation. When Mom goes off to teacher training session for eight weeks and Lori is away at a summer camp for gifted students, Jeannette has the entire summer to prove that Dad needs a strong woman. Before Mom leaves, she gives two hundred dollars to Jeannette for groceries and bills. Jeannette is unable to stick to her budget because she gives into Dad’s request for money. He promises to pay her back, and he does so by taking her to the bar with him and using her youthful looks to distract his fellow pool player, Robbie, so that he can hustle him at pool. Robbie is drunk and attracted to Jeannette, so he drags her to his upstairs apartment and inappropriately touches Jeannette.