Grew Up… in Bethesda, Maryland. When Carmen was seven, her father Albert walked out on her and her mother. He moved to South Carolina, but visits Carmen a few times a year. Though the divorce was hard on her, Carmen still idolizes her father and wants him to be part of her life.
Living… with her mother, Christina, in Bethesda. Carmen is very close to her Puerto Rican mom, though they often butt heads.
Visiting… her father in South Carolina. Carmen is beyond excited to spend a whole summer reconnecting with her dad. Much to Carmen’s surprise, her dad has a new family. He’s engaged to a Southern belle named Lydia, who has two children of her own. Carmen is disturbed by how different these new, blonde suburbanites are from her and her mother, and is instantly angry and hurt that he didn’t mention them before she came.
Interests… hanging out with her three best friends: Lena, Tibby and Bridget. The four of them have been inseparable since before birth; their mothers met in a prenatal exercise class and bonded because their due dates were all in September. This summer, “The Septembers” are going to be apart for the first time. Fortunately, they find a pair of magic jeans that fit all of them despite their different sizes. They agree to send the pants to one another across the world as a means of staying connected despite the distance.
Relationship Status… single. Carmen describes herself as “chubby” and is often jealous of her thin friends Lena and Bridget. Because of her low self-esteem, Carmen doesn’t really pursue boys yet.
Challenge… learning to feel comfortable around her father and his new family. Carmen is insanely jealous that she has to share her dad with these new people and has a very difficult time warming up to them. She can’t understand why he is so excited to be a “family man” now, but left her and her mother all those years ago. She struggles with her anger all summer, but time isn't healing this wound. As she says to her father: “I feel like some outsider that doesn’t even belong to you anymore.”
Personality… strong, opinionated and slightly temperamental. Carmen does not have any qualms about expressing her feelings. Carmen can be cynical and insecure, but she has a good heart and would do anything for her friends and family.
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