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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)

TITLE: An Illusion of Dignity
By Dianne Janak
~2nd Place


If God did standup, my life could be His material, and with His impeccable delivery and perfect sense of timing, He would keep heaven in stitches for eternity.

Each new day I remind myself to not take myself too seriously Ďcause no one else does. One day however I forgot my reminder.

On September 15, 1982, I had a good hair day and after losing 10 pounds, I fit into old favorite pair of jeans. Life looked good. Even looking in the mirror I swore I looked like a younger version of Goldie Hawn. Singing ď The Hills are AliveĒ in the bathtub with total flair and on key, (this was not normal for me) I just knew this was going to be a perfect day.

On my way to a prayer meeting at my church, I remember every detail as if it were yesterday. I was feeling uncharacteristically dignified.

It was rather miraculous that my husband let me drive his work car again, an older Diesel Mercedes. Two weeks before I had accidentally put gas in it instead of Diesel (apparently a bad mistake). He had to take a long walk to cool off saying he would end up behind bars had he stayed home. He takes life way too seriously. Today the fuel tank was empty and I was determined to regain my status as a woman who thinks.

When I pulled up to a gas station I noticed there were about 10 macho men gathered in a group conversing. Men, different from women, do not look at each other while sharing (they donít really share either) and these men were side by side looking my way.. (well AT ME) as I pulled into get gas. ( er Diesel). It didnít matter. I had good hair and an attitude of dignity and sophistication. Did I mention new shoes?
I pretended to have confidence as if I gas up that car weekly and its no big deal.. They were staring and I was determined to NOT care. That was my first mistake. I need to care more. I was horrified as I took the gas muzzle off the rack thing to put it into the gas hole and the stupid hole was not on the driverís side of the car. I started hating this car. Hearing a muffled noise of stuffed guffaws coming from the testosterone crowd, I ignored them. I tried to stretch the hose to the other side of the car with an attitude that I MEANT to park this way and stretching the hose is actually helpful while pumping gas. A fact of life I wanted to teach them.

Horror struck when I realized I was not parked close enough. The stupid hose line was too short. Making a mental note to write this manager, I got back into my car to try again. The male laughter was no longer so politely muffled, and I knew it must be because they were drinking spiked coffee Ďcause I was supposed to be taken seriously today. It was my moment.

Getting back in the car without looking at them, I did a u-turn, pulling up on the other side of the gas pump. Now I want to give yíall a moment of silence to picture that in your mind. Got it?

For those of you who got the picture, I did not. Their laughter was making my hair look bedhead. I hadnít touched it but looking in the mirror it no longer looked so perfect. Yes, I got out of the car, got the pump in my hand to go fill the dang car with gas,(er Diesel ) and you guessed it. It was still on the wrong side. I was feeling a need to sue the inventors of Mercedes, and my audience is now almost in tears laughing so hard.

What could I do but close my door and drive off? I didnít get gas( diesel) , and didnít look back. My pastor came to my rescue as my car died from lack of fuel and I told him nothing, which is why I need to tell you.

The Goldie Hawn look had disappeared. I hated my new shoes. I no longer trust good hair days. Pride does come before a fall and now I realize dignity is not all itís cracked up to be. I am so proud of my eternal humility.

Accept Jesus as Your Savior Right Now and be Certain of Eternal Life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Cathy Kane07/27/07
This story is absolutely hilarious! Great writing and it takes a special person to laugh at themselves this way...and to let others laugh as well. Good job! Thanks for adding a chuckle to my day...you are a very good writer!

P.S. Hope your hairdo recovered!
Pamela Kliewer07/27/07
Great telling of an incredibly embarrassing time! You had me laughing.
Myrna Noyes07/27/07
I am so sorry for the predicament you found yourself in, but it certainly made for a funny story! :) The last line is priceless! Great job!
Loren T. Lowery07/30/07
Funny and really a great story about pride and humility. Watch your line spacing between paragraps and keep writing, you've got a wonderful talent for writing humor.
Cheri Hardaway 07/30/07
Too funny!!! And I loved your last line.

Be careful with your tenses. In your last paragraph, you began in past tense and switched to present tense. That was one of the hardest things for me to remember at first. It helps to read it outloud when you are proofing.

You have lots of talent. Keep honing your craft. I look forward to seeing how God is going to use your gift.

Joanne Sher 08/01/07
Great job of showing the attitude "adjustment." Enjoyed this.
Jan Ackerson 08/01/07
This is so funny! Great voice, wonderful style. Super job.
Kristen Hester08/01/07
This is really cute. I love your beginning, middle and ending. I've made your mistake. It is embarrassing. It's worse when you have an "I look good" attitude. Great!
Brenda Welc08/01/07
Do you know we would get along just perfect? When my van breaks down I borrow my dad's car and I never park on the right side of the pump! Thanks for sharing this!
Sheri Gordon08/01/07
This is hilarious -- you had me laughing out loud. (I think I would have driven away after the first wrong attempt.)

I loved your storyteller voice -- I could actually hear you telling a bunch of girlfriends. Very good job.
Cathy Kane08/02/07
You did it again! Nice job! Good work! Congratulations!
Regina Rudzik08/02/07
Oh my gosh....this is HYSTERICAL!!! I read it twice and laughed out loud each time! I can so relate to you. Great story and congratulations on winning!
Marilee Alvey08/02/07
Dianne, I'm so proud of you. You are rising in the ranks at a miraculous pace. What's for next week??? Congratulations on your 2nd place in Editor's Choice!
Sheri Gordon08/02/07
Congratulations on your EC. I loved this story. Good-bye beginners -- and I'll bet you're not long in intermediate either. :)
TJ Nickel08/02/07
A great story! Last two sentences seemed unnecessary and detracting for me, but I really enjoyed this entry! Congrats!
Dee Yoder 08/02/07
How in the world did I miss this one last week?! Really funny! I was laughing out loud-and if I'm honest, I'll have to admit I've done the same thing...:) Congratulations on your EC and placing in your level!
Sharlyn Guthrie08/02/07
Dianne, congratulations on your EC win! Way to go! this is great stuff. I knew you would be moving up quickly.
Myrna Noyes08/02/07
DIANNE!!!!!!! :D CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 1ST PLACE AND ON YOUR EC!!!!!! WAY TO GO!!!!! I am thrilled for you and look forward to reading many more of your entries! BLESSINGS! :)
Helen Paynter08/02/07
I laughed out loud! Brilliant story - and I loved the beginnng and end. So easy to let a good story like this fall flat - and you did just the opposite. Congratulations
Loulou G08/02/07
Congratulations Dianne on your win! Your article is so very funny, I enjoyed reading it! Great stuff! God Bless U. SR
Joy Faire Stewart08/02/07
Congratulation on your EC placement, fantastic! Your story is a delight.
Chrissi Dunn08/03/07
Very funny - I could definitely relate!
David Butler08/05/07
You're movin' on up! Go girl!
David Butler08/05/07
And I meant to say I liked the article too. Could you have put some dialogue in it? Not sure. It's very good just as narrative anyway.
Marilyn Schnepp 08/13/07
Your "illusion of dignity" was beautifully done; and if you think that was bad - wait 'till you try to park a large sedan in a parallel parking space that is only suitable for a "VW Bug" while a group of "testosteronian" (I believe that's what you called them) males ogle and guffaw from the sidelines. At least you continued on to church; whereas after umpteen tries I just hung it up and went back home and cried. Great job and Congratulations!
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/02/07
Your self deprecatory humor is a pure delight!