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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: Paper or Plastic
By Connie Pilston Shoemaker


It was the fall of 1985 and I sat in the library at the “scoping” table. It was the table where the guys usually sat to preview the ladies upon entering the library. I was on a mission. My sorority was having a fall party and though I had a date, many of my sorority sisters did not. My goal was to shop for dates for them; little did I know what or whom that shopping trip would net.

When the boys walked in, I would size them up and ask them if they were busy on the date of the party. If they seemed nice, I would put their names and phone numbers on my list which then was given to the girls on my hall. Yes, bold I know, but some of my sorority sisters were painfully shy and much more studious than I. They actually “used” the library for the purpose it was intended and did their shopping at the market.

The thought of attending this party without my friends compelled me to take on this match making role as a date shopper.

He was number 8 on the shopping list of boys I spoke with that day. He was packaged with an athletic gait and a fantastic smile and chocolate brown eyes. I called him over to inspect him closer. He sat down beside me and we began to chat.

He was produced in Ohio but shipped to Pennsylvania for college. He knew of the town in which I lived in PA. During our interview we talked about golf, sports and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He seemed nice so I asked him what he was doing on October 17th. He said, “Nothing that I know of, why do you ask?” When I mentioned the Fall Party he eagerly accepted, that was until I said, “Well, I’ll put your name down and have one of my sorority sisters give you a call.” He replied, “Oh I thought you meant to go with you.” To which I said, “No, I have a date, it is my sorority sisters that don’t.” After some stammering and hemming and hawing he backed out of his original agreement to go, begging for a rain check. I still have the list with his name scratched off.

Apparently a couple weeks before we met, during pledging, I came up on his radar. He was later to describe, the fact I approached him at the library was quite surprising and a bonus.

It would seem that he and I would bump into each other daily after that until the Fall Party. I attended the party with my date and left early to head back to campus to meet the boy I met in the library, the one I scratched of my shopping list.

That was my sophomore year in college. Since then, I have done more than shop with that young man. We’ve built a life together. Who knew that when I went on my shopping spree that I would have found a life mate for me?

Sure there is baggage and days when he can seem taxing but all in all I think I got a bargain in the end. He’s my lover and my forever friend. My shopping expedition didn’t end with “paper or plastic?” but “Will you marry me?” I did.

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This article has been read 647 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 03/09/07
Is this a true story? Very cute!
Jacquelyn Horne03/12/07
Cute romance story. It's not often that, when we pass up a bargain, the bargain finds us. But, I'm so glad that yours found you. Good writing.
julie wood03/12/07
What a delightful story! Its ending caught me by surprise and was thoroughly satisfying.

I liked the creative imagery used--my favorite line was that describing the narrator's future husband as "packaged" in Ohio but "shipped" to... Cute!

The catchy title also sparked my curiosity. Great job!
David Story03/15/07
Very nice, Connie.
And congrats on making the Top 40!