Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)
TITLE: The Buttonless Skirt
By Betty Overstreet
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Oh, I’m sorry, I am just rambling on and on and you have no idea what I am talking about.
I am embarrassed because my mama makes most of my clothes. Now, I don’t mind homemade clothes because I know we’re not the richest people in the world, but the problem is, well, you know, she never totally completes anything.
It’s the finishing touches that she skips. Like a zipper or perhaps a button on my skirts or dresses. You know, the very thing that makes what ever it is stay on me instead of falling off.
Oh I know, you’re thinking that clothing doesn’t really fall off except in a cartoon movie—not true. Let me tell you what happened today and maybe you can give me some ideas how to tell her without hurting Mama’s feelings.
I am a twelve-year-old, sixth grade girl. I live in a small town where everyone knows everyone and friends can tease you unmercifully at the drop of a hat—or in my case the drop of a skirt.
Can you even begin to imagine the horrible situation that just happened to me? I was running up the hill from my classroom toward the next building where the lunchroom is and suddenly, my skirt fell to the ground. Totally fell from my waist to the ground, with all my friends (and enemies) watching the whole thing. It happened so fast, I didn’t realize what had happened until my skirt lay at my feet on the ground! I was wearing my new skirt Mama just finished last night. Almost finished. She hadn’t sewn the button on the waist yet but she told me the Big Safety Pin would be perfectly all right. A safety pin never comes undone, right? My safety pin came undone, with the whole school standing there watching and then laughing at me. Then the kids began chanting:
Betty’s sitting in the dirt
Betty isn’t really hurt
Just her pride cause her skirt is gone
Cause her mom forgot to sew the button on
Her Mama should have taken a few more stitches
So we would not be seeing Betty’s under-britches
There, now you know what I am talking about. It was so horrible. I am so embarrassed I never want to go back to school again. How can I face them when they keep chanting that dumb song every time I walk by.
What can I say to Mama to make her understand how important it is to me for her to completely finish my clothes before she tells me to wear it? How can I tell her what happened without hurting her feelings?
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