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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of ďA Stitch in Time Saves NineĒ (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: The Buttonless Skirt
By Betty Overstreet


The year is 1952. The problem continues to exist. I am so embarrassed, but I love my mom so much I donít know how to tell her. If I tell her not to make my clothes anymore she will be really hurt.

Oh, Iím 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 donít mind homemade clothes because I know weíre not the richest people in the world, but the problem is, well, you know, she never totally completes anything.

Itís 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, youíre thinking that clothing doesnít really fall off except in a cartoon movieónot true. Let me tell you what happened today and maybe you can give me some ideas how to tell her without hurting Mamaís 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 hatóor 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 didnít 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 hadnít 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:

Bettyís sitting in the dirt
Betty isnít 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 Bettyís 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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This article has been read 765 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Catherine Pollock01/10/08
Ack! What a horrible situation... well done.
Debbie Wistrom01/10/08
I love Betty and feel for her gentle heart. Keep up the good words.
James Clem 01/10/08
I bet Betty has learned to sew and check the buttons herself. ;-)
Captivating story - good job.
Temple Miller01/10/08
I laughed because I could relate with using the Big Safety Pin that failed, though not nearly as dramatic as your mc. Nice story!
Temple Miller01/10/08
I laughed because I could relate with using the Big Safety Pin that failed, though not nearly as dramatic as your mc. Nice story!
Jan Ackerson 01/11/08
Funny and not-so-funny at the same time--good job.

I wonder if it'd be stronger to just end with "What can I say to Mama?"

I could just see this poor embarrassed little girl...nice piece of writing.
c clemons01/12/08
dub W01/15/08
Thanks for the morning smile. Nice bit of writing, great humor.
Sara Harricharan 01/16/08
Ooooh! Poor Betty! I am so there for her. The touch of humor with a forgetful mother is hilarious. I also like the tone you picked for Betty and how you incorporated a bit of 'poetry' with the song they sang at her. Good job! ^_^