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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Potluck (Meal or Gathering) Deadline 7-26-12 @ 10 AM NY Time (07/19/12)

TITLE: Potluck and Mother Dearest


It was going to be a potluck meal with Jeffrey and his mother at her new home. Alicia, Jeffrey’s mother, had been divorced from her husband, Paul for several years and had just moved into a new condo on the south side of town. She was a wonderful cook and Jeffrey was looking forward to the meal, even though it was going to be potluck meal. Jeffrey was told by his mother to bring his girlfriend, Mary to the supper and Jeffrey was happy to oblige because he liked Mary and enjoyed being in her company..

Jeffrey met Mary Higgins several months ago at church while attending an adult Christian class. When he saw her long brown hair, her blue eyes and a smile that was so open and honest, he fell immediately in love. She, on the other hand, was not so fast in responding to his gestures of friendship. She put him off for several weeks and after his persistence in getting to know her, agreed to go out with him to the theater and visit the local zoo on the east side of town.

Mary was a little bit nervous about going to the supper but she did want to meet his mother. After all, she was feeling comfortable with Jeffrey and she was also developing some physical and emotional feelings toward him, too. With his black hair, fair skin and blue eyes, many women found him irresistible. Why, when she introduced Jeffrey to some of her female employees at Blair’s Nursery, they practically pushed her to the floor, just to shake hands with him.

Mary wanted to bring something to the supper but Jeffrey said that his mother wouldn’t think of it. She just wanted to meet Mary and enjoy sharing a meal with her and her son. Well, that didn’t go down well with Mary; she didn't enjoy going to a supper without taking something with her. But, she didn’t want to start a quarrel about food and besides, she wanted to see what Jeffrey’s mother looked like; especially if she and Jeffrey ended up getting engaged.

The night of the supper came fast, and Mary was finishing the last minute touch ups on her make-up and fixing her hair. The supper was to be held at seven sharp; or so she was told and it was after six now. She looked at her hair and it just didn’t look right. What to do?

She began vigorously brushing her hair down toward the floor and then began brushing it back carefully. It was supposed to add fullness to her hair and finally she got it the way she wanted it and just in time. As she looked at her now longer and fuller, brown hair, she smiled an open smile and said, “perfection, achieved!” Her long hair looked good with her blue and gold dress and matching gold shoes. She had to admit, she looked great.

Minutes later, Jeffrey rang the door bell and she almost tripped, rushing to answer the door. “Well, you certainly look great! Let’s go and have supper with Mother!”

It took about 14 minutes to get there and Mary was nervous all the way. Finally, they arrived and Jeffrey rang the doorbell. Because it was his mother’s new home, he wanted to do everything just right. They both stood there, practically at attention and then waited.

Minutes later, his mother came to the door and exclaimed, “Well, good to see you both! Well, Mary, don’t you look lovely!” And then she said with a touch of animosity to her voice, “But, I didn’t think you would be quite so rotund! Oh well, a little weight won't hurt. Come on in….”

Mary tried not to grimace and felt her stomach churning, as she slowly walked in. The rest of the evening was stressful and she could hardly wait to leave. What really irritated her was that Jeffrey catered and laughed with his mother all night and practically left Mary to herself. His behavior puzzled her. By the time they left, Mary was beside herself and all she wanted to do was go home, forget Jeffrey and the horrible night she had with both of them.

Mary said nothing on the way home except when she got up out of Jeffrey’s car, “Consider this the end of our relationship, Jeffrey. If you are anything like your mother and I think you are, I will now keep my distance far from you. So long Jeffrey and have a good life!”

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This article has been read 339 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 07/27/12
Wow - Harsh comment! And, the boyfriend didn't say anything to defend her...it's amazing how she stayed at all.

Well-written and on topic. Good job. And, I'm glad that Mary moved on.

God bless~
Brenda Rice 07/31/12
I would have become ill at the first bite of mother dearest's food and demanded that Jeffrey take me home. Good job.
Mildred Sheldon07/31/12
A very interesting story. I don't think I would have been as gracious as Mary. I'm glad she stood up and told her boyfriend bye bye.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/01/12
This is definitely a different take on the topic. I enjoyed the budding romance and was eager to keep reading.

In the middle you did an excellent job of showing the reader the story. I could feel Mary's nervousness as she fussed over getting ready. In the beginning you did a tad more telling. A great way to check that is look for passive verbs like was. If you have too many, then you start to tell rather than show. For example this sentence -- It was going to be a potluck meal with Jeffrey and his mother at her new home.
Just switch it around a little bit. --Jeffery's mother scurried about as she planned the potluck supper at her new condo. If that isn't exactly what you're looking for I hope it gives you an idea of what I mean.

The ending totally took me by surprise and that doesn't happen often but oh-how I enjoy it when it does. I can't imagine someone being so rude to a guest. Though, Mary's words may have been a bit harsh, she made the right decision and the way you formulated her dismissal of Jeffery really showed how hurt and angry she was. Nice job.