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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)

TITLE: Love is (not so) Patient
By Lynda Lee Schab
08/27/08


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My life is over.

Okay, not really. But right now it sure feels like it.

Amber and Shawn just announced they are getting married. Should be a happy occasion, right? Apparently it is for the thirty or so single people around me who are applauding with overdramatized enthusiasm. And, of course for Amber and Shawn who are beaming as bright as the flash from that gigantic bling on Amber’s finger.

But this is not good news for me. The third engagement announcement in two months, our singles’ group is dwindling rapidly. Available guys are being stolen right from under my nose. Pretty soon, the only ones left will be Stan, Phil and Brian. They make great pals but definitely aren’t my type. Especially Brian, a momma’s boy whose hair hangs to the middle of his back, whose beard length rivals Pippi Longstocking’s braids, and has more chest hair poking out of his shirt than Rosie, my bearded collie, has on her whole body.

Since I turned eighteen, I’ve been praying for a nice, clean-cut, responsible guy who has his priorities in order.

That's twelve years I've been praying! Is it any question that my patience is wearing thin?

I sigh. So this makes three newly engaged happy couples who soon would need to leave our singles’ group for the “newly marrieds.”

Goody for them.

“Did you hear the awesome news?” Stephie squeals as she slides into the chair next to mine.

Stephie is one of those too-happy singles. She’s here for fun and fellowship and claims that if and when God wants her to meet her husband, she will. Til then, she’s just enjoying the ride. Of course, Stephie is only twenty-two – she probably still sucks her thumb at night. We’ll see if she still has this perky attitude when she’s pushing thirty.

“I heard it,” I mumble.

She socks me in the arm. “Oh, come on, Lil, be happy for them.”

“I am.” I fake smile.

Stephie gives me a blank look. Then her face brightens. “Hey, a new guy joined tonight.”

“Is he cute?”

She raises her eyebrows. “Extremely.”

I straighten my shoulders, feeling hopeful for two seconds before slouching back down in my chair. “I’m sure Christina or Robin or Alexis will snatch him up in no time. They all took dibs on the next new guy to grace those doorways.”

Stephie rolls her eyes. “Lily. You cannot take dibs on another human being. When that spark happens, it happens.” She clutches her chest like she’s auditioning for a Broadway production.

“So where is he?” I look around the room. The singles’ pastor and his wife (what’s up with that, anyway?) stand at the front, chatting with a still-beaming Amber and Shawn. I spot Christina at the snack table talking to Stan and Phil. Robin and Alexis sit in the corner, texting, probably to each other. A few other regulars mill about.

And there he is. Coming our way.

Stephie elbows me in the side and I try not to grimace.

Gorgeous New Guy pulls up a chair and looks right at me. “Hey,” he says.

The drool starts pooling. Not making a good first impression, here.

But wait. That voice. That “hey”. It’s familiar.

I squint. No way. Could it be?

“Brian?”

Stephie giggles. “Told you there was a new guy here. Looks great, doesn’t he?”

I can’t stop staring. This can’t possibly be the same person who just last week could pass for a grizzly bear.

“You like it?” He grins, running a hand through his newly cropped hair.

I observe his smooth chin and chiseled jaw line. Never...noticed that...before. My eyes go to the opening of his shirt. What do you know? No hairs poking out.

“What happened?” I ask, jaw still slack.

“Well, you could say I had a revelation. It was time for a change. I got my own place, cut my hair – even shaved my chest.”

Stephie laughs. “Is there any particular reason you went to all this trouble, Brian?” She asks with a wink.

He looks at me. “Well, I was...I am kind of wondering if you’ll go out with me.” His cheeks turn a light shade of pink.

Wow...have those great cheekbones been there all along?

Okay, so I’m thinking I may try to dig up a little more patience. And a bit more trust that maybe God does have everything under control.

And perhaps I’ll even find some enthusiasm for Amber and Shawn.


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This article has been read 957 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/30/08
Your use of hyperbole has some great examples for Jan's lesson on the subject. I enjoyed your fun story and thought the "new guy" was just right.
Jan Ackerson 08/31/08
Super voice! And I should have seen your twist coming, but I totally didn't--testament to your superior writing. Loved it.
Yvonne Blake 08/31/08
Woo -oo! So romatic!
Having some kids going through these same stage, I had to laugh. You hit it right on with those inner thoughts.
Well written.
Dee Yoder 08/31/08
The Ugkly Duckling becomes the Gorgeous Swan! Love the dialogue-inner and spoken-in this piece. It sets the mood and takes me back to those worrisome single days! Fun to read.
Ellen Dodson08/31/08
The thumb-sucking comment is snortingly funny. I love how the MC's thoughts slow down (with use of ellipsis) as she's checking out Brian's sleek and chiseled make-over. You let humor and your character's sarcasm make your point about this less patient love. I feel a bit badly for Brian though because I want to know for sure--with some hint worked in-- that the MC is truly coming around and will love him for his heart too rather than the superficial things.
Leah Nichols 09/01/08
You have described my life with stunning clarity! :) I SO RELATE to having the chipper younger crowd that says, "you just need to wait". YEAH, it's been like 11 years now since God told me my husband was coming! I liked the twist - there's a few guys I know that would fit that category. I don't think it's all about being superficial, though....I recognize that knowing someone's heart is paramount, but things like feeling attracted do matter - even just a little. A haircut sometimes does a world of good! :)
Betsy Markman09/01/08
I love the MC's voice, her understated sarcastic wit, and all of that.
But if she thinks any guy would shave his chest for any gal after the "I do," she's nuts!
:-)
I remember back to the days when I thought that all I needed was to get married, and everything would be "happily ever after."

Lord, teach us to be content in You, whatever our state in life!
Joshua Janoski09/02/08
This story is my favorite so far this week in the masters category!

I know exactly what it is like to listen to the overly peppy younger crowd with their ultra positive attitudes towards finding a mate. It always annoys me, because I am 26 and still waiting patiently (or at least trying to wait patiently).

I know I'm still young, but every day I think about he clock ticking down for me. I could really relate to the sarcastic humor in this piece, because I often use a similar humor myself when talking to people about this subject.

The description of Brian in the beginning was hilarious, and you really hit a chord with your subject matter. Great job!
Patricia Turner09/03/08
Your mc is so real for her role - a testamony to your great writing! I like the twist about Brian - at first I thought it might just be an old schoolmate she'd had a crush on showing up.
Karlene Jacobsen 09/03/08
You have captured the heart of probably every 30-something single out there.

Chely Roach09/03/08
Fantastic! Loved the MCs voice...the line about the girls texting each other killed me! Excellent writing!
Beckie Stewart09/03/08
This was so good. I loved it! I could picture the entire scene from beginning to end. You weaved this tale well.
James Dixon09/03/08
Great make over on the singles theme. I hope looks aren't everything. I'd better check with the Mrs.
Joy Faire Stewart09/03/08
I loved this from the opening sentence. Great voice and humor.