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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)

TITLE: No...Really?
By Connie Dixon


Kelly Mason had been a straight-A student during high school, but like many adolescent scholars, she possessed a great deal of brainpower without much personality. In fact, her quiet and shy demeanor afforded her few friends. When she announced her upcoming marriage to high school sweetheart Paul, few companions could be found to cheer her on. Because of that, almost all of her shower invitations were issued to past teachers and acquaintances of her and Paul’s parents.

Extra-curricular school activities had been almost non-existent for Kelly during her teenage years, but she had played clarinet in the band from the fifth grade all the way through her senior year. Her musical talents were minimal but she aced the class because she tried so hard and always gave her very best. As her music teacher, I had been asked to sing at her wedding which also included an invitation to the wedding shower.

The Mason family was extraordinary. Mary, Kelly’s mom was an exceptional teacher at the Belmont Elementary School. Bob, her dad was a committed and highly respected Christian leader in the rural town, and there were three more children following in Kelly’s footsteps. The whole family brought life and light into their community.

The shower had been under way for almost an hour. The unbearable games had been completed, the punch poured, the mints consumed and the cake sliced. All that was left to do was to open the gifts. Kelly’s only friend Linda sat by her side to document presents and their givers.

Gorgeously wrapped packages were heaped on Kelly’s left while a small stack of crumpled wrapping paper began to pile up in front of her. Each gift, fondly adored was passed from person to person and admired appropriately. As the mound began to dwindle my heart raced. The offering I brought was about to be revealed. Would she like it? Would she receive seven more as wedding gifts?

The moment had arrived. She read the card and whispered my name to her friend. “This one’s from Mrs. Blair.” Then she acknowledged me with a smile and gently removed the paper as though undressing an infant from its winter attire. My heart pounded harder as I anticipated her reaction. I was young and inexperienced at this student wedding thing and I wanted everything to be just right.

Once the box was completely exposed, the picture on the front revealed its treasure…two bright, shiny new Teflon frying pans. Kelly reached inside and pulled out the beautiful cookware. As she did, a small envelope slid out with them and fell to the floor. She picked it up, glanced at the front and discreetly tucked it under her leg. The pounding in my heart returned – only this time it was panic, a sick feeling overcame me, my cheeks flushed, nauseousness consumed me. I wanted to die, to somehow escape the reality of what had just happened. I had never experienced such humiliation.

As the shower wound down and the pile of wrapping paper was gathered into a black lawn and leaf bag, Kelly inconspicuously handed me the small card that had fallen from my package. It was addressed to: Mr. and Mrs. Jim Blair. The insert from my aunt in Texas read: Congratulations! So sorry we can’t attend your special day. May God bless you in your marriage. Love, Uncle Bill and Aunt Martha.

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This article has been read 521 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Bach 01/21/10
Very good writing. I could hardly wait to see the gift. A great big "ooops".
Anita van der Elst01/21/10
It's called 're-gifting' & in our present economy, makes a lot of sense, altho' I do understand the embarrassment of the tell-tale card left inside. Nicely told story.
Ruth Brown01/21/10
Such a clever oops. One hates to think how often it may have happened.
Margaret Gass01/23/10
Kudos to Kelly for her discretion! If this is your worst humiliation, you are doing well. :-) You told the story beautifully, so that the reader not only laughs, but sees himself--and learns a lesson. Well done!
Sharlyn Guthrie01/26/10
You kept me in the story from beginning to the oops at the end. Great job!
Scarlett Farr01/26/10
Did not see that coming! It was a great tale. The only thing I would suggest is for the first paragraph to have a little more oomph to keep the reader engaged.
Patricia Herchenroether01/26/10
Oh my! A great story that could have happened to a lot of re-gifters. Love it.
c clemons01/27/10
I agree with one of the commenters that the beginning needs a little more oomph. I definitely could feel for narrator, but I am still wondering about the title.