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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Irritated (11/08/12)

TITLE: Who's The Rude One?
By Jana Kelley


I have lived in Asia for most of my life, but who am I fooling? I’m not Asian. My fair skin and my blonde hair make me stick out like sore thumb. I love rice, tropical weather, exotic fruit and the ocean. I even have adopted a lot of “Asian” ways of doing things. But there’s one thing I have never grown accustomed to: the staring. Oh, they mean no harm, and I tell myself that all the time. But the incessant and unabashed staring has always been my pet peeve. And then there are the attempts to sneak pictures of me, as if I don’t notice their cameras sneakily aimed at me while the photographer nonchalantly looks off somewhere else while snapping the picture. Now, understand, this is not because I am famous or beautiful, but simply because I am a blonde-headed foreigner in Asia. I try to be patient, but I’ll just be honest, it’s irritating.

One day, I was shopping at a mall and I stepped into the restroom. As I washed my hands at the sink, I glanced in the mirror and noticed a couple of ladies in the reflection. They were standing across the room behind me and were obviously talking about me. Ugh! I was so irritated. Why couldn’t I shop at a mall in peace for once? And for Pete’s sake, why couldn’t I go to the powder room in peace? They giggled and whispered and stole glances at me that they were sure were secret, but to me were obvious. Why did they have to be like that?

I wanted them to know how rude their behavior was. In my mind, I gave them a scolding. But, not wanting to be an “ugly American”, I did not actually say any of my speech to them. As I turned to leave the restroom, I didn’t look at them and smile, as I usually would have. I just walked by and ignored them. From behind me, I could hear one of the ladies speak to the other one,

“She’s so pretty!”

I gulped as a wave of guilt flowed over me. It was not them that had been rude, it was me! They probably did not speak directly to me for fear I would not understand their language. And me? I had rejected two ladies in whose country I was a guest. Two ladies who needed God’s love, not another woman’s judgment

Oh Lord, give me patience when the culture I live in is irritating. I want to be treated with respect, but please help me to do the same for others, even in my mind!

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This article has been read 192 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/15/12
You grabbed my attention immediately with the first line. I had so many questions bouncing about inside my poor head and you did a wonderful job of answering them before they were asked.

The thing that would make your great story even better would be to sprinkle some more showing instead of telling. For example this sentence: I was so irritated.
is all telling. Different people show irritation differently. I wondered if perhaps your MC stomped her foot while snorting through her nose or perhaps she took her hand and flipped her blonde hair over her shoulder. Little details like this can really bring the MC to life for the reader.

The ending was great and took me by surprise. I expected to see a trail of toilet paper stuck to her foot or attached to her skirt like an unwanted tail. Yet your ending satisfied way more than any bit of humor could have. She's so pretty. The words gripped my heart. There are so many females who measure pretty by an unattainable scale. Yet, here she was being watched because of her beauty not because she didn't fit in or stood out in a crowd but because something about the way she held herself spoke volumes to the giggling girls in the bathroom.
As Christians we need to be aware that every second we are role models to others much like a big sister is to her sibling. We can either push the annoying sibling away or wrap our loving arms around her and show her the proper way to talk, dress, and worship. Beautiful job on this --you nailed the topic and also showed the reader your heart. Who could ask for more?
Carolyn Ancell11/17/12
This is a beautiful article, with a strong and colorful image-filled lead. And a wonderful ending that surprises and delights. Perhaps use the actual word "irritating" fewer times, substituting a synonym here and there? But a gracious message!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/23/12
Congratulations for ranking 7th in level 3!