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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: My Greek Colonel
By Frances Perkins


Some years ago when I was living (?) in Los Angeles, I went shopping at a WalMart one evening. After a long day already spent at work, I was tired and eventually sat down on a display futon to rest a few minutes. My plan was to argue that I was actually an animatron rented for publicity purposes should some snippy employee come and try to make me get off the furniture. You never know ahead of time whether an antagonist will rofl or pitch a fit when you give them such a yarn, but it's always worth a try. The barest hint of wry grin on your part should tip them off. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Anyway, there I sat illegally with my dogs barking while I tried to decide what to buy next. All of a sudden a lovely family with mother and grown son and daughter approached and asked if they could sit down, too. Figuring there'd be greater safety in numbers should we be busted by the store folks, I scooted down to one end and made room for them. Unfortunately, the devastatingly handsome grown son sat at the other end with his mom and sister in between us.

We all had a great time getting acquainted, though. Turns out the heart throb son had been educated in the US and was now a naturalized citizen who had served in the US Air Force. His relatives were just over here visiting. Mom and Sis didn't speak English too well, so he had to do a little translating at times. It also turned out that he knew people I knew in the Air Force, plus things about them that a stranger would not know, so I felt completely comfortable with the situation.

After awhile I started to feel guilty for enjoying myself a teeny bit too much for a lady who was pre-engaged at the time. So I excused myself and went on shopping. It wasn't long before I saw this family again in another department, so I smiled and waved at them but then went back to examining merchandise.

The family went into a conversation huddle, then mom left son and daughter standing alone as she approached me and asked if we could talk a little more. Sure, that was fine with me. She apologized for any possible offense I might take at her boldness but said she was leaving for home in a few days and therefore couldn't waste any time.

When I asked what I could do for her, she let me know in no uncertain terms that her son was still single and looking for a suitable wife. She wanted to offer me references for the whole family, which I was welcome to check out before making any decisions. If they met my approval, I was to introduce her family to my relatives and we would take things from there.

While I stood rooted to the floor in shock, trying to absorb such a turn of events, this dear lady reminded me that her son had risen to the lofty rank of colonel in the US Air Force. Then she put the cherry on top when she beamed like the sun and proudly added, "But now he's retarded."

Well, I knew what she meant and I didn't have the heart to correct her English. I could only commend them, put on a suitably long face, and explain to her that I was already spoken for. She understood enough of what I said for her face to fall worse than mine. After a sad little hug, she went back to son and daughter.

From our expressions her kids already knew my answer before she reached them. As they left, the son looked back and gave me a little smile and slight nod of his head. I waved back weakly, hopeing my face didn't make me look like Ingrid Bergman saying goodbye to Bogey.

Although I've never second-guessed my decision, occasionally since then I take that sweet memory out of its hiding place in my heart and wonder what ever became of my retarded Greek colonel. And no, I never did marry the other man after all.

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This article has been read 562 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany06/22/06
This was cute! I liked your voice throughout though at times I wondered if more dialogue would help but when I finished I decided I liked the way it was presented.:)
Edy T Johnson 06/22/06
Oh, no! Your last sentence broke my heart. ["If only" comes to mind.]

Aside from that, this is just a delightful story, very well told.
Jan Ackerson 06/22/06
What a wonderful story, told with great wit and a very real voice.
Lynda Schultz 06/23/06
Cute - the laugh of my day - especially that last line. Good job.