It’s true. I didn’t deserve to win that poetry contest I entered back when I was 22-ish. So it’s a good thing I didn’t win it. You know, since I didn’t deserve it and all.
Oh my writing was stellar. Or as close to it as I could get considering that one poem was the first I’d written in you know, ever. I was dressed to kill. I showed up on time. I paid the entry fee. But I didn’t deserve to win.
I didn’t deserve to win because of my motives. Yeah, they were not kosher to having a love of poetry or a desire to share my writing. I’d share the poem with you now, but I can’t find it. Or remember the title of it. You’ll just have to trust me that it was good. Just undeserving of winning that contest.
Back to my motives. Here goes. This might shock you and I admit it’s the first time I’ve ever shared it with anyone (other than the kids).
Motive #1: I didn’t drive the two hours to the tiny library in the even smaller town where the poetry contest was being held and judges (biased ones I think) were going to ooh and ahh over the entries and allow the winner to read her poetry aloud to the miniscule room of people who had attended. For the record, everyone there was a writer who’d entered the poem with the exception of one guest. For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call that guest “motive #1”.
He was (is) HOT! Gorgeous. Single. Funny. Smart. You get the idea. List the incredible adjective of the guy of your dreams and you’ve got motive #1. I didn’t go to the poetry reading to listen to poetry being read or to win the contest. I went because going meant a cozy two hour road trip (I love a good road trip) with this hunk of a man!
Motive #2: See motive #1.
Alright, so I only had one underhanded motive for going to this poetry reading/contest. But even with that, I still didn’t deserve to win. Because while motive #1 and I were sitting in the sparse audience listening to the judges read some of their own poetry and then applauding the winner, something bad happened.
Something bad: In this itty bitty room there were chairs facing the platform. Everyone was sitting in the chairs (with the exception of those on the platform) and there was a “buffet” in the back behind all the chairs. I put “buffet” in quotes because if it was a true buffet there would have been fried chicken and biscuits laid out. There were not. The “buffet” held only raw carrots and celery and some ranch dressing to dip the veggies in. I know, you’re appalled right? Well, if you’re from the Midwest and know what a real buffet is, you would be.
Anyway, motive #1 was totally getting into the evening and put together a little plate with veggies and dip and sat beside me (*swooning at his close proximity*). He dug right in. And then something bad happened. Really bad.
As he took a bite of the offensive celery all covered in ranch dressing, motive #1 went about removing the rest of the piece of celery from his mouth. If you can’t get a visual of this, go to the refrigerator, get a piece of celery, wash it and dip it in ranch and read that last line again. See what happened there? The celery strings get caught in your teeth!
So, motive #1 (what a hunk!) gives the celery a little yank. This next part is so bad; I can’t believe I’m going to write it…and he gets the celery out of his mouth and sprays a little (read: a lot) of ranch dressing all over the back of the innocent and unknowing woman seated in front of him. Did I mention the woman was wearing black?
I was horrified. Until motive #1 started laughing and then I was mortified. I told you it was bad. And then something worse happened.
Something worse: Thankfully the reading, etc. was just about over when the ranch exploded all over that little old lady’s black blazer. The speaker up front was encouraging everyone to hang out and mingle. Motive #1 was still chortling away while I tried to pretend we weren’t together. People got up to mingle…and we didn’t tell the woman in front of us! I know. It’s wrong. We should have. We should have offered to pay her dry cleaning bill. Instead we did something worse.
Motive #1 and I hightailed it out of there. We nearly tore the door of that little library room off the hinges to get the hell out of there. And he just kept laughing. And he had (has) gorgeous little laugh lines around his eyes that I really wanted to kiss. But couldn’t because he was motive #1 and as unsuspecting of my interest in him as the woman was of her ranch covered blazer. Okay, probably not that bad. Motive #1 wasn’t/isn’t dense and I think it was obvious how I’d been fawning all over him for the last two hours –minus the brief period when I tried to disappear into the floor when the ranch was flying.
Didn’t I tell you I didn’t deserve to win? Between motive #1, something bad and the something worse I probably don’t deserve anything good ever again! But it all turned out alright. There was a happy ending to my short lived life as a poet. Motive #1 and I married within a year. He still has those great laugh lines, he’s still a hunk and I’m always wary when celery is on the menu.
Do you have any great writing stories? Something funny or interesting or quirky? I’d love to hear about it!