My Story, Yours Too.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Woman on the Verge of Paradise, Robbie and Robyn

The pro authors at my writer's conference said that, when asked when their current project will be published, their standard response is "in a year." Their point: it takes years to publish a good book,  much longer than we anticipate. Don't publish before it's ready. Otherwise, you're doing yourself a disservice. That said, here's an early scene from my novel, Woman on the Verge of Paradise. I've begun editing, and it'll be published in a year. Smiles. 
   I could never relate to boys in a way that felt anything but weird. I was usually too shy to even say “hi” to them. On occasion, though, a (very) random guy paid attention to me.
   There was Robbie, for example, who used to visit the library whenever I did library service as an elective. He was a lanky kid who donned thick-framed glasses and resembled a White Steve Urkel. Robbie strolled into Orville Wright Junior High's library on a regular basis, to talk to me. It was his “free period,” he said.
   I had no interest in him, but Robbie's attention flattered me. When I told Susan about him, she suggested I give Robbie a chance. “Robyn, he really likes you. He seems like a nice guy,” she goaded.
   Easy for you to say, I thought. You got one who doesn’t pull his pants up above his belly button.
   One day Robbie stood really close, leaned in to supposedly look at the title of a book I was stacking to be shelved, and “accidentally” touched his hand to mine.
   “Wow, your skin is super soft, Robyn.”
   Robbie’s gentle touch felt sweet, as did the compliment. “Thanks,” I said softly, slightly blushing.
   “Yeah?” I hid my giddiness, awaiting the question. Was he going to ask for a date? Tell me he’d been in love with me since he first set eyes on me? Ask me the all-important question of the day: “Will you go with me?”[1]
   He quickly turned his head from side to side, as if to assure nobody was around.
   I scanned our immediate vicinity too. Nobody in sight. It was just me and Robbie. Robbie and Robyn, all alone at the front desk of Orville Wright Junior High School’s library. Nobody else existed.
   Robbie moved in closer, preparing to ask the question. “ you have fifty cents I can borrow for a soda? I’ll pay you back next week.”
   And so it went. My spectacularly unromantic romantic life. My open-hearted, tenacious, klutzy quest for love and self-worth. My story: the anti-fairytale.

[1] I think this meant “Will you date me?”I'm not sure, though. Nobody ever asked me to "go" with them without adding a destination. Did any of you hear or use this term back in the day?


  1. "Isn't it romantic......" lolol

  2. lol the 50 cents could have been an investment

  3. I'm so glad I'm not young anymore and don't have to go through the agony of dating all over again.

  4. Crash and burn! You didn't give it to him, did you?

  5. Nobody ever asked me to "go with them" either. Maybe that's why I married the first one (who sounds a lot like your Robbie) who did ask.

  6. Ouch.
    As a socially inept klutz from way back this yanked my strings from both sides.
    More please. Soon. A year is a very, very long time to wait.

  7. A year? So unfair!
    No one asked me to 'go' with them either, I didn't do proms or any of those things; can't say I felt that I'd missed out on anything... but enjoyed seeing my daughter do those things.

  8. Been there. Oh the flutter of the heart and then the burning red cheeks. Often it was "can I borrow your math homework" Sigh.

  9. I know. I really didn't want to write "one year," because I think it will (you didn't see the long pause before I typed "will") be done sooner. Fingers crossed. Thank you, dear, silly friends. xo

  10. I've never heard the phrase "will you go with me" used in that context. Our phrase would have been "will you go out with me."

    Oh, boys. Such doofuses.

  11. No, you missed it. He was actually getting ready to tell you how much he liked you but he lost his nerve and ask to borrow money to cover it up. Yup. That's what it was.

  12. I don't suppose white Steve Urkel ever mysteriously turned into muscular, smooth-talking white Stefan?

    Loving the new side bar. ;)

  13. I was the kind of girl who would sarcastically ask, "Where are we going?"

    No, I didn't get asked out very often. My hubs had gumption, that's all I can say!

  14. Ugh. How did we ever survive dating?

  15. Shoot, at least Robbie got THAT far.

  16. Alex, I didn't. I don't pay guys. They pay me. J/K.

    BnB, thanks for spelling Urkel correctly! I'll make that change. Very astute of you.

    Stephanie, good question? It's thoroughly agonizing.

    Be well, friends.

  17. We went "Friendship" before we went "Steady." Someone once asked me to go "Friendship" but it ended before our first phone call. That Robbie was a coward.

    What a cute A Beer For The Shower badge! That's a pretty big chocolate bar you're holding there, Robyn!


  18. Haha great story. So did you give the guy the money? Or tell him to take a hike? (An American expression we learnt from the movies. In Australia we would have said Piss off dickhead.)

    As for the term 'go with me', actually yeah. Here in Oz it was pretty common. Maybe his parents were Aussie!haha

    In a year. Pretty good advice. Took me two years to write my first, then would re-edit it periodically over the following five years. However, still not published. Hope you have better luck.

  19. ps, when the romance was over, we'd say, 'you're dropped.' lol Not that I ever 'dropped' someone, but when it happened to me, I knew why it was called that...

    aahahawwwahhhhh! lol

  20. Oh, I was sucked right into that. But did you lend him the 50 cents?

  21. Ouch. I hope you can turn your life around soon. This story can use some spicing up :)

  22. Perhaps he just chickened out at the last minute. Shy guys are like that. I know. I was one in school. Still am sometimes. :-)

  23. I was stalked by a girl in the library when I was in high school. We eventually went to her Junior Prom, but broke up soon after. When she told me her father ran a cockfighting ring, I got scared (even though I later learned she was talking about chickens, I never went back). The last time I saw her was at my stepfather's funeral in 1996. I hope that nose ring is giving her fewer problems.

  24. Julie, that's hilarious. Going friendship is what they do now. It means "Don't you dare tell anyone how the sex was. Let's be friends."

    Anthony, thank you. I'll use "Piss off dickhead" or "You're dropped" next time - depending on the circumstances (i.e., how the sex was. er, if the sex was).

    Mitchell, no, I didn't. Funny he stopped stalking me after that.

    LadyLilith, it did get interesting after that.

    Roland, I like the shy ones and always have, but not the shy moochers.

    AlP, you've done it again. Quit it or I'll need to stock up on Depends. Silly!

    Love ya all,

  25. Hahaha... I love your stories, Robyn! And your wonderful sense of humour :)

  26. I heard that term "go with" a lot when I was in high school, but I was never one of the ones participating in this activity, unfortunately. In our school if two people were "going together," it meant they were boyfriend and girlfriend. I had no boyfriends in sight until I went to college. :-)

    Loved the story! Hope you have a great week ahead.

  27. Haha. The suspense build up...and then that. Boys are silly. :) Did you actually give it to him?