So a few months back, I had a contest here in my closet. Then I moved and was swallowed by my own stress (which is like a Robyn Hitchcock record, but you can't dance to it. At all. Not even goth dancing.)

But I never forgot about the contest. Really.

For a long time (i.e. up until the very last day) it looked like Heather would win. I mean, her story about dating Satan had both Fred and I cracking up, and she gets extra points for taking Satan to church and him using that as proof of his Satanic-ness. It reminded me of the Rolling Stone interview with Anton LaVey where he claimed to have been responsible for the death of Jayne Mansfield (because on the day Jayne Mansfield died in a car accident, he was going through magazines and tore out a picture of Marilyn Monroe, realizing afterwards that there was a picture of Jayne printed on the other side and he had ripped off her head). Heather's tale inspires the grown up in me to shout "why did you date this boy? DTMFA!" which only adds to the humor value of this all.

Of course, there were problems with Heather winning. She is a real life friend and she doesn't tune in unless I ask her to. I had to wonder if I was just favoring crowning her the winner of my first ever contest because she would like whatever I gave her and I wouldn't have to pay any postage costs.



I got this email from Stuntmother:

I once met a guy who told me very seriously though not making eye-contact) that he had been taught to make love by a woman and that no one who tried him was ever satisfied by anyone else again.

I once was friends with a girl who yelled at me for no reason one night and then cried and said she had been raped the evening before. Only after I had raised campus hell and got the police involved, therapists, friends and teachers, did she say she had been lying and that it was really her step-father. No, her boyfriend. No, it was an uncle. I never did get the story right. If there was one.

I once met a man who claimed he used to know how to fly but had forgotten.

I did in fact know a girl who was allergic to water. Whenever she showered,she'd come up in an itchy rash. So every day then.

I once met a girl who claimed she had sung back up for Prince before he was formerly known as.

I once knew a girl who said she was so thin she had to buy all her clothes in the children's department.

I once knew a boy who said he knew a girl with three breasts (we were very young at the time but it freaked me out).

I once knew a woman who said she had crashed the Queen's Birthday Party. She might have, really. She was that sort of woman.

I once knew a girl who said she could pull the pain out of my just-broken wrist and put it in the bedpost. I don't know if it helped because I was too spaced on codeine tylenol and marshmallows to tell.

I once knew a woman who said she had great stories to tell but when it came to the crunch, she couldn't remember any of them. Oh wait. that's me.

So I knew, in my heart, that Stuntmother was the winner. Which opened up a whole 'nother box of anxiety for me. I like Stuntmother. I am honored to be part of her blogging world. I think everyone should go and read her blog multiple times a day. What if she didn't like what I sent her? I couldn't send her a black dress because, unlike in real life, you can't go around asking for people's measurements in cyberspace without people thinking you are a pedophile, even if you are asking an adult. It appears I have given away all the yarn with which I can bear to part with at this time. Stuntmother's nanowrimo profile says no music. Which leaves me with books. Lots and lots of books. But what if she has already read the book I send or, even worse, thinks less of me for sending it to her?

I am sad to say that all this led me to pretend the contest never happened. Which was wrong and I apologize to all of you.

After reading Stuntmother's most recent comments, I have come to the conclusion that I am being a big 'fraidy cat. Look at all her favorite writers, it is as if she raided my bookshelves when I was asleep. The title of her nanowrimo book gives me the shivers. We both have a yen for Neil Gaiman and Jeremy Irons, which makes me think we might run around the Humanities Festival giggling like schoolgirls. In fact, thinking about Stuntmother reminded of this passage from C.S. Lewis' The Voyage of The Dawn Treader
Neither could speak to the other and in a moment the Sea Girl dropped astern. But Lucy will never forget her face. It did not look frightened or angry like those of the other Sea People. Lucy had liked that girl and she felt certain the girl had liked her. In that one moment they had somehow become friends. There does not seem to be much chance of their meeting again in that world or any other. But if ever they do they will rush together with their hands held out.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this contest. I appreciated every story you generously shared and promise that if I steal it for a story (I am starting to panic that I won't get to 50,000 words in the next seven days) I will give you credit. Stuntmother, please email me your address.

To those who are desperate to receive a prize from my closet, do not despair. I am currently having another contest of sorts and the answers are all here in my blog. Really, they are. And to those who say they are not interested in a book, keep in mind that the winner will also, eventually, get a post like this written about them. You may not want the books, but who doesn't want the love?


Francesca said…
Wow. Do you know that it's my birthday today? And that you've just given me the most lovely present? Thank you, really. I've always loved that passage about Lucy too -- and always hoped that she and the sea girl would meet sometime. Kindred spirits.

This is what blogging is for. Finding people like you.
Francesca said…
And, um, I can't find your email. Perhaps I'm being slow. More than likely. Would you email me? stuntmother at gmail dot com.

I'm sorry for not getting to this sooner -- and the love your post gave me was tremendous and very healing. I have had a hell of a weekend.
Anonymous said…

Popular Posts