Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blog Chain - Once Upon a Time, My Writing Was A Crime

Okay, this round was hard for me :) Shaun started us off and wanted to know:

What is the silliest thing from a book or short story you've written, and why? It can be a line or a paragraph or a whole page. Anything that you look back at and go, "Say what?"

Now, I thought this would be easy because I've written a LOT of really bad stuff in my time. But once I started digging for it, I realized that I didn't save most of my really bad stuff. I had written in on scrap pieces of paper and old diaries, etc....stuff that I either didn't save or has gotten lost over the years. 

I did find a piece I wrote for a creative non-fiction class I took in grad school, where I was having a conversation with myself about being a writer. That made me shudder a bit. But it's also 3 pages long, so I won't torture you with it :D 

And I wrote a poem once, that I thought was really sad and touching, about a woman who either lost a husband or a baby, and I named the lost loved one Dean, because it rhymed with whatever the line before it was. I gave it to my sister, thinking she'd be in tears after she read it. Instead, she was pretty much going into convulsions on the floor, she was laughing so hard. All because I named him Dean :D

But I can't find that'll post this one for you. It's not the worst thing I've ever written, though it certainly isn't the best. But I think it's fairly atrocious and had me chuckling when I read it again, you go :) It's a piece (for the same creative non-fiction class) where we had to write about something we owned, from that object's perspective :)

I am so full I’m nearly bursting. I’m in desperate need of a purge; but that will never happen. My owner holds on to everything. I’m an imitation Louis Vitton. But don’t let the “imitation” fool you. I’m nice and roomy. I have suede on the inside and I come all the way from New York. Of course her mom had to buy me because she would never buy a purse for herself. She likes to use the diaper bag. But I have just as much room for all the crap she stuffs me with.

You’d be amazed at what she crams me full of. I mean, who needs WalMart receipts from 1998? There are contact lenses (which she has worn exactly once), a hairbrush (why I don’t know because I don’t think she ever brushes her hair), two pens, a spare binkie for each of her kids (o.k. those might be necessary), infant finger nail clippers, a tube of her son’s toothpaste (who knows why that is in there; I’m in constant terror it will leak), a pack of double A batteries (again, I have no idea why those are there), a couple of hair ties, a doctor’s bill for her daughter (it’ll never get paid hidden away in me), some Weight Watcher’s information booklets (maybe she’ll actually lose a few pounds this time), two packs of gum (Extra – in watermelon for when she wants her mouth busy and Polar Ice for when she’s not so fresh; and believe me she needs it), and her wallet. Usually there are also a couple of diapers and a pack of wipes.

Her husband is looking over her shoulder as she digs through me.

“Did you steal those batteries?” he asked.
“Yeah I did. Don’t tell,” she answers.
“Why do you have Connor’s toothpaste?”
“I don’t know. Probably because it was in my hand, I wanted to put it away, and my purse was the nearest available spot to drop it.”

I can tell he is confused. I’ve seen his wallet. Nice. Great leather. Smells good. His wallet contains the necessities and little else. Although she teases him because he also has a few expired cards and several years worth of expired hunting licenses.

“Why don’t you throw those away?” she asks.
He just looks at her like she’s asked him to cut off an arm and walks away.

Her wallet matches me and is large, overstuffed, and irreplaceable. It contains the usual checkbook and pen. There is a picture of my owner and her husband, when she was skinny and cute. There are pictures of both of her kids at various ages, and a picture of her teenage step-kids with her son when he was three months old. Her driver’s license is one of those temporary paper things. We just moved and the “real” one hasn’t come yet. She thought the camera had already taken the picture so she stopped smiling and made some weird face. She is so embarrassing. There is also exactly $2.63. Wow, I feel rich. I’d like to carry some real money someday.

She went through the cards the other day. I’ve decided she has a problem letting go of things. There is an expired Costco card, a debit card to a bank account that no longer exists, a Qwest Visa gift card with about $0.47 on it, Blockbuster membership cards (two of them), the current debit card, her current library card, and the cards for the last two libraries we’ve lived near. Her reasoning for holding on to those? What if she is in one of those cities for some reason and needs to go to the library? I have to agree with her there. In one of the zipper compartments is a copy of the obituary for one of her high school friends. He was shot in a bad drug deal a few years after high school. I’d forgotten that was in there. How sad.

Oh, here she comes. Maybe she’ll unload some of this stuff. The toothpaste, take the toothpaste! Oh, just the chap stick. Well, her lips are awful chapped. She’s talking to herself again. Poor thing, I think she’s losing it.

“I know I should clean you out, but I know that as soon as I get rid of something, I’m going to need it. I’d better just leave everything where it is.”

You’ve gotta love her.

Annnnd there you have it :) I am the last link in this chain, so be sure to check out Bonny's post before mine if you haven't yet. And if you'd like to follow the chain from the beginning, go to Shaun's post Here :)


christine said...

LOL! Amazing what we find, isn't it!!!

Sarah Bromley said...

LOL! Your purse has quite a sense of humor. I wonder what it would say to mine.

Sandra said...

Sounds like this was a fun piece to write!

L.T. Elliot said...

I have a strange urge to clean my purse. And dejunk my wallet. I have some of those blockbuster cards in there too. Oh, the shame! ;)

Diana Paz said...

Oh wow, it scares me even thinking of what I'd dig out of my purse.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

So why do women have such a reputation about purses?! LOL! How fun! :)

Michelle McLean said...

lol yeah, my husband may tease me about my purse, but he's sure grateful when I can produce some obscure item that he desperately needs at a moment's notice :D

Cole Gibsen said...

LOL! This was great!

Eric said...

This is an interesting bit. I was thinking how I'd handle the same assignment were I in the writer's chair, but I like how you managed it. Nice job, even if it did bring on a grin.

Mandy said...

OMG Michelle, I LOVED this! Soooo funny!

Rebecca Knight said...

"You’d be amazed at what she crams me full of." Um... that's what she said... Hehehehe.

This was awesome, Michelle! :D I love this topic!

K.M. Weiland said...

The "Dean" poem anecdote cracked me up. I agree with your sis: Dean is a hard name to take seriously. ;)

Kat Harris said...

A story from a purse's perspective -- that's incredible. I love it.

Anonymous said...

nice article~....................................................

Cynde L. Hammond said...


That is so funny!

I finally broke down and cleaned out my purse because I found the most adorable little purse--it was a medium-sized one, instead of the huge ones that I have always carried.

I thought that now that I have dropped over a hundred pounds, I could get away with carrying a normal-sized purse, right?

The only thing is, I'm so used to having all that STUFF with me, I bought a little satchel to carry, also. What a dummy, right? I still have all the same stuff with me, it's just that now it's in TWO different bags.

That way I can leave one in the car if I want and then I can look "cute" if I need to. (hahaha!) When will I learn? (LOL!)


Michelle--I have given your blog a "Blog Award!" Come see it here.

~Cynde (Cynde's Got The Write Stuff)
Cynde's Got The Write Stuff

M. Gray said...

Two kiddos, large purse equals nasty large mess for me! Thanks for sharing. Wish I could've read the poem for your sister! ha!

J.J. Bennett said...

Hey Michelle,

Stop my my blog for a surprise! An award for you!!!!