Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lunch Date

Is there someone who drives you crazy?

Someone who really gets under your skin.

Now, write a first-person piece - as if YOU are this individual. Write from his or her perspective and include the things that really bother you.

This can be completely fictional or you can base it on a real-life person.

Word limit is 600.

I whipped out my compact, tucked a few uncooperative hairs back into place, deftly applied my crimson lipstick, and made sure none had strayed to my freshly bleached teeth.  Perfect.

After working my magic, I had finally secured a lunch date with Steve.  He earned top scores down my list:  six figure salary, check;  tall, dark, and handsome, check;  comes from a well known family, check;  and so on.  He was going to be mine and he didn't even know it yet.

"Alright, Liz. I'm off. I'll be back in an hour."

"What?" I wasn't sure what my coworker, Suzanne, was talking about.

"I'm leaving for an hour.  You promised to cover for me, remember?"

"I did?"  I couldn't have.  "I'm not available today, Suz.  Can you just move it to tomorrow?  I can cover for you then."

"Tomorrow?  Liz?"

She looked confused.  What was she doing again?  Ugh.

"Suz, I'm leaving for lunch in fifteen minutes.  I can't cover for you today.  But, tomorrow would be fine for me."  Putting my makeup back into my purse, I began tidying my desk, getting ready to meet Steve.

"Liz.  I can't go tomorrow.  The elections are today.  I have a full schedule tonight and this is my only opportunity to go vote."

"Oh."  I wasn't sure what to say.  There was no way I was going to miss seeing Steve.

"Maybe Carol or Lynn can cover you."  I slid the heels that I had kicked off under my desk back on, continuing to get ready.

"No, Liz.  They can't.  I already asked them."

"Well, I'm sure you'll figure something out."  I stood up, slid my arms through my coat's lined sleeves, and grabbed my bag.

Suzanne opened her mouth.  I assumed it was to say something, but she looked like she was catching flies.

"Good luck, Suz!"

I glanced back just once, to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything and saw Suzanne's face.  It was the same shade as my lipstick.  I turned my head away and rolled my eyes, irritated with her.

While waiting for a cab, my irritation faded as I thought about Steve.  I could see this developing into something quickly.  We'd have to get through the holidays that are always awkward in any new relationship, but then I saw us dancing on New Years, skiing the slopes in January, a romantic Valentine's weekend on the coast, and on into an event filled spring.

I was so lost in my envisioned life with Steve that I almost didn't hear my phone ring.


"Hello, Liz.  I need to cancel.  My day has filled up fast and now is the only chance I'll have to go vote."


“Yes, it’s a pain to hit the polls. But, the absentee deadline slipped my mind while out of the country last month.  I'll call you next week to reschedule, if you'd like."

If I'd like?  I tried to pull myself together.  "Yes, Steve.  I would very much like to reschedule next week."

"I'll give you a ring."

I was about to say my farewells when he hung up.  He has to vote?  The elections?  Seriously, what's all the fuss?

I didn't get it and was more than a little irritated.  Somewhere in the back of my head, I could sort of hear Suz's voice telling me that she needed to go vote.  But, that only made me more annoyed.

I would deal with her later.  I was in serious need of retail therapy.  Just then, a cab pulled up.  And I hopped in.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
I thought this was kind of tricky.  I kept wanting to interject the other person's emotions, thoughts, and perspectives.  For me, it was hard to write first person about someone who is so completely unaware, someone who is consumed by her appearance, someone who is working down a superficial checklist for the perfect man (particularly as a Mama raising a wee girl!), someone who is oblivious to others' needs, and someone who is completely self absorbed.

I wrote several different variations of fiction for this prompt.  And every time, I wanted the other character(s) to shout out and even proverbially bonk this first person character on the head!  So, this was definitely a challenge!


  1. This is SO fun, Kare! I love HOW deep into the mood you get/create! YOU are so guuuud! Yipeeee!

  2. This was fun. And yes, she is a piece of work.

    I find that you were able, through subtle and thoughtful body language, show how others despise her. Yet, nobody stands up to her..she must intimidate.

    In this paragraph, she's telling us how she felt, which is easy to do when writing first person:

    I didn't get it and was more than a little irritated. Somewhere in the back of my head, I could sort of hear Liz's voice telling me that she needed to go vote. But, that only made me more annoyed.

    I wonder if you could instead show her irritation. Ex: "I shifted in my seat, my leg pumping up and down. Voting! Why is everybody caught up in something so boring? I'm right here!"

    That is not good writing, what I just did, but it shows her possible vulnerability and insecurity with herself, perhaps a reason she is so abrasive.

    Just my two cents, no more, no less.

    I'm so glad I read this. It's a great character and very vibrant.

  3. Howdy!

    Starting a new feature at my blog called The MicroFiction Muse! Please pop in and take a look and hope to see you next week! :O)

  4. I came over from the Red Dress link up - so glad I did! This was great. I loved how you showed her coworker's anger by including the color of her face. I like her complete oblivion of what her coworker was even talking about, and how in the end she just couldn't understand the big deal about voting. It all showed how superficial and self-centered she is. Nicely done!

  5. Co-workers are great fodder!!!! Makes me think, maybe I should have gone that route!

  6. Somehow you made me like the main character Liz. You captured such a clear picture of her...she's only watching out for herself and what she wants is more important than what others want. I could see how she would think Suz is annoying. Lol. This was a lot of fun! Great job!

  7. I loved the story post today! I'm curious, is this person you wrote about in the first person someone you know personally?

    Well written, I though:)

  8. I think you captured a person perfectly. Well done. I love the crimson touches throughout.

  9. Yea, I bet it would be difficult to write only in first person- but you nailed it! Very good!!!!! You write really well!!!! xOxO

  10. This is a character I want to know more about! I can picture her in my mind - what she's wearing, what she looks like, everything. Great writing.

  11. I thought this was really well done, and I hope you return to the story!!!

  12. I like the touches of red throughout the story. Great job staying in her head, especially since you said it was tough for you.

    Nit-picky thing: Towards the end you say something about Liz mentioning wanting to go vote, and I think you meant Suzanne?

    As another mama to a girl, I shuddered at the perfect man checklist but LOVE its inclusion here. I think it fits her superficiality perfectly.

  13. You managed to reveal her complete self absorption using body language, conversation and the frustration of her co-worker.
    The voices of all of the characters in your post were realistic and believable.
    She got what she deserved....

  14. Oh I loved it!

    You created a character that was, at once, self-absorbed, selfish and vain. And, at the same time, as irritating as she is, you can't help but wonder if she'll ever find happiness.

    Great job, lady!

  15. Ohhhh,she was a nasty little character now wasn't she. I'm glad I don't know her :)


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