Monday, April 15, 2013

Shall We Dance?

small
His crossed arms answered her before he spoke.  Already she knew that whatever his verdict, once rendered it would be as inflexible as hardened cement.

She’d posed the question five minutes earlier.  It had to be asked.  The wedding was less than a month away.

“Should we call the whole thing off?”

He frowned.  Deep creases formed above his brow, and his demeanor suggested a teacher on the brink of patience exhausted, trying to enlighten an imbecile.

“Unless you’re willing to come around to my way of thinking,  I don’t see any other course of action.

She appraised his appearance-the crisp crease in his wool gabardine trousers, the precisely folded square of silk in his breast pocket and his flawlessly shined shoes.  A paradox of her own wrinkled rayon frock and haphazardly upswept hair that threatened to escape from its pins.

His arms were still crossed.  A barricade to compromise that exposed the lower edges of his shirt sleeves, and she noted his cuff links.  Not the simple brass monogrammed fasteners she’d given him, but the smart gold and mother of pearl cuff links he’d purchased for himself. 

There was nothing sentimental about cement.

She violently stamped her foot, loosening a brown sugar strand from the nest atop her head.

“Now Ginger!  Control yourself!”

“Tomato!” 

Her face wore the color of conviction as she turned to leave the room-and him.

“TOE-MAY-TOE!”

 

You like potato and I like potahto,
You like tomato and I like tomahto,
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto!
Let's call the whole thing off!

-Fred Astaire

On to the one-word weekly challenge where we ask for a 33-333 word response to the third definition of a given word.  If you need a refresher, click here for more information on how to play.  Be sure to check that you've used the correct definition this week!

color (noun)
1a : a phenomenon of light (as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects
  b (1) : the aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources

     (2) : a color other than and as contrasted with black, white, or gray
2a : an outward often deceptive show : appearance <his story has the color of truth>
  b : a legal claim to or appearance of a right, authority, or office
  c : a pretense offered as justification : pretext <she could have drawn from the Versailles treaty the color of legality for any action she chose — Yale Review>
  d : an appearance of authenticity : plausibility <lending color to this notion>
3: complexion tint:

a : the tint characteristic of good health

b : blush

Photo credit here.

58 comments:

  1. Great stylistics....wonderful build-up, entertaining read & characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pirate! This one was fun to write!

      Delete
  2. That photo was the perfect way to start this out! Gave me a great visual as I imagined him with his arms crossed. Love all the details in the story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tammy, Thanks! I'm glad you liked it!!

      Delete
  3. Beautiful writing and interesting story!

    ReplyDelete
  4. He is very inflexible definitely call off the wedding.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

    ReplyDelete
  5. Really good...I can imagine the conversation as it happened...Diane

    ReplyDelete
  6. to ma toe, she is right, so very right. Nice read.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Replies
    1. Thank you so much-and I'm glad that you got the little joke here:) I appreciate your comment!

      Delete
  8. I love your descriptions in this story (like brown sugar strand) and I felt this was a believable argument. In fact it was so believable, as I read it, I was saying, 'Yes! You should definitely call off the wedding.' Someone so one way would be so infuriating!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ermahgerd. This was so fantastic. Your descriptions were pristine, and I literally laughed at loud at the source of the conflict. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  10. my Sweet Valerie! I thought I commented to you earlier today on your previous post. I don't see it there. Hmmm, forgive me? This man reminds me of my Dad. He was so firm to me about what he didn't want me to do. Yet, you ask my sister about that firmness and she doesn't recall it? Strange. I love your blog, but mostly you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Renae-there is nothing to forgive, my dear! And aren't memorizes tricky things-how we each remember the same events in such different ways? xx

      Delete
  11. Oh Valerie you whisk me away as if I am standing there watching the scene just as it happens. I could see the brown sugar stand falling:) B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. B-I am honored by that comment! Thank you!! xx

      Delete
  12. I love it! I can see him in his inexorable grasping for total control and her stamping rebellion against pettiness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jacqueline! Petty is right! I bet he doesn't like the way she says potato either;)

      Delete
  13. I like this! Dear oh dear ... She is so right to walk away. A man who insists on getting his own way AND refuses to wear the right cufflinks - run, Ginger, run! I also love the song reference.... When I was growing up we had a cassette tape (which is a word so outdated that my phone doesn't know how to spell it) of Fred Astaire songs we used to listen to in the car. In consequence Let's Call The Whole Thing Off is one of many songs burned into my subconscious. Nice to see it referenced :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. natalie, thank you! How funny that cassette tape is an outdated term now! That's how I listened to my music-Fred Astaire included-back in the day! Thanks so much for reading this!!

      Delete
  14. Hahaha!! Hilarious. My kids and I talk about this regularly. They're American being raised in a British-English-speaking environment. These things come up. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! Those regional dialects are really interesting, and I can imagine the discussions that might come from them too!

      I'm always so glad to see you visit my blog-thank you again! :)

      Delete
  15. Ah, this is so brilliant! :D I'm glad you included the quote to explain your thinking. I just loved the description of the fiance and his cufflinks and crossed arms barrier. So great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Draug! We can only hope he loses one of those spendy cufflinks;)

      Delete
  16. Literally laughed out loud at my desk. I was all drawn into this intense drama, hanging on to every word. Then when I read TomaTOE I about hit my head with my palm hard enough to cause a concussion! Great writing, Valerie and also thanks for liking my entry! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Leonard! And you are so welcome! Now if I ever get published, I know who can write a review for me too;)

      Delete
  17. I seriously loved this, great vibe through the whole piece and really well written. I actually laughed pretty hard when she yelled tomato at him - I knew right away what you were going for because my guy yells PO-TAY-TOE at me every time I insist my way is right ;)

    ReplyDelete
  18. shannon-thank you! And thanks for telling me the story about the potato too! It's so gratifying that you got where I was going with this:)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ok, you sucked me in, hook, line and sinker (I love mixed metaphors)! I thought this was some grave difference if opinion. For the record, it's "toe may toe". Sadly, I know someone like this so it was very real to me. Very well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks lumdog! I've known people like that too! Glad to have you in the toe may toe camp!

      Delete
  20. This was absolutely delightful. Your details really fleshed out the characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you paula!! I'm so happy you liked it!

      Delete
  21. Haha - great funny take on the prompt, and I loved his stiff response: "I don't see any other course of action." Good stuff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brian-thank you so much-I appreciate your comment!

      Delete
  22. Great story! Starting off with his crossed arms to end with her red-faced and screaming at him opens the road out for her to bigger and better. Love 'nothing sentimental about cement'.

    ReplyDelete
  23. "There was nothing sentimental about cement."

    No indeed! I'm so glad Ginger had the sense to get away.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks Jennifer! I am always so happy to get your two cents:)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love the line about nothing sentimental about cement! Great snapshot, and a great punchline. Brilliant

    ReplyDelete
  26. I definitely had a giggle at the end. Well done! And I'm thinking calling the whole thing off is a good idea.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I really loved this line: There was nothing sentimental about cement. Nice writing!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Seriously he needs taking down a peg or two-she is better off without this stick in the mud!No wedding bells for him-sour puss!lol!Loved the detailing & the apt photo you used Valerie-wonderful job:-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Your pieces always transport me into the past, Valerie. I enjoyed the small details here, like the gabardine trousers and the brown sugar strand of hair.

    ReplyDelete
  30. She released a brown sugar strand - LOVE this!!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Another fantastic story Valerie! I LOVE that your female characters have such sass and life to them!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think I love you. That is all. (Visiting from Trifecta)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!


    Also visit my web site ... Nike Air Max

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I'm looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. many thanks

    Stop by my site Air Max Femme

    ReplyDelete
  35. This is my first time visit at here and i am actually impressed to read all
    at alone place.

    Here is my website :: Nike Air Jordan

    ReplyDelete
  36. Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your
    favorite justification appeared to be on the internet the
    easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people
    consider worries that they plainly do not know about.

    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined
    out the whole thing without having side effect ,
    people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.
    Thanks

    Also visit my blog ... Chaussure Air Jordan

    ReplyDelete