Dimensions Forums  
Home Register Premium Membership Health Issues Market Place Big Fashion

Go Back   Dimensions Forums > Library > Recent Additions



Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-23-2016, 06:43 AM   #251
Neptune
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1
Neptune has said some nice things
Default

Love this story, hoping for more visuals.
Neptune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2016, 02:16 PM   #252
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune View Post
Love this story, hoping for more visuals.
Thanks, Neptune. I'll let qemarar know there's a clamor.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2016, 02:17 PM   #253
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default

So, the title of that segment is "The Gilroy." So just google the gilroy ocean's 13 and you'll understand why I'm so pleased with myself.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2016, 06:58 PM   #254
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default

OK. So, I guess it's just me...
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 02:05 PM   #255
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default Cats and dogs

“Kelly! Here you are, Sweetheart.”

Scott and his North Carolina accent reached around Lindsey to stretch a filled martini glass toward Kelly. Meanwhile Lindsey’s eyes shot open and she almost jumped out of her skin. Blood rushed to her pale, sunken cheeks, and she whipped her head around, only to stand there and say nothing.

“Better appreciate it. Probably the last one. Spent an hour hunting down just the right one for you.” It quite clearly was a chocolate martini, fluffed with ice cream or whipped cream or some kind of cream and drizzled with more chocolate on top. Perfect drink for a fat girl, echoed the voice in her head. But the rest of her didn’t care.

“God I need a drink!” She took it with both her hands and her lips simultaneously with one sip—one luxuriously long and luscious sip. She exhaled with a cold gasp. “Ohmigod! That’s the smoothest, most delicious thing I’ve ever had!” She took another long sip bordering on a gulp, this time feeling the slight burn of alcohol so faint that she wasn’t surprised she’d missed it before. She felt that familiar warmth fill her even as the cold hit her tummy, even as she blew out some wind to fight off the impending brain freeze.

“Hi, Lindsey.”

“Hi, Scott! Uh, hi, Scott!” Lindsey stammered.

“Uh, hi, Lindsey. Hey, Kelly, introduce me to your friends. Phi Gamma pledges?”

The pledge pins with the Phi Gamma Psi letters made it obvious, but Scott had a way of saying even the obvious that made it seem like just the right thing to say.

“Ladies, you each look absolutely gorgeous tonight.” And there was nothing about Scott’s demeanor that betrayed he might not have meant it, though no doubt there were a dozen more women in the room more to his liking. Watching him work, Kelly could feel again the attraction that had pulled her into his bed last fall, and she was reminded why the tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed knavish junior was universally considered the lock for next year’s Kappa Alpha president. While Scott introduced himself to the pledges, she polished off another fourth of the drink to cover the flutter of heat she felt well below her stomach, even as she felt the first hint of buzz rush into her head. She hadn’t eaten tonight, and she could tell that was a mistake.

“None of you have drinks. Completely unacceptable!” He stood on his toes as if he needed to, and another pill-hatted waitress—one who clearly knew him already—headed his direction with a half-filled tray of what clearly was more chocolate martinis.

“I thought you said that was the last one,” Kelly noted, elbowing him a bit and quickly chastising herself inside for flirting with him.

He laughed. “Hardly!” Thank GOD! “In fact, chocolate was pretty much the only one left.” Of course. A room full of Phi Gammas knew to pass on the calories in that drink, and no KA would be caught dead sipping on one of those. The waitress smiled a few moments at Scott—who, yes, was that good-looking and that charming—while he began unloading unloaded the four drinks off the wide tray. Kelly was quick on the math and tossed off the last of hers, intercepting the first new martini, meant for Jennifer to her left, and immediately sipping the delicious chocolatey froth off the top—to prevent any possible spills, you know. Scott spread the rest of the drinks around: to Jenn and Crystal, one to Jennifer, one passed around between the rest.

Meanwhile Lindsey just stood there, drinkless. largely unacknowledged while Scott made some small talk with the other girls while they all sipped their drinks and gazed at him with admiring eyes. Kelly sipped right along with them, marveling at the skill with which he opened each girl up and put her at ease, and owning each of them in the process. It was certainly working for Kelly.

Contrast that with Wade, who quite certainly across the room was owning it, but with nothing close to manners and consideration. Not unsurprisingly, he’d made his way to the conversation pit, the place where the rising noise was coming from, where he was holding court with what had to be football stories and a now half-empty mug of beer. He was leaning back on the sueded purple couch, his long legs with scuffed Cowboy boots stretched all the way across the boned ivory coffee table in front, long arm stretched across the back of the couch next to some KA and his meek-looking brunette girlfriend in her conservative tea-length dress. Like Crocodile Dundee in Manhattan, he took over the space just as much as he didn’t fit it, and next to Scott’s polish it struck her as a little embarrassing. And a little more turned on by Scott. And that made her feel guilty.

It didn’t help that Scott kept referring back to Kelly: “What do you think, Kelly?” “You remember that, Kelly?” “Hey, Kelly, what was that mixer last year where … “ whoever the person did that thing at the place. Kelly pretty much stayed background to it all, until Scott directed his mischievous gaze toward her.

“So, Kelly, hear tell you’re running some sort of brain focusing study top of the psychology building.” The pledges turned their eyes in surprise toward her. Kelly’d said nothing of her job to much of anyone except Jenn and Crystal, who had to know because they were her ride. And she doubted even if they would talk, who else were they gonna tell? Each other?

“If I could run some sort of brain focus study I’d focus first on me! Who says?” Inquiring minds and all.

“Everyone! It’s not like it’s secret knowledge.”

As if to make his point, a tall, skinny blond-maned KA walked up beside Scott.
“Hey, Judd. Meet Kelly Kingsley.”

“We’ve met,” Judd replied, but extended his hand for a gentle handshake suitable for greeting a woman. “She runs that problem solving study top floor of the psychology building.”

Scott shrugged as if to say, See? “Problem solving study? Is that what it is, Kelly?”

“I don’t know … you know, I’m not supposed to tell!”

“Oh, come on!” Judd pressed playfully. “Damn hard, that thing. Just a hint!”
Kelly laughed, saying nothing.

“I see. Hard to get.” Judd was flirting hard. “Hey, I facebooked you that friend request, but you never got back to me.”

As part of her social media unit, and to deflect the interest she was getting from guys doing the study, she’d started inviting them to friend her on facebook. She figured she might get around to it if she had to (like now). Sure, she’d practiced a little with her new profile in Personal Computing, but it wasn’t anything she figured she’d ever be able to remember.

“’cause I can never remember how!”

“Jesus, Kelly,” Scott teased, “join the 21st century!”

“You got your phone?” Judd pushed around Scott and pulled out his Galaxy. “We can do it right here.”

Something Kelly had to learn anyway. She fished out her phone with Lindsey looking over her shoulder, silent the whole time, but shifting her weight from leg to leg and occasionally brushing her bangs out of her face with an air of impatience and irritation. Judd fumbled around on Kelly’s iPhone but managed to show her how to open the app and add him.

After weeding through the 103 pending requests to find himself.

103! In less than a month! And Kelly didn't even use it.

In the time this took three other KAs joined them. The five pledges and Lindsey just stood by, until finally she slipped beside Kelly and put a hand on Scott’s shoulder.

“Hey! What’s with the facebooking when you’ve got faces?” That was a Phi Gamma—well, more of an All Greek—phrase emphasizing personal rather than electronic contacts. That an indiscreet sorority life could follow one tragically into career was one of the guiding tenets of the Phi Gamma ethic, and probably the biggest reason Kelly had never familiarized herself with the site.

“Girls,” Lindsey continued, “I hate to break up the entertainment, but I do have a couple of things about the Network we didn’t get nailed down before we had to come here. Scott, you mind stepping aside a second?”

Scott was too polished to say no, and there was nothing in his demeanor that betrayed he was annoyed if he might have wanted to.

“Sure thing, Lindsey. Very nice meeting all of you. Hope to see a lot more of all of you in the upcoming months.” He stepped off with Lindsey to the corner of the empty dance floor. Seven sets of female eyes tracked him as he did so.

“Well I’ll say it if you all won’t,” Elektra announced in her always surprising south Georgia accent. “That is one fine chunk of human being. Good God I’m gonna enjoy this sorority.”

Kelly smiled at the chorus of mm-hms that echoed around the circle, musing privately to herself about what they didn’t know.

“You know, Kelly,” Elektra continued.

“Excuse me, what?” How could she possibly know?

“You know what. That.”

The girls looked at Elektra in puzzlement, and Elektra gave a mischievous half-cocked smile at what she was certain she knew and was absolutely certain not to share. She pointed as a feminine squeal and a ripple of laughter rose up from the center of the floor. “But for now I think if I were you I’d be sticking a little closer to my boyfriend.”

Kelly looked over and watched with embarrassed horror as Wade hoisted the little brunette next to him up into his lap after what appeared to be some kind of crowd-induced feat of strength.

“Oh, please!” she managed with a cheerful smile, hoping her feelings didn’t show. What a Philistine! “It’s not high school. I don’t own him, and it’s a party!” Just not that kind of party! She noticed Scott and Lindsey finish their conversation and Lindsey head over to the conversation pit to muscle back into her Privileged Spot.

“Go on, pledges. Break it up. Phi Gammas don’t hunt in packs!” A Phi Gamma phrase ostensibly meaning that strong women don’t rely on group support to interact socially. Of course, the truth of it was more tawdry, and really it was more about being prey than predator. Safety in numbers: only the most confident of men make advances on women when they cluster in groups.

“And may the best cat win!” she heard Elektra laugh as, for all her bluster about trust and independence, Kelly made a beeline for the conversation pit to see what kind of obnoxiousness she could keep from boiling over —particularly obnoxiousness that might involve other women.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 02:28 PM   #256
Tad
mostly harmless
 
Tad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 12,611
Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.
Default

I really liked this latest chapter - very smooth writing :-)
__________________
Criticism is so often nothing more than the eye garrulously denouncing the shape of the peephole that gives access to hidden treasure.
-Djuna Barnes, writer and artist
Tad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2016, 03:52 PM   #257
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default

Thanks, Tad. This part came easy. Very few edits.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2016, 12:40 AM   #258
John Smith
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 171
John Smith does more than just post hot picsJohn Smith does more than just post hot picsJohn Smith does more than just post hot pics
Default

Nice story.
John Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2016, 11:37 AM   #259
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
Nice story.
Thanks, John, for the comment, and thanks for reading.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2016, 08:32 PM   #260
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default Smitten

The night ended at midnight at Gail’s, with Kelly, Jenn and Crystal half-hauling a stumbling Wade to the couch.

Kelly’s intervention had kicked off successfully. She’d snuggled into the crook of Wade’s arm—a place where despite the growing recognition of the space her seated hips took up (especially next to that tiny brunette), she never felt big. She whispered sweetly into his ear that he had to dial it back, and, dutifully, he actually did. For a time. Once Kelly started on her third chocolate martini, though, she lost all self-consciousness about her size and all concern about Wade’s behavior.

For a time.

By the time she sat down, conversation actually moved off of Wade and his football stories. Soon Scott slipped into his Privileged Spot on the curved couch across from them, next to the tall, angular, athletically beautiful girlfriend to his left that everyone would expect him to have. KA’s and Phi Gammas alike had the opportunity to look their best, telling their best jokes and stories while everyone sipped on highballs or martinis—just the way the evening was envisioned.

Soon, as these things go, the group had fractured into a number of side conversations: Lindsey engaging Scott’s girlfriend to her right, Brittney Dorsey and two other Phi Gammas chatting over martinis farther down, a cluster of KAs and their girlfriends on one end of the nook.

And, as it so happened, how Kelly wasn’t exactly sure, Kelly had found herself huddled together with Scott on the couch opposite Wade, while Lindsey talked animatedly with Scott’s girlfriend. Kelly felt like she should know more than she did (or probably more accurately, could remember) about Scott, asking instead a few polite and cheerful questions about Scott and his girlfriend—how they’d met, how long they’d dated, nothing too personal. Scott brought the conversation back to Kelly and Wade.

“I could swear that you told me you’d never date an athlete.”

“I know!” Kelly replied, knowing not at all whether she’d ever said anything of the kind. She was buzzed and horny and shamelessly agreeing just to agree.

“And now, what, Wade’s like the second one?”

Kelly stared clueless for a second until her buzzed brain recognized.

“Oh! You mean Anthony!” she laughed, but feeling a little bit besmirched. “He was just my lab partner! My God, all I did was invite him to one picnic!” she added. “There was nothing there!” Never mind there would have been if things had gone as she planned.

“But there is with this guy.”

“Yeah,” she said, smiling at the thought of him, though she felt a little guilty given who she was talking to. “Yeah! I’m kind of, you know, smitten.”

“Because I would have thought you would have been with a guy a little more … serious.” Scott nodded toward Wade in the other corner.

Kelly looked back to see Wade with his jacket off, sleeve rolled up, and elbow on the table, ready to arm wrestle Britney Dorsey’s boyfriend. She rolled her eyes before she turned back to Scott.

“Oh, it’s serious. Serious fun! We have a good time.”

Jeez, Kelly! You know what that sounds like to a guy. Stop it!

A small roar went up behind her and she glanced behind her to see Wade on his feet curling his biceps and calling out, “Next!” Several guys appeared to be lining up for the challenge while Wade tossed off the last of his beer.

“I’m sure you do!” Scott half-shouted. They scooted together as far as they could down the couch in an effort to hear each other better.

By the time the arm wrestling tournament had progressed to teams—that is, two guys versus one Wade—and shots for the losers, Scott and Kelly had migrated to a booth, recently vacated by some of the growing crowd of arm wrestling spectators, where they huddled close together on one side of the table so they could hear each other in what was now a steady din. Wade had become an afterthought, and Scott had her talking about herself.

“You know, I haven’t really decided yet.” Scott’s question was about her major. In fact, I haven’t got a clue. That problem was the least of her worries.

“Well what is it you want to do?”

She stirred chocolate martini Number Four, almost full, with her finger. She’d at least really slowed down—and broken down her resolve with the small plate of cucumber sandwich bites Scott had procured for her. Well, for both of them, probably, but they’d all ended up inside her.

Eat another plate of little sandwiches, that’s what!

“I have no idea,” she admitted meekly.

“Surely you have some idea.”

Kelly gave it a moment’s thought, but nothing came to mind. She shrugged and gave a weak little smile before taking more than a sip out of Four.

“Aw, come on. Maybe something you wanted when you were a little girl, or maybe something you thought you might enjoy during one of your classes.”

She gave it another moment’s thought. “No. No idea.”

“Nothing?”

Of course, there was the one thing.

“Well, no. There’s one thing.”

“You see? That’s a start! What is it?”

Kelly paused, smiled again. “I wanted to be Phi Gamma.”

Scott instantly laughed, then caught himself in the act.

“You’re serious! I mean, I get it. I’m sure a lot of people know they want to join a sorority.”

“No, I mean that I wanted to be Phi Gamma. It was all I ever wanted.” She opened up and told Scott a little about the financial struggles during her upbringing and her close relationship with her mother.

“And now you’re Phi Gamma. I can understand why that would be important.” So polite. How nice it was to be with a man who knew what to say and at what time! “So what now?”

See if I can somehow stay Phi Gamma, that’s what. But of course she couldn’t say that.

Nor did Kelly need an answer, because at that moment they were interrupted.

“Hey, Scott.” It was Lindsey, her thin voice raised hoarsely above the excitement, concern etched across her face. “You know, don’t you think it’s getting about past time that we should be getting people ready to go?”

Scott and Kelly both craned their heads around Lindsey’s slight form. Lindsey could only mean the after-party, and Lindsey’s concern was pretty clear. Probably half the attendees were crowded around the conservation pit, and the Privileged Few—Kelly could see Brittney, Isla and Kerry Lipscomb from where she sat—showed no signs of separating themselves from it.

“I don’t know, Lindsey. Looks to me things are going fine right here.”

Lindsey shifted her absence of weight from one leg to the other, uncharacteristically flustered. Not that she wasn’t ever flustered. Just usually angrily so, not so … anxiously so. “Yeah, OK,” she managed, “but we don’t have this place for very much longer. So, you know, I don’t really think this is the place a party should be winding itself up, you know?”

“Yeah, OK. Hey, I get it. Talk to Chuck and let me know when we’re leaving.”

Charles Schiller was the current KA President, the official host of the party.

“Yeah, well, I did,” she said, bobbing her head to the left. Charles was in the thick of the throng, right next to Wade, who judging from the sudden roar around the pit had just lost a big round of poker in a huge game—maybe 20, 22 people crowded around the table—of Liar’s Poker.

“Please, Scott. I don’t want to be known as the Phi Gamma President who lost us the Speakeasy. Could you please talk to him?”

“Just calm down, Lindsey—we’ve got, like, an hour.” Actually it had been more like a half hour. “Relax, sweetheart! If Chuck can’t handle it, I promise. I’ll take care of it.”

Scott turned back to Kelly, while Lindsey lingered awkwardly for just a moment before turning back to the throng, clearly not relaxed at all.
Kelly shook her head. “That girl. I swear she’s never happy.”

“Who, Lindsey? Naw. She’s a sweetheart. She’s just a little stressed out right now.”

“By right now you mean always.”

“With everything going on over there, it’s not easy stepping in last minute like she did for Sherry. You should cut her some slack.”

If only she’d cut me some slack!

It was a while before either of them said anything. They sat there close together, the fragrant smell of classic Old Spice—her dad’s old standby—fueling the excitement and tension she felt between them. Scott didn’t betray whether he noticed anything unusual at all, like they were just having a casual conversation at a party, which, of course, they were. They watched impassively as Lindsey slipped her way through the ring of bodies and whispered into a few ears. There were lots of nods, but nobody really deviated from what he or she was doing. Finally Scott slid to the edge of the bench.

“Well, I suppose duty calls. I take it I’ll see you at the afters?”

Kelly thought a second about lying, but she figured she had plenty of that going on these days, and in this moment she wanted to be open with Scott. “Uhhh, no. No, I didn’t get invited to that particular one this time.”

A look of surprise crossed his face, and his head cocked a bit to the side. “Oh. Well, that’s clearly an oversight.”

As if. Kelly’s insecurity came rushing back. She felt herself squeezed into her dress, squeezed into this booth, and ravenously hungry to boot. She resisted the urge to take a long drag at the half-martini in front of her.

“Just come along with me. It’s ridiculous for you not to come. Can’t imagine one of these things without you there.”

Can’t imagine what Lindsey would do to me if I showed up there!

“What about Casey?” she stalled, meaning Scott’s date for tonight who’d spent half the night huddled in conversation with, of all people, Lindsey.

“You mean Cassie. She’s just my lab partner,” he joked. “I mean, all I did was invite her to one party!”

Kelly let out her first real laugh of the night—in fact, her first laugh in as long as she could remember. Except for when she was with Wade. He had just stood up, tall enough so that his head was level with many of the people standing on the floor around the pit, his jacket pulled up to his ears doing some kind of stupid impression—one she was pretty sure she never, ever wanted to learn more about. And yes, she felt a bit embarrassed. But part of her wanted to laugh, and another part of her felt like running up and hugging him.

I love him. Ohmigod, I’m in love with him!
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2017, 03:30 PM   #261
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default Captain Lightweight

“I appreciate it, Scott, but I’ve got to go to work tomorrow, and I’m probably gonna be up late taking care of him.” She pointed as if her comment needed any clarification.

Scott laughed. “You have fun with that! I hate seeing when someone loses control like that.”

“It’s not what you think. He’s actually kind of a lightweight.”

Scott just smiled and stood up to go. But then he turned back and leaned in toward her, both hands on the table.

“Do you ever, uh—“ he started nervously. “I mean, I really wanted to apologize for—well, not apologize. I just, uhhhh, regret the way things went last year. You know, after last year’s Speakeasy. Because I feel like you and I have this easy connection, and after, uh, after what happened, it just cast a shadow between us. You know what I mean?”

He’d done it. Addressed the elephant in the booth.

“I just feel like I made a bad impression, and, well, I was hoping you might give me another chance to make it up to you.”

She’d sat there, probably a matter of seconds but seeming far longer, amazed at what was happening to her, top darling of the fraternity scene, absolutely gorgeous darling of the fraternity scene, all-but-pleading her, fallen star of the sorority scene, swollen target of undoubtedly countless competitive whispers, for a night alone together. She felt that familiar surge of excitement from all those encounters the year before, the flattery that came with that kind of openness and attention from someone so beautiful, the affirmation of value her self-esteem so needed.

What could she say?

She just smiled. “Really. It has nothing to do with you or—what happened.”
Scott clucked his tongue, knowing a no when he heard it. “See? You are serious after all. But don’t forget I’m around, all right?”

“Who could?” Kelly laughed, and that’s where they’d said their goodbyes. Scott’s presence at the conversation pit added critical mass to Lindsey efforts, and while the Privileged Few left, the rest of the partiers came to terms with the reality that at the fast-approaching tender hour of 11 they didn’t have to go home, but they couldn’t stay at the Speakeasy.

Scott’s influence was indeed the final ingredient necessary to pull away the Privileged Few from the conversation pit. The Speakeasy thinned considerably as the word spread there was an early cap on the evening—not so much as a surprise as a reminder, at least to the veterans of this party. In a manner of minutes there were a few clusters of people around the Speakeasy--and one larger cluster in the middle, including a smiling Kelly, laying in the crook of Wade’s arm, Marla and Monet, most of the Phi Gamma pledge class and a few stray KAs they had managed to pick up. One of the male waitstaff was talking football with Wade, while a couple of others were waiting for the gaggle to disburse a little before tackling the prodigious amount of barware on the table. The spin in Kelly’s head was clearing up a bit, but from what she could tell, Wade seemed to be slurring his words more and more, and he had started repeating himself.

“Come on, Captain Lightweight,” Kelly smiled, patting him on the thigh, and sliding forward on the couch. “Time for us to clear out.”

“Lightweight, nothin’” he protested, adding a brief, halting story about the number of shots he’d been forced to consume while losing at Liar’s Poker—which somehow had been converted into some kind of drinking game. Wade got to his feet so unsteadily so that the guy he was talking to had to grab his arm a second. He leaned heavily on Kelly, on the one side, and Elektra on the other side, laughing as they helped guide the giant man through the Speakeasy door and onto the landing for the stairs.

Where Lindsey was standing talking to Scott’s girlfriend. She cut their laughter short.

“So you’ll do the training Monday night?” Her hands were on her hips. Her face, all contempt, said it all. “Should I write it down so you can remember?”

She’d wanted to say something clever in retort, but her brain couldn’t so it. “No, I can remember.”

“Make sure you do,” Lindsey retorted. “It shouldn’t be too tough. All you have to do is show up and go through the materials.” Right before Scott’s voice rang down and called Lindsey up to the street.

“Jesus,” Elektra breathed as Lindsey, her friend, and her persnickety climbed the stairs. “What’s up her ass? You’d think she never saw someone drink at a party before.”

She certainly had, and had certainly done her share.

Jenn had driven Wade’s truck back to Gail’s house, while Crystal and Kelly comically piled Wade into the front seat of Crystal’s car. They laughed their way through the Taco Bell drive thru and finally through Gail’s front door, realizing only after they’d plowed their way into the living room they were being too loud, just the way drunk people do. She found the ride back home completely enjoyable, as much fun outside of the kitchen classroom she’d ever had with Jenn and Crystal, and something that ended entirely too soon. If they’d been anyone else, and if things had been what they were for her last year, they’d have been on their way to the next party, and Kelly would have spent a happy Friday skipping class to nurse a hangover and indulge her next day’s regrets.

Of course, if things were what they’d been last year, she’d be off with the Privileged Few at the after after party, well on her way to making another mistake with Scott Gilroy.

She made her customary sneak up to the third floor—all but deserted—and into the Attic. Marla and Monet had yet to make it back—if they were coming at all—and Kelly stripped down completely naked in the steamy heat before donning her ratty pink silk chemise wrap with the black silk trim and fraying pink shower shoes, luxuriating in the tepid coolness of the third floor community showers—and taking full advantage of her solitude to achieve release from the lingering reminder of the night’s pent up sexual tension.
An extra glass of water and two prophylactic Tylenol, and Kelly lay naked and moist over her covers, the coolish air of the oscillating fan tickling fancifully across her exposed skin, heart still pounding, breath still heavy in the afterglow of her lusty exertion in the shower—perhaps enhanced by the added effort toweling off after. She could feel the sedation of the night’s alcohol kicking in and found satisfaction in the realization that, after this time’s signature Phi Gamma party, she was giving into a gentle cradle of tipsy drowsiness and not passing out under the crashing wave of alcoholic stupor.

Her mind floated around during her last few moments of wakefulness. Had less than four martinis been coursing through her, she might have been troubled by the conflicting images she carried with her from this night.

That moment of clarity when she encountered without doubt that she was in love with Wade Bodie.

That familiar dread when Scott asked her about her vison of the future. The same, relentless answer she always had: “I have no idea.”

The ecstasy she’d felt as she’d masturbated in the shower to torrid fantasies involving Scott Gilroy.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2017, 04:34 PM   #262
whethermayne
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2
whethermayne has said some nice things
Default

I really enjoy how well written each installment is, but I have to ask--when does Kelly start gaining weight again?
whethermayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2017, 10:30 PM   #263
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by whethermayne View Post
I really enjoy how well written each installment is, but I have to ask--when does Kelly start gaining weight again?
Hi, whethermayne. Thanks for the interest and the reply. I know it's been long in calendar time, but in actual text and actual passage of time in the story, Kelly's weight loss focus hasn't gone that long. I apologize: life, of course, dictates how much I can make the story progress, and lately I've been having a hard time getting some of the things important to the eventual resolution of the story worked out and written.

So, soon? I guess? I just don't know how long soon will be.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2017, 08:38 PM   #264
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default Ghost sighting

Four martinis equal four martinis, and it should have been no surprise to Kelly when she woke up early with dry mouth and the jitters. As much as she wanted another 90 minutes of sleep, experience told her it wasn’t coming. So she pulled a bottle of water from the tiny fridge, squeezed into her just-cleaned workout clothes and trudged shakily down the stairs to burn away a smidge of the Calories she’d imbibed so easily en masse the night before.

Despite her mathematical tin ear, Kelly’d seen the numbers time and time again. She knew however many hours it would take to burn all those martinis off, it was far more than the number of hours she’d have said were worth it.

But then exercise was something she’d always enjoyed for itself. It was how much it took to see results that got her down.

Still, that morning it was a joyless 40 minutes before she called it quits—including a full 15 on the treadmill before surrendering and hitting her upper-body weights workout. It wasn’t exactly pride she felt, but there was some vague sense of accomplishment: she hadn’t gone fifteen minutes continuously on the treadmill all semester long. She was toweling herself off when she noticed some extra noise in the hallway, and some muffled banging on the workout room wall.

From the director’s quarters. That is, Lindsey’s room.

Kelly opened the door and stopped just short of walking into the loveseat two guys were at just that moment hauling down the hall. She slipped out behind them and into the foyer, ready to break up the stairs about where they were turning the other way to lumber out the front door…

…and all but ran over Sherry, AWOL Phi Gamma Psi President and sometime Kelly’s Big Sis, who had stepped out of the guys’ way at the bottom of the landing.

“Sherry!” Kelly cried, instantly enveloping Sherry in an unrestrained, , full frontal hug.

And enveloped was the word. Kelly could feel Sherry’s slender body press into the fullness of her bosom—even sports-braed as it was. She could feel bony shoulders press into her fleshy upper arms, could feel Sherry step backward, overpowered by the momentum of the sum of Kelly’s pure enthusiasm and dominant advantage in mass.

But more than that, Kelly was instantly aware that Sherry wasn’t hugging her back. She thought for a moment she must have had her pinned and relaxed her embrace to give her freedom. But Sherry remained stiff as a board, one hand pressing into the softness of Kelly’s midriff, the other first pushing against the banister for balance, then pulling at it for distance.

Kelly could feel a flush of embarrassment in her cheeks. She stepped back to give Sherry the added space she so clearly wanted.

“Sherry?”

Kelly knew it was Sherry, but she could hardly believe it. Her face was bony and gaunt, her features pale and pinched, her lips thin and nearly blue. Her long brunette hair uneven, broken, dry and stringy. Her eyebrows had been plucked into near nonexistence. Her eyes were sunken and seemed to have lost all sparkled. Her neck was all sinew and her shoulders skeletal. A cotton blouse hung from them like a hanger, only the merest bumps betraying the breasts that, Kelly knew, were really implants. Her face had an expression of horror, and she was wiping her hands on her khaki shorts as if trying to remove the last bit of dampness after using those crappy public bathroom towels. Sherry just looked at her, saying nothing, like she’d just seen a ghost.

“Excuse me,” she said, pushing past Kelly with her head down, past the exercise room, toward the director’s room, where Lindsey’s slender figure—practically zaftig in comparison to the taller Sherry—held the door open for her before, wordlessly, the two closed it behind them.

It took a minute for Kelly to realize she was gripped by horror herself. From shock and pity at the starkness of Sherry’s appearance, yes. From the unsettling nature of such an unusual encounter, even more.

But mostly from the sheer, sudden belittling dismissal/unimportance at the bony hands of someone she had dearly loved.

Tears streamed from her eyes, and she vaulted up the stairs as best her sore, tired legs and her 200 pounds would allow, hoping as always she could sneak her way into the shower, but this time so no one would recognize her tears or hear the choking pain of her sobs.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2017, 04:40 PM   #265
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune View Post
Love this story, hoping for more visuals.
Ask and ye shall receive! It goes in the middle of post #54:

http://imgur.com/Nhgqej1

Kelly hadn’t realized how truly wide Gail was, but it was obvious now from the back. Gail probably had wide hips before she was fat. Now, they were padded by fleshy bumpers made particularly evident by the undersized panties (she could now tell) that cut into them. Of course, she to go with them she had a great wide ass, not flat, but not really round enough, and there, too, the pink lace panties gouged a line across the middle of each massive cheek. The backs of Gail’s thighs swelled out to meet her fleshy hips straight on, each of them riddled with undulous cottage cheese topping that shimmered back and forth in waves at the slightest movement. Those thighs stayed thick and wavy all the way down to her knees—with just the slightest dip inward where the flesh was starting to fold over at the back of her knee—and firmly on down to big, thick ankles.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Kelly 6.jpg (122.8 KB, 731 views)
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2017, 05:34 PM   #266
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default Mama's Little Girls

“I just don’t understand. Why are they treating me like this?”

This time Sunday lunch was only Kelly, her mother, and Gail. No Wade—whom Kelly had spent a torrid sexual weekend, be it her go-to response to pain, guilty compensation for her infidelitous flirtation and fantasies, or, more likely, her mother’s weekend away on some divorce-related business that had turned Wade’s flop on the couch into a fortuitous occupation of the available bed, her mother’s bed, a circumstance that bothered even less than their occupation of Gail’s bed that month or two or three ago. Three months? Could it have really been three months? Had any of Kelly’s relationships ever lasted three months? That was the thought that gave her infinitely more pause.

No Jenn and Crystal—because, well, there was only so much invitation into her personal life by those two that Kelly was willing to allow.

And no Marla and Monet (both of whom had visited the week before)—because of the conversation Kelly was having now.

“They,” Gail answered. “Who is this ‘they’? I don’t know this Lindsey. She sounds plenty awful to me, exactly the kind of girl I imagine Sherry picking as her underling. But what do I know? But I can tell you exactly what’s in Sherry’s head: fatophobia.”

Elizabeth was shaking her head along. “Fatophobia. Yup, that’s a good word for it.”

Kelly had of course thought about that. “Well, yeah. I mean, she had to be shocked at the weight I gained. And yeah, OK, maybe she felt awkward, didn’t really know what to say. I can under—“

Gail was shaking her head even as Kelly was speaking. “That’s not what I mean. I mean, fat-o-phobia.” And then she paused for effect, an early sign that the three glasses of wine over lunch and the however many more back in the kitchen were beginning to take their effect.

“OK. I understand what you mean. ‘Fear of fat.’” It didn’t take a college education to figure that one out. The older girls just looked at her. “Wait? You mean, like, real … fear? That’s a thing?”

“Well, sure,” Gail answered, flipping her wrist around just so, another advancing sign she’d crossed the line with her last glass. “That’s what the anorexia is about.”

So that’s what is was. Anorexia! Kelly knew what it was and had seen some pictures, but it hadn’t really registered with her that she was seeing it right before her eyes. Sherry was away for the semester…did that mean in the hospital or something? Sherry’s “eating disorder” had always been a running joke, a gossipy secret about how Sherry cheated to stay slender, kind of like with that aunt whom everyone knew had the delicious “homemade” potato salad that actually came from Costco. The “60-Second Diet” was more or less a staple around the Phi Gamma house, but no one ever really seemed to develop any actual problems with it.

The realization hit Kelly that this was something from which Sherry could die. As bad as she’d looked, she knew for the first time the true danger of an eating disorder. Now that she understood, the image of Sherry’s wasted figure fresh in her mind, pain for her Big Sis washed away the selfish ache she’d been feeling since being brushed off Friday morning.

“Oh,” was all she managed to say.

“Yeah. Oh.” Gail sighed and leaned back from the table. “Sherry always was a true believer.”

Kelly nodded her head along with Gail. And she made a true believer out of me, too. So true that even after knowing how Gail came up with the Phi Gamma code, all out of self-protection and ultimately ambition, she still held a lot of it near to her heart.

Elizabeth, of course, had no idea what they were talking about. “True believer in what?”

So Gail explained. Kelly again listened as she recounted Phi Gamma as she’d known it: its emphasis on friendly, considerate, educated, well-rounded women and the reputation they had earned for being … “well-rounded.”

At that point, Elizabeth, who like many times at this point in their dinners had seemed virtually somnambulant with wine, snapped into herself seemingly from nowhere. “Oh, yes! That sounds like the Phi Gamma I knew. Behind the times, very aristocratic. Very much the Southern belle image: manners, etiquette, couture, society, home finance and management—everything that in the old South a woman needed to be if she were going to be close to the levers of civic or corporate power. That’s the way the top sororities“–-that almost always meant the Tri-Delts, just not referred to by name—“did it, and Phi Gamma was just trying to be them.

“We figured we should be geared toward modern women: someone who could be a good wife and mother and a career woman, too. It was what girls wanted, and it was fun, and relaxed, down-to-earth … a real supportive place for girls to grow up into good, competent women, you know? Everyone wanted to pledge us, too. And I don’t ever remember having any reputation as a bunch of fat girls. I mean, Twiggy—you know, she was a model who was really skinny—“

Both younger girls nodded their heads. Who didn’t know Twiggy?

“Ok, so you know her—she was before our time. And the 80s fitness craze, too. So, yeah, if you could make yourself look good, you know, being skinny wasn’t all that big a priority.”

“By the time I got there that was pretty obvious.” Gail told her about the Phi Gamma Psi acronym—P-G-S—and how, compared to the other sororities, how appropriate that was.

“Ohmigod! I never even thought of that! That’s not good.”

Elizabeth pursed her lips a bit as Gail described her role in the efforts to change Phi Gamma’s reputation: the whisper campaign, secret blacklists, revised unofficial recruitment criteria, and, of course, the Code.

“You know, technically P-G-S would be Pi Gamma Sigma.”

“Yeah, well, perception is reality. Someone made it stick.”

Elizabeth furrowed her brow. “And all this stuff you made up is what has my little girl jumping at her shadow and twisted into knots.”

“Nothing really different than you might find at any other sorority.”

“That’s what my class was trying to go against.”

“And that’s what my class had to fix by the time I got there.”

The exchange was civil, but Kelly’s stomach was still in knots as she listened. Other than a heated exchange or two—always civil—with her father about money through the years, Kelly had never seen her mother argue back and forth with anyone. She wondered of a sudden whether that went back to a rule that she learned at her Phi Gamma.

“You know, you’ll figure out more and more that there are a lot of things more important than which parties you get to go to.”

That’s so not true!

“That’s so not true!” Kelly’s words from Gail’s mouth! And Kelly could tell from Gail’s face that one had zinged her, too. “I mean, you’re right,” she said, fighting some kind of emotional response back. “There is. So much more. But parties are the lifeblood of a sorority! The number of fraternities lining up Phi Gamma for parties was next to nothing. You know what else was almost nothing? Dues. Contributions. Miracle network was ready to drop us. That beautiful house? It was a dump. All community bathrooms.”

Elizabeth nodded knowingly.

“A hot water boiler from 1932, for Chrissake! No central air. 20-year-old mauve carpets. Faded wallpaper older than that. National wasn’t doing a thing to help update it, either. So criticize if you want, but I’m the reason they made that two million dollar renovation.”

Which must have bypassed most of the third floor…

“And there’s a ton left to be done, too.”

Exactly! These were things Kelly had never heard discussed, never even considered. National offices, renovations, managing dues: Is this the kind of thing sorority presidents really did? No wonder Lindsey was so stressed!

“But now there’s someone killing herself to live up to it.” Elizabeth retorted, sharply. At least as sharply as Kelly had ever heard.

I didn’t do that. I can’t believe you’re—“ Gail cut herself off, took a swig from her wine, forced a smile, pushed her chair back against the resistance of the plush carpet floor with an Mmph!, and spread her arms. “Do I really look like the kind of girl who would encourage anyone to starve herself to death?”

They all laughed because of course she didn’t. Gail had been putting on weight fast. Her legs straddled each corner of the admittedly small traditional dining table seats, simply because there was no room between them at the top to push them closer together, despite what at any weight would have always been an exceptionally wide set of hips. She was wearing stretch capris that were more like sweat pants, and new padding on those hips spilled over the edges of the seat, unrestrained in the absence of Gail’s traditional jeans. Her flabby rear had kept similar pace, much of it squeezed through the space between the seat cushion and where the back of the chair began. Gail’s hips had outpaced even the width of her enormous belly, which instead spilled into a mound on top of her thighs, the crease of her tight waistband visible at each of her sides. Her itty-bitty boobs remained so. Same for her chest, though with her arms outstretched one could see the pooch of side boobs encroaching upon each armpit. Her shoulders and neck remained relatively slim, accentuating the solid roll of chin under her distinct jawline and emphasizing her swollen upper arms, stretched and heavy-laden with full but dropping flesh. On top of each corner of her smile each round cheek merged at the ear with her double-chin, obscuring forever the illusion that Gail was a thin girl who just happened to have extra weight, affirming that Gail could never be seen as anything other than what she was: a fat girl.
And though Gail laughed with the rest of them, you could still see on her face she was straining to be positive. Maybe it was because she still felt attacked. But Kelly was pretty certain it was Gail knowing she was a fat girl, and, for all her faux confidence, not liking it much. Or even, at all.

“Oh, quiet little girl!” Elizabeth smiled. She pushed her own chair and spread her own meaty arms to put her hands on the edge of the table, leaned over and hoisted herself up with a groan, then blowing out her breath with a whoosh! Elizabeth’s chair had already been at an angle, left edge firm against the buffet lining the wall behind her, squeezing only one leg tight against the smooth skirt under the lip of the table while she had held the other out to the side, for both balance and for fit. She leaned heavily on the table and pulled out her leg from under the table, shaking the buffet behind her when her colossal bubble butt slammed into the back of the chair. Elizabeth was frocked as ever with an expansive mu-mu, the hem of which accentuated the curve of her otherwise ill-shaped breasts—supported these days by bras made for comfort rather than fashion—and the skirts of which mostly but not entirely covered the rounded bulge of her heavy belly, the suggestion of which was ultimately revealed when she leaned forward into the edge of the table in reaction to the low rattle behind her, transferring the sound to the rattle and clatter of emptied dishes on the table top. When she stood erect, her plump arms filled the sleeves of the mu-mu and rested at a wide angle against her hips, every aspect of every feature fully described by the concept of round. It was clear the comparison she was making by her remark.

But dramatization wasn’t the point of her effort. She smiled ironically as if to say, “What are you gonna do?” Then she shuffled around the table and laid one pudgy hand on Gail’s shoulder and left it there as she maneuvered around the chair.

“I think you must have done a great job as president to have these girls strive to follow in your footsteps. Especially the way they seem to be failing, you must have been something special.” On the other side of Gail now, Elizabeth bent over and kissed her on the head with plump, puckered lips.

“I’m proud of you, Gail!” she added with a wistful grin, then reached over and put her other hand on Kelly’s shoulder. “I’m so proud of both of my little girls.”

With that Elizabeth and the high hem of her gown floated slowly into the kitchen, the usual sign that her lunch with them was concluded—and her television vigil holding her iPad and a full bottle of wine was about to commence.

It was a moment that always filled Kelly with pity and disappointment—almost, despair even.

Kelly’s gaze was drawn to Gail’s face, which was contorted into a grimace, that singular stretch of the lips and squeeze of the eyes that universally conveys the restraint of a deep, sudden sob. She only mostly succeeded, then wiped teary eyes with the corner of her cloth napkin before tossing off a last, large gulp of wine and stretching above the obstacle of her seated belly to grab the nearly empty bottle with the tip of her fingers.

“God, my emotions are everywhere!” she managed, the tears squeezing out the sides of her eyes despite her best efforts to stop them. She half-filled the glass in front of her with the remaining wine and took a sip to buy some time. “I really have to cut back on my drinking!”

Gail smiled at Kelly that distinct flat grin with half-moon eyes, the function of which is also to hold back tears. Kelly knew what she had just seen, knew she couldn’t fully appreciate that moment for Gail, but her eyes misted over anyway—and she’d barely had a single glass of wine over two hours of lunch. Gail patted Kelly’s hand before standing—with nothing like the effort Elizabeth had just moments before—and taking two plates of scraps into the kitchen, the point at which she typically cleared the table and cleaned the kitchen on her own while polishing off the last of whatever alcoholic beverage had somehow made it through the meal.

But this time Gail didn’t come back to finish the job. Kelly couldn’t quite hear, but she was pretty sure she heard the muffled sound of Gail sobbing behind the closed door of her bedroom.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 09:22 PM   #267
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default

So after working it and working it for months, I'm finally editing and posting an important scene. If you care to, I'd love it if some of you posted your thoughts about the scene, why you think it might have been so difficult, and what you think about where the story is headed. I guess I had such a difficult time birthing it I'm looking for a little extra fun out of it.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2017, 10:04 AM   #268
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default Into the breach!

Monday evening, before 6 o’clock, Kelly walked into the conference room to review the materials for that night’s pledge training class. It had been a day of powering through frustration—dominated by violation of weight loss rule #1: Don’t let your life be ruled by a number on a scale!

199.6. She’d given back two pounds already!

She’d planned the party Thursday to be an aberration, a brief respite from Calorie restriction involving one or two drinks before returning to her regime—like she’d done so much of her freshman year. But a plate of sandwiches and four chocolate martinis that night bled into hangover-induced comfort food (apples and granola bars at the lab) Friday morning, Friday night’s buffet (with salads that only qualified for the name because there was some lettuce involved), the Saturday game (including a hot dog tailgate and a bag of long yearned-for caramel popcorn), her infamous Sunday lunch, with it’s equally infamous Sunday night after-lunch with Marla and Monet, and Thursday night’s aberration suddenly lasted four days. And there was no one to blame but herself and her own choices.

Tonight was a new start, and not just for her diet. It was a chance at gaining back a little Phi Gamma cred with the right people (read: namely, Lindsey) by doing what was largely considered a crap job. By now the pledges had figured out these meetings were drudge-ish formalities. That meant loads of side conversations, heads in phones, unmotivated stragglers, and early bailers to manage or combat. She had to show she could maintain the crowd and get the job done right.

So when she walked in early to an already packed conference room, she was thrown a bit off her stride.

“What’s going on?” A din of competing conversations instantly died down.

“We figured with you leading you might bring hors’douerves again.”

So the word was out on who was responsible for that.

Of course, the speaker was the ever-cheeky, uber-confident Elektra and her mismatched South Georgia accent, sitting smack dab in the middle of the room to boot. Kelly instantly figured it wasn’t a fat reference, but after her two-pound weekend that didn’t keep the comment from stinging anyway.

“Don’t look at me,” Kelly retorted. Please don’t! “Look no further than right over there.” By over there, she meant next to the wall, where Jenn and Crystal had as usual been talking between themselves and not paying attention to what was going on around them. Each picked her head up and looked around with a Hunh? expression.

“Oh, we know all that, Boss!” Elektra laughed—a low, relaxed, melodious sound. “Totes joking. We’re here to find out if your boyfriend got you in trouble with Lindsey—and what happened with Scott Gilroy!” Several of the girls murmured and nodded along with her as she said it.

“Shush you! If you don’t give me a second to look through this stuff, I’ll definitely be in trouble with Lindsey!”

“Yeah, yeah.” That was Jennifer, who was sitting right next to Elektra. “As if Lindsey or anyone else cares a whit about what we actually talk about in here.”

So confident in yourself already! If only you knew how much you’re probably on her radar.

“Oh, she’d care if we were talking about Scott Gilroy,” Elektra offered.

Kelly ignored the needling by making a show of looking through the lecture folders for the right one. She needn’t have bothered: it was all right on top where Lindsey had intimated it would be.

Rules and Regs had been famously composed of mismatched manila folders filled with jumbles of yellow-ruled paper and scrawled-on Astro Bright sticky notes not a few completely unrelated comments, doodled phone numbers and doodles in general, all inherited from past generations of bored or mischievous Phi Gammas. But now Rules and Regs was organized inside seven matching report covers, with cover sheets and neatly punched typed pages snugly clasped inside. Underneath the first report cover was a stack of about 15 stapled copies ready to be passed out, each with the word COMPORTMENT at top to match the title glaring through the clear front page of its corresponding report cover.

Kelly had no idea what COMPORTMENT meant, but this fastidious organization had the stamp of Lindsey all over it. Even if it hadn’t had Lindsey’s fingerprints, her name was in black-and-white in the footer, together with a date of revision, like (not that Kelly would have known) some kind of corporate policy document. Convenient? Yes. Intrusive? Doubly so. Given her situation, to Kelly it all screamed: Better do it this way, or else!

Underneath “COMPORTMENT” were the subheadings “IMAGE,” “UNIFORM,” “SOCIAL MEDIA” and “PICTURES.” Phrases like “reputation,” “professional image,” “double standard,” and especially the words, “thin,” “fit,” “put together,” and “competent” dotted the page everywhere. Same story on both the second and final pages.

It was The Code, right there in print for everyone to see.

“It’ll be good for you, too. I mean, I find a refresher on our standards every now and then is good for all of us.”

That’s what Lindsey had said.

All of us.” Who was she kidding? Kelly was about to lead a talk on appearance, and every girl in the room unavoidably would be thinking about how Kelly didn’t conform.

This whole favor was just another dig at Kelly for her weight gain!

Kelly’s face went red first with embarrassment, then with anger, maybe even rage. That SKINNY little BITCH!!! For once, Kelly didn’t feel the slightest bit of misgiving at thinking the word.

“Look, El,” Jennifer noted, bringing Kelly back to the moment. “Look at those cheeks! I knew something happened!”

“Um, I’m sorry. What?”

“Gawd! You blush worse than I do!” That was Nordic poster-child Natalie Timmons. “Something totally happened.”

At least they didn’t know what really had her bothered.

“You guys were there, you saw everything that happened.” Another deep breath. Composure! “And really, this isn’t the time and place for that kind of thing, which actually has a lot to do with what we’re gonna be talking about today.”

“We’re talking about Scott Gilroy in Rules and Regs? Mmm-kay!

“Elektra! Shush.” Kelly really liked Elektra. She radiated natural leadership. But right now, Kelly needed to be the leader.

“It’s about how a Phi Gamma should be, and what to say and do, when and where.”

“And not,” Elektra added slyly. “Right?”

“Absolutely,” Kelly replied a bit sharply. She was still ticked at Lindsey, and Elektra was being a bit of a pill, and Kelly needed to knock this meeting out of the park.

Elektra laughed a little.

“No kidding. Absolutely,” Kelly repeated, dourly.

Whatever smattering of conversation left in the room at that point died out. For all they knew, Kelly was still a major player in Phi Gamma, and no pledge wanted her Phi Gamma career to starting with a major misstep. Kelly put the handouts on the table in front of her to be passed out and watched as they fluffled around the room. Eyes scanned pages cursorily before flipping to the next page.

That changed on page two. Each in her own time, invariably, each girl’s face would take on an increasingly serious expression, and her eyes would jump back to the top of the page for a more focused read. Not one girl flipped to page three, and that had Kelly nervous. She perused the second page, just like everyone else, and quickly realized what was going on.

Smack dab in the middle was the subheading UNIFORM.

Everyone in Phi Gamma—and, Kelly suspected, all through the Greek system—knew what uniform was. It was code speak for—well, The Code. Like when one roommate asks another how she looks and she looks a little slutty. You wouldn’t say, “You look like a total slut!” (Unless you already had a few drinks in you.) “Um, uniform!” might be the response. Or telling a story about being walked in on while in her pajamas, or if she showed up somewhere underdressed, a Phi Gamma might summarize saying, “I was sooo not in uniform!” And on a larger level it just referred to Phi Gamma’s particular look. Everyone just kind of knew what uniform was. It wasn’t the kind of thing anyone ever put into print and made a lecture about it.

Until now, anyway.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2017, 10:13 AM   #269
Tad
mostly harmless
 
Tad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 12,611
Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.
Default

I like it I'm not sure what had you stressing so much, and what I'm reading has no doubt benefited from all that editing and polishing, but it feels totally in-tune with the rest of the story. And I enjoyed having some new names getting some air-time -- a story this long kind of needs fresh voices occasionally, I think, to help remind the reader of things.

In short, thumbs up! (except that I want to read what comes next, darn it!)
__________________
Criticism is so often nothing more than the eye garrulously denouncing the shape of the peephole that gives access to hidden treasure.
-Djuna Barnes, writer and artist
Tad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2017, 08:22 AM   #270
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tad View Post
I like it I'm not sure what had you stressing so much, and what I'm reading has no doubt benefited from all that editing and polishing, but it feels totally in-tune with the rest of the story. And I enjoyed having some new names getting some air-time -- a story this long kind of needs fresh voices occasionally, I think, to help remind the reader of things.

In short, thumbs up! (except that I want to read what comes next, darn it!)
Thanks. There's much more to this section. It just takes too freakin' long to upload and format the story for posting.
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2017, 03:10 PM   #271
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default Into the breach! Part Two

“So I see most of you are already pouring through the packet,” Kelly acknowledged, knowing that UNIFORM would probably take up the bulk of their time, “but I’m going to go ahead and start from the beginning so we can talk about our general image. Then we can talk more about the details.” No one said anything, of course, so Kelly plowed in.

The Greek experience is a special opportunity reserved for a select few. You know that—that’s why you decided to pledge. But…

Pages flipped back to the front and the room as girls read along with her. Kelly didn’t read out loud especially well, but she found that focusing on forming the words helped her stop focusing on the pressure of the moment.

… but you chose the Phi Tau chapter of Phi Gamma Psi—and Phi Gamma Psi chose you—because our model for Greek young women that sets us apart from others. We’ve taught you about our history, the Greek system nationwide and on our campus, about the central role of philanthropy to our identity, our emphasis on academic standards and goals, and leadership and resume-building opportunities.

You’ll find much of that in any sorority. And too often, you’ll find sorority women undermining all of these opportunities behaving in ways they think Greek women are supposed to behave. Today we’ll talk about how to avoid this, about what sets Phi Gamma apart, and about your crucial role in perpetuating that uniqueness to the world by maintaining the Phi Gamma image.

It was the kind of bureaucratic boilerplate posi-speech that usually sent people yawning. Sure enough, Kelly looked up to see several people already gazing away from their papers. Elektra even rolled her eyes.

Why image? Because we live in a world where women are accepted, measured, judged and categorized by it. And in a world where just one wrong moment can follow you all your life, it’s important to start being intentional about that NOW.

“I bet you’ve probably heard that a lot already,” Kelly interjected. New pledge Kelly had from day one—from Sherry.

“Not really,” Elektra offered.

“All my life,” spoke another. That was Indian beauty Ankita. “But no one’s ever said anything about it to me here.”

“Really!” Kelly exclaimed. “I’d have thought maybe you’d hear it from your Big Sis.”

“We did!” Jenn jumped in with a smile, Crystal smiling and nodding beside her. Kelly had given them the shpiel while fitting them for Rush, in fact.

“Well of course you did, silly! I’m your Big Sis! Any of your Big Sisters talk about our image?”

Only a few of the girls affirmed yes.

“Hunh! Imagine that. So, you’re actually gonna get some pretty good info out of Rules and Regs tonight!” For once. A lot of doubtful gazes met her face in response.

‘Sorority is about sisterhood,” Kelly continued, nervously, “and together we work to form an image that gets each of us where she—‘“

“I’m sorry.” It was a thin brunette pledge with green eyes and acne scars severe enough to show faintly through a substantial layer of foundation. “I appreciate you need to go through this, but I bet a lot of us understand what this first page is getting at. Can I ask some questions about the stuff on the second page?”

Whatever their rumored failings, this group certainly didn’t lack for assertiveness!

“Of course you can.” She was hoping to stall, maybe run out of time before a through discussion of the topic. “But give me a minute to go over this other stuff first. Focusing on that really won’t make a lot of sense unless we talk about the bigger picture, until you see what we’re trying to—”

“Kelly?” It was Jennifer, who was shifting in her seat uncomfortably. Her brow was furrowed with worry, and to Kelly it seemed her cheeks looked a bit flushed. “I don’t really mean to change the subject, and I guess I’m not. But this part about a UNIFORM? Really? Is that, like, a real Phi Gamma thing?”

Yeah. Looked like there was no way any kind of stalling was gonna happen.

“Well, it’s not really a uniform per se,” Kelly countered. “Uniform just means—“

“How is that not really a uniform? It spells it out right here.” That was Elektra. Most of the girls flipped to page two, but Elektra pointed to Jennifer’s packet, which was open to page two already. In fact, after reading up to page two, Jennifer had never flipped it back to page one, even when the rest of the group had followed along.

“Well, OK. Let’s see. Look at what it says.

“'An important concept guiding the Phi Gamma woman is the idea of uniform. When you think uniform, don’t think matching knit polos, black pants and a stitched logo—that’s absolutely NOT Phi Gamma! What ‘uniform’ means is that how you look cannot be separated from where you are, and the choices you make about how to look when sends a message about who you are—and about who and what Phi Gamma is. Everybody has in his or her own head what a sorority girl is supposed to look and dress like. At Phi Gamma the idea is to defeat the worst and beat the best of those expectations—in the Greek scene, out of the Greek scene, and for our lives moving forward. It’s a look we like to call ‘corporate chic’.

Kelly tried not to scoff. Kelly’d never heard uniform called corporate chic. Underneath there was a few examples of what she figured was Lindsey’s interpretation of The Code. Kelly’d heard some of these rules thrown around, too, though it all looked a little clunky in print: sleeveless blouses or silk spaghetti straps instead of cotton tank tops, short heels or block flats instead of high heels or ballet flats or Keds, straight skirts instead of flare-length or tennis skirts—a series of “wear this, not that” directives that described some novice’s impression of what might be a fashionable but serious wardrobe.

“See?” Elektra followed up, unasked. “I’ve worked for my dad, and I’ve seen what dress codes look like. And this looks like a uniform to me.”

“Well, you know, those examples underneath are just some examples to sort of, you know, get the gist of what we’re going for.” Lame examples. And now Kelly was stuck having to stand up for them!

“So,” interjected the layer-caked brunette, “so Phi Gamma is, like, getting us ready to, like, work corporate jobs?”

Sure sounds that way, Lindsey!

“Well, no, there’s really no expectation like that.” Spin it, girl! Spin it! “The paper says ‘image,’ not ‘job.’ We’re, uh, we’re not like the business fraternity or anything. We just, we just want to have our own thing. I mean, think about the images of some of the other sororities out there, OK? And then think of us as like the working girls sorority.”

Kelly regretted it the second it left her mouth.

“Phi Gamma,” Elektra quipped. “Where we work it, girl!” Everybody laughed.

Kelly laughed along with them until the room settled back down. “Guess I walked right into that one! But that’s exactly the kind of working girl image we’re not going for!”

“Says you,” Elektra retorted. “Anything’s better than being some kind of poster child for some big corporation.”

“Well, then don’t. No one said you have to. It’s just a word.” Kelly paused a second. “Maybe you shouldn’t think corporate. Think, like, professional.”

Oh, no!

“Hear that girls? Work that look like a professional!”

And all the girls laughed again. Kelly might have laughed, too, but she was losing control of the room.

“Cut it out, El! You know what I mean. You’re acting as if this is some sort of big deal, and, really, it’s nothing like that.”

“It is to me.”

“Well not to me.” It’s the only thing she could think to answer with, and it didn’t sound very, um, professional to Kelly at all. “I don’t know, ya’ll. I mean, I’ve never really had a problem with any of this, but maybe that’s just me. Is this really that controversial?”
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2017, 10:16 AM   #272
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default Into the breach! Part Three

“No, of course not,” spoke up yet another girl in an extra high-pitched voice. “I have no problem with it either.” The girl was on the front row, long-long-long highlighted brunette hair, deep brown eyes with clear white skin—and even behind the skinny conference table quite easily identified as “tiny.” Not skinny—Kelly’s first impression was that she was average, and certainly not toned—but short. Not Little People short or anything, but so distinctively short that it would forever dominate first impressions of her. Kelly wondered if her feet even touched the floor and resisted the urge to look. Aside from that, it was no wonder she had no problem with UNIFORM: she had a studious, competent look in a nice button-down blouse and designer eyewear resting above her temples. Very Phi Gamma, in her own studious way. And, Kelly gathered, for the purposes of this discussion an instant ally.

“I’m sorry, but I’ve been extra busy this semester and can’t recall your name.”

“Karen Morley.”

“Hi, Karen!”

“Hi,” she replied tersely, looking askance at Elektra before plowing ahead. “The uniform bit makes sense. They always say, ‘Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.’” Kelly resisted the urge to say, But really, it’s not about getting a job! “So, OK, Phi Gamma encourages that. I mean, we all should want to get good jobs eventually, so that’s no big deal. Pretty much just like being a grown-up, really.

“The part I want to talk about is down here.”

Kelly took a breath and steeled herself. She knew exactly what was coming next.

The uniform can only go as far as the woman who wears it. Look…not all of us can be super slender, but never forget that no matter when, thin is in. You cannot ignore that yesterday, today, forever you always be judged, valued and devalued on whether you fit that mold. At Phi Gamma we pay attention to this and encourage the development of habits that promote a healthy image for every facet of your life. That’s why Phi Gamma was the first to add a state-of-the-art fitness facility in our house, one that is still second-to-none.

It was Kelly’s first full reading of that paragraph. Oh, gawd! ‘Thin is in?’ Lindsey actually wrote that out on paper? How … tacky!!!

“You’re saying Phi Gamma will be watching us to make sure we’re thin?”

“Well, I’m not the one saying it.” Oh, God, no! Well, not actually saying it. “And Phi Gamma doesn’t monitor you or anything like that.”

Now judge on the other hand….

“But they still … encourage us. By making it part of our…uniform.”

And Karen had articulated the heart of the matter. It was right there between the lines: The Code: If you want to be one of us, you want to be in, be thin.

Looking around the room, Kelly could see that it wasn’t just Karen who got it. They were all beautiful girls. Truly. Every one of them knew it. But each one of them also knew that in the world of beautiful girls, there was a super special class of even more beautiful girls. A set of girls that fit a very specific ideal that made them the top of the top. There were places in this world that ideal was made explicit—the gym, the fashion runway, the Miss America Pageant. But in most places it was unarticulated. It defines her every interaction, her every shopping choice, every answer to the question, “Who am I?” “Who am I to everyone else?” Of the girls in that room, that evening, almost none of them fit that ideal. Pretty much each one was the wrong shape or the wrong weight or the wrong build or the wrong ethnicity. Princess of the Court, but not the Prom Queen. Winner of the local beauty pageant, but distant runner-up in the Big Show. And each of those girls knew that, too. Maybe even carried it around like a chip on her shoulder that she indulged, or suppressed, or guilted herself for feeling because it was so selfish—or one of a thousand possible different reactions. Pretty much all negative reactions, and all embodying the theme, “Ultimately, I’m not good enough.”

And now, with her first exciting step into the wider world, where being the prom queen or the head cheerleader wasn’t supposed to matter, after being admitted to one of the most exclusive clubs at the university of her choice, an organization preaching sisterhood and merit and charity, each girl was being told straight from Lindsey’s privileged, clueless fingers that the old rules still applied. That they would always apply.

Whatever confusion there might have been about uniform, Karen had cleared it all up. Uniform was Miss America, the look each girl had tried only to find something was just…off. The look that had her flipping through dozens of magazines for “fixes,” hoping that somehow she could approximate that look just enough. And truth was, she could—until Miss America stepped into the room to show how that look was really worn. It was why girls hated their curves, no matter how sexy they made them, no matter how beautiful they were. Because for that look, the more curves you had, the harder it was to make it work.

These girls had looked around. They’d seen the upper classmen. Some premutation of Miss America stepped into the room every time you looked around. And now, they saw it.

Kelly wanted to tell them it wasn’t so, that Phi Gamma looked beyond all that. But she couldn’t. Lindsey would have her head.

And besides, Lindsey wasn’t wrong.

“So,” Elektra said, studiously, as if talking in the hypothetical, “you’re accepted here. You’re cool. You’ve made it here. People look up to you. And you’re“—Elektra interrupted herself—“well, you’re just not this.” She gestured to the handout with a magician’s assistant’s flourish of the left hand.

No, I’m sure not, am I? Not 80 pounds heavy and not decked out in her Target clearance tank top and t-shirt, squeezed into the only pair of jeans that could cover a set of hips and thighs a breath away from a permanent wardrobe of oh-so-not-in-UNIFORM yoga pants.

“Surely you’re not on board with this.”
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 06:07 PM   #273
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default Into the breach! Part Four

It was thinly veiled code, of course. Code for, “Look at you: 80 pounds heavy in her Target clearance tank top and t-shirt, squeezed into a pair of jeans so painted on your hips and thighs they might as well be yoga pants, telling us”—as Lindsey had so bluntly put it—“we’d better be thin to be in.”

The room was tense.

There was shifting in seats.

It seemed every girl’s eyes were riveted to hers, waiting for the answer. Jennifer Morrison’s looked to be on the edge of tears.

“Let me tell you something.” She was talking to Elektra, but it was really for the eyes of every girl in the room, eyes that would judge her for her weight, or for hypocrisy, or for perpetuating a withering standard that waged war on every girl’s self-confidence. “I’m in that gym, busting my bottom every day. Every day! And, yes, it’s obvious to anyone that I’m … I’m not this, as you say.” Kelly made the same flourish with her own hand to the paper in front of Elektra. Her voice shook with more strength of emotion than she had expected. “And thank you for that, by the way. There are other ways you could have put it.”

Elektra’s face had the look that she realized she’d stepped in it, and regretted it, but she bobbed her head in obligation. No one else in the room was moving anything.

“So let me tell you, I know what UNIFORM means, OK? I feel it every day. No one bleeds Pearl and Purple more than me.” Those were the Phi Gamma Psi colors. “But, yes, I feel the pressure of trying to live up to that standard.”

Elektra rolled her eyes.

“That’s so fucked up!” Elektra muttered.

“It’s NOT, Elektra. It’s not. Because whatever I may feel in here, it’s nothing like what I run into out there.” She pointed with her thumb over her shoulder to, had she known it, the parking lot, though of course she really meant the wider world. “We’re a sisterhood. We’re women. We can support each other all we want, but we will always be judged by how we look. That’s just the way the world is. And if Phi Gamma’s gonna prepare us for that world, it has to prepare us for that, too.“

“I’m already prepared for the world,” Elektra scoffed. “I just wanted to hit some lit parties and get laid.”

I guess that cleared up that mystery!

The room burst into laughter, longer than louder than any all night. Kelly imagined they laughed because maybe Elektra’s honesty hit pretty close to home for most of them.

Kelly laughed along with them, relieved that the tension in the room was broken and the mood was reset. And because she realized Elektra had just provided the way out of the uncomfortable focus on her own appearance and struggles, out of the focus on Phi Gamma’s now-cast-on-black-and-white-stone emphasis on thinness, out of a potential pledge class rebellion—all of which might in the end come back on Kelly through the wrath of Lindsey.

“Oh, man, that’s funny!” Kelly laughed when her own composure and room noise finally allowed it. “But you see—” The room died down a bit more. “You see … you see, that’s exactly the point.”

Kelly stopped there and waited. The rest of the clamor died down, and she had the room’s open and curious attention once more. Even Jennifer looked relaxed and open once more. Kelly held it an extra beat, reveling in the control that she had wrested from Elektra, a girl who had all-but called her fat in public. For a moment Kelly identified with that urge for competition and cattiness, recognizing Elektra had pretty much just labelled herself a slut, and whatever Kelly said next she could somehow use to drive that point home in front of everyone for revenge, and to put her in her place.
But that’s not who Kelly was, nor who she wanted to be. Elektra, of course, was much more than the words she’d just uttered. And really, what was there to gain from that except her enmity?

“Because that’s the way people look at sororities, right?” Kelly nodded her head to encourage solidarity? “As if sorority girls were any different than any other red-blooded American girl out there, you know?”

A murmur of agreement rose from some of the girls who just moments ago had been laughing out of embarrassment at their own thoughts.

“What are sorority girls supposed to be? Pretty. Rich, popular, maybe self-centered, maybe not too bright. And looking to sow her wild oats before hitching a ride with some trust fund guy who’ll give her three beautiful kids, a nice vacation home off Savannah, and vacations to Costa Rica.”

“Tri-Delt!” someone called out. “Old money.”

This particular someone was a long blonde with a pony tail almost as long; her letter shirt stretched across small, perky boobs; Phi Gamma letter scrunchy; and white canvas tennis shoes. The classic casual Tri-Delt look. Kelly imagined maybe Tri-Delt had been this girl’s first choice, guessed that the absence of “legacy” (read: old money) bona fides was probably the reason for rejection. She was a striking embodiment of that slender, fit ideal that most of the girls that room were not: Miss America. Phi Gamma prototype, before Lindsey’s stodginess and Kelly’s hors d’ourves had brought in a different crowd.

Kelly wondered why she hadn’t stood out to her before. Maybe because she sat on the edge of things toward the back, not really interacting with, or interacted with, by the other girls.

“Yup. Tri-Delt. So tell me, what do you think about that girl? I mean, right or wrong, what do people think?”

It must have been a threatening question, because no one wanted to step up and answer it.

“Come on, help me out here so Lindsey won’t think I blew it!” That got a few relaxed smiles from some of the girls she knew. “Is that someone people think well of?”

“No,” someone finally yielded. It was Jenn Wilson.

Thanks, Jenn! She looked gratefully in Jenn’s direction. “Right! And what do people typically think about her?”

Pause. Again, no one wanted to be the one to say it first.

“They’re selfish, materialistic, gold-digging, airhead, stuck-up, alcoholic sluts.”

That, of course, was Elektra. Everyone in the room laughed again. Except the long blonde, who looked a little annoyed. She really did want to be Tri-Delt!

“Tell us how you really feel, El!” Kelly laughed. “I take it you didn’t Rush there.”

“No, I did. That’s how I know it’s actually true.” More laughs, though Elektra was dead serious.

“Well I don’t know about that!” (Kelly had met her share of Tri-Delts, and she’d found most of them to be perfectly lovely, gracious people. When they were sober.) “But people think it’s true. Who could turn down a great chance on that!” Kelly laughed good-naturedly. “And there’s plenty of chance for that! But that’s just what I’m talking about. If that’s who we are, if that’s all we are, then that’s the image we’ll wind up presenting. Do you want to join a group if people will just think of you as an alcoholic slut?”

Kelly cringed inside as she let herself say the crude word. Elektra cocked her head like she was about to say something, but apparently even she wouldn’t joke about that.

“Exactly! You see, just like that, because you’re Phi Gamma, people are going to think certain things about you. Right or wrong, Phi Gamma is going to have an image. We either let someone else hang that image on us, or we take control of it ourselves. Do you want to be stereotyped as a confident, competent, put-together corporate leader with a sense of style or as some house bunny with a beer gut? You understand it now?”

“You know, I could just be seen as myself,” Elektra shrugged.

“You know,” Kelly sighed, blowing her bangs in frustration, “it just—“

“Excuse me, Kelly?”
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2017, 06:27 AM   #274
Tad
mostly harmless
 
Tad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 12,611
Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.Tad has ascended what used to be the highest level.
Default

ack, cliff hanger! Write quickly, my fingers are getting tired holding on
__________________
Criticism is so often nothing more than the eye garrulously denouncing the shape of the peephole that gives access to hidden treasure.
-Djuna Barnes, writer and artist
Tad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 04:48 PM   #275
StrugglingWriter
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 361
StrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 clubStrugglingWriter is a member of the 500 club
Default Into the breach! Part Five

Miss America had half-raised her hand, with a pencil in it no less, like some kind of movie cliché. She looked a little impatient.

“So to summarize, the uniform is button-up blouses—silk when appropriate—pencil skirts instead of shorts, slacks, neutral flats, classic jewelry, light make-up, and fashion bags. And skip the skinny jeans, hair bands, big jewelry, patterned dresses and tennis flats.”

Of course that would be her question. Just set up the rules of the game, whatever they are, and she can compete. And win. Don’t dirty up the water, chubby!

“I wouldn’t be caught dead in a pencil skirt,” Elektra muttered.

“Pencil skirts are fine, but on me they might as well be mermaid tails.” Tiny Karen Morley. "Another trip to the tailor!"

“I guess by slacks that means no khakis,” Ankira noted. “So…probably wool? That’s the most professional. I guess we start breaking those out when it gets cold?”

And with those impromptus, the room stirred as each girl found the implicit permission to speak her mind. Girls started talking like this in pairs and threes. “So, no heels? I hate flats!” “I have some block heels you can use. What’s your size?” “I can’t wear silk. I’m allergic.” And the like. A few girls were putting questions to Jenn and Crystal, who looked hard-pressed to find responses. But Elektra crossed her arms. And Jennifer had leaned forward with her chubby cheeks against her fists. Certainly not all the girls were resisting the message: some girls clearly were working hard to adapt, but no one really seemed to look at Lindsey’s UNIFORM with much enthusiasm.

It had happened. Kelly had lost control!

“Hey, Kelly? Kelly!” Natalie called out over the swelling noise in the room. “Do you—hey, ya’ll. I have a question. Could you—“

“Hey, ladies! Ladies! Could you settle down a second? Natalie has an important question!” Gawd, I hope it's important!

The noise subsided only a little.

“Go ahead, Natalie!”

“Thanks.” She looked a little annoyed, as one might think she might, that her question wasn’t being respected. “Is there a list of stores that we should look in to find these things? Because I’ve tried and—well, I’m probably gonna have to do a good bit of shopping.”

The noise level in the room fell sharply. They knew this was a good question. Thank God! They just knew this was the nuts and bolts of what they needed to know to be Phi Gamma.

But, of course, it wasn’t. They don’t get it!

“Well, no,” Kelly flustered around. “There’s not like a list or anything….”

“Well, I mean like maybe an unofficial list, like places where everyone just goes.”

There were certainly places where everyone tended to go, yes, but it wasn’t a list. Usually someone found something somewhere and it just kind of turned into a trend. Because whatever one Phi Gamma found, it was pretty sure to fit the same on all the rest.

Not that it ever had on Kelly Kegs, not even at her thinnest. She’d always been on her own.

“Mmmm, well, it’s hard to know because so many of us shop online. But I would say, ohhh, Nine West. Anne Klein. Jones New York.” People were scribbling down names like what she was saying was Gospel! “I guess,” Kelly qualified, quickly. “I don’t know, really. People tend to find things at Macy’s a lot, it seems. Unless maybe it’s a party dress. There’s no telling where people find those. Or homecoming dresses. Who knows where people get those things!”

Homecoming was known for more traditional, innocent garb—even Gingham, for Heaven’s sake!—that was not Phi Gamma. And party dresses? Whatever seemed to be hot at the time, actually. Neither of them was anything like this “corporate chic.”

And yet, they were both still UNIFORM.

Natalie appeared flustered. She'd taken her cue from Miss America’s precedent. “Sooo, Nine West, Anne Klein, Jones—“

“No, Natalie,” Kelly cut her off, her frustration growing. “That’s not the point. That’s—“

“Where exactly do you get your UNIFORM?”

It was Jennifer Morrison.

"Maybe you could tell us where you shop."

Her eyes were still on the weepy but stared at Kelly’s with a steely gaze. Her voice shook with emotion. But her tone was confident. Even aggressive.

Kelly imagined that Jennifer didn’t know. Didn’t know it wasn’t that long ago Kelly was thin. Oh, the talk of Kelly’s weight gain was probably all around—Kelly had overheard some of it herself in the stairwell. But Kelly figured out of sight, out of mind—and out of the focus of sorority house gossip. It was the reason for all her efforts to be persona non grata, for the sense of urgency for her weight loss goals, for her continual frustration at her interminably slow progress. And no one was gonna bring up the topic around the chubby new recruit. Especially not the girls who’d been recruited with her, who even now were more focused on worries about clothes than worries about weight.

But there was no way it was a topic Jennifer had ignored. Tell us, she was saying, where exactly can I get my UNIFORM?

[I]Torrid? Dressbarn? Lane Bryant, for God’s sake?[I] What if the answer really was, Nowhere? Where can I shop now and be Phi Gamma? Jennifer probably knew the question was mean, right out there in front of everyone, born as it probably was of the sense of rejection and outrage she’d been squashing for the last—however long it was, that now she was taking out on the messenger for her distaste of the message. She knew that Kelly couldn’t answer, knew that no place Kelly shopped—no place Jennifer could shop—would ever satisfy Phi Gamma.

Looking at Kelly now, Jennifer would probably never be able to appreciate how Phi Gamma had come to know, and Kelly had come to know Phi Gamma, as a thin girl. That not too long ago, before a year of bad choices caught up with her, before cramming in pizza so she could cram fr exams, before blowout trips to Vegas and Disney and Mexico, before calamity in her family, Kelly bought her UNIFORM at Nordstrom, and at Sak’s. At Tahari. Yes, Macy’s. By scouring the latest magazines, hoping she could find something that could bring her a serious, sophisticated look to dress down her undeniable sexy.

But she needed at least some answer.

“Certainly not Nine West! Or Jones New York, I can tell you that,” Kelly answered confidently. “You can just imagine how I would look with”—she subtly held her hands palms up just above her waist, just below the sag of her massive breasts, to let her hands do the talking she couldn’t bring her tongue to—“well, you know what I’d look like crammed into that!”

The room twittered with gentle, relieved laughter, the laughter of those who’d long kept their tongues about the unavoidable focus of attention—Kelly’s massive rack—the topic finally broached to allow acknowledgement out in the open.

“Bombshell Porno Secretary Queen from Hell, I tell you!” Elektra opined over the din.

And the room was in stitches one more time.

“Exactly! Exactly!” Kelly finally managed through her own laughter. She turned to Elektra. “Work it, Baby! Right?”

A smaller laugh, and once again the atmosphere in the room was relaxed, side conversations became comments that resolved to their natural ends, and Kelly had their attention once again.

“No! NOT right. It’s not just how you dress. It’s just overall how you present yourself. You don’t want people thinking you’re just some sorority girl floozy. So“—Kelly finally found the opportunity to cover the first part of the COMPORTMENT packet, flipped to the page, found a good part to mention—“look at this part on the front page about pictures, OK?” Girls flipped back on cue. “People see those and judge them, too. Your parents look at them and judge them. Future employers look back at them and judge them, all right? There’s that corporate angle for you! And sometime soon, you’ll look back at them and judge them, and you don’t want to look back and say, ‘Oh. My. Gawd! What was I thinking?’

“So girls, forget the party pic pose! Hand on the hip, chest out, suck in the gut. Right? You know the one!”

More laughter. They absolutely knew it. They’d probably all done it.

“You think everybody doesn’t know what you’re doing! Trying to look like the thinnest—but most stacked—girl of the bunch, right? And think a second what you’re doing. You’re basically screaming out easy sex. ‘Here I am! Here’s my girls! Come get me!”

Kelly did the pose, exaggerated, her bodacious bosom looked absolutely ridiculous, thrust out in front of her as she twisted back and forth for all to see. Riotous laughter this time.

“Look…they see your form. They’re looking, all right? They’re judging you—just like you’re judging them. You can’t fight it.” A lot of the girls were nodding. Every one of them was looking Kelly right in the eye. Even Elektra. Even a wide-eyed Jennifer Morrison. They all knew it. “So don’t. People know your strengths, they know your weaknesses. It won’t help you to try to show them off—to guys you can’t show enough, and the girls, you aren’t fooling a one of them. Not a one that matters, anyway. You flaunt them, it just telegraphs insecurity—and that’s a message that you don’t want to send.”

Kelly wasn't used to being funny. She was on a roll, and she was barely aware how she was veering gradually away from Lindsey’s Miss America message about corporate chic. These were messages that Elizabeth Kingsley—and, for some of them, Daddy Kingsley—had reminded her over and over about her image, ever since that consequential summer at the age of ….12….that Kelly grew in, well, stature and "personality."

And there was more.

“You have to play the game to win.” Totally her Daddy’s words. “Dress too sexy, you’re some kind of gold-digging bimbo. Dress too casually, no one takes you seriously. Yes, Kim Kardashian gets attention. And Ariana Grande, too. Kate Upton is absolutely worshiped—God, I wish I could look like her!” When thinner, Kelly had often heard the comparison, though she never believed it. “But they’re winning as celebrities, as sex symbols. They may have savvy and brains, but in the end we all know the bottom line. Maybe looking that way for a while worked in high school, but Phi Gamma can’t still be known as Phi Gamma and look that way.

“You want to be….” Kelly stumbled for a minute. In her mind she had comparisons such as Audrey Hepburn, not Marilyn Monroe. Katherine Hepburn, not Elizabeth Taylor. Doris Day. Classic actresses Kelly had watched together with her mother, emulating best she could at various times and with various amounts of cash as she grew into adulthood. She figured these types of images would be lost and began grasping for more contemporary. “You want to be … Sandra Bullock. Emma Stone. Natalia Portman. Angelina Jolie—the old one, not the young one.”

That got quite a few puzzled looks.

“You know what I mean. Undeniably sexy. But they radiate poise and confidence. Respect. Power.

“Power of character, of strength of will. We want the kind of look that when you get selected to lead a committee, or maybe win an election for the school or sorority President, or when you get promoted for the big job that people don’t look at you as a Phi Gamma and think, ‘One of them? Really?’

“I don’t know if that’s corporate chic, but that’s what we’re going for!”

Kelly was suddenly aware that the room had become very quiet. She was immediately embarrassed, could feel herself blushing from nose to ears.

“Sorry, I guess I got a little carried away!”

Faces all around the room had a deer-in-the-headlights look, and Kelly could appreciate why. She’d just told them that Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie embody the standard they should be held up to—a standard that, by the way, was exactly the model they were lol worried about. Yet Kelly wanted them to get that message, because it was always—always!—a standard they would be judged by, and one they’d have to find a way to navigate on their own. The only one who didn’t look intimidated was Miss America. She was sitting with her long legs crossed and eyes down, leaning on the desk with one elbow, one cheek lying in her hand, the other cheek poked form the inside by a skeptical tongue, doodling a few words on her paper. She had to rescue her standing with her audience yet again.

“So, no,” she said, looking at Miss America, “UNIFORM isn’t as easy as all those rules.” Well, maybe for you…. And no,” she said, looking at Natalie, “there isn’t some list of approved stores.” She looked at Jennifer, thinking again of how ridiculous she had looked Thursday in that silk shirt and skirt, and she told a little fib: “I shop at Marie Claire, and Cosmo and Mademoiselle and wherever else I can find the right look that works for me.” That is, I used to not that long ago.

“To me, that’s all corporate chic is.”
__________________
Author of Something's Gotta Give and What I'd Like to Say...

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...d.php?t=102853
StrugglingWriter is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright Dimensions Magazine. All rights reserved worldwide.