I tried. I really did. Staring at pictures. Trying to imagine anything. I put huge effort into it. I even went on a nine hour driving trip through dull country to fetch some new tractor seats, all the while hoping that more fields of ripening wheat would finally spark my imagination while staring occasionally at a picture. The only enthusiasm my brain would spark was for stopping at the next comfort location for an exchange of fluids. I switched pictures. Didn't help. My process ignores pictures from without. So, in the spotlight of ineptitude, I offer the little story below. I decided that my task as a writer is to paint a picture with words. This I can do. What picture comes to your mind after you read this story? If I used my words well, you will have the picture I intended. If I didn't, you'll be confused ducks.

I Have a Problem


Daggy Hakishon

I have a problem. It isn’t the kind of problem most people have—my eyes are different. Instead of side by side, mine are set, one over the other, above my nose. It makes my glasses look funny. I’ve tried everything to make people quit staring at my glasses. I’ve crossed my eyes and jumped at them. Sure, they quit staring, but then they start screaming, which makes more people turn to stare at my glasses.

It’s not like I can run around without my glasses. I’m so nearsighted; I’d fall over people, lose things, and not be able to find my way home. One time I thought I’d try something a little different to distract people from staring at my glasses. An actor in an old movie, Cary Grant, winked very slowly at someone and they winked back then both of them smiled. While neither wore glasses, I thought it might be worth learning to do. Maybe, if I winked, no one would notice my glasses.

Spending an hour in front of the mirror every night while brushing my teeth and brushing my hair before going to bed, I learned to wink. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes with either eye, I could wink. (I liked to wink my upper eye the most, but some people might prefer the lower so I perfected each.)

Thinking it was time to try out my wink, I volunteered to go shopping with my mother. Sure enough, just as usual, I caught someone staring at my glasses. I winked, my upper eye, wanting to do my best. The person stepped back but didn’t stop staring. I winked my lower eye. Same results. So, I winked both eyes—one after the other! When the person didn’t quit staring at my glasses, I winked faster. The person blinked both of their eyes and then backed into a store display. At least they quit staring, but didn’t smile. Everyone else came and stared at the mess instead!

My mom asked me what all the fuss was about while we were on the drive home. She told me maybe I was trying too hard. Some people don’t have smiles in them.

Since the only time anyone seemed to stare at me was when I wore my glasses, I decided to put them in my pocket until I absolutely needed them. One of the earpieces broke when I accidentally bumped into my best friend. My father advised me on the way to the eyeglasses store, that I was going to have to wear my glasses all of the time, whether people stared at them or not. My glasses were for my eyes not my pocket. I told him everything I’d tried to keep people from staring at them. He suggested that I quit wasting my winks and most of my other efforts and just smile or nod every time I caught someone staring at my glasses. He also said since it was my fault my glasses were broken I would have to pay him a repair tax out of my allowance until the cost of the repairs were paid back to him. Now, I not only have people staring at my glasses but half of my allowance is gone for repair tax until next month! Sheesh!

My mom said when I’m older I can try contact lenses. Maybe that will solve the problem. But until then, I guess I’ll just have to get used to people staring at my unusual glasses.


Penny Rader said...

You crack me up, Nina. I don't feel so bad about wearing glasses now. ;D ;D (I tried to get my winks to line up vertically, but Blogger won't let me do it that way.)

Joan Vincent said...

Terrific Nina. Love the humor. You definitely don't have a problem writing.

Nina Sipes said...

Authoresses are supposed to look studious! And don't forget to work on that slow wink!

Nina Sipes said...

You always say the nicest things. The funniest thing about this story, for me, is that there is no humor in it. We laugh because our world is different.

Becky A said...

Miss Nina,
Wow, what a beautiful story. You painted a perfect picture of that age-old need to fit in and be accepted by others. I see your character as a 12 year old girl. She is struggling with who she is and where does she fit in to the bigger picture. Her parents impart the same wisdom any good parent does, that it is not how you look, but who you are that counts. And if you have to try that hard to get someone to like you, they're not worth the effort anyhow. I also loved how she focused on the glasses being the problem instead of her eyes. We always want it to be the superficial stuff that people don't like. If it was us, then that would hurt even more. No one likes rejection, especially for something we have no control over. This is a great story. So much depth but also funny. It's one of those that you either laugh or cry, and laughing hurts a lot less.

Reese Mobley said...

Good job! You painted a perfect picture. You never fail to amaze me with your skills.

Nina Sipes said...

I thought it would be really funny, if I ever sent this children's story to be published, would be if, on the final page of the book, the artworks finally showed the faces of her parents-and they too have their eyes stacked up. I thought it would be a gentle joke on the reader and amplify the funny. I was also trying hard even with my pen name to not have defined the sex of the child or the writer.

Nina Sipes said...

Thank you for your kind comment. I've read some of your stuff and only wish I could paint a picture as well as you.