Monday, December 8, 2008

Unattractive Quirks

I have a confession to make.

I'm not what you'd call a shopper.

It's not that I dislike stores or looking at lovely trinkets. I've felt the rush of pleasure purchasing something completely enthralling (and non-practical). However, I'm a short-term shopper.


I can only handle very--VERY--short bursts of shopping. I don't care to linger over groceries. I have no intention of smelling every lotion at Bath & Body Works. I can tell in the tiniest of glances if a sweater is right for me or not.

Do I have a point? Well, duh--of course I do.

I realized this morning while I was standing in an extremely long line at Target, and, might I add, surrounded by tens of thousands of other shoppers crammed into extremely long lines, that I have definite unattractive quirks. The thought led me to wondering about my current heroine, who is not a paragon of virtue either.

Just how unattractive are these quirks? Unattractive enough to turn a reader off completely?

Well, I think you need to have an example. Let's look at this morning's offense.

The above-mentioned check-out line just happened to pit me next to an adorable toddler. An adorable, hysterical toddler. Not the hungry or needs a nap kid. I'm talking a future neurotic (maybe the sweetheart will be a writer when she grows up? One can hope...) who every six to seven seconds would scream out "I'm stuck."

I glanced over. Was the tot stuck? Hmm... Her legs were dangling from the cart just fine, arms waving every so often, and she looked as free as a child in a cart could be.

After the sixteenth "I'm stuck," I began gritting my teeth. I can't say I felt sorry for the girl. She might have been stuck--the jury is still out on that one--but I was stuck listening to her scream that she was stuck!

But then I looked at her chubby little face and felt a wave of compassion. Her mom soothed her as best she could. I still wanted to run out of the store and breathe the sweet, cold breath of freedom, but I wasn't a ticking bomb any longer.

Lesson? Heroines can have unattractive quirks as long as they have just as many good traits. My latest heroine would have handled the checkout scenario with more grace than I did.

Maybe I should make an End Year's Resolution? Be more like the heroines in my novels.

Enjoy your week!

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