Thursday, February 23, 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters: The Perfect 9.5

Romantic Friday Writers challenge this week is, The Perfect 9.5. I must be honest. I'm sitting here looking at this prompt and wondering what does it mean? Does it mean, that no one is a ten? That everyone has a flaw? Hopefully their flaw is one we can live with. As I ask myself these questions a story begins to form. The guy in the office, or at the gym that just stands out. Who is he? Is he as kind as he is handsome? Is he still all man while revealing his feminine side? Does he pull out the restaurant chair for his woman, or open the door? Does he smile and give her a kiss after she has a melt down due to stress? I'm not married to Mr. Perfect, who is? I am somewhat challenged by the fact that my father was a traveling salesman and never around. No male influence. The men in my critique group have saved me more than once from major bloopers my male characters may have suffered otherwise. So, I will give it a try and hope you like it.

The Perfect 9.5.

Julie had, had it. The right guy didn't exist. She was turning 30 and no one would ever convince her otherwise. Guys either drank too much, drove like the devil had his foot on the accelerator, or swore so much she had trouble deleting the words to make a cohesive sentence that made any sense. No, strong independent women would just have to rely on themselves. What else was new?

Her best friend Maggie had convinced her to come on a blind date anyway. Julie dreaded the evening. Pride wouldn't allow her to show up in anything but her best new dress and heals. She saw her friends, including their men at a table half way across the restaurant. A band played some country tune she'd never heard before. A cocktail waitress nearly spilled her tray as Julie passed her.

"Julie," Maggie said. "This is Ian."

Ian stood. Tall...that was a plus. Sandy hair, not bad. Blue eyes with laugh lines that hugged his skin.

"Julie." Ian took her hand and kissed the back. He pulled out her chair.

Was she dreaming?

He smelled like the mountains. A rugged naturalist. A ski bum, just what she needed. She could picture him traversing the snowy trails of Vail.

The warmth of his hands on her back as she sat sent shivers up her spine. Was she this desperate? The evening spend along, her friends left, Ian still remained, Julie couldn't stop smiling. As it turned out, Ian was part owner in a solar energy company that had national recognition, prospering in the economic downturn.

He held her hand as they walked to their cars.

"Tomorrow?" he asked.

"Yes," she said.

His hug engulfed her. She felt her body sinking within the folds of his jacket. Only vaguely aware of other patrons, Julie accepted his kiss with abandonment. Her rules of dating having evaporated along with all hesitation. A perfect 10? No. Tomorrow she would present him with her favorite aftershave doing away with the out door mountain air, as nice as it was, it wasn't perfect.

WC 345.

To read other worthy entries or to join Romantic Friday Writers go here.

I hope you enjoyed my take on The Perfect 9.5. I wouldn't mind meeting this guy, how about you?


Ciara said...

I love that line: Guys either drank too much, drove like the devil had his foot on the accelerator, or swore so much she had trouble deleting the words to make a cohesive sentence that made any sense. I remember being thirty and thinking the exact same thing. LOL

Margo Benson said...

What a lovely piece, Nancy. he sounds delish! I'd have a hard time deciding which I liked more, the mountain fragrance or a little bit of spice in the aftershave, lol!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Ciara, nice to be surprised this morning by your lovely comment. Glad you liked the story.

Hi Margo
I know just what you mean. But I love a good spicy aftershave.

Thank you both for coming by.

Anna said...

Dear Nancy,
Your story really suits the theme! It works! And I love readíng the thoughts going through her mind, why most men disappoint her.

There is a tension going through this text because of the theme: What's wrong with this guy?! He seems too perfect! We are waiting to find out what is bad about him. But we never get to know because the word count runs out!!!

Best wishes & hugs,

Anna's Perfect 9.5 for RFW No 32

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Anna
Yes, word count doesn't allow much but a taste. Thanks for coming by and your wonderful comment.

Weissdorn said...

Nice. I enjoy the way you draw in the feel, sight, and smell to create sensuality in such a short space. I think that's the key which makes this piece fast-paced.

Donna Hole said...

She didn't like the mountain air fragrance of him? LOL.

What a cool coincidence; I was just reading a short story in eFiction Magazine titled The Last Blind Date. Really fit this weeks 9.5 theme :)

I liked how she didn't have much in the way of hope for this blind date. She seemed willing to sabotage it at the slightest provocation. For me, the theme here is: sometimes life hands you lemonade instead of lemons. A romantic sentiment for sure.

This was a great read Nancy.

On other business: could you send me an email so I don't have to worry whether I convinced you I'm not a spammer? My email is donnahole (at) gmail (dot) com. Remember that review and author interview I promised ages ago? I'm ready to make good on it now :)

If you're still willing . .


N. R. Williams said...

I'm glad you like it Weiss.

Hi Donna
Thanks for such a nice comment. I'll send off that email shortly.

janaki nagaraj said...

Oh! He is so nearly perfect, wish he was mine...nice.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Janaki

Carolyn V said...

I think the best are the 9.5 not the 10s. Love the scene! Thanks for sharing!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Carolyn
I think you're right. Thanks for coming by.

Scheherazade said...

He's definitely a 9.5 but I'm disappointed she presented him with her favorite aftershave. I want him to throw her an unexpected curve that makes her re-evaluate his rating (up or down).

N. R. Williams said...

Ah...word count Scheherazade. This is a challenge. But I agree a lot more could be done with this story.

Thanks for coming by.

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

No one's perfect, right? 9.5 is pretty close. I like how your shared your musings on how to tackle this story. Now, who wouldn't like the whiff of mountain air?


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Denise
That seems to be the conscientious. Mountain air, perhaps our heroine isn't so perfect herself.

Thanks for coming by.

Adura Ojo said...

Totally agree, Nancy. While our dear heroine is buying the aftershave, some lovely lady might just snap him up! Love the realism - it reads like a real life experience and she sounds like a few ladies that I know. Sometimes the 9.5 is perfect and we just can't see it - My take on the theme too.

Laura said...

I love the scent of fresh mountain air on a guy - this one sounds like my Perfect 10! Fab story - really enjoyed the read!
Laura x

Romance Reader said...

Lovely story and I enjoyed reading it Nancy.


Erin Kane Spock said...

If the only negative is the aftershave, that's still a 10. Nah, he has to have child support back payments or a chewing tobacco habit in order to drop him -- those might be more than 1/2 point though.
Great entry.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Adura
So right. I wanted to point out to the reader that she wasn't all that herself.

Thank you Laura and Riya.

Oh boy Erin...child support and tobacco might just land him a 3. LOL

Thanks everyone for coming by and leaving a comment.

Andy said...

Hello Nancy.
This was an enjoyable read. I don't smell like mountain air, but women do tend to go weak at the knees when they get a whiff of my scent...Lagerfeld's what got my wife entangled in my web & she's been trapped ever since (smile).
Thanks for sharing.

True Beauty Comes from Imperfection

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

Listen to that Andy - Lagerfeld Photo. Must check it out. D.

Andy said...

Hello Nancy.
I've just implemented a new award called the Featured Follower Award to thank everyone who's following my blog. Each week one follower will be randomly selected using I'm happy to tell you that you were selected for this week. Please feel free to stop by & collect your award (purely voluntary of course). More information & the award here...