Sunday, January 30, 2011
Move Over Kristi Yamaguchi - Kristina McMorris
There. I've said it. A confession, at last, in a public forum.
Then again, I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on myself. I was, after all, only nine years old, and knew very little about correspondence etiquette. All I knew was that my teacher's announcement of pen-pal signups sounded extremely exciting. My mind seized the idea that a young stranger from an adjacent state was destined to be my bestest friend ever.
We were both girls. We were both nine. We both lived in the Northwest. Clearly we were two peas in a pod.
The exchange of letters started out as pleasantly as I'd hoped. We shared generalities about our hobbies, our siblings, our schools. Everything was going just dandy until a dark revelation set in: Through words on paper, I could magically become anyone I wanted. I could be a gifted wonder of every activity under the sun.
So I did.
As the ink flowed across the pages, I transformed into a ballet-dancing, equestrian-riding, figure-skating, ribbon-winning swimmer. (Just for the record, I did actually win fifth place with the backstroke once.) Amazingly, these boastful fibs didn't accumulate over time. Oh, no. They were all dumped into a single letter, likely amid several other outlandish claims my mind has mercifully allowed me to block out—and yet, somehow my epistolary companion seemed to believe every bit of my stellar resume.
Now…with her living in another state, one might assume any notable repercussions would be easily avoided—but one would not be factoring in a road trip said pen pal and her mother took to my hometown. Where they wanted to meet in person. At an ice skating rink. Naturally, with all my rigorous training, she was eager to witness my fancy spins and triple toe loops.
My explanation, from what I recall, was something to the effect of: "Oh…well…I start those lessons next week." What's more vivid in my memory, of course, is the wave of utter embarrassment that swept through me, intensified by a knowing look in her mother's eyes.
On the upside, this humbling moment may very well have contributed to the premise of my debut novel, LETTERS FROM HOME. Want to know how? Then take a look at this:
Do you, too, have an interesting pen-pal incident to share? Have you ever been a sender or recipient of a less-than-truthful letter? Do you believe this doomed my chances for Olympic gold? To celebrate the release of LETTERS FROM HOME, I'm giving away a signed copy of the book to one randomly chosen commenter.
For unique 1940s recipes, book club features, and excerpts from my grandpa's letters, visit http://www.kristinamcmorris.com/
Posted by Lee Hyat at 12:05 AM