Three days to my daughter's Bat Mitzvah and things in my world are bordering on out of control. Two weeks ago I decided I could no longer put off buying my son, age 16 and growing taller each day, a new suit. All I had to do was find a corresponding two hours of free time where we both were available to get to the store. As luck would have it, on a Thursday afternoon, torrential rain caused the town to close the soccer fields. YES! No soccer practice. So after school and track practice and a visit to the Hebrew tutor, we headed up to the suit store.
My son is on the cusp of men's sizes. The salesman informed me that out of the hundreds of suits in inventory, they had 3, yes I said 3, suits in my son's size. I'd anticipated difficulties outfitting my daughter and myself so we started shopping back in January. But my son? No way! How hard is it to buy a suit? I felt panic rising. It took an act of nature for me to find the time in our busy schedules to get to the store. I had to allow for alterations. How long would it take for our schedules to align again? And where would we go? The store we were at had the largest selection around.
I prayed one of the available suits would work. Unfortunately, my son flat out refused the first choice based on color. So he tried on the second of his three possibilities. It looked nice, came with two pairs of pants. I innocently asked, "How much?"
The salesman replied, "$450.00."
I laughed. That was a joke right? $450.00 for a suit a 16-year-old would probably wear once? Not on my budget. The salesman didn't seem to appreciate my amusement. I stopped short of yelling at my son to hurry up and take the suit off before something happened and we were forced to buy it.
The next suit, the last of our three options, looked good and was, thankfully, more reasonably priced. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was getting late. My children were hungry and eager to get to Chili's (my bribe for them to cooperate!) The hard part over, with the salesman's assistance, I rushed to find the smallest dress shirt available in the perfect shade of blue and a matching tie. My husband showed up and took the children to the restaurant while I paid.
The salesman rang up my order, I handed over my credit card, and ran through the rain to my car. It wasn't until I arrived home and looked at my receipt that I realized I'd purchased my son an $85.00 dress shirt!
What does this have to do with writing? Even when we're stressed and under a deadline, we must pay attention to the details. Have you ever sent a manuscript to an agent/editor/contest only to realize later on that you made a stupid spelling error? That the hero's green eyes mentioned on page 1 changed to brown on page 21? If yes, please share your stories. If no, how do you manage the details while under pressure?
- It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work. - Wilt Chamberlain
- A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. - Richard Bach
- You don't find time to write. You make time. It's my job. - Nora Roberts
- Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha
- Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it. - Denzel Washington
- I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying. - Michael Jordan