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Excerpt for Plain Woman Seeking Love by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Plain Woman Seeking Love

By

Mario V. Farina



Copyright 2018 Mario V. Farina

Smashwords Edition

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

All Rights Reserved



No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,

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Storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission of the author.



Correspondence may be directed to:

Mario V. Farina

Email: mario@mariofarina.com



"All right, Ms. Stanton," Angus Wright was saying, "I advise against it, but we'll do it your way! Plain Woman Seeking Love. Bring me a good photo of yourself as soon as you can. In the meantime, I'll start working on your display ad."

I was alone in the outer room waiting for Mr. Wright to work on an ad for my talk scheduled for the following week on the subject, Do You Really Need a Psychologist? The receptionist had shouted into the intercom that she needed to go to the bathroom in a rush and had dashed from the waiting room. Unfortunately, she had inadvertently left the intercom's on/off button set to on, and I was listening to a conversation that was none of my business! Angus was discussing something of a personal nature with a woman.

I had learned that the woman's name was Andrea Stanton. She was conversing with Angus Wright, Editor of Display Advertising, at the Daily Eagle, concerning an ad she wanted the paper to print the following Sunday. My friend, Angus, had just failed in convincing Andrea that the headline she wanted to use would be ineffective. I, too, thought that part of the ad could ruin it, and wanted to talk to Andrea about it. The door to the editor's office opened and a young woman walked out. I had only a moment to notice that she was attractive, tall, thin, and dark haired. She was striding toward the outer door. The receptionist had not returned.

I quickly rose from my seat and faced the door to the inner office. "Angus, this is Jeffrey," I called out in the empty room knowing that Angus would hear me through the open intercom. "I need to leave, but will reschedule!" Intending to speak to Andrea, I scurried toward the same door through which she had gone.

She was walking down the cement steps of the Hanford Building when I caught up to her. "Hello, Ms. Stanton," I called out. "May I have a word with you?" She stopped, and turned toward me. She had a puzzled expression on her face. "Do I know you?" she asked. "No," I said, "my name is Jeffrey Gibson. I'm a psychologist. The intercom in the waiting room had been inadvertently left open during the time you were speaking to Angus Wright. I couldn't help hearing that you need a photo of yourself. Can I take one now with my iPhone? I can bring it to Angus tomorrow."

She stared at me for a few seconds, then smiled. "Sir," she said, "I do need a photo, and thank you for offering. I'll accept, but first, you need to tell me, what was the real reason you stopped me?"

I smiled, too. "I stopped you because I want to help you," I said. "I agree with Angus Wright. He's an expert in ads that pull. That one word in your ad, plain, will cause your ad to fail! Men don't respond to plain women that advertise. The word they like best is gorgeous."

"But I'm not gorgeous," she objected. "I'm plain, plain, plain."

"Andrea," I said emphatically, "'beauty is in the eye of the beholder!' A gifted author once said that!"

"Yes," she responded. "It was Margaret Wolfe Hungerford in her book, Molly Bawn".

I was astonished. "How did you know that?" I exclaimed.

"I looked it up," she said. "When I was growing up, I would try to counter with that knowledge when my mother said, as she often did, that I was a plain woman, that I would have trouble finding a man who would love me!" She spoke through tightly pursed lips. "I even resorted to Shakespeare where he said that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet! But I couldn't convince even myself, let alone her, that it was possible for someone to love me. That's why I was placing that ad. I wanted to have newsprint speak words for me that I should vocalize myself."

"Andrea," I said. "I hope you don't mind my addressing you by your first name?"

"Not at all!" she replied.

"Please call me Jeffrey," I said. "I'd like to have you understand, that if someone lies to you day after day with the same untruth, over time, that lie will morph to becoming truth. You are not plain! You have lovely features. No, not like Marilyn Monroe of the old movies; but in a way that best suits you! In my work I have discovered that intelligent men like your kind of face more than that of a beauty queen!"

"Do you like my face?" she asked.

"Very much," I said.

"I'm happy about that, Jeffrey," she said. "But, that wasn't all! She would also say I was gaunt and shapeless like Olive Oyl. As I understood it, Olive was a cartoon character in Popeye cartoons. Of course, that was before my time, but I knew the remark was not a compliment."

"That was before my time, too," I said. "Some men are tall and would prefer a tall girlfriend. I hope you won't think me out of line when I say that I'm tall and would find you perfectly acceptable as a girlfriend." Then I boldly added, "And, I don't consider your figure to be gaunt at all!"

She blushed, then said, "I didn't think you were out of line!"

I felt my face flushing also. "Are you hungry," I asked. "Let's take your picture here, and then go around the corner. There's an Olive Garden there I think you'll like."

"There's also a Macaroni Grill nearby," she commented. "I believe you would like that restaurant, also." She was right. Both restaurants were favorites of mine.

She sat on the steps of the building and I snapped the picture you see as the front cover of this story. She was in jeans, but I thought I could crop the photo and just show her head and shoulders. She had been smiling as I took the picture and I was sure it would come out fine. Hand in hand, we walked jauntily to the restaurant. I asked for a booth away from other diners. By some process of reasoning that didn't make a bit of sense, I thought that staying away from other diners would enable me to be with Andrea longer.

Andrea and I soon discovered that we had similar tastes in food. We both selected rigatoni as the main course and only water to drink. We decided not to include an appetizer.

While waiting for the food to arrive, I said, "Andrea, you've probably heard that, with time, beauty fades, but character remains unchanged. Did your mother ever say anything like that while labeling you as being plain? Which you are not!"

"No," she responded. "Nothing like that. Why do you ask?"

"Even though I've been with you for a very short time, I think I've gotten to know something about you're character," I said. "A person, any person, consists more of what's inside him or her than what is visible externally. Let's consider you, for example. What are some of the good things you'd like people to say when they discuss you?"

"That I'm kind, reliable, sympathetic," she said without hesitation.

"Beautiful, also?" I asked.

"Only if I really was! I'm plain!"

"To me, the word plain will always mean beautiful," I said.

"You can't do that," she countered. "Words mean precisely what they're supposed to mean!"

"That's not what Humpty Dumpty said," I retorted. "Though the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, Humpty says words mean only what he wants them to mean."

"Yes, I remember," she said. "I read the book, but I am plain."

"There you go again!" I said. "Andrea, one thing that's important for anyone's good mental health is to feel that they know they're good people, that they are important, an asset to the world. I know you are all of this. All you need to do is accept and believe this assessment. If we were together, I could help you believe!"

"Oh, I see," Andrea said smiling, "you've been feeding me a lot of blarney because you want me as a customer of yours!"

"I'm glad you smiled as you spoke those words," I said. "I'm giving you a lot of blarney because I want that word to represent a boxcar full of the most beautiful words in the English dictionary!"

"You're sweet," she said. "I accept what you're saying about character. What about you? What are your beliefs."

"I'd rather talk about you," I said, "but to answer your question, I want to live, as best I can, the life that God gave me, to help others where I'm needed, to be productive with my time, and not waste it. I'd want someone to love deeply and have that person love me in the same way. I think the giving of oneself is the best way for people to find happiness in this world."

The food arrived and we began eating. During this time, one or the other of us would make a comment about the food, but, mainly, we ate silently.

"You're not saying much, Andrea," I commented.

"Thinking about what you said," she replied.

"Are you going ahead with that ad," I asked. "Yes," she said. "I told Mr. Wright I was going to do it, and I'm duty-bound to do what I said I would do!"

"I understand, Andrea," I said. "I'll probably be the only one responding to it!"

"I wouldn't mind that," she commented softly.

Epilogue: Andrea's ad, with the photo I had taken, appeared in the following Sunday's paper. I was the only one responding to it. We were married the following month, and we've been happily married for twelve years.




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