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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: Miss Peterson's True Identity
By Joanney Uthe


“Let me explain the whole fiasco from the beginning. It all started before I even walked into the hotel. I had decided that I needed a new image. Since no one here knew me, I’d walk with confidence and become the person I wanted to be. After all, that is the theme of this weekend’s conference – Living with Confidence. Unfortunately, I vaguely fit the description of the weekend’s guest speaker. Before I knew what was happening, Becky Jo grabbed me, shook my hand half off and gave me the biggest welcome I had ever received. I was so shocked. I had no idea who Becky Jo was, other than her introduction of herself. I still don’t know her last name, yet she seemed to know me well enough to use my name. Or at least it appeared that she did. She called me Miss Peterson. That is, after all, my name. I work with kids, so I’m used to being called Miss Peterson instead of Suzie. It wasn’t until she started introducing me to other people as Miss Barbara Peterson that I knew I was in trouble.

I tried a few times to correct her, but my determination to be Miss Confident shattered in the confusion of the situation. My weak, “But I’m not really...” was always interrupted and misinterpreted as humility. I never got the chance to finish the sentence and say that I wasn’t Barbara Peterson, the guest speaker, but Suzie Peterson, children’s librarian. If only Becky Jo and everyone she introduced me to had been three feet tall instead of five, my confidence would have let me explain. You see, I struggle to communicate with adults who don’t have children with them. I could never stand in front of an auditorium full of women and talk for a whole weekend. Not that I had anything prepared anyway. Yet Becky Jo kept introducing me to people as Barbara Peterson, the guest speaker. The more she introduced me, the more embarrassed and withdrawn I felt. I kept praying that the real Barbara Peterson would show up soon and clear up the mess.

It seemed like Becky Jo personally introduced me to at least half the room before handing me off to Mary Jean who, as you know, is the one in charge of personal arrangements for the speaker. She showed me to the private room reserved for Barbara Peterson. When she opened the door, I started to tell her that I really needed to explain something to her before going any further, but her cell phone rang. She ushered me into the room, not seeming to notice my hesitation. I never got a chance to tell her the truth. She found out when the phone call informed her that Barbara Peterson’s plane landed late and she would be here at the hotel in five minutes. That's when everyone concluded that I was trying to steal from the committee by impersonating the guest speaker. They think I planned to give an amateur talk and take the check. I had no such intentions.

So now you know who I really am, although I don’t suppose you believe me either. Honestly, Officer, I didn’t mean to impersonate Miss Peterson... uh, Miss Barbara Peterson. I guess if any of us had taken the time to listen and explain this would have never happened. I should have confidently just told Becky Jo that I was Suzie Peterson, not Barbara Peterson. But the truth is; I am no more Miss Confident than I am Miss Barbara Peterson. I really needed the message of this conference. Now-- not only am I not allowed to attend the conference -- they’re pressing charges against me, as well. All because I tried to appear confident but didn’t speak with confidence.”


The door behind Suzie opened and an excited voice called her name. “Suzie? Susan Renee Peterson? Is that really you?” Suzie turned to see who would know her full name, let alone use her given name of Susan. At first, she did not recognize the younger mirror image of herself. “It’s me, your cousin Barbie. Oh, Suzie, I have been praying that God would cross our paths. I grew up idolizing you. God has shown me that I cannot be you because He created me to be me. He has given me this message to share with other woman. But he did it through my love for you. Will you be my special guest this weekend?”

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This article has been read 745 times
Member Comments
Member Date
James Clem 01/10/08
Very enjoyable - and a delightful surprise ending.
Sarah Engle01/10/08
Nice little twist at the end with Suzie telling the police her story! I thought that was nice. It reminded me of a Novel I just read recently! And the double-twist with Barbara being her cousin...nice!
Sara Harricharan 01/11/08
LOVE the twist ending on this piece. I almost didn't catch it, but when I did, the whole piece made perfect sense. I liked the 'confession', it fit my view of the MC perfectly.
Joy Faire Stewart01/11/08
Very unique and enjoyable piece. Loved it!
LauraLee Shaw01/12/08
Oh, how I love stories that make me feel like I'm in the middle of a tv show. This was a clever and creative piece in every way.
Joanne Sher 01/12/08
Cute - the ending definitely took me by surprise. If I had written this, I probably would have left poor Suzie in the precinct - but your ending certainly brought hope.
Jan Ackerson 01/14/08
The variety in this week's entries really amazes me--this is still another example of outstanding originality and creativity.
Temple Miller01/14/08
I loved how you worked the dialogue with the narration. It flowed well. I loved the surprise ending, too. Very fulfilling read.
Sheri Gordon01/14/08
Very creative take on the topic. Good writing, and fun to read. Nice job.
Catrina Bradley 01/14/08
Topic is perfectly illustrated. Yep, things can really escalate out of control. Loved the surprise ending! A fun read.
Holly Westefeld01/15/08
I liked the surprise ending
This brought to mind a novel which employs mistaken identity. It is The Proposal, by Angela Hunt. You might enjoy it, though it takes a sinister direction.
Hanne Moon 01/16/08
Enjoyed the twist at the end. And the way the character was explaining everything to the police officer was great and realistic. Good use of dialogue. Great story!
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/16/08
Aha, you caught me with your delightful ending. This is one of my favorites of your stories, as well as of the other entries this week.
Marita Vandertogt01/16/08
Love the humour in this one. And quite a unique take on the topic. Good writing!
Loren T. Lowery01/16/08
Loved the irony of this piece. You expressed the dilema of the first Miss Peterson really well. Great message here, too.
Tim Pickl01/16/08
A confidently written piece!
This one reads like a skit...for a Women's Conference!
Beth LaBuff 01/17/08
Ha ha! What fun this is. Great story telling! Great ending!
Edy T Johnson 07/05/10
How did I miss this terrific entry? Your title hooked me, and I loved discovering the whole tale was a "confession" to the police! You are such a creative thinker-writer! I also dropped by to thank you for leaving a comment on my "Falling Waters...." story. You're so special!