Sunday, February 7

What's your 500-word story?

I'm sure most of you have heard of the 6-word story. But, recently, a contest challenged me to write my best or worst love story in 500 words or less. My effort is shown below.


I wonder, though, what could you say in 500 words? Whether it's about love or debt or some other thing that sums up your life?


So I'd like to challenge you to write your own 500-word story. Since that would make the comments section unbearably long, I suggest you write it on your own site and link back. What say you? (What write you?)


Here's my love tale:

I met my husband on Craigslist. I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in…


It happened against all odds. His ex-girlfriend, sick of him moping around, nagged him to make an ad. I had sworn off Internet dating for a bit. But I was bored, so I got online.


Luckily, I was also bad at Washington geography. Sitting at a computer in Seattle, I had no idea that “Lakewood” was out by Tacoma. So I answered his ad, and we hit it off.


Two months later, he moved in. Two more, we were engaged – though we both agreed a long engagement would be good. We wanted to be sure we wouldn’t get sick of each other.


It hasn’t been easy. I am on disability; he had his own health issues. We’ve never made more than $40,000 a year, combined. Meanwhile, he came into the relationship with (defaulted) student loans. His medical bills/related costs have often had to be put on credit cards.


It’s not just financial difficulty, either. Neither of us is anything close to perfect.


Beyond his physical health, Tim has severe ADD. I used to think that just meant distractibility and forgetfulness. I was very, very wrong. It impacts just about every aspect of his behavior. There have been times I have wanted to bang my (or his) head against the closest available wall.


Meanwhile, I’m an overachiever trapped in a fatigued body. So I have to use some of my limited energy just to be sure I don’t try to do too much. I also have severe depression, which can make me acutely unpleasant to live with.


It’s all worth it, though. (Caution, cheesiness ahead.)


Tim has taught me what real love is. It sounds like a Hallmark card, but I’m serious. I grew up believing that you put up with the bad, so long as it was outweighed by the good. That’s more math than love.


Tim accepts me as is. He knows I’m not perfect. I have flaws, but that’s a relative term. He sees “flaws” as just spokes in the wheel. They’re part of me, so they’re just facts, like brown eyes or pale skin. He sees me, the good and the bad, and still insists that I am his soul mate.


He also taught me to live a bit more in the present. I’m more inclined to always deprive myself now for some potential future, no matter how far away. It’s nice to enjoy life in the here and now, while still keeping an eye on the long-term goals.


So, there you have it. That’s our love story. It’s imperfect, but, then, it has to be. That just reflects the two main characters. Meanwhile, it’s filled with happiness and love. Sometimes, also, frustration. What do you want? It’s real life, not a fairy tale.


At the end of the day, whether we worked together or argued (or both), we still have each other, so we know we’re doing pretty well.

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