The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism



My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
  1. $24.50 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$1.95
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Local Warehouse Self Help- Featured Titles

More copies of this ISBN

This title in other editions

Other titles in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series:

Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul: Stories of Love and Inspiration for the Single, Divorced and Widowed (Chicken Soup for the Soul)

by

Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul: Stories of Love and Inspiration for the Single, Divorced and Widowed (Chicken Soup for the Soul) Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Reply to Box 2228

Was it loneliness, the call of adventure or just plain insanity that made me answer that newspaper ad? I paced back and forth through my house, telling myself it was a really stupid thing to do. But like a jeweler crafting a priceless, one-of-a-kind brooch, I composed my reply to the tantalizing ad.

I actually answered a lonely hearts ad. Am I really that desperate for a man?

I'd always believed that only born losers advertised for a companion or answered the ads of those who did. Surely you had to be dying of loneliness, ugly or really dumb! That's what I am, I thought, really dumb!

What would my children think? Would they understand that the bold, black letters just leaped out at my unsuspecting eye? "Christian Rancher. 6Æ tall, 180 pounds, 50+. Hardworking, clean-cut, healthy, good physical condition. Enjoys fishing camping, cross-country skiing, animals, dining out. Wants to meet sensible and sincere lady, 40-50, attractive, neat, loving, honest, for meaningful relationship. Box 222B.ö

Mama mia! What loving, sensible, honest and lonely woman could resist? Well, maybe not sensible.

"Fifty-plus what?" my letter began. "I'm a healthy, hardworking woman who loves to cook, sew, travel, pray, and walk in a desert sunset or barefoot on the beach."

I didn't say I could meet all the requirements in his ad, but I didn't give him any reason to think that I couldn't. But could I?

I was already past fifty, questionably attractive, not always neat and very uncertain about pursuing a meaningful relationship. What I really wanted was a friend. Had I been dishonest not to tell him so?

Holding the letter heavenward, I asked God, "If you want me to meet this man, will you bring him to me?" Then I set the stamped envelope on the desk for the following day's mail.

During the next few weeks, I found my hands getting sweaty every time the phone rang. Could it be him? What if he didn't like me? What if he showed disappointment as soon as he set eyes on me? Could I handle that?

Contriving excuses to be away from the telephone became a game I played with myself. At the car wash one afternoon, towel-drying the finish and shining the windows, I found myself fantasizing about every man who came in to wash his car. Look at him; I bet he's 50+. He's almost bald, has floppy jowls and a big stomach. Oh, dear, he's wearing a cowboy shirt and boots. IÆll just die if that's my Christian rancher!

I didn't see even one man there who I hoped might be Box 222B. Damp and discouraged, I went home to shower, questioning my motives, suppressing my loneliness. Dressing before the mirror, I turned from side to side, surveying the ravages of fifty-plus years on this Earth.

I studied my face, hollow and gaunt, perched atop muscular shoulders and arms. Large, sturdy hands that never knew what to do with themselves. Twenty extra pounds, a thick waist, stalwart thighs above husky calves and large, scrawny feet. I remembered the boy in the fifth grade who told me I was built like a brick outhouse: strong and useful but not much class.

Tears began to flow freely as I slumped to my knees beside my bed. "Oh, God, look at me, I'm a mess. Why did I send that letter? Please forgive me for misleading that man, for communicating the woman I want to be, not the woman I am."

It was a Sunday evening a few weeks later when I invited my friend, Jeanette, for waffles after church. As we were leaving the service, she introduced me to a friend from the singles group she sometimes attended. Impulsively, I asked him if he'd like to join us for waffles and he said yes.

We spent the next three hours stuffing ourselves, laughing and talking. Jim was divorced, had several grown children and raised alfalfa for cattle feed. He was a likable man, tall and handsome, considerate, and seemingly ambitious. I felt sad for him as he talked about his loneliness.

Shutting the door behind them after a delightful evening, I began to clear up the clutter. I'd dumped my past few days' mail on the big maple desk in the dining room and it seemed like a good time to sort it out. I tossed the junk mail in the trash and filed some bills for payment. Then I stared in astonishment. There was the letter! My reply to "Christian Rancher" had never been mailed. All that emotion and self-doubt for nothing.

Then a suspicion crept into my thoughts. Pieces started to fall into place. Jim wore cowboy boots and a western shirt; he was a rancher; he was lonely. Could he and the Christian rancher possibly be one and the same?

I rushed to the phone to call Jeanette. "Do you think he ever put an ad in the newspaper for a woman? Do you suppose he'd call himself a Christian rancher?" Jeanette roared with laughter. "Yes, everybody at the singles group knows he did that. I guess he's gotten some seventy or eighty answers by now. Some real lu-lu's, too.

I hung up the telephone feeling a trace of excitement, a bit of foolishness and a lot of awe at a God who would arrange for a letter that I never mailed to receive an answer. And God and I were the only ones who knew about it.

Several days passed before I picked up the telephone to hear Jim's voice suggesting that we go to the state fair for the day. "I'd love to," I said. Wow! A real live date with a guy who had seventy or eighty women to choose from!

A warm toastiness cradled me as I hung up the telephone. Then I raced to the bedroom, my heart pounding with excitement. What would I wear? In front of the mirror once more, I observed a middle-aged woman, still awkward and overweight, with a skinny face and bony feet, but she wasn't afraid anymore. "What you see is what you get," I chuckled.

The next day I stepped out into the sunshine to begin a new friendship with a Christian rancher.

What happened that day at the fair? We had fun together. Did we see each other again? Yes. Did we marry? No. But that didn't matter. My self-confidence soared, and I learned something else too: If you're destined to meet a particular person, whether future friend or spouse, it will happen, as surely as the sun rises every morning. And it'll happen even if your perfectly crafted letter sits gathering dust on an old maple desk.

—Barbara Baumgardner


¬ 1999. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Health Communications, Inc. from Chicken Soup for the SingleÆs Soul, by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne and Marci Shimoff. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781558747067
Subtitle:
Stories of Love and Inspiration for the Single, Divorced and Widowed
Author:
Canfield, Jack
Author:
Hawthorne, Jennifer
Author:
Hawthorne, Jennifer Read
Author:
Canfield, Jack, Mark
Author:
Hansen, Mark Victor
Author:
Hawthorne, Jennifer Read
Author:
Shimoff, Marci
Publisher:
HCI
Location:
Deerfield Beach, Fla. :
Subject:
Inspirational
Subject:
Interpersonal Relations
Subject:
Conduct of life
Subject:
Alternative Family
Subject:
Anecdotes
Subject:
Widows
Subject:
Affirmations
Subject:
Single people
Subject:
Divorced people
Subject:
Widowers
Subject:
Widowers -- Conduct of life.
Subject:
Widowers -- Anecdotes.
Subject:
Inspirational - General
Subject:
Religion Western-Inspirational
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Chicken Soup for the Soul Paperback Health Communications
Publication Date:
September 1999
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
350
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in 1.3 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Boxes Used Trade Paper $2.95
  2. The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again Used Mass Market $3.95
  3. If You Come Softly
    Used Mass Market $3.50
  4. Beyond the Chocolate War (Laurel... Used Mass Market $3.50
  5. What Would Joey Do? (04 Edition) Used Trade Paper $4.00
  6. The Greatest: Muhammad Ali
    Used Trade Paper $2.50

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Featured Titles
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Relationships
Religion » Western Religions » Inspirational

Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul: Stories of Love and Inspiration for the Single, Divorced and Widowed (Chicken Soup for the Soul) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$1.95 In Stock
Product details 350 pages Health Communications - English 9781558747067 Reviews:
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.