by Cathrin Klein from the March 12, 2012 issue
Tagline: Matt and Erin had moved in very different circles in high school--but that was then. Now, the two of them felt just perfect together...
In a Nutshell: The substitute yoga instructor of the class Erin is taking happens to be someone she knew in high school. Erin had been captain of the cheerleaders. Matt had been the loner geek. However, now the tables had turned. She weighed more than she should, and he was in terrific shape, so she feels awkward. Eventually, she overcomes her negative self-image and finally decides to accept herself for who she is and let Matt into her life.
Observations: When I read a Woman's World story, I often jot notes in the margins--things I want to comment on in the blog, or places where I had a reaction. This story merited 9 margin notes.
1. LOL - As the roundest woman present, I was thankful to be in the back row. I loved the word "roundest."
2. Thoughtful to keep private - Matt approaches her to correct her yoga position and also to jog her memory. I liked that he kept the conversation as private as could be managed, considering the situation. Point in his favor. :)
3. No drama - Look at this bit: Now I was middle-aged, overweight and finally recovering from a divorce I hadn't seen coming. There's Erin's history, encapsulated. Of course, we all know divorce--especially a guerrilla divorce--has got to be horrible, but the author doesn't go into it here. Woman's World doesn't like a lot of drama and angst. As it is, this story had more than usual.
4. LMAO - I agonized all week over what to wear [to lunch]. Eventually, I gave up; Matt had seen me in yoga class. Hilarious!
5. Transition - This story covered a few weeks, another out of the ordinary aspect of this story. It was probably possible due to slick, lean transitions like this...
After our next date, Matt leaned in to kiss me, and I pulled back. How could I explain how unattractive I felt next to him?
The roses arrived with a note: I'm sorry I overstepped. Our friendship means the world to me. Matt.
See? We go from inner conflict, bam, to the next part of the story.
6. Character arc - This story, like "It's Raining Men!", focused a lot on the development of the heroine. In that story we see the heroine learn to believe in her own abilities in the workplace. Here, when Erin makes the decision to forget about her appearance, I felt like she had emerged from her chrysalis as a beautiful butterfly.
7. Too fast - Unfortunately, when Matt declared his love, it came out of left field for me. I'm like, "What?? Well, that was fast." I'm afraid I just didn't buy it. I know he was supposed to have carried a torch for her all these years, but I just wasn't convinced. Perhaps those quick transitions weren't all that great after all. I would liked to have seen him perhaps suggest exclusivity or just declare that he was "serious" about her. But again, the editors thought this was fine. :)
8. Love this - Matt's last line--the last paragraph in the story--is a wonderful metaphor for second chance stories like this one.
"I must be dreaming--this stuff just doesn't happen."
"Maybe not when the curtain goes up the first time," Matt said. "You have to come back after intermission. All the best stuff happens in the second act."
Despite the seventh margin note, I did think this story was fantastic.