by Susan Jaffer from the January 11, 2016 issue
Tagline: Okay, Lori had suggested online dating...but she never imagined her mother would take her advice!
I thought this was a cute story. Considering how popular online dating is, I'm surprised we don't see more stories featuring it.
Positives: I liked seeing the relationship between mother and daughter. I think many of us have experienced a reversal of roles regarding our parents. I'm old enough now so that my mother is looking to me for advice and help and my sister and I have my dad's power of attorney. I saw that reversal to a lesser degree here in this story.
"Seriously, which dating site was it?"
"I'm not going to tell you, Lori, because you'll look up my profile and make fun of it."
This rang so true and real.
I also liked all the reject candidates. That was cute.
Negatives: I was a little confused about Uncle Dan. When his name was first introduced, I got the feeling that he wasn't Lori's blood uncle, but his relationship was still murky until near the end of the story when we find out what the deal is:
"As you pointed out yourself, Lori, he's not actually your uncle," Mom said. "He's an old family friend, like Aunt Bev and Aunt Lindsay. I've known Dan since high school."
This is definitely an "as you know, Bob" paragraph. The mom even says, "As you pointed out yourself." There are defter ways of getting this type of information across. For instance, here is where Uncle Dan is first mentioned:
"Not exactly. Dan--you know, Uncle Dan--overheard our conversation, and he said he could help get me started."
There it is again. It even says "you know." Yes. Lori knows. Which is why it's awkward to put forth the information to the reader like this.
The author could have said something like this instead:
Lori nodded. It amused her that even though Lori was an adult, her mom still felt compelled to call him "Uncle Dan" when he wasn't a relative at all.
We're in Lori's POV. Take advantage of that.
Photo credit: John Ward via Flickr Creative Commons license