by Le Ann Dowd from the January 18, 2016 issue
Tagline: Everyone loves a story with a happy ending...even Uncle Jack!
Observations: I loved this story. I got to the first funny part and laughed. I got to a second place and thought, this is a funny story, but the laughs just kept coming. I also loved the hero Jack. He was confident. He was a great uncle and brother. He had his heart broken, which made me feel bad for him. He was adorably awkward and wryly hilarious.
Some of my favorite Jack lines/thoughts:
I figured I'd catch up on office emails while the kids did...well, whatever kids do at these things.
Besides this childcare thing looked like a slam dunk. By my calculations, one grown man ought to be more than a match for two little kids. How hard could it be? I'd asked myself. Okay, spell it with me: Capital H-A-R-D, exclamation point!
"And I'm single," I blurted, then blushed.
Dowd used first person to get us that much closer to him and it worked very well. By the end of the story, I felt as if we were friends.
This story is a good example of how you can almost create an entire story around one fully developed character, because you notice we don't really get too much about Miss Story Time, Kathleen. We didn't have to. We met and got to know Jack instead. We saw him grow too. He started out, like I said, a bit overconfident and intent on working too much to alleviate his hurt at being left at the altar. By the end of the story, he had a greater understanding about how challenging and tiring it can be to watch over children. He also reached out to Kathleen, apparently ready to put the heartache aside and start again.
Photo credit: Don Shall via Flickr Creative Commons License