Laura Bergells




Draft 3: Misunderstood silence

Mmpf. After the first draft, I get encouragment to keep on going.

Second draft -- I get "don't write about first dates -- no risk."

Gah! Since the entire premise of the first draft hinged on a first date, I really didn't need to write a second draft, now, did I?

Undaunted, I move on to draft 3. No first date. Instead, I focus on my lifelong plight of suffering in misunderstood silence.


Misunderstood Silence -- Draft 1

I'm 6'1'' tall. Blonde, blue-eyed, and beautiful. In high school, I earned mostly A's and an occasional B. Same deal with college and grad school.

My career opportunities? Fantastic.

My love life? You'd faint with jealousy if you knew.

In short, my life's pretty great. 

My only problem? You guessed it. I must gracefully and silently endure the envy and bitterness of less gifted women. 

It's not women with average looks or intelligence that give me grief. No, it's usually other smart and beautiful women that behave heinously towards me. 

If I point out their bitchiness, guess who's the bad guy? That's right. Me. I'm always supposed to be the bigger person. Because, you know -- I am. 

Consider the time I joined a trendy suburban gym. I didn't know what to wear, so I visited a sports apparel shop for help. A beautiful saleswoman acted as my fashion consultant. She eagerly thrust piles of leotards at me.

“These will look great on you,” she said excitedly.

I protested that I was too modest to wear such revealing clothing. The salesgirl’s enthusiasm instantly waned. Insulted, she sulked silently as she re-stocked. 

Trying valiantly to buoy her spirits, I asked her what else might work.

Despondently, she tossed what she called a “unitard” at me. Basically the same thing as a leotard, a unitard features leggings that go all the way past my knees. On my voluptuous frame, a skin tight unitard looked slightly more modest than a leotard.

I actually found myself liking a sweatshirt-grey unitard. It de-emphasized my over-the-top physical assets.

"I'll take this one," I said, happily.

The sulking saleswoman perked up.

“Those fit great!” she said. “But you’ll need to wear a thong with them.”


She handed me two pairs of underwear, one bright pink and one purple. The underwear was unlike anything I had ever seen before: they had no backside, only a thin line of material to wedge into your butt crack.

“These are stupid,” I laughed. “Who would wear something so dumb?”

The saleswoman gave me a sour look.

“Look, do you want to fit in at the gym or don’t you?” she asked bitterly. “You absolutely cannot wear a unitard without a thong. You just can’t. People will laugh at you behind your back. Trust me.”

So I went back into the dressing room and put on an evil pink thong. I walked out to see what my fashion consultant thought of the way I looked.

“Where’s your thong?” she asked.

“I’m wearing it,” I said. “It feels weird.”

“That’s because you’re supposed to wear a thong on the outside of your clothes,” she laughed. “Silly. Everybody knows that.”

For the next year, I attended the gym in my humble grey unitard. I dutifully wore either the pink or purple thong on the outside of my clothing.

Whenever I saw women in the locker room put a thong underneath their clothing, I would smile but never tell them the truth.

“You’re supposed to wear your thong on the outside of your clothes,” I’d think, silently. 

“Everybody knows that.”


OK. I took your comments about longer sentences to heart. I read it out loud a few times. I made it past tense. And I included more reaction shots from my date, the other restaurant patrons, and the farting woman. 

I'm posting draft 2, and will keep draft one below it after these dashes:


What happened in the ladies' room, draft 2

When a handsome man asked me out to dinner, I cheerfully accepted. We began our first date at a Chinese restaurant. After ordering, I excused my six-foot-one blonde self to visit the ladies’ room.

The first stall? Too little for my long legs. I couldn’t sit down without my knees bumping up against the door.

The second stall? Enormous! The distance from the stall door to the toilet measured at least eight feet! And I even spotted a small table in the far corner, featuring fragrant potpourri.

I sat down and peed like a civilized woman in this luxurious stall.

As I finished peeing, I reached for the toilet paper, but alas! I faced an empty dispenser. Looking around, I noticed a fresh roll, 8 feet away, underneath the potpourri table.

"Oh, man,” I said.

However, I said "Oh, man!" one split second after somebody else rushed into the tiny stall..At the precise moment I said, “Oh, man!” I heard the first farts of an uncommonly loud bowel movement.

I wondered how I might explain my “Oh, man!” to the poor woman next to me. I worried that she might be thinking that I said it about her pooping instead of my own situation.

As I started hopping across eight feet of stall, pantyhose around my knees, fetching toilet paper; I realized I couldn’t explain anything to a faceless stranger. Instead, I chuckled softly at the absurdity of this predicament.

Mid-chuckle, I wondered if she thought I might be chortling about her pooping.

This idea made me explode with laughter. My farting friend must have thought I was deranged, so I washed up and left as fast as I could.

I was still laughing when I got back to my date.

He asked,  "What's so funny?"

I realized I couldn’t tell him. This was our first date.

And this sudden realization made me laugh harder. My date looked amused but bewildered.

As I laughed, a woman entered the dining room from the washroom. Recognizing my laugh, she stopped by our table and gave me a filthy look. I screamed with laughter.

Now, my date looked genuinely alarmed. What the hell happened in the ladies’ room?

The woman walked away, shaking her head in disgust. I continued laughing helplessly. People stared at our table. Minutes went by, and I kept nonstop laughing.

After about ten minutes, my date had enough of me. I didn’t blame him.

He asked for the check. The other restaurant patrons clearly pitied him. They glared at me while my dignified date quietly settled the bill, left an enormous tip, and gently escorted me out the door.

Once we were in his car, it dawned on me that I would never see him again. With nothing to lose, I told him what transpired in the ladies’ room.

Later, he called me for another date. I learned that men will put up with truly appalling behavior when it comes from a tall, giggly blonde. Who knew?


draft 1 - What happened in the ladies' room? 

I'm on a first date: dinner at a Chinese restaurant with a handsome man. I excuse myself to go to the ladies' room.

I step into the nearest stall. I hike up my skirt, wriggle out of uncomfortable pantyhose, and sit. However, the door of the stall is too close to the toilet. I'm over six feet tall. When seated, my knees bump against the door, putting my thighs at an ungainly 45-degree angle. My feet dangle inches above the floor.

“I can’t pee like this”, I think. “I’ll drip on myself.”

So I try stall number two. What a contrast! So roomy! There's about 8 feet between the toilet and the stall door! There's even a small table in the far corner, featuring silk flowers and fragrant potpourri.

I sit down and pee like a civilized woman.

As I finish, I reach for toilet paper. Oh, no! The dispenser is empty. Looking around haplessly, I see a stash of rolls, 8 feet away, stacked underneath the potpourri table.

"Oh, man,” I wail, annoyed at the prospect of drippage yet again.

Coincidentally, I say "Oh, man!" one split second after somebody else zooms into the other stall and farts loudly. I hear and smell an uncommonly fierce bowel movement at the precise moment I wail, “Oh, man!” at my toilet paper situation.

So now, I'm thinking that the woman in the tiny stall next to me thinks that I wailed, "Oh, man!" because of her sad state of affairs, and not my own. I'm thinking about how I might explain this to her as I hop across eight feet of stall, pantyhose around my knees, trying to get to toilet paper without dripping.

Mid-hop, I realize I can't elegantly explain myself to a faceless stranger who’s clearly got her own set of problems. So I simply chuckle softly at the absurdity of this awkward social predicament.

Mid-chuckle, I wonder if she thinks I'm chuckling about her pooping.

And this thought makes me belly laugh.

The woman farts again. I laugh harder. And I'm still laughing when I get back to my date.

He asks,  "What's so funny?"

I realize I can't explain. He's handsome. And this is our first date.

This realization makes me laugh.

As I’m laughing, the woman enters the dining room from the washroom. She recognizes my laugh, pauses by our table, gives me a filthy look, and leaves in wordless contempt.

I laugh at this.

My date looks bewildered. What happened in the ladies’ room? His concerned look paralyzes me with hysteria. I can’t speak. I can only laugh.

After ten minutes of this, my date had enough. I don’t blame him.

He pays the bill and we leave. He’s disgusted. And I’m laughing at his disgust.

Once we're in his car, I realize I will never see him again. If I did, I’d just laugh. With nothing to lose, I tell him what happened.

He cries with laughter. I join him.

Later, he calls for another date. I learn that men actually like tall, giggly blondes. Who knew?


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