Monday, May 07, 2012


This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333 words, write a response including the third definition of the word: 
enig·ma noun \i-ˈnig-mə, e-\
3: an inscrutable or mysterious person


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Audrey Hepburn. Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace.

Sherry not only admired these women, she fixated on them. Her “girl crushes,” she called them. They were all considerably older than she, from an earlier generation when it was more common to keep your own counsel.

Not for her was Princess Diana, who willingly shared her feelings about Charles and Camilla with Martin Bashir … and a worldwide TV audience. Or Britney Spears, who in a sad display of manic-depression or rebellion gave the paparazzi a peek at her genitalia as she got out of a car. Or the Kardashians, who seemed to evaporate if they weren’t on camera.

It wasn’t just that Jackie, Audrey and Grace were beautiful and dressed and behaved, as Grandma would say, “like ladies.” It’s that each was an enigma, unwilling to share too much of herself with a voracious public. By holding back, they held us in their thrall.

Sherry was just the opposite. She was as complex as a glass of tap water. As mysterious as white bread. As sophisticated as a kitten. She suspected this was why she was chronically unlucky in love, and was certain that if she studied Audrey, Jackie and Grace closely enough, she would learn how to enchant men with her own aura of glamorous, inscrutable self-containment.

What Sherry never understood is how like "her girls” she already was. For while these icons may have enjoyed the enduring adulation of the masses, they – like Sherry – somehow never enjoyed the fidelity of the men who mattered most. If only they could respond, the women she admired so might just tell her that the heart is the greatest enigma of all.


  1. Anonymous12:45 PM

    This is beautiful and so true. I admire these women as well.

  2. Anonymous4:16 PM

    Beautiful, and so true. I enjoyed your use of the phrase "keeping your own counsel" -- you seldom hear it these days and as a result it's very evocative of the time period Sherry's entranced by.

  3. Anonymous5:25 PM

    the heart is the greatest enigma of all, one never knows what it holds in its depths for as soon as it is fathomed, it plunges deeper.

    the idolization of stars today is based upon their blatant display of 'themselves', or rather whom the public wishes them to be. it is a pity that the privacy and truth of self has been lost.

    very well written.


  4. Anonymous1:26 AM

    We know way too much about stars today. Way more than I ever want to know. A little mystery would be refreshing.

    I like the reference to the heart being the biggest enigma of all. So true!

  5. I think my favorite part about this is how she sees herself--Great descriptions there. But so sad...

  6. I love the allure of privacy that these women made their own. I "get" the "girl crush" thing, too. Not everything needs to be "out there" for everyone (I feel very much the same way)."the heart is the greatest enigma of all". How very true.

  7. Well done! I especially loved the line, " She was as complex as a glass of tap water.". Great writing.

  8. Anonymous9:14 PM

    I loved the way you started out with a story that seemed like it would laud the 'good old days' but then brought it around full circle to point out that Sherry couldn't really get what she wanted if all she did was followed these ladies' examples.

  9. Anonymous6:59 AM

    Thanks so much for sharing this post with Trifecta this week. I love the way it reads, the descriptions of these celebrity women and how they do or do not apply to your protagonist, and I also love the statement you've made. This is a different, clever post. Hope to see you back for the weekend.

  10. that was gorgeous and telling. I think we are all enigmas underneath, that we all hide one part of ourselves, wrapped up where only we can see it.

    I could feel her love and devotion to those women, it was written as a love letter to them and that part of it really shined.

  11. Wow! You hit on a lot of GREAT TRUTHS here.

    You were making a great point, but then you explained that sometimes no matter what we do things don't work out...


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