Authors: Christine Jarmola
By Christine Jarmola
©2014 by Christine Jarmola
All Rights Reserved.
This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without prior written permission of the copyright owner and/or publisher of this book, except as provided by United States of America copyright law.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Cover Design: Darku Jarmola
Published by Tubb’s Publishing
Also available in eBook publication.
Printed by CreateSpace.
This book is dedicated to
who I would never do over.
That’s not what I meant.
I mean, I’d never change anything about her.
Where is that blasted eraser when I need it?
Although my name alone is on the cover of this book (how cool is that?) I could never have completed it without the help and support of so many people. I could write another entire book of thank yous, but here is the abridged version.
Starting at the beginning: Thank you to
and my fellow workshop participants—the first people to meet Lottie Lambert. Your enthusiasm for my nutty protagonist told me this was a book worth refining and publishing.
Thank you to all the
who read bits and pieces throughout the first draft.
Thank you to
for reading the first rough draft and pointing out that people with magic erasers need to react more drastically when they accidentally reverse time.
Thank you to
for helping to take all the “old ladyness” out of the book.
Thank you to
, who said he wanted a rough draft for his wife read, but it was just a cover, I know. And he loved Lottie. Loved her so much he told me to lose the first chapter and give us the real Lottie from page one. Did it Kerry. Hope you like it.
Thank you to my indispensable critique partners, the GOTITS:
Marilyn Boone, Heather
. Our weekly critique and therapy sessions have kept the dream alive in each of us.
Thank you to my editors:
for the first round of edits and
for polishing it up.
Thank you to the
and all my OBU friends who made college such a great experience that in my “old age" those are the days I want to write about.
Thank you to my husband,
—my own Al Dansby—for paying the bills so that I can live my dreams.
Thank you to
DJ Darku J
who took time out of the music business to create such a fantastic cover.
Thank you to
(the original Lottie Lambert) for inspiring me to write this story. She will soon be setting out on her own college experiences. May she never step in dog poop but still learn to love an imperfect life.
Thank you to
who sets our paths in motion and then keeps guiding us back even when we think it’s going the wrong way.
Most of all I want to thank
! Without you there would be no reason to write. Hope you laugh, maybe cry a little, fall in love again with Lottie and Al and realize along the way that mistakes are often the serendipitous moments that make life special.
Some stories start at the beginning and then go forward. Some start at the end and are told in retrospect. From the utter chaos around me, the ambulances, the Lifeflight, the twisted wreckage of cars, I had kept the beginning that should have started at the ending from ever being.
Granny Panties &
“Granny panties!” came twin, screeching voices as I looked up to see a cardboard box of my clothes spilling out of my brother’s arms and down the front steps of my new dorm at my new college on the first day of my new life. Out tumbled all my unmentionables, soon to be blown far and wide across the campus by the unrelenting Oklahoma wind. (There is a reason our state song says, “The wind comes sweeping down the plain.”)
It was a simple disaster that could have been easily remedied by normal people, but not by my family. Oh no, my twin teenage sisters, Jennifer and Jessica, were shouting at rock star level decibels and whipping out their matching iPhones to take photos. My all-American jock brother, Jason, sat down on the steps of my new abode laughing like a demented jackal while my longsuffering mother ran frantically after some humongous drawers, which I had never seen before in my life. The entire student body was out and about on campus that move-in day and in less than ten minutes at my new school, my family had made a spectacle out of my new life.
Welcome to the world o
At least things couldn’t get any worse.
But they did.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw him. Passing one of the ivy-covered, redbrick buildings was the most amazing, gorgeous, sexy, hot guy I had ever witnessed in my life. Suddenly, my world went into slow motion as he walked down the sidewalk, his brown hair tousled ever so gently by the Oklahoma breeze as if he had been Photoshopped for the cover of a magazine. And needless to say—he was staring right at me.
Why oh why didn’t the ground just open up and swallow me right then and there when my mom held up an enormous pair of pink and blue-flowered granny panties and shouted, “Don’t worry Lottie, I’ll get them all.”
Yes, she made sure to say my name, lest by any miraculous chance someone didn’t know the owner of the über sexy undies. I was at least grateful that she didn’t throw in my last name for clarification.
Like a toddler playing peek-a-boo I covered my eyes hoping to make it all go away. But it didn’t. No, it got worse. After a deep breath, I looked up to see Mr. Gorgeous reaching up to help my mother retrieve an especially gigantic purple pair from the lower branches of a tree. He smiled at my mom as he handed them to her and said something I couldn’t hear, before walking off to catch up with his friends. I hadn’t noticed the others at first as I was so mesmerized by his perfection. I wished I still hadn’t noticed them at all, as they were laughing hysterically and pointing at me and my flying underwear.
I didn’t know whether to cry or just die. Instead, as my mother came walking back to me with her arms full of the geriatric lingerie, I did what I always did.I, Lottie Lambert
the queen of the wrong word at the wrong time in the wrong place, said the wrong thing. And no, three wrongs never do make a right.
“Where did those hideous things come from? What idiot packed those?” I shouted at my mother under my breath—which by the way is hard to do, but every teenage girl who’s ever had a mother has mastered it.
My mother’s face spoke volumes. It was a high stress day and there I was ragging on her when she thought she was being helpful and saving the day. “Your father was trying to help out again and he ruined some of your clothes last week doing the laundry, so I thought I’d just replace them,” she explained. “Thought perhaps you could use some Christian underwear for once, rather than those hideous tiny bikini contraptions you insist on wearing. Excuse me for trying to help.” With that she scooped up the last of my new intimate apparel and headed up the grand staircase, past the white columns and through the door of my new dorm.
Great, not only did everyone at Oklahoma Methodist University now know that I had a vast variety of old lady undergarments, but I had also hurt my mom’s feelings. Why did the simplest thing always have to turn into an incident? From then on, at all our family gatherings, this story would become family lore passed down to all future generations, told and retold, as
Lottie’s Great Granny Panty Fiasco
“Sorry, Mom. I really mean it,” I apologized as we entered Asbury Hall. Why did all my conversations seem to begin or end with me saying I was sorry? If I could back up and start this whole conversation over, I would save myself so much grief. But I knew, as all people do, that life doesn’t give you second chances.
Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, our conversation was interrupted as Aphrodite incarnate entered the dorm carrying one small Louis Vuitton tote while five hunky guys carried bags and boxes behind her. As she stood along side my mother and me looking at the roster posted for dorm assignments, the inevitable became evitable. It wasn’t bad enough that I had spent my whole life being the boring, mousey-brown-haired, middle daughter sandwiched between an University of Oklahoma football star big brother and beautiful blonde twin sisters, now I was the laughingstock of Oklahoma Methodist University and the granny-pantied suitemate to the most glamorous girl on campus.
I should have simply stayed at my former school as my new fresh start already stank.