Quite some time ago, a good friend and I were discussing writing and the subject of adjective overuse came up. This led to a light-hearted chat about some common mistakes we all tend to make when we first begin writing creatively, specifically the prevalence of excess description, too-perfect heroes and heroines, and just basic "over-writing."
Just for fun, I started a mini story about a couple named Biff and Mary, whose new romance is often sadly overshadowed by extraneous detail. Their mutual shallowness is only rivaled by the abundance of unnecessary drama in their lives...not to mention the superfluous ellipses.
I thought it would be fun to share Biff and Mary's romance with all of you and so, without further ado (though I might warn you that this will be the last time anything having to do with Biff and Mary will be done without any further ado), I introduce to you the pleasantly perfect, perfectly matched and excessively exhaustive Biff and Mary:
Chapter 1: Mary Steps Through the Door
Mary ran a hand through the ends of her shoulder-length, pale blonde hair, which she had just had tinted by her stylist last Tuesday, and had run a brush through twenty minutes earlier, before pulling it back into a purple and yellow scrunchy approximately three inches up from the nape of her neck. She shut the dark green, painted pine front door with two scratches on the brass knob, which matched the oval-shaped brass door knocker (which did not have any scratches that she knew of), and stepped off the brick step onto the grass, which was a mixture of Kentucky bluegrass and weeds, and had a few bald spots caused by slugs, for which she'd called the Loversville Landscape Company, who were due to arrive the following day at precisely 8:15 am, barring traffic caused by any unforseen traffic events or delays in line at the coffee shop.
Her thoughts wandered to the evening before, when Biff had kissed her. His hair, which was a lovely sun-kissed blond with approximately 23 darker streaks mixed in, which she had yet to determine were natural or the result of an expert colorist, had blown around slightly in the breeze caused by the cold front coming in from the south, which they both hoped wouldn't turn into a hurricane force wind, because the next hurricane was due to be named with a "B" and for all Mary knew it would be named "Biff" and she would forever associate the love of her life and his perfectly-shaded hair with a devastating windstorm...
And when Biff had grasped her deeply moisturized and expertly-blushed-by-Maybelline face between his well-manicured hands and kissed her in the possibly-soon-to-become-a-hurricane breeze, his breath had evoked memories of the finely-aged red wine they’d had with dinner, as well as the breaded pork chop, marinated asparagus and slightly overcooked rice pilaf, with a slight aftertaste of cherry cheesecake....he had pressed his lips to hers with precisely the right amount of passion-inducing pressure, and she’d felt the scratchy friction of his stubbly beard, which had grown in slightly despite (he had assured her in his ever-so-gallant reassuringly manly way) his efforts of shaving it that morning at 7:32 with a Bic razor and Barbasol shave cream, rinsed with warm water and followed by a splash of Old Spice. He’d leaned his forehead against hers, and she was drawn back in time to the evening before, when she’d noted the blemish there, just between his thick, dark-blond-but-not-to-be-confused-with-light-brown brows, and she had suggested he use some Clearasil cream, but he'd insisted that Neosporin would do the trick. He had apparently been mistaken because the blemish had remained, casting a skin-reddened taint upon their near-perfect romantic moment just as she had begun to appreciate the thoroughly masculine aroma of his thirty-nine-dollar cologne.
Mary smoothed the knee-length skirt of her periwinkle, 80% cotton/20% polyester dress, which matched her leather heels with the astonishingly adorable little buckles, as well as her sensible-yet-sexy hoop earrings with hypoallergenic posts, and sighed. It wasn't a quiet sigh, nor was it a heavy sigh...it was the type of sigh that you can hear if you are sitting within three feet of the other person, but not from across the room...anyhoo, she smoothed her periwinkle polyester/cotton blend skirt and sighed as she stood looking at the bald spots on the lawn and thought once more of Biff, hoping against hope that such bald spots would never mar that beautiful head of perfectly nuanced hair, as the unfortunate blemish had marred his forehead. Yes, her beloved Biff, who she also wished would not soon become forevermore known as Hurricane Biff, and whose blemished pate still drew her like Lyle Lovett’s warbling scarecrow sounds had once drawn Pretty Woman Julia Roberts.
She sighed again, a bit louder than before but certainly not audibly enough to be heard from farther than four feet away, and she glanced at her car. It was a pearl white Honda Civic with 62,421 miles on it, freshly washed the morning before by the cheerleaders at the Loversville High School Car Wash Fundraiser for Perfectly Pink Pom-Poms, and it shone brightly in the sun that had broken through the possible hurricane clouds. The Civic had last had its oil changed on November 23rd at 10:02 am, and that was when she had first noticed the ding on one side that she had never had repaired, and which of course haunted her still each and every day. Between the lawn slugs, the hurricane, the dismaying door ding and her beloved Biff and his blemish (not to mention his possible future baldness and tragic association with potential storm damage which could lead to the necessity of naming any future offspring "Gale" or "Windy") .... Well. Mary feared it was bound to be an emotionally trying day...
(To Be Continued.....)