The Corsage
"You've got to help me!" My friend pleaded with me. "You've got to take this girl to her sorority event." This girl was getting interested in my friend, an interest he didn't want to grow. While I was reluctant to get involved in this mess he had created, he was a good friend. I consented to this blind date.
He certainly sold me on her. Her sister had been Miss Edmonton the previous year. She belonged to this sorority that all the kids of rich people belonged to. I, on the other hand, had only $20 to my name. With about half of my life savings, I decided to buy a corsage for my date.
I arrived at her home dressed in my only suit, corsage in my hand. The door opened and I saw that she was beautiful. I also saw that her dress had very thin straps. There was no place to put a corsage. I also saw the funny look on her face that said she would have never worn what represented half of my worldly riches anyway.
I also noticed that her leg was bandaged. She had injured herself skiing that afternoon. What else could go wrong? Plenty.
I escorted her to my chariot, a red Toyota pick-up truck with a canopy camper on the back. That was my vehicle then. From the look on her face, I wish that a fairy godmother could have come along and turned it into a Mercedes. In spite of her sore leg, she insisted that we park a couple of blocks away from the party.
We entered and I was briefly introduced to a couple of people, then she sort of disappeared. I wasn't too disappointed. I hadn't had a good meal in a long time and the food here was plentiful and tasty.
What a party it was! The children of the rich and famous of Edmonton were there. People kept coming up to me and asking what I was "into," instead of what I did. I answered that I was "into" education, since I was taking my Bachelor of Education at the time. I wondered if these rich people really knew how poor I was.
I'm glad I am a fast eater, because a half an hour after our arrival, my date, whom I had barely seen, came back and asked to be taken home. Her leg was aching too much, though she declined my offer to bring the truck to the front door. I still have a hunch that she got rid of me to return to the party. My feelings weren't hurt. I had eaten well, although the friend who set this up was going to hear about this.
I dropped her off. She made sure I didn't walk her to the door, but I did the unthinkable. I asked for the corsage back. Why? Was I out of my mind?
No. I had a second blind date a couple of nights later. A girls' group was having a father-daughter banquet. A friend had asked me if I would be the father for a night for a young girl who didn't have one. This way she would be less embarrassed at the event. Even though I didn't know what I was getting into, I told my friend that I would do it.
The night of the second blind date came. You know what? I was more nervous meeting this ten year old than the sister of Miss Edmonton. What if she didn't like me? What if she was ashamed to be with me?
Then she came through the door. I was introduced, and then I showed her the corsage. Her eyes grew like saucers. She screamed and jumped with with joy as I pinned it on her. While she was the only one without a real dad, she was also the only one with a beautiful corsage. She held her head up high as we walked into the room. We had a great time. It was wonderful seeing this young girl smile and hearing her laughter. I think she was proud to have a special friend like me. I certainly was proud of her, just like a dad would have been.
It was the same corsage. In one person's eyes it was worthless. In another's it was priceless. Every one of us has a gift. You know what? In some people's eyes, it will be worthless. But I can assure you that if you meet enough people you will discover somebody who finds your gift priceless.
John Stevens
John Stevens is a freelance writer in St. Marys, Ontario. You can read more of his writing at his blog at or send John an email to:
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The Corsage

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