Friday, February 10, 2012

Jane or Janet

The following is a fictional story written for Write on Edge.  

Jane packs her bags and head for the beach.  Two glorious weeks...days spent lying in the sun and dancing the nights away.  You see, Jane is plain.  Jane works long hours as a waitress, saving for her annual trek to the sea.  

Here she becomes Janet.  Janet is cute, fun loving and carefree.  "It's amazing what adding a "t" to your name can do for your confidence" she said to herself.  Free from the waitress uniform, the pony tail and name tag..."Jane".

Janet settles into her lounge chair, with her music and and an ice cold Diet Coke in her hand.  "Life is good" she sighs.  As she slathers on suntan oil, from several chairs away she hears, "Can I help you with that?"

It's the blond, beach bum surfer dude she'd seen earlier.  "That would be great, thanks!  By the way, my name's Janet"  

Jane would never do that; Janet does.

They chat for a while and it turns out the surfer dude is actually a trust fund kid.  Richard G. Harding, III, but more commonly known here at the beach as Rick.  He, too, has a double identity.  He desperately wants to shed his rich kid persona while Janet is trying to escape her dull life as a waitress. Often times people want what someone else has - those with straight hair want curly, brunettes want to be blond, you know that whole "grass is greener" thing. 

"I know a great club where they have an awesome DJ and the best margaritas in town, if you're interested" Rick invited.
Again not something Jane does.  She gets off her shift at the diner, goes home and watches reruns until she falls asleep with her cat.  Dull!

Janet, however, responded with an enthusiastic "I'd love to!  I am staying at the Windsor, room 423."

Rick and Janet danced the night away on a sea of margaritas, and then talked until the wee hours exchanging phone numbers, email addresses and friending each other on Facebook.  

That night Janet found something that had been missing for a long time.  She found the real Jane.

After meeting Rick and rediscovering herself, she legally changed her name to Janet, since Janet helped her find herself.  They are now married and live at the beach.  Rick still surfs but Janet is no longer a waitress.  Both have found their greener grass.


  1. I love a happy ending. It IS funny what a name does for you. I'm a Jennifer, but at different points in my life, I've been Jen and Jenni too. I've felt slightly different with each title.

  2. Yay! Very nice!

    It is very true what a name can do, I agree with Jen: Barbara became Babs in college with very interesting consequences!

  3. what a nice story! I enjoyed reading this- love the happy ending-not enough of those these days! Cheers!

  4. Jen Has A Pen- What a clever name. Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed my story. A nickname or twist on your name can make you feel differently or view life in a different way.

    Barbara- Thank you! It seems there may be another story here, Babs. ;)

    Kathe- I'm glad you liked it. This was the 2nd version. The first was quite different and unsatisfying. I like happy endings, too.

  5. This short story is utterly charming! Very tight writing! I love this!

  6. The 3rd party narrator voice can be very hard to pull off, but I think you did it very well. I could hear a person saying the words as I imagined pictures in my head, like watching a movie.

    For me the ending was almost a little too neat, but then again, a happy ending is nice and we don't get as many of those nowadays.

    Good stuff!

  7. Linda, I loved how both characters lived dual lives and how they found the courage to be truly themselves when they found each other. Loved it!

  8. I agree with Jen Has a Pen, its so true what names can do for you, even if you're the only one who knows.

    Nice job!

  9. Linda- Thank you. The word limit keeps them short and to the point.

    Venus- Thank you for your thoughts, and happy to add one more happy ending to the world.

    Talon- Thank you! You never know what will come from a chance meeting. Jane is very glad she had Janet inside her.

    Pish Posh- Thanks for visiting. I am glad you enjoyed the story. Sometimes you're the only one who really needs to know.


  11. Katherine-Thank you so much. It's nice to have a "happily ever after" once in a while.

  12. I, too, enjoy the idea of names making a difference in how we act, and sometimes how it takes trying on a different name to become the person we want to be!

  13. Mama Zen- Thanks!

    angela- Sometimes we choose those different names, and sometimes we just acquire them.

  14. Lovely story! I know how different a name can make you feel about yourself. I used to use a very up market dentist many years ago. They always called me Babette and for some reason it made me feel more special than being called Babs. I felt the name fitted into the surroundings better somehow. Of course I became plain old Babs on leaving ;)

  15. Oh I love this story soooo much. And, I especially love how Jane became the REAL her as Janet.

  16. Babs- Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. It is cool that they called you Babette- it does sound special. But you could never be considered "plain old" no matter what your name. Like Janet you are Babette inside...special!

    Meleah- Thank you! To think it was inside her all along.

  17. Oh, I can't believe I am so late to this writing party:~) I'm so delighted to see you've joined the Write on Edge group and with such a great story.

    I loved how you used the name changes to reflect the changes in the people.

    I also love the happy ending. We need them more in our lives.

    YEAH...this was a fun read:) MORE!!!

  18. Sara- Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it. It seems we both had some romance in our stories. Must have been Valentine's in the air.

    It was fun to give this prompt a go, and Jane found her inner self through Janet. It is interesting what a name can do. It makes one wonder people's lives would be like with a different name. Maybe that's why celebrities, among others, change their names.


Hi, thanks for visiting my humble abode. All comments are read and appreciated.


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