Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Trifecta Writing Challenge: The 4C's

This post is in response to Trifecta's Weekday Challenge. They ask you to use the third definition of the given word to write a story that is between 33-333 words in length.
This week's word is cheap.


cheap adj \ˈchēp\

1   a : purchasable below the going price or the real value

     b : charging or obtainable at a low price <a good cheaphotel> <cheap tickets>
     c : depreciated in value (as by currency inflation) <cheapdollars>
2   : gained or done with little effort <a cheap victory> <talk ischeap>

The 4C's

“I’m sorry, I just want to make sure I understand. There is a lot to take in. Can we go over it one more time?”  The man exhaled as he wiped the tiny beads of sweat from his brow.

The sales woman stared at him from behind the glass counter in disbelief. She had gone over the information two times already. The man seemed to be listening, nodding at the appropriate times. Exasperated, she took in a deep breath and began her speech again. Thoughts of her commission recaptured her patience, making her feel a bit cheap.

“You want to look for carat, color, clarity, cut. Once you decide on the carat, or size of the diamond, we can focus on the other qualities. For example, you could choose this 1.2 carat diamond you’ve been admiring for an hour now. If  you look here, it says it’s a “D” scale for color, an ‘IF’ or internal flaw for clarity, and rates ‘very good’ for cut. I know the price is over your budget, but consider the fact that your future wife will be wearing this on her finger the rest of her life.“

The man’s head swirled as he quietly reminded himself,  “Now’s not the time to pinch pennies.”

He firmly nodded in agreement as the sales woman sighed in relief.

“Perfect. She’s going to love it. Now, let’s move on to settings. We have platinum, yellow gold, white gold, and silver. Were you thinking of having any diamonds or birthstones in the band?”

The sales woman paused for an answer but only found the blank stare of the man she had spent the last hour with. She stopped herself and lightly placed her hand on his, that now had a white knuckle grasp on edge of the counter.


“The 4C’s are the hardest part” she promised.

His grip released slightly at this reassurance. As she pulled out the tray of traditional yellow gold bands, she prepared to repeat herself at least three more times.




19 comments:

  1. Funny story! I'd be overwhelmed, too!

    I basically wanted a ring that didn't have a massive rock that would rip my finger off if I tried to get something out of my jeans pocket, I wanted it to sparkle in the light and I didn't want it to cost a fortune.

    After reading this, I wonder if I should have been more particular!

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    1. HA! I agree with the not wanting to pull a finger off if I tried to get it out of my jeans pocket. So funny!

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  2. Oh, this makes me want to hug him! It also makes me wonder what matters and what doesn't. Nicely done.

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    1. Thanks so much. I agree. I remember when my now husband and I looked at diamonds being so confused by all the specifications, letters, and ratings. :)

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  3. I could picture this guy. He felt very real, as did the (deserved) exasperation of the clerk. Nice work!

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    1. I'm so glad it felt real. I kept reading it over and over to my husband. I'm sure he felt like the clerk by the time I posted it. :P

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  4. I hope my husband wasn't that intimidated when shopping for my engagement ring. You did a great job capturing his anxiety.

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  5. Great Storytelling! You have two very clearly developed characters. :)
    Way to go! I enjoyed reading this.

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    1. Thanks Kim! I really enjoyed yours as well!

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  6. Go with the platinum! Or the white gold!! Or the silver even!!! But, for the love of God, just don't get the yellow gold, man! It won't match any of her jewelry (large, ambiguous number of) years later!

    Great story, Mel.

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    1. Oh, he will. I'll make sure of it. :)

      I just got my ring cleaned the other day. While I was in the jewelry store, there was a man standing staring blankly at all the settings. I could almost smell his fear. Poor guy. He was looking at the white gold bands...from what me and my big nose could see. :)

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  7. I agree with ODNT and go for platinum. This guy was perfect. I used to sell jewelry and I ran into a few guys overwhelmed to say the least. Great story!

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    1. Thanks so much, Gina. I really enjoyed yours as well! What a cool mom you are!

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  8. Haha! I got a huge kick out of the man's response to even more details. I have to confess - I took my engagement ring back. I hate diamonds. And Scott knew this. I actually wound up with a much cheaper (MUCH CHEAPER), prettier ring, because it's in a nifty setting. By coincidence, it's also a diamond.

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    1. Chris brought me to pick mine out with him. He kept saying, "It's going to be on YOUR finger, not mine. I want you to have what you want." I loved him even more for that. :)

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  9. I felt as though I were there with them, and I had a good feeling for the man's emotions. I think this was good :)

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  10. Ha, you've got that guy down perfectly. You make the scene really easy to imagine. I hope the guy you say in the jeweler's the other day doesn't read Trifecta! Nice job. Hope you can join us for the weekend challenge.

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