Back before I resigned from my job, our local newspaper did an open call for freelance columnists that would write about news and events in their neighborhoods. Entrants were to submit three sample columns, and they would make their selection based on the originality and content of the pieces. I had always felt like my voice was one that people would enjoy hearing, so I sent in my thoughts and awaited their response. A few weeks later it came, a refreshingly professional rejection. They were looking, essentially, for a neighborhood gossip, and that just wasn't my state of mind at the time. I wanted to be a voice for my restaurant, as well as for parents and kids in a community that's growing like my neighbor's weeds.
Well, last Sunday they ran the intro piece for the woman who they chose to write the column, and I was overcome with a bevy of emotions, not the least of which was rejection. Not only does she live in my neighborhood, but her "life's story" about how she begrudgingly left Long Island after all those years and followed the flock of transplants to the Carolinas made me want to just dig a hole and crawl in. I mean really . . I know I'm originally from the Coal Belt, but the path that led me to Charlotte is far more interesting than her "I just got sick of the traffic" yawner.
Anyway, since the decision to stay at home I've started to take a bit more interest in the neighborhood gossip, some of which is actually a lot juicier than I ever imagined it could be. I just heard, from a very reliable source I might add, that a resident-run internet forum had spawned some very feisty exchanges between the teachers at the new elementary school and some parents. How very interesting . . that would make a great blog entry, I thought to myself, but an even better newspaper column. What better way to discourage adults from acting like selfish brats than to call them out in the Sunday paper, right?
Apparently somebody doesn't think so, because in this morning's column, the controversy was nowhere to be found. If it were my column, I'd want the first one to get the whole development talking. After all, isn't that what sells papers? Instead, we got the sunshine-up-the-dress treatment. It's all going swimmingly, all the parents love the principal, my kid thinks the school is pretty, yada yada yada. I almost fell asleep in my shredded wheat. So I suppose I'll keep scanning the Sunday paper for her column, hoping on some level that eventually she'll dig a little deeper and expose some of the bugs in the bed. On another level though, you can bet I'll be hoping that her writing stays boring and they do another open call.