Monday, August 21, 2006

Episode 21 - Introducing Sara

When last we saw Dianne, she had been uncertain as to whether her daughter, Heather, would accompany her to convention this year. Dianne had had a few shouting matches with Heather about her plans, with little results. But when Vicky's recruit, Barbara, had come to her last downline meeting, she had discovered that Barbara was pregnant and that she and Brad had been having marital difficulties. Dianne had a startling idea; she had asked Barbara if she would like to move into Dianne's house for a while. Dianne chuckled as she finished up her convention swaps; she had made it impossible for Heather to conduct any funny business at home and given Barbara a place to go as well. Barbara was not going to convention this year and was glad to keep an eye on Heather's doings while Dianne was gone. In addition, Barbara would get to see all the convention goodies Dianne brought back before anybody else did.

There was only one thing that spoiled this wonderful arrangement. Dianne winced as she heard the sound of retching coming from the guest bathroom. Would Barbara's morning sickness never stop?Barbara came out of the bathroom, her face a delicate shade of Gable Green. "Sorry!" she mumbled, "I can't seem to keep anything down in the morning!"

"Don't worry," said Dianne, "you're almost to the end of your third month...it should start to tail off soon."

"I hope so!" replied Barbara. She came over to look at Dianne's completed swaps. "Oh how cute!" she exclaimed, picking up a card made with the Bear Necessities set. "I wish I could go, but the money just isn't there yet and Brad..." Barbara trailed off, her eyes going blank at the thought of her husband, who had been such a jerk when she announced her pregnancy. It was good for them to spend the time apart, she mused. Brad had seemed to be warming up to the idea of being a parent, but there was still a lot of coolness between them.

"Oh, Barbara, you've been doing so well! You just got your first recruit and you've had so many bookings! I'm sure that your business will allow you to bank a bit of money for convention next year!" Dianne exclaimed.

Barbara grinned. She had just signed her first recruit, a young woman named Melanie. If anybody was more nuts for stamping than she was, it was Melanie! Barbara had already gotten together with her once after her kit arrived and they had made set samplers and stamped hostess color charts into the wee hours.

As Barbara contemplated her new recruit, both demonstrators were startled by the door slamming in the kitchen. Heather stalked by on her way to her room, muttering, "Hi Mom, hi Beverly," as she passed. Heather had not taken to the idea of a "baby-sitter" as she called Barbara and had resolutely called Barbara by the wrong name ever since she arrived. Dianne had explained that she was doing Barbara a favor, but it had gone in one ear and out the other, it seemed.

In her room, Heather fumed. Her plans were all in ruins and, as usual, it was all her Mom's fault! What could she do to keep Barbara from finding out what she was going to do while Dianne was gone? It just was not fair!

In the meantime, all the way across town, one of Dianne's 1st level recruits, Sara, sat in the dark reading Stampin' Discuss on her laptop. It just did not seem fair that everyone else was going to Convention and she would be stuck at home! Sara had the money to go, but when she had gone online to register she discovered that she had left it just an hour too late; registration had closed and she was locked out of all the fun!

Sara was not a happy camper these days. Her husband, Jim had been walking around on tiptoe to keep Sara from exploding in anger. He had wisely said nothing when he found glitter on his steak the other day, he had not even complained when Sara had burned dinner while she read Stampin' Discuss!

Sara mouse-clicked and read messages about convention with increasing bitterness. She had always had a good relationship with Dianne, but now she burned in resentment against her. Dianne was going to convention! Dianne was going to have all the fun! Dianne was going to get to trade all of Sara's swaps for her since she couldn't go...Sara didn't even get to have the fun of that! It would all be done for her and she would have no control of what she'd get.

Sara and Dianne had always joked about how much alike they looked; it was really startling! They had immediately hit it off at the workshop Sara's sister had been hostess for; they had compared family trees extensively trying to find a link, but there had been none. Many times, people had come up to her at regional events, assuming she was Dianne and had begun to talk to her. Dianne joked that she could always get Sara to stand in for her at a workshop if she became too sick; no one would ever know the difference! Except, of course, for their stamping styles; Sara was a definite "cute" stamper, while Dianne liked the brushstroke style sets. Sara hoped that Dianne would keep this in mind when she was swapping Sara's stuff.

Suddenly, as Sara read another message about "the Purple Group" she had a startling idea. Maybe there was a way for her to get to convention after all! But she would have to make plans quick!

What is Heather planning to do while Dianne is at convention? Does it have anything to do with Josh? What's up with that relationship anyway? And what is Sara planning on doing to get to convention? Is she going to try to gate crash despite the recent update on the Stampin' Up Demonstrator's Website about no late registrations? Keep tuned to....the Tearing Edge!

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