I could star in a Hallmark movie, except

I don’t live in a cozy New England village

or someplace that might be the North Pole

or Canada. Even if my supportive, big-city,

corporate assistant marked the perfect

destination on a map, I’d probably head

in the other direction, just to go my own way.

I’m not planning on traveling anywhere anyway

even if it is for an unexpected business trip,

which, by definition, wouldn’t be unexpected.

I can’t be in a Hallmark movie because

I already gave up my high-powered career.

Wait, the recession took it from me. I wasn’t

too old, too overqualified, and too female.

I can’t be in the movie because I don’t crave

the comforting squeeze of my handsome high

school ex-boyfriend, whose grip was tight

and left marks, the hallmarks meant to hold

me in place. Even if I did decide to move

to a snow-covered hamlet, no one would see

me. I’m an invisible heroine, marked by

simmering, not the good kind, as in soup,

but the bitter kind, as in arsenic. I’m much

closer to being an Agatha Christie murderess

than the weakest of Hallmark protagonists.

I’d never win the gingerbread house contest,

or even the cookie-baking competition.

Don’t even ask me to help out with the

ice sculpture display. Me, with a chainsaw?

I wouldn’t make a dime in the kissing

booth because of that problem I have

with invisibility. I guess I’ll never get

to shrug my kind-of-pretty shoulders

into my handsome ex-boyfriend’s oversized

flannel after we come in from the snow

to light a fire, drink hot chocolate, and smooch

under the mistletoe. I have no regrets

because I never did like Hallmark movies,

except at Christmas.

Randi Lynn Sanders is currently enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. Randi lives on the gulf coast of Florida, where she maintains her own financial advisory practice while honing her craft in her spare time, usually before or after market close. 

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