If I had a superpower, it would probably be surprise height. I have the ability for people who have known me for months—months! Possibly years! – to come up to me and say, “Huh. You’re tall.” This is something that just occurs to them suddenly. As if I had hidden my height from them and all of a sudden they figured it out.
I have always been tall but I have never been the tallest. I don’t feel like one of those gazelle-like women who flit around gracefully on their willowy branch-like legs. I’m also no ogre; I don’t exactly tromp around like a wildebeest or anything. When my friends, coworkers, or acquaintances finally figure out that yes, I am above-average height, they ask me how tall I am.
“Almost 5’10”,” I say, because the real answer, 5’ 9 ¾”, is too complicated, too wordy. That three-quarters feels overly precise. But then 5’9” is selling it a bit short. Then again, I often go with that. 5’9” feels more feminine somehow.
I grew up with two of my closest friends in the world hovering around 6 feet. In comparison, I felt positively tiny. Then, in high school, none of my friends reached above 5’4”. I felt like a giant.
“That’s good,” people say when I tell them how tall I am. “You’re lucky.”
And, I guess so? It’s fine. It’s a fine height to be. I can reach things when other people can’t. I never have to get my pants hemmed. I don’t feel obligated to wear heels. But, then, I also feel like a ridiculous clown when I do actually wear heels. I tower over everybody. I feel masculine. I feel self-conscious. Not that I need the validation of others. It’s just that I’ve never liked standing out in a crowd. I am an introvert by nature; I prefer to get to know people on a one-on-one basis as opposed to being recognized in a crowd of people.
But yes, internet. I’m tall. Just telling you now so you don’t get surprised later when you meet me and then six months down the line you figure it out.
“In December 1991, Austin, Texas firefighters fighting a raging fire in a local yogurt shop witnessed a horrific scene…”—HOLD ON, Maureen Maher of 48 Hours on Investigation Discovery. Please go back to the point where there is a RAGING FIRE in a YOGURT SHOP.
“What galls me about two-spacers isn’t just their numbers. It’s their certainty that they’re right. Over Thanksgiving dinner last year, I asked people what they considered to be the ‘correct’ number of spaces between sentences. The diners included doctors, computer programmers, and other highly accomplished professionals. Everyone—everyone!—said it was proper to use two spaces. Some people admitted to slipping sometimes and using a single space—but when writing something formal, they were always careful to use two. Others explained they mostly used a single space but felt guilty for violating the two-space “rule.” Still others said they used two spaces all the time, and they were thrilled to be so proper. When I pointed out that they were doing it wrong—that, in fact, the correct way to end a sentence is with a period followed by a single, proud, beautiful space—the table balked. “Who says two spaces is wrong?” they wanted to know.”—
Please read this article on Slate and fix your typing accordingly. For the love of all that is holy and right in this world.
I wrote ten pages of a story over the weekend. I know that’s not really a big deal for most writers, but I am not most writers and also I have the worst case of procrastination of all time. This is that big long book I’m working on (which I refuse to call the n-word — not that n-word, you racist) that I have been tackling for a few months. The good news: the story is still good! The bad news: in order to put all the pieces together, you have to do a lot of work. And the work sucks and is frustrating. Because sometimes I can’t think of the right word. And I’ll sit and stare at the computer and think, “Oh god, no. The wound doesn’t just gape. It can’t just gape. A gaping wound. How original. How wonderful. Go die in a fire and kill yourself already.” And then eventually the right word does come (in this case: bloom) and I feel so good about myself. But then you have ten pages of that agony! That is so many pages of agony!
Today at work I was working on this story because work this week is pretty light and I don’t have a lot to do. If you were talking to me today, I would have said three of the following things:
I am so sleepy.
It is very hot in here.
I want to go home.
All of these things were true. I did ask my pregnant coworker how she is feeling (answer: pregnant!) and I did go to Bed, Bath & Beyond for this whole wheat pasta dish that tasted like cardboard. Also it’s called Cafe Beyond. Also I just like telling people I went to the Beyond part of Bed, Bath & Beyond for lunch. Not as good as coming up with a blooming wound, but getting there.
I’ve discovered that two beers will give me a baby hangover the next day.
I’ve discovered I’m getting old.
I wrote ten pages of my big long book that I’m writing.
It’s cold in here and I am so sleepy and I am already home.