Friday, September 6, 2013

You have no idea

After one of my book readings this summer, a lady approached me with a comment. She had read my book and quite liked it, but had to exclaim in a loud voice so everyone around could hear - "I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE SO SMALL!"
I'm not very quick with repartee. It's only much later when I'm lying in bed at night that I might think of a response so stunning it would go viral on youtube. (By morning I've forgotten it.) So all I managed to squeak was, "Well, how BIG did you think I WAS?"  ( I didn't really want to know the answer to that.) She patted me and assured me that she didn't mean to insult me, it was just that, surely, with all the things I did in the story, one would need to be quite a large person.
In a twist of kismet or whatever you call the quirks and folds of the universe, another woman came up to me at the same evening and said basically the same thing. She sounded aghast: "But you're SO SMALL!!"
I have never thought of myself as small, petite, tiny - none of that. Woman who are size 2 are small. I am way larger than that. In fact, although I'm not that tall, I consider myself stout. Sort of chunky. Solid. Curvy.
So when Denis sent me pics of these dog tee shirts last week, I thought perhaps I should order the last one and wear it to my next reading. Although historically the last dog I owned was a poodle. (He had to be put to sleep in his prime and I loved him so much I cried to see him go.) However, we did NOT accessorize. EVER. I admit he wore a purple sweater for winter walks and because of my white hair which gets a little frizzy when humid I KNEW passersby were thinking, "There goes another dog owner who looks just like her dog." This did make me paranoid.
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When I read a book I always get a mental image of the author or character that is described. Meeting them in real life can be enlightening. Even photos don't always give an accurate impression. So it's not surprising that people have ideas about how I look. I don't want to disappoint readers, but there it is. Or, rather, there I am. At this stage of life, accepting what I look like feels pretty good. These days, I'm caring more about those sneaky inside places that still need a lot of work.
Here at Toad Hall, we are looking forward to the weekend. Family is coming tonight and our house will ring with grandkids. Pulled pork sandwiches and watermelon for supper. Tomorrow my daughter-in-law is running a 10k and the kids are going to do the family mile. I hope you enjoy your weekend, too. Read a book. Take your dog for a walk. Get outside. And we, none of us, will worry about what others perceive about our size. Not today, anyway.


sf said...

That last t-shirt design would have fit you perfectly, no?

The usual comment I get in regards to how I look is, "You look so different!". Because normally, I wear no makeup and dress shabbily. But if I happen to spruce myself up with some color and a bit 'o style, I get that "different look" comment. But it doesn't feel good to hear. Just reminds me that I normally, really look like crap. Haha!

In regards to books and authors. You know, there have been MANY times when I wished the author didn't put a picture of themselves on the back of their books. It's so mean to say that, but honestly, there have been times when I got turned off from checking out a book, just because of the authors odd appearance in their pic (some male authors looked creepy). And lately, I've been noticing author pictures aren't even small ones, placed on the inside of the back cover anymore. Now, they're like huge, right smack on the back cover, underneath the compliments given by reviewers.

Anyhow, what a funny post and have a great weekend with your family!

liz@carpeseason said...

These t-shirts are hilarious. I love the matter-of-fact-ness to them. I knew of you before The Exact order I prefer. Recently, I've heard the voices of several of my favorite bloggers and it's totally thrown me off. They sounded nothing like I thought. Kind of like watching a movie of your favorite book that cast the characters all wrong. Here's to late summer weekends!

Stephanie said...

People say the strangest things. I'd always thought it was never appropriate to comment on someone's appearance unless it was overtly complimentary. While being pregnant, I've learned that others have not been taught similarly. "You look like a house!" "Thank you?" The other day I was taking in some very stimulating literature aka John Grisham and noticed this photo on the back
Maybe for your next book you can put a similar photo on the back, then people will know not to mess with you! :)