Wednesday, August 25

Stained t-shirt and puppy-chewed Birkenstocks notwithstanding

"Would you mind driving?" J asked. "I ran 18 miles this morning."

"Sure," I replied, because the most strenuous part of my morning—and the past, oh, 200 mornings—had been brushing my teeth.

J, one of my dearest friends, is soon moving from her house a block away from mine to downtown Charlotte, and on Saturday I went with her to look at apartments. Among the most notable parts of the day were how many shirtless and oiled guys we saw lounging around the various pools we saw on our Amenities Tours, and the astonishing blue eyes of a real estate agent named John, who caused an unfortunate tic in all those who beheld him (you'd avoid looking at him for fear of making eye contact for fear he'd think you were looking at him—a vicious circle). I guess it didn't really matter, though, considering I'm an old married woman and thus a registered WingGirl for Life.

Of course, there were non-dude-related highlights. Let me just try to remember them...

Oh, yeah. So in the first place we looked—a very posh high rise, which also happens to be in a great location that I wouldn't mind visiting daily often (rooftop pool! a view of the pro football stadium! No, seriously, I could see the seats we sat in from J's potential apartment window)—the leasing agent showing us around asked what I did.

"Umm...I..." Professional juice-cup filler? No, don't say that. Stay-at-home mom? Too narrow. Kept woman? Hmm...I think we'd have to have money and I'd have to shower more often for that to be accurate. I know, grad student! But that implies intellectualism, and most of my conversations revolve around accidental bowel movements...

"She's a writer," J answered for me, without even a hint of irony.

"Uh, yeah. I'm a writer," I confirmed with total irony. He inquired as to what I wrote, and I told him I write for a couple blogs and...I'm working on some...fiction. (I wrote that in a whisper-sized font on purpose, because there's nothing that makes one feel more foolish than admitting you're an aspiring author. Because isn't everybody?)

Later, J gave me the second best compliment of my life (calling me a writer, without sarcasm, being the first) when she told the guy she'd be relying on me to help her decorate, because, she said, "Erin can do a lot with a little." I don't really know why that meant so much to me, except maybe to say that if someone like J—a successful and savvy career woman, a dedicated volunteer, an accomplished runner, a quilter even!—if someone like her can think I have even a modicum of style, well. Maybe there's hope for me yet.

5 comments:

Lisa Watts said...

This was a riot, Erin. I loved it.

Locusts and Wild Honey said...

Oh man, only under threat of death will I voluntarily admit being a writer. I think it's how people take it, like written on their faces is this expression like Oohhh, sure! You're a "writer." I get it.

Now when someone else says it about you. Well, that's just awesome. And in your case, completely true.

roysie said...

It is true! You are a great writer! Don't sell yourself short :).

stephanie said...

ooo people have weird reactions to "artist" too: starving artist jokes and random assumptions that because i'm an "artist" i have mastered every technique out there - painting, drawing, printing, sculpting, pottery, blah blah blah. "oh you're an artist? you should paint flowers. or birds. or moose because you're an ALASKAN artist." barf.

Neat & Tangled said...

I always struggle with an answer when people ask what I do...I don't know why but I always feel awkward saying I stay home with my son. Usually it comes out like, "Oh nothing really, I just stay at home"...like it's no big deal LOL Once someone responded "Wow, did you hate your job THAT much?" to which I curtly replied, "No, I just love my son much much more".

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