Monday, September 21, 2009

Can I Get That In Writing?

It's popular to say on the internet, "sometimes the meaning doesn't come across" or "I wish we could do this by phone" or "I'm better in person." For me, not so much. I am not better in person. If you know me, if we've been pals for a while then, sure, sometimes it's better to experience me in the pasty white flesh. Most of the time, though, especially for the first impression, you will be so much more pleased with the interaction if I pass you a note. From behind. With a hood on.

I used to work for an improv company. I am terrible at improv (I don't know. They were new. And desperate.). I panic. In a show like that you have to be able to do short form, long form, one liners, everything just like on TV. One night we were planning an evening for performing in a bar and knew we'd play a game where you ask the audience for the name of a fruit or vegetable and the performers stand on the line (the step in Whose Line) and step off with different jokes that use the suggested comestible for the punchline. In rehearsal, to test us, one of the leaders shouted out "Broccoli!" I am great at one liners*. I was the only one who could use it and I fucking rocked broccoli. That's it, though. If you require more than two sentences of me and if you don't give me a strong direction to go in I stumble and shy away and generally make a terrible impression. Just ask Zelda. She met me at my worst and she wasn't even the person to whom I said, "I just don't like people very much." I'm a charmer.

In writing if I'm pissing you off (and I'm told I am pissing at least a few of you off) you can at least be reasonably sure I meant it that way. In person I might not have thought my remarks all the way through, or I might have forgotten which side of the argument I was trying to be on or I might be completely on the wrong track and blissfully unaware. Once (possibly more than once, I'll never admit for sure) I confused Brandi Chastain the soccer player and all around fantabulous role model with a porn star. In my defense, look at that name, it'd do so well in the adult film industry would it not? The conversation went on for about 10 minutes with me making suggestive innuendo and waggling my eyebrows like Christopher Lloyd and everyone else looking baffled. Finally someone mentioned her triumphant Olympic win photo and I realized my mistake. Take my word for the fact that there's no graceful way out of that. Here on my blog I'll be forced to look Ms. Chastain up in order to link to her and if I'm on the wrong track I'll have time to correct my course.

I'm guessing this is why I've always loved to write. Probably why I also love the internet and texting, too. So if we meet at Blogher next year and you can't reconcile who I am with what you remember from my blog please know that you're not alone. I can't either. Also, "sometimes the meaning doesn't come across," "I wish we could do this by e-mail" and "I'm way better in blog."

Thanks for reading.

*For the record my short form can be a little dangerous as well. One night I was out to dinner with a whole group of folks I didn't know well at all. One bright and bubbly diner asked in the course of the conversation, "Why is it called a Cleveland Steamer**?" I, of course, replied, "Have you ever been to Cleveland?" and in that split second before they all laughed I thought, "Oh shit, I don't know where any of these people are from."

**And to think I was afraid it'd be difficult to find a link to that definition.


  1. Just for the record, I don't find you nearly as insufferable in person as you think you are....

  2. I recall a quick wit and a generous nature. Who are you again?