Yes, I’m annoying, too. You put up with my eccentricities and weird habits. You tolerate my ego and crazy mood swings. You sigh when I arrive late to your meeting in that purple and orange glow-in-the-dark outfit I thought was a really cool find at the Goodwill store. But now it’s my turn to tell the rest of the world how weird you are. This is just a lighthearted look at:
Ten Ways To Annoy
Poets & Writers
(Feel Free to Add Your Own)
#10: “Give me an autographed copy.” What am I? The copy fairy? Do I look like I have a printing press in my house? Are you my mother? My daughter? If not, shut up! I get two free copies. Someday, when I publish my novel, maybe I’ll get five.
Okay, I know when you say this, you’re just trying to be conversational. Maybe even nice. But it comes off as patronizing. A doctor said this to me. Seriously. My reply? “Sure, doc. How about you give me an autographed copy of a FREE office visit?”
#9: No, I will not write your eighth grade kid’s book report for him, even though he’s going to fail if I don’t. You should have made lil’ Cheesy Mac turn off Guitar Hero and read Lord of the Flies two months ago. But give junior a few years, and he’ll probably be my boss at my day job. Then I’ll write all his reports for him.
#8: Please. I know you mean well. But please…I’m begging you. Stop giving me ads for poetry contests you clipped from the side of a cereal box and asking me why I haven’t entered any of them yet.
#7: Your stories about your cousin or your friend’s friend’s latest squeeze who wrote a book at the tender age of twenty and is riding high on the New York Time’s best seller list are just plain cruel. Am I jealous? You bet! Here…shove this butter knife between my ribs. It would feel much better.
#6: Likewise, I don’t want to hear about your nephew who works at Hallmark and entered the “Poetry of America” contest, won first place, and for just $289.95 is now a published poet in a beautifully leather bound anthology. Now I’m just being mean, but sorry…your story makes me want to kick your ass.
#5: (For good small town folk): Please stop asking me to read my poems at the Ladies’ Auxiliary poetry/arts and crafts booth at the county fair. Please. Trust me. You wouldn’t like it. If you ask me one more time, I just might do it for giggles.
#4: If you write cleverly rhymed poems about love, fluffy kitties, mythical dragons, or teddy bears, please stop sending them to literary magazines. There is a market for you on the net. A really, really big market. Or go to the Ladies’ Auxiliary poetry/arts and crafts booth at the county fair. You’ll be a big hit.
#3: When you feel the need to talk about literature in my presence, but you’re not really into it. “Uh, that Emily Dickinson has some amazing commentary about the condition of life and uh, women and stuff.” Yawn. Yes, I’m being mean again. But really…you don’t have to do this. We can talk about politics or the weather or any number of things.
#2: This one almost became number one. You know you’ve said it. “I’ve got this really good idea for a book I want to write about that time my husband and I went water skiing in Cancun, and we saw a barracuda and found this amazing little restaurant off the beaten track where everybody spoke Spanish.” Heavy sigh. “If only I had the time to write it.”
Garsh, Minnie. I’ve got a ruler and a sketch pad. Maybe I’ll design a new wing for the Metropolitan Museum of Art…heavy sigh…if only I had the time.
#1: (DRUMROLL PLEASE) When I’m at home during the day, I am working. I might not have a shovel or a briefcase in my hand. But I am working. If my door is closed and I’m not answering my phone, that means I’m not available to:
b). spearhead committee meetings or bake sales
c). listen to a story about your root canal.
Give me a few hours. If I’m on a roll, it might be a few days. But I will come out and happily raise a glass with you, pat your babies, admire your dogs, and listen to your stories until dawn.
Am I mad at you? Nah. You know I love you, world. You know I do. You can even create a blog about all the stupid things I say about your occupations, and I’m sure I’ll laugh.
I don’t really expect you to know all this. But now you do. So I’m going back to work now, okay? See you in a few days.