Friday, September 16, 2011

Formally Yours, a Rerun (aka, What Hairy Legs Have To Do with Manuscripts)

It's that time of year again! Yup, time for me to get gussied up and go to the Ball!

No, not The Debutante Ball. Though I am there today, too, talking about my favorite characters, and I'd love for you to stop by. No pictures of me in the shower this week, I promise.

But in this case I'm talking about the big fundraising Ball TG's employer throws every year to raise money for the arts. Specifically, the arts that provide TG with a job and a paycheck. (Rah, rah, rah! Support the Arts!)

Since I've been having one of THOSE weeks (UBER busy!), I'm going to rerun my Ball blog post from last year. (Hey, I have to put up with a rerun of the big dance. I'm just, um, paying it forward.)

If you don't want to read it again, you can, yannoh, go check out my new material at the other Ball. ;)

From Sept. 24 of last year:

Don't send your ms out with hairy legs

 Let's talk about personal grooming.

(What? It's an important issue.)

I like to think of myself as a clean person. I shower. I brush my teeth. I depilate* on a regular basis. I wear clean clothes most of the time, and always remember to change my underwear, in case I get hit by a truck, because lord knows I wouldn't want to mortify my mother if the docs in the ER were to speculate I might be wearing less-than-fresh panties**.

On any given day, if, say, a surprise guest showed up on my doorstep, I would not present an absolutely appalling picture. (Unless examined very closely or in harsh sunlight, of course. Then all bets are off.) But I certainly don't take the time to go through every single grooming ritual on a daily basis. I mean, I do have a life. Things to do, don'tcha know.

You're reading one of those things right now. But, in case you're wondering, I will be shaving my legs this morning. And my pits. And I'll even buff my heels with one of these:

Because tonight I'm playing Cinderella and going to The Ball with TG--a job-related, highly formal event, wherein the foundation he works for seduces money out of rich people who happen to be patrons of the arts (and we love each and every one of their generous hearts, yes we do!). It's a special occasion, so I'm trying harder than usual.

[BTW, those aren't my feet. I thought you should know, in case you're a closet foot fetishist, and might be tempted to develop a crush on me based upon an unrealistic image.

Not that my own feet are awful. I mean, I use the dry-skin-grater-offer thingamajig and a special lotion and everything. I even have peachy-pink toenails. I just don't have a picture of me using the thingamajig, because, frankly, TG thinks it's pretty gross, and wouldn't play photographer for me. Not that he doesn't appreciate the fruits of my labors, even if he isn't a foot fetishist. Who doesn't enjoy a smooth foot? He just doesn't want to watch me do it. You might even say it grates on him. (Uh, sorry.)]

You are by now probably thinking, what in the HELL is Linda getting at with all this nonsense? (Isn't it amazing how psychic I am? Honestly, it's a gift.) Well, I'll tell ya.

*Ahem* Personal grooming is not unlike what we do with our writing when we revise. When we edit and tweak, plump it up and pare it down, it's kind of like washing and shampooing and plucking and shaving. All that stuff we do to put the finishing touches on a manuscript before we send it out into the world?

It's hygiene for our writing.

A lot of writing is akin to the everyday grooming basics--don't sweat it, it's fine as long as it doesn't stink. Just get the words down, relax, and call it done.

But some writing is like going to The Ball--you want it to be as polished as possible before unveiling it to the world. Like before you send it out to an agent or editor. Now, nobody--and no manuscript--is ever perfect. Some probably have an inborn radiance, sure, but hell's bells, even Angelina Jolie looks better with a little make-up, right? And she probably smells as bad as anyone else if she doesn't take a shower. The thing is, you work with what you've got, and you try set it off to its best advantage.

All I'm saying is, some occasions call for a little more effort***, whether you're dressing up you or your manuscript. Just something to think about...while I go grate my heels, tweak my brows, and figure out which uncomfortable pair of shoes I'm going to dance in tonight.

*depilate: to remove hair from the body.

**Though if I get hit by a bus, the state of my underwear would probably undergo a sudden and drastic change. If you get my drift. So what does it really matter?

***Sadly, I'm afraid I didn't shave this post's legs. Sorry, but I was pressed for time. You understand, don't you?


Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I love this post, Linda. Very clever. (and true!)

abby mumford said...

this is an oldie but goodie. love it (still)!

Kimberly Sabatini said...

Love the post!!! Have fun at the Ball!!!!!

Sarah Tokeley said...

Well, I wasn't here last year so this post was fresh as a daisy for me :-)

Have fun tonight!

Teri Anne Stanley said...

Ugh, when I think of all the times I forgot to shave before I went to the OB-Gyn...egad. And then there was the time I forgot to shave before I had a massage...euwww...that poor woman's hands....

Heather Kelly said...

LOL--I love this visual. And, yup, I wouldn't go out with noticeable hairy legs--so why should my ms?

Linda G. said...

Susan -- Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Abby -- Glad you didn't mind the rerun. :)

K-pop -- Thanks! It's always fun once we get there. It's the making myself presentable part that's a pain. ;)

Sarah -- Ah, good. I was hoping there's be a few readers who hadn't seen it before. :)

Teri -- LOL! Maybe she could massage your legs and file her nails at the same time? ;)

Heather -- Exactly! :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Great analogy! Now I'm going to the other ball - or blog.

Happy Weekend!

Lola Sharp said...

It's just as good the 2nd time! :)

Grating my heels like cheese grosses me out too (it fills up w/ skin...ew!), so I regularly go to the salon and let them have at it...while I close my eyes and enjoy the massage chair. Yeah, that's right, I pay people to groom me.

Well, I do shave my legs all by myself.

(shhh, secret true confession time: in the winter I don't shave every day. I slack off.) (I sometimes skip a shower, too. And stay in my jammies all day.)

Have a fab weekend, L! Enjoy the event. (take pictures of y'all gussied up!!!)


Jennifer Shirk said...

Ha! So true. Definitely don't want to go to the ball with hairy legs. LOL

Isis Rushdan said...

I loved this!! Lol. Made so much sense. Great way to hit home with women.

Elise Skidmore said...

I didn't see this last year, so it's fresh and funny as all your posts are. You're a pip, as my mother used to say. Have a great time at the ball and watch out for those glass slippers.

Linda G. said...

Carol -- Happy Weekend to you, too. Nice to see you over at the Deb site, too. :)

Lola -- LOL! I'm with you on the occasional non-shaving, non-showering days. I won't tell anyone if you won't! ;)

Jennifer -- Even though my dress is long, I'll still shave for the ball. I mean, what if I trip and land ass over teakettle, legs sticking up? Wouldn't want anyone to see hairy legs!

Isis -- Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Elise -- Thanks! I avoid those glass slippers now. They pinch my feet. ;)

Judy,Judy,Judy. said...

"it grates on him" - lol you are such a card!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I probably spend MORE time polishing my manuscript than I do shaving my legs. I confess I get bored by the second leg and start to rush the job. But I will happily read my manuscript over and over again for weeks, shaving, scraping, and polishing.

Have a wonderful time at the ball!