Saturday, January 21, 2012

#1 In A Very Occasional Series: "How To Tell If You're Really A Writer"

One huge and undeniable difference between men and women can be summed up in a single word: shopping. With only rare exceptions (which sometimes, but not always, are linked to sexual preference), women love to shop, and men hate it. Give a woman a credit card with an asymptotic limit and parachute her onto Rodeo Drive, and you might as well have dynamited the Pearly Gates for her. On the other hand, point out to a man that the seat of his jeans has been worn to gossamer transparency, or that his T-shirt has so many rips and holes in it that one can barely make out the IMPEACH NIXON slogan it sports, and insist that he come along for at least an attempt at building a new wardrobe, and chances are that he'll cling to every doorjamb and article of furniture within reach with the howling desperation of a Warner Bros. cartoon cat about to be thrown from his place on the warm hearth out into the unforgiving night.

Myself, I belong to the latter tribe. I have at least one sweater that I bought in Wales over 30 years ago that's still intermittently wearable, and two pairs of Levi's 501s with 32" waists that still fit -- as long as I don't breathe. The Southern California climate is such that I can get by with shorts and a T-shirt, and I'm perfectly happy to do so, as long as I can avoid any stores that contain primarily cotton and denim. This anathema extends to just about any product -- with the notable exception of CDs, DVDs, and other media, which I usually buy online. In short, I hate shopping for just about anything.

With one notable exception -- and that leads us back to the slugline to this piece.

Put me in Staples, Office Depot, or just about any stationery store or anyplace where they sell writing or office supplies, and I immediately become a ten-year old in a candy store. I've been known to actually drool in such places (although that's probably the Parkinson's). I've literally had palpitations standing in the various aisles. It's not a pretty sight.

But it seems to me a fairly good indication that, at least as far as physical accoutrements are concerned, I love the trappings of a writer. I even love actually venturing physically from my lair and going to such stores.

And, best of all, it's all deductible.