Dear Selfie

selfie3Dear Selfie,

I take issue with you, Selfie. Actually several.

And the fact that Oxford Dictionary, as part of a genius brand awareness ploy to prolong the death of its product life cycle, yesterday declared you as the Word of the Year for 2013 not only makes me  a little more depressed about the state of humanity, but it actually makes me a little nauseous.

Your meaning is pretty self-explanatory:  a photo taken of oneself with a smart phone or webcam for use on social media. Your origin dates back to when a gentleman first used you in an Australian chat room in 2002 to describe a photo he took of his injuries after falling down drunk.  Your Australian heritage makes sense when you think of the “ie” suffix often used by Aussies as shorthand (think barbie for barbeque).  But that’s about all that makes sense to me.

It turns out the frequency of your use has increased by 17,000% over the past year. Apparently a research program calculates this percentage after collecting roughly 150 million English words in use on the web each month.

I’m curious and at the same time frightened by the fact that so many people are into you that much.  It seems like the world has much larger fish to fry than looking at awkward pictures that people not only spend the time to take of themselves, but then take the time to post for reasons that I can only assume to be self-aggrandizement or the result of a drunken moment like the inventor of the word intended.

Don’t get me wrong, I post a picture of myself every now and then.  But it’s usually with someone or commemorating some kind of moment or experience, and it’s never self-taken.  I know I’m sounding preachy here, sorry Selfie.

 I do appreciate that you have helped make it easier for me to manage my social media.  Your overuse actually motivated me to learn how to control my filter on Facebook which has helped to control my Selfie overload. 

I also understand that reality and movie stars post Selfies to generate business.  That’s actually pretty smart. And in the blogging world they are relatively customary and I get that.  I even understand kids and teenagers who post Selfies to impress their peers, sort of.  But regular grownups who post Selfies …  are they afraid we keep forgetting what they look like?  Do they do it to see how many people will give them a “like” because they need it for the affirmation?  Or do they honestly not know anyone who can take a decent picture of them?

These are the questions that baffle me today, this day after your historical induction into the words of fame.

Congrats, dear Selfie.

Yours truly,


Top 10 Reasons Not To Have Petite Friends If You’re Not Petite. Gratitude Experiment: Day 48

I will preface this post with a note that I am not of Amazonian proportions. In fact,  I am an average sized person if not a tad less bulky than average.  But growing up in my family, 5’7″ actually was Amazonian.    I towered over my mother and sister for much of my life.  Yes, they were short, cute, petite little buggers and I heard quite a few wisecracks from them over the years (although it was advantageous to be taller than your older sister).

As an adult,  I have formed wonderful friendships with a few petite, some might even say tiny, friends. But I’ve realized this doesn’t do my vain ego any favors.  Too late to change direction on those friendships for sure, but I can apply these findings to potential petite pals in the future.

At any rate, here’s why:

1. There is no way I can be in a photo with these petite pals and not look like I am a giant who is getting ready to eat them.

2. I’m destined to have a “big eater” complex at restaurants with them whenever I reach for the breadbasket (let alone the New York Strip and loaded mashed potatoes).

3. My large head,  especially next to them, looks freakishly out of proportion in photos — especially if, heaven forbid, I end up in the foreground of the photo.

4 . There’s not any clothes swapping or borrowing going on with these mini mates.

5.  If I was to try on their jewelry – their rings would barely fit my pinky finger I’m pretty sure.  Not an ego booster.

6. There’s not any shoe swapping going on with these bite size buddies either.  And I’m convinced that shoe manufacturers either produce less attractive shoes in size 9, or they just look far less attractive when that long.

7. Sometimes aforementioned photos end up on Facebook and I wonder if it’s because I make them look great by size comparison.

8 .  There is the distinct possibility of jail time for me after violent reactions to any one of them complaining about feeling too big or fat (even though I know it’s all relative).

9. Few clothing items that look good on my pint size pals will look good on me when found in my size.  Let’s face it, clothing designers like the way their clothes look on small framed people and they design them that way.

10. When in photos with these friends, I usually have to lean or kneel down a bit so that I don’t tower over them or end up out of the picture frame.  This usually ends up creating an even more awkward looking photo — like I have a hunchback or spinal curvature condition.  Super sexy.

That Randy Newman Short People song kept going through my head as I was writing this post.  I wondered what his motivation was for the lyrics and thought about how controversial and mean it would sound today.  After a little research, it turns out that he was referring to people with short tempers who are small-minded.   Or that’s his story and he’s sticking to it.

Today, despite my whining, I am very grateful for all of my friends, large and small.  And for my readers, short and tall.