Monday, November 16, 2009

You're Nobody 'Til You're in the New York Times

Alternate title: Good Lord, Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me I Look Like Mary Poppins?

Yes, that's me. In the Times, like somebody respectable and newsworthy. And it's all thanks to my self-styled status as an etiquette vigilante.

My Sunday was pretty thrilling, what with the well-wishers, the shiny photo (taken by Andrew Councill, who was extraordinarily lovely), and the holycowI'mintheNewYorkTIMES!!!!! that managed to leak through the haze of the world's most brutal red wine hangover.

Except that I'm captioned as "It's polite to prowl." Eeeeessssshhhhh. And there's the whole cringeworthy thing where the reporter left out the repeated assertions I made that adults should not scold other adults, that lecturing others simply compounds the rudeness, and that I don't go around telling people how to act. I simply politely and calmly ask people to stop doing whatever it is that's so annoying, because most people mean well but are just oblivious to the world around them. I don't call people at home to enact petty revenge, like another person profiled in the article. (Reading that made me cringe like you would NOT believe.)

That said, what shall we do with my newfound fame as a schoolmarmy busybody scold? Market myself as an etiquette maven? Correct the posture of strangers with a ruler? Wear a "As Seen in the New York Times" t-shirt everywhere I go? Try to get into VIP rooms by showing a clip of the article and saying, "Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal"?

268 comments:

1 – 200 of 268   Newer›   Newest»
Lemmonex said...

You havea rrived! And shown your face on the internet!

Congrats.

Brando said...

It is time for Emily Post and Miss Manners to learn there's a new sherrif in town!

Shannon said...

Lemmonex - You mean I have a FACE? Spooky.

Brando - I'm sure they already know, and have expressed gently worded disdain for my inability to figure out what fork goes with what.

lacochran said...

So impressive! You rock!

Dagny Taggart said...

Very, very nice! Though... I think an advice/etiquette column/blog feature might suit you fairly well.

Shannon said...

Lacochran - THanks!

Dagny - Thanks! If anybody wants to send in questions (scannerjockey@gmail.com) I'll be happy to answer them.

Malnurtured Snay said...

Okay, first: AWESOME! HIGH FIVE!

Second: are you blocking pedestrian access from that crosswalk? That's kind of ironic.

J said...

Totally awesome! I bought a hard copy just in case the internet self-destructs tomorrow!

Shannon said...

Snay - Indeed I am! Which made me feel incredibly awkward - even more so when people kept doing double-takes. The photographer said people were trying to figure out if I'm famous.

J - Thanks!

Titania said...

You look way too cute in that picture, Mary Poppins or not. There, I said it.

You need to make "Disaffected Scanner Jockey t-shirts" to travel the world. I'll take one to Chile, promise.

Just A Girl said...

I love that picture. It's adorable. I definitely think the "I'm kind of a big deal" thing is the way to go.

brad said...

So, so great. Congrats.

And it's incredible how willingly the crowd seemed to split around you in the photo. Honestly, I would've expected a rude trample. Double win.

FreckledK said...

What a great, great photo. I don't think you look like Mary Poppins at all (not that that would be a bad thing).

Shannon said...

Titania - Awesome. People will probably think they say, "disinfected" and that you work for a cleaning service.

JAG - But if I'm kind of a big deal, does that mean people have to fetch my coffee? That could get weird.

brad - What you didn't see is that the photographer basically blockaded the sidewalk. I felt really guilty about it, and kept shooting people these really pathetic, apologetic looks. Then they'd stare at me and wonder if I'm famous or unhinged or something.

Frecks - Thanks! The photographer was really lovely.

Alex said...

That's really cool! It's hard to do a media interview and get at least slightly misrepresented, but I would say the coolness of the story outweighs that -- just own your newfound global schoolmarm reputation!

And I love the photo, you as this island of focused calm in a sea of blurred people rushing past. Clever shot by that photog.

Jodi said...

Enjoy the notoriety! We need more polite people willing to speak up. Glad to discover your blog, and I look forward to reading it.

FoggyDew said...

If I remember correctly, Mary Poppins was "Practically perfect in every way." So, being compared to Mary ain't a bad thing. Even though you are commiting a sin that, to me, is even worse than standing left: blocking the side walk. But you get a pass since I would have done it too to get my pic in the NYT.

Alan Stamm said...

Bonus from reading Doug Quenqua's article: It led me here, where I'll definitely return now that I've sampled more posts than anticipated. (Oh my, look at the time already . . . Where has this afternoon gone?)

So you're in my reader feeder now, Shannon.

And how gracious of you (naturally) to welcome advice/etiquette Qs, an invitation that would be . . . well, rude to ignore:

1.) Do you refer to Douglas Quenqua as "the reporter" to signal -- politely -- that his (or his editors') incomplete description of your restrained vigilantism is cringeworthy?

2.) Do I impolitely overreach in Line 1 by calling him Doug, though we haven't met? (Yet.)

3.) How long, on average, need one post comments here before it's OK to call you Shan? (I'm patient.)

Oh yes, did I mention I also adore the photo? (More Juliette Lewis than Jamie Lee.)

-- Your new Detroit fan

bh said...

Now I KNOW I nearly walked over you at McPherson Square about a year ago.

Sorry. My bad.

Lori said...

Nice to meet you Shannon! I just found your site from the Times - and being a Scanner Jockey myself, I know your perspective on life is particuarly relevant ;) Thanks for writing!

Oh, and my favorite un-official title is "Director of First Impressions". It makes me feel all bloated with self-importance until they tell me to get a coffee, MILK, not CREAM, pronto thanks... sigh.

Shannon said...

Alex - The funny part is that I'm not a very calm person. He kept wanting to do these side view, me looking serious shots, but I thought it looked like I was trying to take on Big Oil or something.

Jodi - Thank you and welcome!

Foggy - I swear the photographer made me do it! I kept agonizing over blocking the sidewalk.

Alan - Welcome! As a housewarming gift, here are your answers:

1.) Do you refer to Douglas Quenqua as "the reporter" to signal -- politely -- that his (or his editors') incomplete description of your restrained vigilantism is cringeworthy?

Nope - just the name "quenqua" is so much fun to say that it sidetracks me. quenqua! quenqua!

2.) Do I impolitely overreach in Line 1 by calling him Doug, though we haven't met? (Yet.)

Possibly, but I think some first names invite informality, such as Doug, Joe, and Kiki. If he was Cleveland Monmouth Quenqua III, it might be a different case.

3.) How long, on average, need one post comments here before it's OK to call you Shan? (I'm patient.)

About 10 comments. Or three really funny ones.

BH - Entirely possible, I used to work around there.

Lori - Welcome! Director of First Impressions? That's a real title? If not, I'm totally co-opting it.

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