The words we use

Being a writer, and wanting to be a writer since I was young, I’ve collected a lot of words over the years.

Words like: Serendipity, alacrity, and effervescence are have been put into my vault as favorites.

While others… There are just so many words I loathe (another, much better word than saying hate or distain).

Lately, there’s one word that is sticking it’s ugly head out of the collection of words I would rather not have anyone use when describing what they think of me.

Sure, I know you can’t force someone to use certain words when they talk about you, but some words, even well-meaning ones, just stab at me like annoying little thorns on an otherwise lovely rose.

Fat. Chubby. Stocky. Stumpy. Yep, all of those I could live without.

But those are the obvious ones. The flat-out rude words that people know better than to just sling around.

Those I can shrug off as offensive or just plain inaccurate.

But everyone, I’ve decided rather unscientifically, has a list of words people have used in their general direction and just get wound up and grumpy over if they are hurled their way.

Adorable.

Cute.

To me, while I know they are said from a place of well-meaning and meant as compliments, I have to say this now, because I’ve been holding it in far too long: I am a grown woman. I am neither cute nor adorable. Just because I am short, please do not equate those words with who I am.

Puppies and babies are cute and adorable.

I am strong. Fierce. Stubborn. Feisty. Mouthy. Short. Determined.

Shirley Temple I am not (she was cute)!

Cute and adorable, to me, are the tell-tale words you never want to read in a real estate ad when looking for property: “This charming bungalow” (Read: This means this house needs work and is wicked small)… “Is big on charm” (which means at some point during a walk-through an agent said, “well, it sure does have AMPLE character”).

Character is not a bad thing, by the way, I just don’t need to be reminded that you think I’m more Edith Anne than I am Audrey Hepburn (for you young kids who don’t know those culture references I will wait while you Google).

Maybe this is just me complaining and overreacting (isn’t that what all great late-night ramblings are?). Or maybe it’s because I’ve been editing so many stories about these amazing women runners and not a single one I’ve interviewed has ever used the words “cute” or “adorable” in describing herself.

I may be both of those things, but the point is that nobody can be summarily dashed off as a single word or sentence.

And maybe I’m just being an ornery collector of words.

But at least that’s not cute or adorable either.

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3 Comments

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  1. Cute maybe ? It is so short….sorry…..but can be tossed offed so easily. But adorable….? I just spent half a day babysitting my grandson who is a year old on the 24th…. but to me is the most adorable child I will ever meet in my life. But of course he is, you say. But I was reading to him from the book “Farm Animals” and I have never seen a more concerted effort in my life. Biased….of course. But to get back to you. If someone says “Adorable”…..please don’t dismiss it. It could possibly be genuine. REALLY ! The work that you provide through your blog and FB and etc. could just be an older slant. Please consider. To me, you try harder than most. Congrats !
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