13 September 2004
… you include an SASE with all correspondence — even letters to your mother.
… you can’t resist pointing out grammatical errors in restaurant menus.
… your wife says she’ll kill you if you whisper, “That was the end of the first act” during a movie one more time.
… you can recite return postage rates for London, New York, Los Angeles and Guam.
… in a house fire, you’d save your copy of Writer’s Market, then your grandmother’s jewelry.
… during church sermons, you find yourself thinking, This could be tighter.
… you couldn’t balance a checkbook if your life depended on it, but your submission log is cross-referenced three different ways and goes back to 1986.
… you decide four sentences into any novel that the author is inept.
… you fall in love based on proper use of syntax.
… when your family suggests a Disney World vacation, you say, “How about stopping on the way to see the farmhouse where Walt Whitman was born?”
… you feel sex ranks a distant second to the sensation of holding a felt-tip pen in your hand.
… your answering machine says, “Hi, I’m not here right now. Please leave a query and the synopsis of your proposed message, and I’ll let you know whether to call back.”
… when you nail a sentence, you’re pretty sure you know how Moses felt parting the Red Sea.
— I.J. SCHECTER