“Friday” Fluff: Life in six words

Rats, just missed getting this in under the wire on actual Friday. Sorry guys! I had this all written and ready to post, but I went in late today because of a sore throat (I think it’s just allergy drippiness, but I’m hyper-cautious because of Death Flu), so I was kind of thrown off and it didn’t feel like Friday.

Anyway, there’s a new book out in which people, celebrities and otherwise, present their six-word autobiographies. The New Yorker had a “Talk of the Town” bit about the book party, presented entirely in six-word sentences — a rather exhausting conceit that I won’t reproduce here. But it got me thinking about this very restricted expressive form (even more restricted than haiku!) and the creativity available within it. And, of course, it got me thinking about how I would express my life in only six words. I considered “never found God, never missed him,” which honestly if I had to have a six-word obituary that’s how I would want it to read. But I can’t say that atheism, or even rationalism, sums up my life entirely. For maximum accuracy and self-referentiality, then, I submit the following: “Not good at following directions.”

And you? What’s your six-word autobiography?

(Liss at Shakesville posted this same question a while back, and there are tons of comments over there for inspiration — don’t be fooled by the thing saying “0 comments,” it’s a redesign artifact and they are in fact still there.)

(Also, as long as I’m posting fluff: does anyone want to volunteer to design the Piggy Moo logo? I did the shirts so far because of the three of us I’m best at Illustrator, but I’m no graphic designer, and I think there are talented Shapelings who would do it much more justice.)

132 thoughts on ““Friday” Fluff: Life in six words

  1. My co-reporter interviewed a woman who has a memoir included in the book. Hers is “Dorothy Gale had the right idea.”

    Mine would be a twist on one Hemingway wrote: “For sale: Skinny pants, never worn.”

  2. When I was in 6th grade my best friend got me a key-chain that still sums me up perfectly: “I’m not weird, I’m gifted!” And that was a decade ago. Do I get bonus points or a penalty for being under?

  3. “If suffer I must, I can.”

    (Stolen from Faulkner, but a good precis. Precis. Prec… Christ! How do I do the little ticky-boom over the ‘e’?)

  4. I’ve never commented here before, but I had to share this — not my six-word obit, but my mom’s :

    “She did not suffer fools gladly.”

    (She’s still alive, of course, so it remains to be seen if she changes it to something else.)

  5. First off, Emlet, get out of my head. Truly, that was brilliant and would have suited me well. :)

    I adore a lot of these and several worked for me too.

    I’m not very good at this: (yeah, that could be my entry) :)

    “Moved alot; home and husband found”

    “Dissertation almost done, defense in may”
    (ok, does not describe my whole life, but feels like it since that is all I do 24/7 right now)

    “When grown up, want to do. . . .! ” (yeah, I’m about to turn 39 and still wonder about “when I grow up”)

    “Still trying, can’t define my life.” :)

  6. I said this on another forum:
    “Grateful for her boring life.”

    Seriously. At my job, we can get entangled in some serious soap operas when it comes to our tenants, and my coworkers and I frequently say how much we enjoy our boring lives.

  7. I also wrote a post about this book. It’s amazing how six words can say so much about who we are.

    I announce facts. Hope for fantasy.

  8. Still not waving, no longer drowning.

    Whoa, this knocked my socks off.

    (Hey, that was six words too!)

    (And so was that, by god!)

    (Reminds me of writing Webby speeches.)

  9. These are such fun, I keep thinking of more
    ‘Seemed good idea at the time’
    ‘Regularly wore lycra in public’
    but I think for an obit the winner is ‘will always have yet another question’

  10. We actually chose this phrase for a memorial plaque to my mother because it was one of her favorite catch phrases:

    Never choke a volunteer.

    My mother, as you may guess from this, was one awesome lady.

    buffpuff, I think I’m in love with yours. A mean risotto is not to be sneezed at by any means.

  11. Scared. Closed eyes and jumped anyway.

    The essence of weirdness, blatantly stolen from my childhood best friend:

    God spit and I caught it.

  12. I’m going to need more words.

    (No, that’s it. Look, six words!)
    (So was that. Recursive, I guess.)
    (Will no one break this addiction?)
    (Remove computer before I do it — )

    Thank you.

  13. Sum myself up in six words? That’s actually fairly easy for me at the moment:

    “Lover of God, Student, and Musican.”

    I need to make that into a bumper sticker.

  14. Learned the rules, then broke them.

    fatgirlonabike, that is awesome. Really. I wish I’d thought of it.

    Haha, “I wish I’d though of it.” could totally work for me as well.

  15. I just realized my phrase was five words. So let me get my brain back in my head and reword it:

    “Really grateful for her boring life.”

    Oh, and here’s something I made in ten minutes with my free copy of Microsoft Picture It. To quote Joel Robinson, “what do you think sirs?”

    I have no idea how to do code in these blog responses, but hopefully it’ll show up as a link.

  16. Jae’s “Oh yeah? Try and stop me” is quite fitting for me, too.
    Here’s what I’m aspiring for, and hope someday it’s true:

    Living as if weight doesn’t matter

    From Calvin Trillin:

    It’s too soon to tell

    (okay, so that’s five).

  17. What else could she have done?

    (Time-machine’s ‘i can definitely make this better’, is perfect for me, too)

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  19. Darn. I meant try my “hand”. Maybe my 6 words should be:

    “Many languages. Can’t spell in any.” ;)

    Oh and I just saw Bree’s cover. Creepy awesome!

  20. I did this exercise with my students yesterday!

    My favorite of theirs was “Missed the directions. Now I’m lost.”

    My favorite of mine was “Finally burned all her skinny jeans.”

  21. Phledge, your “Craving and dismissing others’ acceptance simultaneously.” is great, and I certainly identify.

    This one is a rip-off of Groucho Marx:

    Not joining clubs that’ll take me

    and this one certainly fits:

    Not able to settle on any phrase

  22. Loved too well & finally wisely.

    Smart, funny, loving, loyal, too emotional.

    Lived much in fantasy, survived reality.

    Fat, nerdy, disabled, plain, & loved.

    It’s never too late for love.

    Her heart was bigger than belly.

    Maybe the best one, one which is certainly true for my family & which I genuinely believe is true for everyone, would be:

    No, fat did not kill her.

  23. “Not good at following directions” is brilliant. I totally didn’t get it at first read and then went AHA!

    Read too much, but not enough.

  24. “Living life fully, have no regrets.”

    for my daughter: “Still learning rules, don’t really care.”

    for my husband: “All this has GOT to go!”

    although he says: “Working hard, playing hard, living clean.” (I like mine for him better. )

  25. “Too succinct to believe in antidisestablishmentarianism”

    “There is nothing like a dame” (Stolen from Guys and Dolls, but still my mantra)

    “Overeating on life. Trying to burp.”

  26. Zapp Brannigan and Space Ghost are not models of concision, it’s true. But they’re still role models!

  27. Space Ghost and Zapp Brannigan could have the same six-word autobio: “Totally did sex with that girl.”

    (Moltar’s, as a bonus: “I had the beautiful rock hair.”)

  28. Okay, here’s three of mine – all pretty much spur-of-the-moment.

    “Not suffering from insanity – enjoying it.”

    or

    “Still looking for the round tuit.”

    or even

    “Did I ask for your opinion?”

  29. “Life finally began during her fourties.”

    Eh, not as good as some, but 100% true.

    I LOVE “Not suffering from instanity – enjoying it,” Meg. :)

  30. Hmmm…can’t narrow myself down to just one.

    Overthinking everything-must remember to breathe.

    Easy smile, big brain, great boobs.

    Always up for a big adventure.

    Craves connection, tired of online dating.

  31. I really really cannot choose one from all these. Also, it’s hard to limit yourself to six words without sounding pretentious or melodramatic.

    Could’ve been healthy; doctors never listened.

    Devoted catslave, adoring wife, terrible diplomat.

    PCOS, lipo-lymphoedema, fibro, CMP, happily autistic.

    Fat disabled autistic infertile Jewish artist.

    Huge temper, matches body and imagination.

    Contraceptive pill destroyed my health forever.

    Would like functioning body next time.

    Survived abusive upbringing, doctors almost worse.

    Everything they fear: strong fat feminist.

    Won’t shut up to appease you.

    Husband and cats keep me alive.

    Always educating self and hopefully others.

    Too fat for permission to breed.

    Nineteen stone; still a deserving human.

  32. Still learning, but fooled no longer.

    Thinking for myself, thanks to feminism.

    Walking my road, however I want.

    Guarding my rights; watching my privilege.

    That’s what I’ve got — no more. ^_^

  33. “There is nothing like a dame” (Stolen from Guys and Dolls, but still my mantra)

    Actually, it’s from South Pacific. Sorry to be nit-picky.

    Haha, “Sorry to be so nit-picky.”

    Also:

    “Read and bought too many books.”

  34. Meowser:

    Loved cats? Wanted to BE one!

    Me too!

    Here’s mine (stolen from some size acceptance book or something, but I can’t remember where):

    ‘Not here to decorate your world.’

  35. And now I cannot get that Weird Al parody of George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You” out of my head: “This song’s just six words long…this song’s just six words long…this song’s just six words long…”

  36. “Trapped In Human Costume, Couldn’t Unzip”

    Love that sharl! :D Just thought of one more for myself:

    Living that brighter tomorrow, right now.

  37. I like the headline from a SP article in November.

    It…..
    It fits!?

    “To hell with tiny pants!”

  38. Patsy: I suspect a lot of Shapelings could say the same thing. I pointed a thin friend towards the First, Do No Harm blog, and she was shocked at the stories on there. I was shocked at how commonplace they seemed to me, having come to think of insulting and harmful doctor appointments as the norm rather than a terrible aberration.

    Thorn: thanks! I’m glad you liked it, and I think a large part of its appeal for me is that it applies to so many of my strongly-held beliefs, not just FA.

    Jo: I love “Guarding my rights; watching my privilege.” Definitely one I would use.

  39. Don’t make me stop the car! (more my mom’s than mine, I suppose).

    and

    Don’t say, I CAN’T do anything.

  40. These are making me super happy. Here’s the first I thought of:

    Life is for learning and loving

    but also

    Farts are songs of your guts :)

  41. A year late, but hey… I have two

    At the game, writing love poetry.

    Or (with apologies to William Blake)

    Spys worlds in grains of sand.

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