Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Cutting Room Floor

Earlier this week, I wrote to the New York Times. Again. And, as has happened with a regularity that is astonishing to me, and anyone who knows the limits of my mental acuity, I was advised that what I had written might soon appear, in the print  and/or online version of the paper.

Professional editing of my words began. After several egregious errors on my part were caught and corrected, the final version was approved  for publication.

Last night was my bride's 40th high school reunion. It is hard to believe by looking at her, but that's because there is a picture of an aging Dorian Gray hidden in her closet.  We had long since decided that I didn't need to spend $100 to eat a meal at the local inn and socialize with her former classmates. Plus, the evening before had been spent by me in conversation with many of these same people at a local bar.

With my son out of the house for the evening, I was left alone to stare at the computer screen incessantly, waiting for the Sunday version of the paper to appear online. I was about to gain additional recognition in my obsessive search for validation. My plans to read an article on Mr.Romney's Mormonism dissolved as I was unable to concentrate on anything but my contemplated one person celebration.

And there it was. In black and white, and maybe a splash of color around the edges. My thoughts on someone else's thoughts and then a response by the author in which my name was mentioned in a positive manner. Third party congratulations in possibly the most highly regarded newspaper in the world. My ego was satiated, at least for a brief moment.

I rushed to inform all those who were spending their Saturday evening waiting anxiously to read my thoughts of my latest accomplishment. I  just didn't bother to qualify my success with any caveat. "This piece appears in the New York Times"  I peacocked on my blog.

Only, it kind of didn't. At 6:30 this morning, I dressed and rushed out the door. We don't get the papers delivered on the weekends, and so with daylight just on the horizon, I headed in pursuit of glory. At the newspaper store, I groaned, so audibly that the proprietor asked me if everything was ok. I proceeded to regale him with tales of my self anointed greatness, and my disappointment that my thoughts were nowhere to be found in hard print. I had been left on the cutting room floor. He said something to mollify me, but what it was barely registered.

And so, to those I unintentionally misled about the scope of my grandeur, this is my mea culpa.

I have another issue that now arises. When I tell anyone who will listen, or is unable to get away from me quickly enough to avoid my thoughts of imagined immortality, of the numerical level of my achievement, does an on-line only inclusion come with an asterisk?


Anonymous said...

Asterisk ? Does that mean you were on drugs to enhance your performance?

It still counts in my book (both verbal and in print)

Robert said...

Performance enhancing drugs. At my age that is a dangerous question.