I went for a walk earlier today and met a nice older neighbor who asked if he could pet my dog, Casper. Apparently, the dog he’d just met around the block was too shy to let a stranger near him.
“Your dog’s not shy, is he?” he asked.
“Oh, no,” I said. “He always wants to say hi to everyone he meets. Some people like it and some people doesn’t!”
Yeah. So that’s not a typo. That’s actually what I said: SOME. PEOPLE. DOESN’T.
I couldn’t really correct myself. For one, in an effort to be friendly, I’d said it with WAY too much aplomb. And for two, I stunned myself silent for a second too long to reel it back in. And for three, how do you even explain that word choice? A four-year-old could’ve handled that sentence better!
I thought about trying to add something kind of folksy, so he might think I meant it in some eccentric way, but nothing short of attempting a jig came to mind. And while I thought (albeit wrongly) that I could pull off basic small-talk conversation, I knew I wouldn’t be able to pull off a jig.
That’s the problem with writing versus talking. In writing, it’s perfectly acceptable to start with a sh*tty first draft. In talking? Not so much.
Not surprisingly, the conversation came to an awkward and abrupt halt. Probably a good thing, because you know how those new-neighbor convos go — they eventually wind into who you are and what you do for a living. Probably not a good time to admit you’re a writer.