“Do I Look Fat In These Shoes?”

As you’ve probably not noticed, I haven’t posted a blog in a while.  The reason is that I’ve been taking yet another writing course at the New School and the work  for that course has drained what little creative juice I have.  More on that in a bit.  

On a personal note–in the event that my absence has been noted by you and you’ve had any concerns for me, I’m OK.    But, you should keep in mind, if something untoward had happened to me, it would look exactly what the last number of weeks has looked like, i.e.  no word from Neil.   So, if six or seven years go by without your getting a blog posting from me, don’t assume that I’ve gotten a job as a screenwriter in Hollywood; it’s more  likely  that something tragic has befallen me.  You may want to keep that in mind.

I’ve decided that I’ve been too rigid in my approach to entitling the blogs…trying to tie the content in with the title.  I think that may be a  little too buttoned up…a bit too bourgeois.  So the title you see above is one I’ve had hanging around that has no relationship whatsoever to the narrative to follow.  I’m finding this new format really, really freeing.  It’s now almost like an open marriage. 

The course that I’m taking is called, “Finding Your Voice in Nonfiction.”   Turns out… I hadn’t even misplaced my voice.  Who knew?   The demographic in these classes is almost always the same…mostly women and mostly younger people.   Of the 17 members in my current class, there are  only four men and none of them is within 20 years of my age;  of the women, maybe one or two are in their early fifties.  You can only  imagine how thrilling it is for me  to be an elder statesman. 

Another consistent demographic in these courses  is that usually, almost the entire class is gentile.  This continually amazes me; here I am in New York City,  in a university setting, in the heart of Greenwich Village, yet I’m surrounded by goyim.  I don’t get it.  Maybe  all the Jews are  either taking Yiddish: 101 in a different classroom or are at  home watching In Treatment  to see how their therapist compares with Gabriel Byrne.

But being a student–even an older one–has its benefits.  Last week I was shopping at Banana Republic.  As I was checking out, the young woman at the register didn’t ignore me.  In fact  she actually looked me in the eye as she spoke to me.   This, I took to be her way of flirting.  She  informed me that if I was a teacher or a student, I’d get a 15% discount on my purchase.  When I let her know that I was, indeed, a student she asked what I was studying.   I told her I was taking writing courses.  And then she said–pay close attention to this–“That’s really commendable!”  Come on…if that’s not flirting, I don’t know what is!   Plus 15% off!!  It’s so great to be back in college!

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3 Responses to ““Do I Look Fat In These Shoes?””

  1. other jane Says:

    Yes. Where are the Jews one would expect to find in these classes? My guess is that they are publishing so much they don’t have time to go to school. It drives me to drink.

  2. Ray Says:

    Big Neil!!

    If taking some time off results in this type of quality then you should do it more often!! This was a beauty. And, I think she was flirting with you!! Keep them coming.

  3. Mike McPartland Says:

    If you want more young girls flirting with you – and what old guy doesn’t – stop “taking” courses and start “teaching” courses. One of the reasons I don’t give up my part-time teaching job at Kingsborough is that it’s the only place where I have not just one but 10 to 15 young girls looking at me and hanging on my every word! Every other place, as you correctly implied, they’re on a cell phone, talking,
    I imagine, to a younger guy and looking right through me. And that last part I do not imagine! Anyway, I’m enjoying your blogs. Except for the Jewish schtik, I can identify with many of your experiences. Regarding that, I was surprised to learn that Rep. Cantor was the only Republican Jew in Congress. Maybe Obama can negotiate a bipartisan minyan for him. By the way, if it stops snowing, I won’t have too much time to post these comments. I’ll be playing tennis!

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