I wish some of my students were as interested in their work as they are in my appearance. Each year, it seems that some feel they must comment on the way I look, often in a complimentary way, but occasionally with suggestions for improvement. This year, Grace seems particularly concerned that my hair is not as full and luxurious as she prefers.
On a bus ride home from visiting the State University College at Plattsburgh
Me: So how was the food today?
Blanche: It was scrumptious.
Me: I thought it was delectable.
Judith: What does that mean?
Me: The same thing as "scrumptious."
Grace (trying to fluff my rain-dampened hair from the seat behind me): You really need to add some volume to your hair.
Me: Judith, is she petting me?
Judith: I'm not sure.
Me: Jeez, Grace! My hair was a lot bigger before it got rained on!
Grace: I know. It's all right. I'm just trying to do what I can do.
Next day, as I sit at my computer before class begins
Grace (suddenly appearing behind me): So you didn't take my advice, I see.
Me: What advice?
Grace (as she pulls my hair back and fluffs it gently): About giving your hair some volume.
Me: I have a feeling you want me to spend more time on my hair than I'm willing to.
Grace (still fluffing, but more vigorously): Nope. You just need to work on it a little.
Me: I'll get right on that mousse, okay?
Grace: That's all I'm saying. A little mousse.
Me: If I get mousse, will you stay awake during class?
Grace: I can't promise that. You're not boring. It's just that your voice is so soothing . . .
Me (in a studiously low, soothing tone): O, Grrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaccccccce. I will trrrryyyy to give my hair volllllluuuuuummmmme if you try to stay awaaaaaaaaake. Deal?
Grace: Hmmm. Okay.