Recently, in a four-way e-mail conversation with friends, someone mentioned talking to a teacher from our high school days. When my name came up, the teacher described his memory of me in six words: “wavy hair, glasses, big into theater.”
Wow. I didn’t know how to take that – the very core of who I am, or was, compressed into six highly descriptive words. When I shared my dismay, one of my friends referred me to a book that dealt with this very idea.
Here are some excerpts from the book, which I’m quoting from Amazon.com:
Some writers tell their stories with humor and self-deprecation:
>> Woman Seeks Men–High Pain Threshold.
>> My first concert: Zappa. Explains everything.
>> Aging late bloomer yearns for do-over.
As you would expect, there are many bitter or bittersweet references to relationships gone bad:
>> Girlfriend is pregnant, my husband said.
>> Just in: boyfriend’s gay. Merry Christmas.
>> Let’s just be friends, she said.
Some lucky people sent memoirs that radiate contentment.
>> Alone at home, cat on lap.
>> Hope my obituary spells “debonair” correctly.
>> Wasn’t born a redhead; fixed that.
There is the contingent who describe themselves without judgment:
>> Gave commencement address, became sex columnist.
>> Mormon economist marries feminist. Worlds collide.
>> Still lost on road less traveled.
And last but not least, the philosophers who distill life experience into a greater truth:
>> Palindromic novels fall apart halfway through.
>> Cheese is the essence of life.
>> Wandering imagination opens doors to paradise.
I occurred to me that this would be a top-notch copywriting exercise. No, I won’t ask you to write about yourself. That’s just too hard. Instead, pick a product, any product, and try to describe it in exactly six words.
Here’s one for beer: “Low carbs. Makes date look great.”
You can do this on your own, but I’d really like to see what you come up with. Post your six-word masterpiece below.