These aren’t my shoes

Posted: January 14, 2011 by writingsprint in postaday2011, postaweek2011, Writing
Tags: , ,

Tonight’s exercise is on characterization. Describe somebody, then look at what you didn’t notice the first time, and describe them that way instead.

Pete was the kind of guy who could make anyone smile. His own smile was probably the reason why. Pete had the infectious kind of smile that made you want to be friends with him. It wasn’t something he did on purpose. That was just his the way he was, a kind of self-deprecating, life is ironic sense of humor that everyone got. He was a stout five feet nine, with short blonde hair and brown eyes, and a chiseled, bony jaw. He had grown up fighting the battle of the bulge, a hereditary condition that ran in his family, and had learned to be healthy and more importantly to be comfortable in his own skin. Once he was working, Pete became invisible. He would put on some music, shut the door to his office, and come to the surface three or more hours later when he was done.

Okay. Some things I didn’t talk about: hobbies, relationships, how he presents himself

Pete had an easygoing confidence that said he was comfortable with himself, and the people around him. When he said, “Okay. Thanks everybody, for coming to today’s meeting,” and he looked around the room, you knew that he meant it. You could usually find Pete with someone stopping by his desk to say hi, or to talk about something critical to keep a project moving. He was one of those people who knew what was going on, or what had to happen, so he was a good person to stay close to.

He wound up being the commissioner of his fantasy baseball league twice. The first time was when the last commissioner up and quit the league, and someone had to jump in and fill the void. The next year he just kept going from the previous year, and he got to use the whip-cracking skills he’d learned on the job. Pete was a big baseball fan. Huge; he and his father had been to the Phillies home opener almost every year since he was 10.

Baseball had been the way he started dating his wife, too. He met Claire through friends one night while they were out clubbing in downtown Philly. They found that they both liked baseball, hated the Yankees, loved the Dodgers, and wanted to be baseball players in their next lives. For fun they went dancing, went to dinner, and went scuba diving in the Florida Keys.

Oof. This one was tough. It felt like wearing someone else’s shoes. It really felt weird, stepping outside my regular writing style. I’ll have to take a look at why this was so hard.

  1. Tim Rueb says:

    Interesting post. The title caught my eye as I was looking over the PostaWeek2011 tags.

    Good luck on the Post a Week goal for the year.


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