A few weeks ago, my local coffee shop received a new batch of straws. They're so flimsy they won't poke through the lid on my iced Americano.
"Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy!" I cried.
The baristas, being low-20 somethings, had no idea what I was talking about.
Lowering my voice to a fake basso profundo, I growled, "You need straws that are hefty, hefty, hefty."
Like, they still didn't get it.
Last week, another order of straws arrived.
"Ah," I sighed, ripping off the white paper wrap. "Hefty, hefty, hefty again." This time the straw easily plunged through the perforations on the lid and sank satisfactorily into my drink.
No one likes a wimp.
I, my friends, am a wimp.
(Long, very long, pause, while you all laugh, fall on the floor, then pick yourselves up and start laughing all over again.)
But it's true. I am a wimp.
Oh, I am fearless enough when it comes to reviewing badly written, author published books, and I can write a flesh-melting blog post about various avoidable injustices (it's because I'm a Libra), but if put in a position where I have to speak up for myself, demand or defend my own rights, I wimp out 98% of the time. (On the few occasions I've done so, I've been soundly criticized for it, so I'll probably never do it again, ever.)
I'm even more wimpy, if that's possible, when it comes to promoting myself.
I am the opposite of Raani York.
I was barely able to post to my own blog that I'd republished my old books, and I'm not even sure I did post anything for all of them. Announcing the publication of my little book about rocks took me hours to compose, and even after I'd posted it, I wanted to go back and take it down.
Now, however, I find that I'm in an arena where self-promotion is absolutely necessary, and I don't know how to do it. Twitter terrifies me. I know I'm doing it all wrong. I don't know how to do it right. Instagram is out because I barely know how to use my phone for phone calls. (I'm getting better at texting, but I still hit the wrong button too often.) Tumblr maybe? Oh, goddess, that's another new thing to learn, which means another new opportunity to screw up.
But I also know damn well that I wouldn't be nearly as scared of all of this new stuff if I were using it for something other than self-promotion. I wasn't afraid of Booklikes or Leafmarks. I'm not even afraid of eBay (though I don't like it very well) or Etsy, so long as what I'm doing doesn't involve self-promotion.
Because I'm a fucking wimp. A fraud. A fake.