About Me

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I write about people that are much much smarter than me. See the links on my shiny blog? I wrote those. And some other stuff. Below is the kind of thing you would find about me in the back of a book or anthology.

"Kelly Hale lives in the magical city called Stumptown where the streets are paved with espresso beans and the garbage recycles itself. She is the author of several science fiction-y type stories in scattered anthologies, co-author of a Doctor Who TV tie-in novel Grimm Reality, and also won an award for an early version of Erasing Sherlock – there was a giant novelty check involved.  She is mother of geeks and stand-up comedians. When she isn’t writing she enjoys grinding bones to make artisan breads, creating her own skin care products from locally sourced virgins blood, and knitting with razor wire. She’s been a fan of science fiction and fantasy since age 11. Characters from the original Star Trek represent archetypes in her dreams."

I am a devout secular humanist.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

When I am old I shall be indistinguishable from other women my basic age and shape.

The other day at work a young man I'd helped the week before came in to tell me the product I'd recommended failed him. I found him explaining this to a fellow employee he thought was me.

Here are the ways in which my co-worker and I resemble each other - we are both white women approximately 60y/o,  we are both about the same height, both round, overweight. . I have short blonde hair, grey at the temples. We both commit the hideous fashion faux pas of wearing trainers with dresses or skirts (at work, because standing all day on cement floors is hard on people of all ages.) Otherwise, I believe myself to be somewhat more fashionable than she is but I could be deluded and anyway it was too fine a distinction for him. The fact that she has long red hair, grey at the temples and I have short blonde hair, grey at the temples was not enough of a difference..Neither of us are young enough to be on his radar in any other way. To many young man we look exactly alike. We are blob shapes of a certain age that serve in the notions department of a fabric retail shop.

He was a nice guy, polite and engaging and made eye contact and everything. He assumed at the time I'd helped him that my excessive perspiration was due to menopause and suggested that possibility, bless him. (It proved to be a cold coming on). But a week later, he couldn't tell the difference between a woman with red hair and blonde hair. Part of this may be due to the fact that as women of a certain age in this society, we are not worthy of any attention beyond the cursory. It is what it is. But sometimes it bothers me. I want to be recognized as a person who has value in the world. Or maybe I just want to be recognized as me.

When I told this story to my son Simon, he had a different take on it. That people don't really see other people most of the time. He has a friend who jokingly greets him now by asking "Is it you, man? Is it really you?" because this friend has mistaken other short white guys with sandy hair and beards for Simon ( and freaked some of these other guys out by grabbing them in a bear hug before realizing his mistake).

We recognize each others humanity when we see tragedy on large scales (or protests, or flash mobs), and we acknowledge each others humanity close up and personal in our families and children and friends. It's all the daily middle business where we have trouble remembering and recognizing each life is unique, precious.

Then there's the other end of the spectrum that claims we are all part of a cosmic Sims program.