One Word

by | Jul 21, 2009 | Julie | 10 comments

This past weekend my neighbor Brian tried out for the new art reality show. He didn’t make it past the second round, which is tragic and mystifying, since he is clearly made for such a gig. I am now convinced that he should try out for every reality show possible, and then subtly and surreptitiously change the face of television as we know it (although that’s the subject for another post, really). What this is about is that the application for the art reality show asked him to describe himself in one word, and ever since I heard about it, I’ve been obsessing over what my one word would be (dangerous since when Brian’s wife Adriane told me all this I was standing on the roof, and I probably shouldn’t have let myself get distracted). (Lately all of my conversations with Adriane have inexplicably been with me either on the roof or yelling out the attic window, and Adriane half a block away. We’d be the most annoying people on the street if it weren’t for one of the neighborhood posse kids who has recently acquired a small plastic recorder which she tunelessly plays just as I’m trying to get my kids to go to bed. It’s incredibly annoying and I think she’s got some kind of amp hooked up to the thing. It’s impossibly loud.)

Anyway. The first words that sprang to mind were all words you’d use to describe a golden retriever: friendly, enthusiastic, loyal, cheerful. I also thought motherly and then immediately thought, “UGH.” No. Some days it’s lackadaisical and often it’s tired. I wish it were capable more often. Or at least determined. But I think the key is to pick a word that has a few layers going on. Or a word that’s not even an adjective. Or a word that’s a color. Ebullient. Ardent. Glee. Chartreuse. Pineapple.

It’s HARD. What word would you pick for yourself? What word would you pick for ME?


  1. Patrick

    Well…now I guess i got some thinkin’ to do.

  2. emily

    creative! duh. (just “creative”, not “duh” too)

    it’s a sadly overused word, but it’s what you do all the tme, includes motherhood without being so creepy gross, I don’t know. I’ll keep thinking. but I think this one works for a start!

  3. Julie

    Well, thank you. Sometimes it does feel like “creative, duh” I will admit. I was hoping to come up with something a little more, I don’t know, enigmatic. Or inner-monologue-mantra-esque (where I could silently chant, “I am _____!”). (“I am pineapple!”) But creative certainly works there, I suppose.

  4. Lisa van Oosterum

    You= eponymous. Still working on me. Thanks for giving me something to ponder while making turkey meatloaf.

  5. emily


    also: “sugar puffs sugar puffs sugar puffs!”

    tractor falatko

    all things I have loved coming out of your mouth, and which could work on a variety of levels. and don’t worry, I’m not calling you a cream puff.

    I wonder: you are two things also

    1) a wit
    2) an enthusiast

    could you be a withusiast? no, that’s not right. an enthwitsiast?

  6. Julie

    Wait, Lisa, is my word “eponymous” or is it “Julie”? (I’m thinking of the right word, right? Doesn’t eponymous mean self-titled?) Am I so rightly named that my one word descriptor is my very own name? This is perhaps too philosophical for me to chew on.

    I’m thinking on you too. I’m trying to think if there’s a word that means stylish, funny, hip, friendly, and adventurous. Or does “adventurous” mean all those things on its own? If there’s a way to work in your awe-inspiring shoes that would be good too. C’mon, you’d think the English language would have a word that means “awesome-shoed adventurer.”

    I like enthwitsiast. Though I think I was thinking of an actual word. I realize also my issue with “creative” is kind of a dumb issue: I want a word that might impress the judges of the art reality show, not that I had any plans of trying out. But maybe that’s a silly criterion. I’m not trying out for the show, and so the fact that “creative” wouldn’t distinguish me amongst a roomful of artists is neither here nor there.

  7. Clog

    Have you seen that book where you have to tell your life story in six words? I think that would be harder than one word to describe yourself. What is the one word I would use to describe you – “delightful”.

  8. Elizabeth

    “Ambitious” or “Brave” comes to mind. You, not me. Oh, maybe “Self-Deprecating” describes you, too.

  9. Lisa

    Ha…here was my thought process. I was thinking with admiration that about your ability to document your daily happenings in a wonderful and honest way and since the blog has your name in it the word eponymous (being the person of which something is named) popped in my head.

    The word fearless kept coming to mind for me, and then coupled with your choice of ‘adventurous’, I think that it is official that “I am pirate” (with funky shoes). I can’t wait to break the news to my kids.

  10. Julie

    This is turning out to be much more fun than I had anticipated!

    I am boggled by your suggestions, Elizabeth. I’ll try to live up to them. I often think of myself as “in a hole” and “fearful.”

    Lisa is totally a pirate (the good kind).


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