Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Career in Modeling

My Blogging for Dummies book recommended that I pay attention to the web statistics of my blog but felt the need to warn me that web statistics are “geeky” and that I would probably find it to be “a tedious experience […] like watching paint dry.”  On the contrary, I find it fascinating!  I love to see my successes and failures neatly displayed in table format.  Plus, the free statistics software that I use keeps track of the referring page for all of my site visits, so when someone finds my blog through a Google search, I can see what search terms they used.  Here are some of the search terms that have led people to my blog over the past couple of days:

bitter housewives
most embarrassing moment in business presentation
geek femme fatale
night job at gas station
unpublished writers bitter
austin texas full of crappy jobs
waitress short skirt forced or required
“quit my job in finance”

I often Google the phrases myself to see where exactly my blog falls on the list of search results.  If it happens to be number one, I get very excited and immediately show my husband.  “Look!  I’m the first result when you Google “most unathletic person!”  I once bragged to him that I was the first result for “big peckers biter,” and he just stared at me and shook his head.  (I assume this person meant "bitter" but I can't say for sure.)

When the search terms are actually relevant to my blog, I like to check out the competition.  I try to imagine the person doing the Googling and then I ask myself, "Which link are they most likely to click on, and why?"

If you Google “quit my job in finance” (in quotes), my website is second on the list, but I think it’s safe to say that most people click on the third link, which is titled “Hottest Girls on Facebook: Vol. 1” and features a half-naked girl who supposedly quit her job in finance in order to pursue modeling (i.e. posing in lingerie and posting the pictures on her Facebook page).  Um, yeah, I can’t really compete with that.

Although, come to think of it, I did briefly consider a career in modeling.  At just shy of five-eleven, I was officially the tallest person in the eighth grade.  The first thing I did was sign up to play basketball, but it didn’t go as well as I had anticipated; I was the only player in the league to go the entire season without scoring a single basket.

After I quit basketball, I decided to take up modeling.  I felt certain that I would be a working model in no time.  At fourteen, I was already taller than Cindy Crawford, and I figured everything else was just make-up and flattering lighting.  I knew the first step would be to put together a portfolio.  A guy who claimed to be a modeling agent had once approached a pretty friend of mine and had encouraged her to spend $500 on professional photos.  I didn’t have $500 to spend, but I did have a camera and a mother who was willing to do anything for me.  So, I put on my shiny purple shirt from TJ Maxx (designer fashions for less!),  slathered on some purple lip gloss, and had my mother take pictures while I posed and gave her detailed instructions on where to stand and the proper angle for each shot.

Since this was before the days of America’s Next Top Model, everything I knew about posing came from the pages of Seventeen magazine.  I was under the impression that models should appear sad and pensive and gaze slightly upwards and never directly into the camera.  With this in mind, I readied myself by pretending to read a depressing poem on the ceiling.

I had to wait 24 hours for the roll of film to be developed, and when I finally tore open the envelope and flipped through the prints, I was, in a word, horrified.  What immediately struck me was how hideously misshapen and skinny my nostrils were.  And there I was, in every picture, tilting my head back as if I were trying to show them off.  I suddenly remembered a boy on the school bus who had once called me “Quarter Slots.”  I hadn’t given it much thought at the time, but now it made perfect sense.  I had been oblivious to my own serious deformity!  I spent the next few days analyzing my various shortcomings before I finally decided that modeling was not for me.

Recently, I tried to find those pictures.  I spent at least an hour digging through old photos in my parents’ storage closet, as did my mother, but there was no trace of them.  I suspect that I threw them away, or burned them, a long time ago.

So what’s the point of all of this?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  Allow me to summarize.

Important Lesson #1: Never throw away embarrassing items.  Someday (five or ten or fifty years from now), you may find these things entertaining.

Important Lesson #2: Just because you’re tall doesn’t mean you’re meant to be a model or an athlete.  It could just mean that you’re meant to be taller than everyone else.

Important Lesson #3: Web statistics are neither geeky nor boring.  When used correctly, they can provide inspiration for new and embarrassing posts such as this one.


  1. Now when you google "quit my job in finance" your site is first from your most recent posting about googling your site!

  2. Yes, that was all part of my master plan.