I was excited to find out that more than 100 of you humored me and played along. But before I tell you the outcome, let me just say that your responses (both good and bad) were a joy to read. Feedback from readers is hard to get, so I loved hearing everything you all had to say and to share. And over 90 percent of the responses elicited a smile, a chuckle, or even a guffaw.
But even better than all that was the fact that I squeaked by with my wish of not having to change my picture! There were 48 votes for a new picture, 50 votes for keeping the picture, and another 15 who were either undecided or just downright appalled that I would take the time to think about such a thing, much less to write about it.
Here’s a sampling of some of my favorites from that batch. “I vote for Option C: Why don’t you just get rid of the whole column? … [Who wants to have]to put up with the ramblings of a semi-literate egotist?” “It is beyond comprehension that an editorial opportunity such as yours is wasted on the topic of your photo. … This seems beyond vanity to me.” “You must really be hurting for material.” That person obviously doesn’t read my column enough, as I’ve bemoaned that very fact many times! (Imagine how angry these people are going to be that I’ve wasted yet another column on this topic!)
But the cantankerous readers were few and far between. Many people who wanted me to change my picture were concerned with the aging process. One writer commented that, “As you age ‘by the minute,’ sooner or later [your picture] will lose touch with reality, and we will be traumatized to find out that you’re either far older than your picture portrays or your wise written suggestions are beyond the years of the person in the magazine.” Many others echoed this theme: “I want to see the updated Sherri so I can [share] with her the pain of the aging process.”
And then there were my new best friends — the people who voted for me to keep the current picture. Some of my favorite responses included “It’s a good picture, so tell those staffers looking to get a new picture to get back to work and let you write your column!” Another favorite was “You don’t look a day over 30,000 (words, that is). Keep the current photo.”
On a more embarrassing note, I made a mistake in the August 15 issue when I wrote about my love of Scrabble. I mentioned a book I had read, Word Freak (although I called it Word Freaks) by Stefan Fatsis.
But it seems I was so intent on getting the spelling of his first name correct that I didn’t notice I had misspelled his last name as Fastis. Even worse, I was hoping that Fatsis might one day write for us. What do you suppose the odds of that are now?
So I extend my sincere apologies to Stefan Fatsis and to the people interested in him and his book. I promise to use the time I save by not taking a new picture to take a little more time making sure my facts are correct.
SHERRI GULCZYNSKI BURNS