One of my biggest complaints about going to any sort of conference or networking function is that there are always cliques, and you feel a bit isolated if you don’t have a “tribe” to call your own. At BlogHer, these tight-knit groups were isolated around a common blog or project (MamaPop, Aiming Low, Kirtsy) or subject matter (photography, parenting). I returned home feeling that I don’t “belong.” What is my tribe?
Most religious people believe that God works in mysterious ways, and maybe it is true. The day after I returned to Los Angeles, I received an email requesting me to become a member of a unique group of like-minded individuals. I was finally being accepted by my peers. I was asked to join a “Big Ears” forum.
At first, I thought it was a joke, or some gag at my expense, perhaps from someone I ignored in New York, or from a mommyblogger who caught me tossing out her business card in the trash bin at the Hilton Starbucks. But this forum truly exists, and there are many members from around the world. Apparently, in 2007, I wrote a blog post about how as a teenager, I wore my hair long-ish because I was self-conscious about my bigger ears. This blog post, a throwaway at the time, had inadvertently become the Bible for the Big Ears Forum, the Holy Grail of Big Ear Posts.
Although my big ears bothered me for several years, it isn’t a subject I thought about for a long time. At some point in my life, my head grew in size and my ears became better coordinated in size and shape with the rest of my body. I even began to be proud of their larger size. During my bar-hopping days after college, I tried to woo women into the bedroom by specifically mentioning my unique attributes. “I have really big ears, don’t I?” I might say, with a wink. “Just imagine what my…”
Just for the record, the line never worked.
Currently, the size of my ears is the least of my daily worries. For instance, today I mostly fretted about —
3) Gray hair
4) Sophia joining Twitter.
5) Carelessly packing my car keys into one of the twenty-five boxes at my in-laws house destined to Goodwill, forcing me into a day of extra work unsuccessfully searching for the keys, misery and headaches, and 70 dollar parking tickets!
I ignored the request to be part of the big ears forum.
But people with big ears tend to have big personalities, and my lack of a response didn’t stop one of the faithful members of the forum from emailing me personally. It seems that my personal experience really turn me into a guru to my big-eared followers, a Gandhi to my peers with Dumbo sized hearing apparatuses.
Hallo, Mr. Kramer,
I am a member of the forum for those with big ears when I came across your blog post. As a kid with big ears. I got the impression that you were also that kid. I am kind of worried about my ears, they seem to be sticking out too much. The question is, if you were that boy, how did you manage to “fix” your problem. I will be happy to hear your answer!
Wow. I am stumped. George, if you are reading this — jeez, I’m not sure how to answer this. All I can say is, when you get older, don’t use that “My ears are so big, so…” because it doesn’t work.
However, women tend to say that their boyfriends and husbands never listen to them. I have used that to my advantage. When I meet a women that I’m interested in, I tell her that my bigger ears help me to “hear better.”
And that line DOES seem to work.
So, don’t fix anything. My advice is to always take an obstacle, and turn it into an asset. Good luck, George, from my mouth to your enormous ears!