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MiHiICPie, or, Why I Prefer Dark Sweaters

That's Mile High Ice Cream Pie: a precariously tall ice cream pie with mint chocolate chip ice cream, an oreo crust, placed atop a slick of hot fudge. That was the final course of last night's meal. I only made it partway through, and unbeknownst to me, a drizzle of fudge decided to spend more time with me than I'd planned, by draping itself in a thin line down the front of my sweater.

Normally, not that big a deal. But as it happened, this was a dinner for Kathi Yancey, who's up here for a couple of days consulting for us, and after dinner, I drove her back to her hotel, and we had a nice conversation in the downstairs bar (which was surprisingly quiet for a Thursday night). And I didn't realize that I'd dripped chocolate sauce on myself until I was getting out of the car after I got back home.

Fortunately, I'm pretty sure that wearing a dark sweater hid this fact from Kathi as much as it was hidden from me. And actually, honestly, who really cares? It's not as though we don't spill on ourselves from time to time. So even abnormally, not that big a deal. And how exciting must my December 1 be, if that's what I've got to report?

The whole reason I was even thinking about it today, though, is worth relaying, and that's that it's rare to get an uninterrupted hour for conversation, and one where the stakes are basically non-existent. We "know" each other as colleagues, but sometimes I marvel at how much I simply assume about people based on minimal exposure. We have so little time for plain old sociality, it seems, encounters that aren't governed by the customs of networking at conferences or behaving properly during campus visits or what have you. It's rare that we ever get the chance to just talk.

Even with fudge drizzled down the front of one's sweater. That's all.


Remember that conversation we all had a few summers ago about how academics dress? Well, I think there's a special subdivision we missed: academics who spill. I belong in that category, and I’ve learned how to get any substance out of any fabric, cuz otherwise I’d have nothing fit to wear.

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