Susan Mihalic

Susan Mihalic
August 05
Writer & editor. Passionate about freedom of expression. Liberal, aspiring to be pointy-headed. Follow me on Twitter: @susanmihalic.


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FEBRUARY 12, 2013 8:47PM

The Kama Sutra, the Chicago Manual of Style, & Me

Rate: 11 Flag

I’m a funny Valentine. I don’t drink, I’m not into expensive restaurants and rich food, and I’m such an introvert that I’d rather stay home, anyway. Nor do I like extravagant gifts . . . but I do like gifts that demonstrate that the boyfriend appreciates the wonder of me, an all-encompassing phrase we began using a decade or two ago to describe the cheap teetotaling introvert that I am. 

All of this wonderfulness, according to the boyfriend, makes me hard to buy for. But this year, I made it easy for him. 

“Hey, baby?” I said the other day. “I know what I want for Valentine's Day.” 

“Oh, good! Tell me, because you’re wonderful, but you’re hard to buy for.” 

The preceding line of dialogue may have been paraphrased, but my reply is verbatim:

“The sixteenth edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.” 

Yep. Ply me with style and usage. Don’t bother with flowers and chocolates and sheer lingerie with weird feathers. 

Anyway, at the moment I am sufficiently stocked with weird feathers. A couple of months ago, I participated in a white-elephant gift exchange and received an item from the Kama Sutra Company’s line of products for lovers, which includes oils, gels, potions, balms (doesn’t that sound nice?), body paint, and candles—all of which have sexy-time potential and none of which I received. I also did not receive Intimate Caress Shave Crème, which I swear by all that is holy I read as Intimate Crevasse Shave Crème when I spotted it on the company’s website. 

But I did get some weird feathers in the form of a feather applicator with an accompanying satin pouch of Sweet Honeysuckle Honey Dust, which is essentially bath powder. Sex should be slippery, a condition most of the company’s other products facilitate. But, yeah . . . powder. Interesting choice for a love aid. If being bone dry isn’t enough of a turn-off, a whiff of this stuff should derail your desire nicely. After you stop sneezing, you will realize it doesn’t smell like honey or honeysuckle. It does live up to the dust part of its name, because it smells as dusty as a powdery old lady. Good luck getting that image out of your head. 

Meanwhile, I await accusations of being ageist or misogynistic, but I am getting older and am, in fact, a woman, so, you know, there’s that. 

Listen, what consenting adults do privately is absolutely no one’s business but that of the parties involved, but it’s not going to be much of a party if you break out the honey dust. Even the feather applicator won’t be able to salvage the situation. 

On the other hand, if you want to crack open a brand-new Chicago Manual of Style and talk usage to me . . . well, let’s just say someone’s liable to break a hip. But we’ll sure have fun doing it.

And that’s the wonder of me, baby. 

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I should be editing, printing, querying, and cleaning my studio. Instead, I'm posting to my blog. That is also the wonder of me. See? It IS an all-encompassing term.
Fellow OSer 'Man Talk Now' referred to honey dust once... maybe they sent you the economy brand for seniors, considering his comments. But that aside, break a hip girl! Happy V-Day.
GabbyAbby, it's like the powdery old lady version of Axe.
are you sure it wasn't just the first part of a sentence? you know, "Honey, dust ... the bookcase"?

and the idea of being lightly touched by a feather duster makes me either want to giggle uncontrollably or scream and slap at someone. not sexy, not even close to sexy.
I'd be happy with a new Vacuum Cleaner with Sexy Directions! R
The Chicago Manual of Style is a must have, especially for a wonder writer. I commend your knowledge of love potions. R
femme, the boyfriend and I felt the stirring promise of our inner kink until we actually opened the honey dust (the more I think about it, the worse the name itself seems). Then the sneezing started, and then we looked at one another and said, "Old lady."

Marilyn, I like gifts for the house, but if I received a new vacuum cleaner, I can't say that I'd be deeply thrilled about it. Unbelievably, though, that's how some people might feel about the Chicago Manual of Style!

Thoth, heh. I know what works for me.
Powdery old lady version of Axe? Sounds more suitable for a twisted kind of Halloween. ;)
My my. Is it warm in here?

My former hub used to look his hot hot hottest when sitting at the desk in his library, half-glasses pushed down his nose, which was deep in a book whose cover had only typeface and no pictures, you know, the kind Ph.D types read for fun. Even hotter if it was in French. I miss that man!
bikepsychobabble, it's more like a gag gift--"gag" as in choke, sputter, cough, and sneeze.
greenheron, the boyfriend laughed just a little when I told him what I wanted. Valentine's Day is also our 20th anniversary, which around here is the reference book anniversary. According to my research, china is more traditional (I have enough dishes, thank you), and platinum and emeralds are the modern (pricey) tokens for the 20th. Pffft. What are platinum and emeralds compared to the 15th edition of the CMOS? Nothing, I tell you.

Joanie, thank you. I'm excited!
Ha! And it's available in an online, searchable edition. You just know that whatever you need to know is in there somewhere. Yours in editorship, HB
HB, I debated whether to sign up for the online subscription, but I want the printed book. I love everything about the CMOS. Back in the '80s, on the extremely rare occasion we couldn't find something in CMOS, we referred to Words into Type, but WIT just wasn't as elegant. (BTW, "hell's bells" was one of my mother's favorite expressions.)
Nothing about the word "dust" is remotely sexy. I can't believe they couldn't come up with a better name. In the Chicago Manual of Style, maybe?
jlsathre, between "dust" and the Intimate Crevasse--uh, Caress--Shaving Creme, I think the company's marketing team needs someone with a good thesaurus and a better imagination.
Sixteenth edition, by the way, not fifteenth. Corrected the post, but couldn't change the edition in one of my comments.
i would go for a Fowler's style ,
or maybe a Barlett's quotations, so as to facilitate the, ha,
with mighty wisdom.
This powder? no thank u!
ointments gels and whatnot have their place, but!
the amazing thing about the human body is it
produces its own, when it is in the mood.