The Dimple Surveys, Part One.

posted in: Day In The Life 5
This image was contained within a roll of film found lying on a street in Australia in 1938 and was donated to the Royal Australian Historical Society. Image: Wikipedia.
This image was contained within a roll of film found lying on a street in Australia in 1938 and was subsequently donated to the Royal Australian Historical Society. Image: Wikipedia.


I have prominent dimples on both my cheeks. (My face cheeks! Don’t be cheeky.) Some people have one dimple on one cheek or maybe a dimple on (in?) their chin. Me, I have double dimples. I’m a Double-D or “DD.”

Mostly, I don’t think about my dimples. After all, I’ve had them all my life. When people point them out, it’s like, “Yeah, yeah. Dimples, dimples, dimples. What else is new?”** It’s the same with my two front teeth, which happen to be very rabbit-like. I don’t think about my rabbit teeth too much, either, unless someone like Claus calls me “Bunny” and teases me (in a friendly way) about them, which he used to do and still does, when we email.

Which we do. A little.

But in Lincoln this week, I thought a lot about my dimples because I saw my friend Carolyn, who has the best dimples ever. Ever! Whenever I see Carolyn — an accomplished quilt expert and curator and all-around extraordinary woman — it all makes sense. Carolyn’s a DD just like me, and when she smiles (or even speaks at all, honestly) I realize that dimples may indeed have special power. At the very least, I have to admit they’re pretty cute.

So at dinner on Friday night, I confab-ed with Carolyn and another DD, the luminous and brilliant Heather. It was the first time in my life I had ever actually discussed my own dimplage and the dimplage of other women. What we discussed was fascinating and we were drawing conclusions that frankly helped me understand my entire life!

As illuminating as that discussion was, however, the three of us are smart enough to know that a sample size of three is not sufficient to form official Theories about DD’s, so I told the gals I’d conduct some extremely scientific research on the topic and see if any of our hypotheticals could be substantiated by actual data.

And now, from the Drumming Dimplerettes, a drumroll, please!

If you are a DD (male or female), please click this link to take this 10-question survey. It’s really going to be fun for you and I cannot WAIT to read your responses!!

If you are NOT a dimple-cheeked person or if you are a single-dimpled person, sit tight. Your time will come shortly, I assure you. Your data is every bit as important as the DD data and I am writing your very own survey right now, sitting at this airport in the southwest corner of the United States, waiting for a delayed flight to Orange County. Of course, if you want to check out the DD survey questions, great; you’ll enjoy reading the questions and will get some insight into the conversation I had with my fellow DDs. But please: Unless you are an actual DD, don’t answer the quiz. I know you want to. But this is science!

I can’t wait to put on my spectacles and make a spreadsheet.


**Actually, that’s not true: I love it when people say they like my dimples. It is my hypothesis that most DDs do!

Anna Renderer, Booty-Shaping Ray of Light.

posted in: Day In The Life, Paean 3
Who's got spirit? Me, but I can't jump that high. Photo: Wikipedia
Who’s got spirit? Me, but I can’t jump that high. Photo: Wikipedia

I realized late in college that running regularly on a treadmill made me slim and chipper. It was because I had these jeans. They were tight. And white. They were tight, white jeans. I wanted to wear them so bad. After a month of working out, I tried them on and they didn’t just fit: they looked killer. I’ve been keen on exercise ever since.

But the gym is smelly. Shortly after moving to Chicago, I abandoned the gym and became a Serious Yoga Person and enjoyed my Serious Yoga for many years. But yoga is expensive. So not long ago, I found myself a rudderless ship. I needed a captain. Who would stretch my hammies? What mode of exercise would I find that would make it possible for me to still eat the frosting off of donuts and have bacon?

Well, a few months ago, a new day dawned for my hammies because I found love. I found a woman named Anna Renderer and I love her in my living room, all alone.

Anna Renderer is the lead fitness instructor-slash-host of PopSugar Fitness, a division of the PopSugar lifestyle brand. (Like you, I barely know what that term means.) There are hundreds of exercise videos on PopSugar Fitness’s YouTube channel, all around 10-60 minutes. Bikini body workouts, circuit training, ballet, weight-training, pilates, yoga, cardio “blast”, dance — any workout you want to do, it’s likely PopSugar has one for you and Anna is going to be there when you click over. Sometimes she’s the lead trainer, sometimes she’s one of the students taking the class from a guest instructor. Either way, Anna is there, smiling with those endearing dimples, calling out, “Yeah, guys! You’re rockin’ it! Wow, this is really gettin’ at those abs, right? I’m feelin’ that! Oh, my goodness! Come on, just one more, guys, I know you can do it! Awesome!”

My favorite thing is when Anna’s leading the workout and she turns to the other two girls in the room and uses her conspiratorial voice. During a tricep kickback she’ll say, voice a little quieter than usual, “Do you guys feel that? In the tricep? Isn’t that awesome?”

Never in my life have I enjoyed death by squat jumps so completely. Anna is tireless. She is cracking with energy the entire time and you don’t hate her. It’s not fake. She is actually cheerful and she actually wants you to succeed in your exercise today. How do I know? Oh, I know. I’ve hosted hundreds of video tutorials. Hundreds. I know what level of energy it takes to do that sort of work and I never taught jumping jacks in my how-to videos. The girl is legit — and when you’re doing knees-and-toes, you need legit. You don’t want to know what knees-and-toes are because they are very hard.

PopSugar isn’t paying me to write this. (The videos are free and I don’t advertise on PaperGirl so I don’t know how they’d pay me if they offered.*) I just want Anna Renderer to know that she’s doing a good job because her job involves a black hole and that can really feel lousy. The black hole is the unblinking eye of the camera and I know it well. There’s no way for Anna to know what/how people are really doing at home when she tapes an episode. There’s no real-time audience feedback. When you tape a class for the Internet, it’s just you, the red “Record” button, and what you hope is happening in the void. Anna, it’s happening. You torched my quads, girl. You’re doing a great job and you make me want to work out. Use that conspiratorial voice more. It’s the best.

*If there is PopSugar promo merch, I would absolutely love a hoodie. Just in case you have some of those things in boxes someplace, I would wear that thing everywhere.