Ask June, if You Nair


Well, my bags are packed, I'm ready to go. Okay, that isn't at all true. I just wanted to quote the song Leavin' on a Jet Plane. But my hair is blown and my Nair is on. I really have no pride, do I?

I do not understand people, such as dcrmom, who pack way in advance. I prefer the run-around-panickedly method. As I do with most things in my life. But I usually remember everything. Now watch, I'll forget the dress, or I'll have to wear mukluks with it.

I kind of just wanted to say "mukluks."

At any rate, it's Friday, time to shake the snow off and get warm with Ask June. And may I remind you to Ask June here? Someone asked me some very interesting Ask Junes this week, but they were somewhere in my comments and I just can't go through all the ding-dang comments to find all the queries. Gets my mustache in a twist.

Hyphen Mama dashed over to ask: "Is it peculiar to read books and get sidetracked by how the proofreader of that book must have been drunk that day because there are so many errors? Do I need to just get over it? (as if!)"

Mom of hyphens, I know you have to get back to rearing your little punctuations. But as a professional proofreader (well, if by "professional" you mean someone who has on their desktop computer at work) I feel I must defend the proofreader who worked on the book you're reading.

See the 47,000 other words that aren't spelled wrong? See how the leading and the kerning are fine? See how the title of the book is correct at the top of each page, the page numbers are all in order? When you look at the table of contents, do the page numbers match up, so that when it says Chapter 3 is on page 47, it really is?

Do you know how many TIMES that proofreader probably read that book? Do you know how many DIFFERENT PAGES Chapter 3 was probably on, and the proofreader had to catch that it moved to page 47? 

You know how the hero of your story is named Sean? Notice that nowhere is his name suddenly Shawn, even though it magically was the first time the proofreader read it. And how about the part where the heroine died of electrocution, even though electricity wasn't invented yet? You don't see that part? THAT'S BECAUSE THE PROOFREADER CAUGHT IT and they made her die of fever and ague!

So the part where you see the wrong "there" or "to" and you think, How could the proofreader not have caught this? Maybe the proofreader was looking at that "to" at 4 o'clock in the morning, having caught the 97th "Shawn" and having corrected 850 other things, and maybe the book was due by 7 a.m., and MAYBE PROOFREADING IS HARDER THAN IT LOOKS, HYPHEN MAMA!

No, I haven't had an unbelievably stressful week at work. Why do you ask?

And while I am being an arse, M asks, "Who is the most anal retentive person you know?"

Well, not me, M. I am anal about proofreading, but I am an idiot savant about it. In every other walk of life, I am what you call devil-may-care, or more accurately, a giant, disorganized slob.

The first person who came to mind when you asked me that was Esmeralda, my ex-best friend. I seem to make friends with a lot of thin, tidy, rather nervous women. I do not know what it is in me that subconsciously seeks out this type, and I should just get a Whippet.

Esmeralda worried about things it never occurred to me to worry about, mostly in the personal hygiene department. Her house was immaculate, as were her clothes and possessions. I remember getting a leather portfolio for college graduation and right away I made a small gouge in it and she gasped, "You RUINED it!" and I was at the very same time thinking, "Oh good, now it has some character."

I was a bridesmaid in her wedding, as were 48 million other women, and I thought she was gonna stroke out over our hemlines. Now, see, bridesmaids' hemlines just never would've occurred to me. She was my only bridesmaid, though, and I told her, "Go pick out whatever dress you like in pale pink."

I often look back and wonder why we were friends for 10 minutes, we were so opposite. Maybe that was why it worked for so long. Anal people fascinate me, as I am so not like them unless it comes to proofreading something. 

Before I go finally pack for my trip this weekend, I would like to say happy anniversary to my dog. It was a year ago today that I found Tallulah on the side of the road. She looked like this:


My hair looked like this:

Photo card 1 642

And who was not in the mood to celebrate our anniversary today? She did not wish to pose for the camera, which I'm sure had nothing to do with the humiliating shots I put up of her on here yesterday.


Happy anniversary, crabby Tallulah who was in no mood for me! You're my favorite book-eating doggie in the world.

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At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

31 thoughts on “Ask June, if You Nair”

  1. I got really annoyed reading a book the other week that said Roald Dahl came from “Cardiff, a small fishing village in Wales.” Now, I know I’m at an advantage here being British, which the author of this biography wasn’t, but surely between the author who’s been researching Roald Dahl for years, the commissioning editor, the production editor, the copy editor and the proof reader; surely someone knew that Cardiff is the capital city of Wales. It is NOT a fishing village and never has been.
    After that I kept noticing all the little errors that I usually let slide and it annoyed me so much I stopped reading the book. This is why our job is important (except that I edit copy about OLEDs or circuit boards that about three people read).


  2. As a copy editor, I really appreciate your comments on proofreading. I *try* to use such reasoning on myself when I notice my own errors. But usually I just get really depressed.


  3. I had NO idea you could use Nair for an upper lip. Heck, I didn’t know they even made the stuff anymore. I must get out more.


  4. The Dr. PROMISED there would be no beard. OMG!
    I’m just checking in to see if you got back to Greensboro with all the snow. It’s snowing like crazy here in Atlanta and my dear friend that lives in northern VA just called me, she is stuck in Jacksonville, FL because so many flights have been cancelled because of all the snow!


  5. So by the title of this post, are we to assume that if we do not nair, we cannot ask you questions? Because if that’s true, don’t answer. Just be an ass here with me.


  6. OH Tee, I know women who have shaved because they didn’t think to nair or pluck their little whiskers and NOW THEY HAVE FULL GROWN BEARDS and have to shave two to three times A DAY to keep any stubble from showing. I’m just saying… I would stop shaving! And sue your dermatologist.


  7. 5) p.s. thanks for the link to your artist friend’s site. Her bio page cracked me up, because she sounds JUST LIKE YOU! Funny and talented…. that’s a great friend.


  8. 1) WOW- I don’t recall asking that question. I must MUST stop drinking so heavily after the Little Punctuations are in bed (I will from now on refer to them as Little Puncs). Drinking and blogging no mixey.
    2) I, too, am surprised that the proofreader is in charge of all the book’s page numbers, etc. This forces me to ask the question: why does the author make all the money when they are clearly not smart enough to actually WRITE the book? (forgive me, as I’ve just learned that there is a thing called Ghost Writer and I’m all kinds of annoyed at THAT too)
    3) Baby Lula is OH MY GAWD so cute. I wish I had been the one who found her on the side of the road.
    4) Can’t wait to hear the wedding details.


  9. She is pissed! PISSED! You are going away and leaving her for the weekend. Now you had better bring her back the centerpiece or a book or something to tear up.


  10. I would like to acknowledge that your job is much harder than anyone imagines. Having worked as a newspaper reporter, I know how carefully a person can read something and still miss a mistake. But I have read many a novel where a person’s name indeed WAS Shawn in one place and Sean in another. Or, in some sad cases, it was Shawn in one place and Priscilla in another. Those are the things that get me more than the there/their/they’re errors. Certainly more than the page number thing, which I can’t say I even pay attention to. It drives me crazy when super famous authors have such slip-ups. Don’t get me started on Harry Potter inconsistencies. In a perfect world, it would be nice if someone could do a read-through of a book AFTER the proofreader has gone cross-eyed fixing myriad errors. Meanwhile, we should all take a moment to acknowledge how many MORE Shawn/Sean/Priscilla moments we would have had without the hard working men and women in your profession.


  11. I’m so curious about the Nair. Does it sting?
    Tell me everything!
    And love the dress and shoes ensemble. You will totally be the hottest mustache free lady there. Of course, Angelina Jolie might show up with a handle bar ‘stache or something. I know how you would love that. But, don’t go ripping her face off for Jennifer. That might ruin the mood of the party. Just a gentle snub might do the trick. Hmm, I have taken this little daydream too far.
    Ok, so back to the Nair. Do tell.


  12. Look at the difference at you in those last two photos. You look like seven and a half years younger than you did on the day you got that dog. And I’m sorry if I’m the 16th person to say that. I didn’t have time to read the comments before me. I hope you are having fun at the wedding even as I type.


  13. My dermotologist advises all his female patients to shave their neck and face. I was shocked! He just said, “look at most men’s faces, they are smooth and few wrinkles.” He insisted that if a woman shaves her face she will not grow a beard. He was right. It feels really weird! But, you face is soooo smooth. You just shave your neck up towards your face and shave down from the corner of your eyes to your chin. Try it, you might like it. Just don’t cut your face, and if you do, just say the cat scratched you.


  14. Thanks for the response on proof reading errors. I have also thought to myself, why did the proof reader not catch that the heroine had three aunts and four uncles in the previous paragraph and now has four aunts and three uncles in this paragraph. I had to idea they were also responsible for all the other stuff, page numbers etc. Very enlightening.


  15. June, do you refer to the world of TV much for names? June,Esmeralda,ect. I am sending you my complete TV DVD collection list. Next time you take a sick day you will be tempted to come over and have all out TV-fest!
    Here’s one from the past for you “Jenny..does this milk smell sour to you?” He actually came back from the dead and is back on the show with Angie.


  16. I was cleaning out my bathroom cabinet about two weeks ago and found a bottle of Nair (for legs, not face) that had expired in 2005. Of course, I immediately used it to do my eyebrows. And after the swelling and red was gone? They are PERFECT.
    So you go with your bad ass Nair self, June. You go.


  17. I thought for one second that you were going to say I was your most anal retentive friend. When we first became friends, remember how I color coordinated my clothes hanging in my closet? I alphabetized every CD, album, cassette tape and book. I also alphabetized my food.
    Now… I can’t even find a pair of socks without a hole in the toe and my underwear is unraveling.


  18. Tallulah looks depressed .. maybe she overheard you talking about going to the wedding with Dottie and leaving her at home with Daddy and the kittycats? Just saying ..


  19. I know books aren’t actually going anywhere like they say they are and they’ll need proof readers even when it’s all Kindle all the time, but maybe it would be fun to hide “easter eggs” in books, like the one time Sean is Shawn. I might actually find time to read something that is bigger than my phone. I’ll first work on self editing 1 very long sentence into three better ones…..


  20. Whippet! haha! My aunt & uncle worry about taking care of their things in ways I never would. One day I saw my uncle’s perfectly clean chocolate lab kind of walk by, sniff my uncle’s tennis shoe, and gave it a quick lick while walking away. The man walked to the counter, got a paper towel, and wiped his shoe.
    Seriously. Maybe this is why all my shoes look 10 years old a few days after I get them. Do normal people do this?


  21. A whippet! Brilliant! I don’t know how you come up with these things at a moment’s notice.
    Also, you know your blog is hilarious when I can’t help but laugh out loud, and my husband can’t help but sigh and roll his eyes at me. Take it as a compliment.


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