At some point in my pre-adolescent, Alex P. Keaton phase of respectability, I made business cards.
I don't quite remember exactly what they said, but I do remember I handed them out at every opportunity, and I definitely remember what they didn't say: my name.
In other words, all my encounters with business card recipients went horribly wrong.
"Here. Have some construction paper squares. I'm a tycoon in the making. You're welcome."
"But it's blank?"
"Oh, they're business cards. They're supposed to be blank."
My poor, gullible friends. They would never make in the business world.
Years later, I remember the feeling of getting my first real business card -- elegant white card stock with the emblem of my first newspaper smack dab in the middle.
"Look at that," I told my editor, "I think they used linen. Or cotton. You can see the fabric in the card stock. Well that's just … amazing."
My editor nodded, as if well aware that the moment deserved special recognition.
"If you don't file that story in five minutes, you're fired. But you can keep the cards."
Now that I've been doing this stay-at-home dad gig for going on eight years now -- long enough to make me a pro, longer enough to know that means very little and that the challenges are new and profound each month while the payoffs remain somehow unfathomable -- I can officially say I've hit a crossroads.
Stay at home dad. Working dad. Part time working dad who stays home.
I absolutely can't stand cocktail party chatter that begins, "So … what do you do?"
So I always ask, "So … what are your hobbies?" And have pleasantly been surprised by tales of gardens overrun with carnivorous plants, BASE jumping, and vintage porn collections.
And yet, what we do takes up quite a bit of our time, and I've been considering lately exactly what it is I do … do.
Emme is in second grade and in school all day long. I've always spent my downtime writing and trying to keep my foot in the game somehow, knowing eventually I might creep back into the paycheck world.
But now, with two books on the market, I've been working hard to make those into a growing concern. If I could somehow continue to make cool crafts and science experiments with my daughter and then write about them for all to enjoy as well, I'd be in heaven. It'd be the perfect marriage of hobby and work.
So to keep this cool thing going, I thought it was time to identify myself in a respectable way, to own what I've done and let people know about it.
I've got a cool web site -- the hub of my fledgling business and something people should definitely know about.
I've got some cool books. I've got some neat stories.
It was time for a business card, a true totem of business know-how.
So I hit the Internet, found a service, and made an elegant, understated gem of a business card.
It has my name. My books. It's really quite dashing, if I do say so myself. And I enjoy picking at the fine fibers and sorting through the pack of 5,000 that recently came in the mail.
I just wish I had put, somewhere, my god damn business web site on it.
I mean really ... anywhere would have been nice.