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“For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on January 25, 2009 6 Comments

Thus, the anecdote goes, began-and ended-the (über)short story by Ernest Hemingway, the fascinating result of a $10 bet. This was the principal motivation behind Smith Magazine‘s call for memoirs in six words; eventually, the best entries were published in the bestseller, “Not Quite What I Was Planning.” In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, there’s a new collection of treasures published in “Six Word Memoirs of Love and Heartbreak by Writers Famous and Obscure.”

Here’s a taste from the LA Times blog:

It hurts even worse in French.–Derek Pollard
I loved the idea of you. — Audrey Adu-Appiah
Tomorrow, maybe, I’ll sell the ring. — Matt Tanner
Inevitably, his obituary didn’t mention me. — R. Sue Dodea
I thought we had more time. — Joe Hill
Wonder-filled, and never a dull torment. — Diane Ackerman
He is married. I am not. — Hope Truhart
We’ll break up before this prints. — Porochista Khakpour
What once were two, are one. — George Saunders

Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak from SMITHmag on Vimeo.

More excerpts from the Reader’s Digest:

In hindsight, I’d still choose you. — Natana Gill
Love: eight pounds and six ounces.– Kenny Clark
Marriage, children, empty nest: Now what?– Oliver House
I’m your one that got away.– Mary Elizabeth Williams
He e-mailed again, and I deleted.– Molly Antopol
May I have the last dance?– Robert Hass
He told me he was single.– Esther Newberg
Moved in. No ring. Moved out.– Melissa Lafsky
Portland, she decided; I, the Bronx.– Dominic Preziosi
I searched him on Google. Nothing.– Cybele O’Brien

My own personal contribution (and I bet $10 it’s in the book somewhere): It was never meant to be.


Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan.

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6 Responses to ““For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.””

  1. Youki on: 25 January 2009 at 8:37 pm

    those are nice, like modern haiku.

    (yes, that’s my contribution)

  2. Usree Bhattacharya on: 25 January 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Heh…cool…but what’s the romantic slant?

  3. Youki on: 25 January 2009 at 11:12 pm

    last comment seven words, won’t respond.

  4. Usree Bhattacharya on: 26 January 2009 at 1:11 am

    You did, by saying you wouldn’t.

  5. katie_k on: 30 January 2009 at 10:13 am

    Ok, this comment is not only six words, oh well. I had to say, I loved the one “It hurts even worse in French”. Practically made me laugh out loud. I’m not sure I agree, because to a certain extent, everything sounds better in French to me (most likely because the meaning doesn’t sink in right away). So then of course, my six-worder, which isn’t exactly on topic, but describes my general state of being:
    If only it were in French.

  6. Usree Bhattacharya on: 31 January 2009 at 12:29 pm

    “It hurts even worse in French” was my personal favorite too! 🙂

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