It has come to my attention that I am a pervert.
This information did not actually come as a surprise, because I am, at heart, a scumbag. But, a cute adorable scumbag, and that is precisely how I’ve gotten thus far in life. People find my scumbaggery endearing, and somehow this helps me get ahead. That, or I have balla skillz in keeping it real… Nope, I don’t even know how to end that sentence. I’m just not that cool.
The issue is this: I have placed a multitude of nondescript penises on a children’s menu that I designed.
First of all, this was not intentional. I am not a weirdo looking for kicks in some gross and depraved way. Actually, it is quite the opposite. I apparently cannot spot a penis when it is drawn right in front of my face.
I was asked to design a menu for some friends of mine. They own an Italian diner and wanted to revamp the menu. I will call my friends E and S and their restaurant TGIDE (The Greatest Italian Diner Ever).
When E asked me if I’d like to redesign her menu, I was excited.
“Yes! I can definitely do that!” I CAPS texted her excitedly. What a great opportunity to show off my skills with media design. Also, I was excited to help out my friends.
I used my go-to design program as a starting point but threw in my own unique style (i.e. penises apparently), found easily legible fonts that drew in the eye, and splashed pops of color here and there. I edited the shit out of this thing. Then, regrettably, I used a piece of clip art on the kid’s menu that looked exactly like a flaccid penis.
At the time of creation, I didn’t recognise the penis as such. I, of course, am not the kind of person who would purposefully splash peni all over the place for the general public to consume. Er, maybe consume isn’t the right word here.
To me, the picture looked like a cute cartoon face on a child’s cup. Good and good. I sent it in, and E and S were happy. We called it a day, and they printed a shwack of menus to distribute in the restaurant.
Later, I get a message from E.
“Soooo just had a customer point this out to me.” She proceeded to send close up of the previously mentioned cup’s face. “Are you trying to put me out of business! Lol”
I don’t know if I am really naive or just plain out of touch with what a dick looks like, but I stared at that picture for a good five minutes to try to figure out what was wrong with it.
Then it hit me like a… Is that joke too obvious? I don’t know.
Oh God, does that look like a penis?
I happened to be in the area, so I abashedly made my way into the diner. Upon entry, the server on duty said, “Oh, are you here to talk with E about the dick-menu?”
“Yes. Yes, I am.” I said, head hanging in all my degenerate shame.
We laughed about it because, as previously mentioned, these people are the best. They then fed me free of charge, and I had no cash on me to tip the server. Please refer back to my previous scumbag reference.
When I got home, I passed along the pic to a Facebook group chat I have with my girlfriends and asked, “Does this look like a dick to you guys?”
Immediately, without even so much as a pause to read the message, they all respond, “Yep, that’s a big ole dick on that cup’s face.”
I messaged E and asked again if she’d like me to remake the menu. She laughed it off and said it wasn’t a big deal. I was dubious.
Buuuuut there’s a dink on your kid’s menu?
“It’s okay,” she told me, “We’ve already printed off a bunch of the menus, so I don’t want to waste them. But full disclosure; I’m telling everyone that my pervo menu designer snuck a dick on the kid’s menu, Disney style.”
I am lucky.
I’m lucky that I work for a great friend with a sense of humor. Also, I’m lucky to have a cool job where I can show off my menu design skills. I’m lucky because the people in my life right now are fun and hilarious, and what more can you really ask for?
After we moved past this unfortunate incident, E asked me to create a few more designs for an upcoming event the diner was putting on. I kept asking her specific questions and back-tracking and second guessing the ideas I was coming up with.
Finally, she said, “Lindsay, why are you so down on yourself lately? You’re doing a good job.”
Well, there I sat in my computer chair, looking at this caring message sent to me through Facebook messenger, and I began to bawl.
I was literally weeping onto my keyboard.
I’ve been having a pretty rough case of impostor syndrome lately, thinking that I do not stack up to the roles that I have taken on.
I’ve been invited to participate in a community media program wherein we will be sharing positive stories about our city on a new media platform. I will be working alongside some pretty impressive business professionals and community leaders, and I’m all like, “Uuuh, I like to write funnies on that there computer machine.” I keep asking myself: Why do they want to work with me?
But then, I take a moment to listen to my heart and look back at the pretty great things that I have done in my life.
I take stock of my real-life experiences and this amazing opportunity to learn and grow from merely being in close proximity to all of these like-minded people.
The prospect of delving into something new is so scary, and the worry that I might not be good enough is all too real. But how will I ever know if I am up to the challenge if I don’t put myself out there and try?
So here I am, trying. I am going to take steps to share my work with anyone who might get something out of it. And yes, sure, sometimes a few penises might flop their way onto a menu, but we must be willing to make mistakes and learn from them if we want to grow in our personal and professional lives.
I just hope that if you too slip up and place a dong on some important document you’re creating, you have as great of a boss and friend as I do.