Heather Armstrong, on meeting her new neighbors and having to explain what she does for a living:
Over the last few weeks several neighbors have stopped by to introduce themselves, and invariably they are older than we are, more established, and have careers in medicine or law. And when they ask what we do, both Jon and I sort of flinch and exchange a quick look that says IT’S YOUR TURN TO LIE. We’re web developers, we say, and that is never enough, they just can’t leave it alone, and one of us will try to explain that I have a website. This thing. That I do. And because we’re being all coy about it I just know, from the very worried expressions on their faces, that these neighbors think that we run a porn site.
This is the exact interaction I have with most people that I’ve met in the past couple of years, right down to the “we’re web developers, we say, and that is never enough, they just can’t leave it alone” part. I imagine professional mimes, phone sex operators, and people who make a living selling other people’s stuff on eBay have the same sorts of awkward conversations with their new neighbors.