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Some of you, no doubt, might find it hypocritical of Jamie to be doling out Js so soon after his reaction to finding out that -gasp!- the woman with whom he'd made dinner plans wasn't exclusively devoted to him!

I guess I should reiterate that while Jamie is unquestionably my main character and reflects much of myself, he was never intended to be my avatar, my Mary Sue, or my mouthpiece. To be frank, he is frequently socially awkward, a little self-centered, and occasionally a bit of a dipshit.

And the primary purpose of Leftover Soup - as with all my writing - has never been to inform or to preach or to instruct. I want to inspire. I don't want to tell you what I think, I want to try to make you think, I want to present outlandish and unusual situations and concepts in order to make wheels turn in your head. When I write a scene like this, the intent is not to say "this is how men and women should react in this situation", it's to try to make you ask yourself "what are they doing right?", "what are they doing wrong?", and "what would I do in this situation?".

So, in the interest of furthering this sort of thinking, let me pose the following questions to you - in the expansion of Nathaniel Hawthorne's public-labelling-via-colour-coded-grapheme-based society that Carol implicitly proposes, what sins, crimes, conditions, orientations, and opinions should be on display? What letters should Carol be wearing? What letters should Jamie be wearing? What letters should you be wearing?

Think about it, and drop your answers in the forum.


(Tuesday, INT: Laundromat)

CA: So I guess you think I should just stitch a big scarlet pi into all my clothing, to prevent these sorts of misunderstandings?
JH: Scarlet pie?
CA: Pi is for "Poly". Don't ask me why, I guess P was taken.
JH: Well, I guess if we were taking that route, we'd also need a scarlet B for "Bisexual", and an OR for "Open Relationship"...
CA: I don't advertise all of that for a reason, Jamie. I could lose my job.
JH: They can't legally fire you for being polyamorous, can they? Isn't that discrimination?
CA: Maybe not fire me, exactly, but I could be encouraged to seek a new line of work. Teaching is like politics, you tend to get large groups of people who feel obligated to keep tabs on your "character", by which they almost always at least partially mean your sex life.
JH: Perhaps we could make a few of them wear a big red J for "Judgmental".
CA: I can think of a few parents I could stitch a whole alphabet to...