I thought today might be a good day to share an example of character revealed versus character described. The example is from the New York Times Metropolitan Diary (10/30/17)
I did my laundry on Sunday night like I always do.
I timed the dryer perfectly so that I was there then buzzer went off. As I emptied my warm, fresh-scented clothes out of several machines, I saw that one dryer was empty and that my fluffy, pale-blue bath mat was gone.
Who would steal a bath mat? How brazen. I could have walked in at any second. And where do you report such a theft? The police have much bigger matters to deal with.
I called the super and told him what had happened. He seemed convinced that I had misplaced the bathmat.
"I will see what I can do," he said.
I went to the store and bought a new bath mat, but as I passed my neighbors in the lobby I began to wonder which one was the laundry thief? What would they take next?
A few days later, my buzzer rang. He was standing at the door holding my bath mat.
"I watched 24 hours of the laundry-room security tape and found out who took your bath mat," he said. "I went to his apartment and got it back for you."
"Thank you so much," I said. "Can you tell me who took it?"
"I prefer not to say" the super said, "but the tenant claims it was an accident."
I fought back laughter. How does one open a dryer that they are not using and accidentally take someone else's bath mat?
I took the bath mat and returned immediately to the laundry room to wash it. After all, who knows what happened to it while it was gone."
(I think a better question is why you didn't hand your super a $20 bill for service above and beyond the call of duty. 24 hours of security tape? For a bath mat?)
Now you could certainly describe this person in a variety of ways "no life, skinflint, entitled" but this story illuminates all those things perfectly and with subtlety.
In other words, this is the kind of writing that entices me.
In case you are wondering.