#70: A Thing

Fan: *squees*

Queen Alici: *squees back*

Fan: *gushes*

Queen Alici: "OMG!" *gushes back*

Fan: "Um, could you sign—?"

Queen Alici: "Heck yeah, Hand it over!"

It was Alicia’s standard autograph routine at con. She rarely signed merchandise ahead of time, preferring to cap off encounters with a live autograph. Her signature used to be messy and obscured by smileys and hearts, but she had taken Krysta's advice to simplify. "An autograph gives your fans a piece of who you are," Krysta had told her. "Also, if you are going to take as long as you do to sign, you may as well write something they can read."

Queen Alici xoxo

Alicia signed and shimmied in a celebratory happy dance over her handiwork. Sometimes she didn't know what thrilled her more: that she could be both extremely buff and geeky, or that she had thousands of fans who loved her for it. By just being herself, she could make others feel good.

"HEY!" Krysta said, snapping her fingers. "I know I gave amazing advice, but let's keep this moving."

Alicia slid the photo to Krysta and started on the next, while Whitley, the fastest of the three, bided her time by powering through a large bowl of Chex Mix. They were gathered around the living room coffee table on a rainy Sunday afternoon to sign photos for SizeCon. With Whitley leaving the next day for the volleyball tournament and Alicia scheduled for a weekend Valentine's Day getaway, they were running short on time. In the background, their 'compromix,' a compilation of all of their preferred music, shuffled from Vickeblanka to Pharell.

Krysta chose to sign the bottom-left, where she had more room. Fitting 'K-Cup Krysta' took up more space than anticipated, and Alicia had complained about the tail of Krysta's signature obscuring the view of her abs. Krysta also had to remember the heart Julie encouraged her to add the first time she'd offered a signed photo giveaway through her website. "You're a glamour model. Melt their hearts a little."

K-cup Krysta  💜

Krysta signed and passed the picture to Whitley, who, thanks to the relatively slow pace of her roommates, could take her time on her signature. It did not, however, mean she did.








Whitley's first experience signing autographs came on the heels of her high school state championship. The team held a summer volleyball camp at the local junior high, where she found herself autographing everything from jerseys to sneakers to binders. Finding her full name too cumbersome, Whitley settled for just her first name—iterations of it anyways. Her teammate Margie noticed and leaned in.

"A piece of advice, Valentine—"


"I was just saying you might—"

"Stuff it, Margie."

Whitley scribbled her name, nodding at the result. "Eh, close enough."

"Is it?" Krysta asked, scanning Whitley's scribbles on the drying photos.

"Sure," Whitley said, reaching again for the Chex Mix. "Hey, you two. What's the weirdest thing someone's ever asked you to sign?"

"A laptop," Krysta said. "It was for a guy I tutored who I know subscribed to my site. I felt he earned it for never once getting weird with me in the two semesters we worked together."

"A bong," Whitley said. "Coolest Professor I've ever had."

Alicia raised her hand. "A body pillow with a fanart drawing of me on it."

"Okay, Alicia wins," Whitley said.

"Hey, I told you not to sign over my abs!" Alicia exclaimed, gesturing at Krysta's signature. "I work hard on those."

"Shit, I am so sorry," Krysta said, genuinely embarrassed at her oversight. "I can move over more."

Why don't you sign on your titty?" Whitley said. "There's plenty of space."

"Because, like Alicia and her abs, I would prefer my fans have an unobstructed view of my assets."

Whitley chortled. "Have you seen the size of your assets? Speaking of which, does anyone realize how difficult it is to sign again and again when your fingers are longer than the pen? Sucks. I used to have an extra-long Sharpie for stuff like this."

"You bought a custom pen for your hands?"

"Asked the girl who spends, like, a thousand bucks a year on custom bras," Alicia said, passing the final signed photo.

"Touché, and yes, It would be nice if they stopped growing, if only for that thankfully-tax-deductible reason."

"Really?" Whitley asked. "That's the only reason?"

Krysta smiled, patting the side of her breast. "They are fun, but old news to me by now. Now, that said, I never cease to be fascinated by both their economic and social power."

Alicia conspicuously whispered to Whitley. "That's geek for 'she likes the attention.'"

Krysta gasped. "It is not!"

"You're a tits model for a living," Whitley said. "She can't be far off."

"It's okay." Alicia fanned their finished pictures out on the table with the markers next to them, and took a photo, followed by a selfie. "I definitely do it for the attention."

"We know," Krysta and Whitley drawled.

"—and I bet Whitley does too."

Krysta raised her eyebrows and looked at Whitley who only chuckled. "Okay, I'll bite. How do you figure?"

"You wouldn't be posting your modeling photos to Instagram if you didn't."

"They're the best photos I have of me."

"I'm not sayin' it's bad. I’m just saying you found 'internet you.'"

Krysta sipped her tea. "Or, 'a version of yourself that works.'"

"I prefer to go with 'controlling my narrative.' And as long as that narrative nets me paid public appearances, it beats the alternative."

"Not making appearances?"

"Not getting paid." Whitley stood and pressed her hands against the ceiling, arching her back into a full body stretch before dropping down into her favorite plush green La-Z-Boy. She finished the remainder of her Chex Mix while zoning out to Steppin' Out by Joe Johnson. A thought suddenly occurred to her. "So, hey. Are we a thing?"

Alicia frowned. "What, like, a ménage à trois?"

Krysta ignored Alicia. "What do you mean, 'a thing?'"

"The other day you called us a 'package deal.' That implies something."

Krysta rose from the floor to the couch, bringing her tea with her."Well, we were personally invited to a size fetish convention, to which we are sending signed pictures of ourselves."

"Naked pictures," Alicia added.

"Nude pictures," Krysta corrected. "Not to mention our Karaoke video from a few months ago that has almost a hundred thousand views on YouTube."

"Totally making a cake for when we hit a million," Alicia announced.

"So, yes, those combined with the million Instagram followers between the three of us makes a persuasive case for us being 'a thing.'"

"But it's all so ordinary for us. It doesn't feel like a thing."

"Surely you, of all people, understand how that works by now. The more mundane it seems to us, the more ridiculous it probably is to everyone else."

"Okay, this is boring," Alicia said, jumping to her feet. "If we're all done, can I go downstairs and do my 'stitch and squats' live stream?"

Krysta smiled and raised her mug. "To the ordinary girls." She took a sip and looked up to see Alicia and Whitley scowling down at her.

"Blech!" Alicia said, sticking her tongue out. "Your branding sucks."

"Yeah, that's lame," Whitley affirmed, shaking her head. "Don't quit your day job, Keurig."

Whitley headed to the kitchen and Alicia to the basement, leaving Krysta by herself with Diamond and Pearls on the stereo and a table full of drying photos. She finished the remainder of her tea and reached for her phone.