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what does "enter crowded rooms" and "ear-first" mean in this sentence from the passage:

The paper’s eyes were big and round, whereas mine disappear altogether if I smile, and my nose is more potatoey. That said, the spaces between my features are in perfect proportion to each other. So far no one has noticed this. Also my ears: darling little shells. I wear my hair tucked behind them and try to enter crowded rooms ear-first, walking sideways. He drew a circle on the paper’s throat and filled it in with careful cross-hatching.

  • What is your guess at what they mean? Both of these are being used quite literally. "ear-first" would probably make more sense if you look up "head-first" or "feet-first". – katatahito Jul 18 at 6:45
  • @katatahito I have no idea what that means, it's from Miranda July's novel and I can't understand – user98501 Jul 18 at 6:50
  • enter crowded room ... for the first phrase which of the three words are unclear? – katatahito Jul 18 at 6:52
  • @katatahito ear-first means: with the ear in front of the rest of the body? (inspired by head-first meaning) Is she hears things first in a metaphor way? – user98501 Jul 18 at 7:03
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    No, she is saying she literally walks into rooms with her ear being the first part of her head to enter. This is why she says she walks sideways. It is strange and weird to do this, which may be why you think it is metaphorical. In the sentence you are talking about she is listing 2 ways she shows off her ears: 1. tucking her hair behind them and 2. having them be the first thing someone sees when walking into a room – katatahito Jul 18 at 7:13
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Answered in the comments:

"No, she is saying she literally walks into rooms with her ear being the first part of her head to enter. This is why she says she walks sideways. It is strange and weird to do this, which may be why you think it is metaphorical. In the sentence you are talking about she is listing 2 ways she shows off her ears: 1. tucking her hair behind them and 2. having them be the first thing someone sees when walking into a room" – katatahito Jul 18 at 7:13

and, "crowded room" is meant literally:

enter crowded room ... for the first phrase which of the three words are unclear? – katatahito Jul 18 at 6:52

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