Thursday, January 15, 2009


I'm IT!

A while back, my friend Lucy 'tagged' me. And being me, I had no idea what that meant, and was busy doing all sorts of holiday related, air-craft carrier wrapping. But apparently, being 'tagged' means that you have to post seven random things about yourself, like Lucy did here.

Well, the holidays are over, it's the middle of January and about -6 outside today, and I don't think most people want to listen to me debate the pros and cons of writing shopping scenes in the new novel. So, only a month and a half behind schedule (which is about when I finally get to my thank-you notes), I present seven random things about myself. I apologize to everyone.

1. I do not like coffee. Or beer. I drink a lot of tea - on days like today, up to seven cups. My hubby once wondered how on earth I could have made it through a bachelor's and a master's degree without drinking coffee. I subscribe to this weird theory that I should actually LIKE the stuff I'm consuming, and both coffee and beer taste disgusting. Hence why I was the sober walker back during those heady undergraduate days.

2. I'm what you might call an extroverted introvert. Which means that, in general, I don't like being around people. This is reflected by my general lack of friends. (Don't get me wrong. The ones I do manage to make, I keep.) But, when situations like the recent three holiday parties in four weekends arise, I put on my game face and channel ... my father. Yes, the man who has been labeled 'gregarious' (by the Christian Science Monitor, no less!) suddenly starts cracking jokes out of my mouth. Granted, my jokes are never as funny as his are, but for relatively short bursts, especially with a glass of wine in hand, I can be sociable. And then I have to go home and not talk to anyone for three days.

3. I'm the oldest. True, my situation is a little different because my sisters are twins, but I'm still the oldest. And I'm a textbook oldest. When I read about birth order studies, I fit the profile perfectly. Responsible? Check. Adult-pleaser? Check. Follows the rules? Usually. Bossy know-it-all? I'd be lying if I said that weren't true. And even though my sisters are twins, they also fit the middle and youngest child patterns perfectly. Turns out, eight minutes can make a world of difference.

4. I love daffodils. More than any other flower, daffodils do it for me. When I was a little girl, my mom and I even had a secret word for them, probably based on my inability to pronounce 'daffodil.' I called them dolly-flods, and still do. (Which I've never typed before. It looks really silly, but it's true!) I probably put close to a thousand in the ground at our old house in Chicago, and have easily passed that here. And I have grand plans to put a few more thousand under our magnolia tree at some point, but that takes time, money, and a lot of Ben-Gay. I also regularly talk to my plants. It's not unusual to hear me yelling at my daffodils and crocuses when they pop their heads out in the middle of February. "NOT YET!" I yell at them. "IT'S TOO SOON! GO BACK IN THE GROUND!" Needless to say, I have very tolerant, amused neighbors. My hubby is used to it by now.

5. I've made peace with washing dishes. In grad school, when I only had a bar sink, I detested washing dishes to the point that things would be growing in that sink and I was eating my dinner off a napkin. I always felt better when they were done, because I do like neat and clean, but I just hated standing in that dark little kitchen/bath combo and washing the damn things. Now, though, I have a nice window that looks out onto a garden I planted last year and two trees with assorted wildlife that frolics in them. In the summer, I open the windows and listen to my son build sandbox worlds and the birds sing. I've come to accept that, as a woman, washing dishes is a direct connection with how my ancestors back to the beginning of time have cared for their families. I wash because I care. And I don't like stuff growing in my sink.

6. I have a strange woman's picture hanging in my office. My lovely co-worker and friend Mary frequents auctions, and I had been looking for old-fashioned picture frames for my stairwell o' family pictures. So Mary found a nice oval one - that came with a picture of a young woman's head and bare shoulders. The date says 1936, Bway NY, but no name. She's not a real looker - her teeth tend towards bucking, her nose is a little large - but she's got a sweet smile and a vintage haircut. Rather than chuck this picture that someone spent a lot of money on in the middle of the Great Depression, I decided to keep her and name her Agnes. She looks like an Agnes to me. She's taped to my filing cabinet. A head shot of my kid is now in the frame in the stairwell.

7. I hate getting haircuts. Back in high school, I got one haircut a year - three inches off the bottom. It was long, beautiful light brown hair that reached 3/4 of the way down my back. And I could do things with it - braids were my speciality. All my metalhead friends were intensely jealous of my hair. But the problem was that, while the hair itself was lovely, it didn't look good on me. I have a wide face that's not traditionally beautiful (one of the reasons I like Agnes so much!) , and all that hair weighing down on it didn't help. In general, shorter hair brings balance to my face. But that requires getting it cut, and then styling it. I love my stylist, Dawn, because she understands I'm barely going to make the minimum effort on behalf of beauty, but still, I only make it in to see her about every three months. In fact, I'm now officially growing it out because I don't want to get it cut right now.

Did you make it to the end? It wasn't so bad, was it? At least it was only seven random things. Trust me, I'm random enough that I could go on all day. But I can't - speaking of random, I have to write scenes of shopping at the Mount Rushmore gift store.


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