What writer can resist this challenge? Because this is what we do — write about who we are, share the stuff we want people to understand about our life view, tell you all the things we think you don’t know about the seminal experiences in our lives. I. LOVE. THIS. Mostly because I can share all the quirky weird shit as well as the more profound shit. Buckle up buttercups — and you can forward your complaints to Jeff Barton for tagging me in the first place if this is just TMI. :)
#1. I love participating in those FB question things. No, it’s true. All my friends know to put me down as ‘most likely to respond’ because I love everything about them. I love reading other people’s answers and I love answering them — attempting to be as witty as possible and coloring outside the lines of the question. I like to make it worth the folks time to stop and read MY answers. Because I AM funny. And different. And that used to be sum total of my creative writing outlet.
#2. I’m a serial speeder. In my entire life — which is saying something because I’ve been driving since I was TEN — 48+ years — I have only gotten one speeding ticket and one verbal warning. Both of those issued inside city limits for going about ten miles over the 35 MPH limit because I wasn’t paying attention to where I was & the speed limit had just changed. I knew that. So DUH. But on the open highway, with my RED cars & RED motorcycle — I have speeded to my heart’s content. (And yes, I do realize I have probably just jinxed myself for sharing this).
#3. I got married when I was 18. I’m sure many people know that. What no one knows and hardly believe anyway is this truth. I wasn’t pregnant. No — true story. We got married because we wanted to. Both out of high school over a year and both working jobs. We didn’t want to just live together (crazy kids!) so we wandered on down to the local JP’s living room after hours one evening at her request and got married on a rainy Thursday night. We took our best friends with us and his parents. My father in law then took us all out to dinner. Surf & Turf. So technically I had lobster tail at my reception — how many of you can say that?
#4. Alcohol doesn’t really affect me like other humans. I have an incredibly high tolerance for beer & alcohol. One night while sitting at home with a friend — we put it to the test. Over the course of 12 hours — I had 11 shots of tequila and Goddess only knows how many beers. I woke the next day without a hangover. And I remember most of the evening. Things did get a bit fuzzy towards the end of it, but after 11 shots, most people would not be standing upright. I was ‘a little fuzzy’. The ironic part is I don’t really drink. Since it doesn’t really affect me — I find it a complete waste of money these days. And my good Scottish DNA recoils at the thought of spending that much money when a nice tonic water & a splash of cranberry juice serves the same purpose — and promotes bladder health. I do enjoy a lovely craft beer and will imbibe if the pub has something to my liking. Otherwise — it’s the tonic water mocktail.
#5. I had the leading role of ‘Jill’ in my kindergarten class play of ‘Jack & Jill’. I was in Catholic kindergarten — my one and only experience with parochial school. After that, I never acted again. EVER. When it came time to be involved in the junior & senior high school plays my friends were all participating in, I was student stage manager. I worked behind the scenes and feed everyone their lines from behind the curtain should they have a lapse in memory. I had been permanently scarred by the Good Sisters. It worked out fine though — I still got to go to the cast parties. And when you’re a junior and senior in high school THAT is really all that matters.
#6. I play piano. I took lessons for seven years as a kid. However, my anxiety and panic attacks made recitals completely intolerable. Oddly, in all those years, no adult seemed to notice just how bad it was for me. My parents didn’t produce the ‘get out recitals’ free permission slip and my teacher insisted I play in front of a church packed with everyone’s friends and family. And even though my hands shook so hard the piece I played was completely unrecognizable. I had to stop and start several times during each piece. I never got any better at doing this from year to year. My father stopped attending the damn things a couple years after my mother died — citing business commitments. And lastly — my teacher knew I could play that piece — she heard me play every week leading up to the recital. SHE KNEW. The torture continued. Every. Single. Year. Until the year I refused to participate and quit taking lessons altogether. My first open act of rebellion. My first grab at personal power. It was so delicious!
#7. I don’t like pantyhose. Years ago I discovered thigh high stockings and I’ve never gone back. I rarely wear stockings — but when I HAVE to — I have a whole collection of thigh highs to choose from. They are my go tos. I adore them. I also always wear matching underwear. But I wrote about that and some of you probably already know that. And surely some of the people I worked with know that — WAIT before you jump to conclusions. I was an OR nurse. I got changed in a locker room with other women twice a day. I know if they wear matching underwear as well.
#8. Speaking of wearing — I only wear silver jewelry. I stopped wearing gold jewelry after my divorce. I needed a change. All the jewelry from my marriage had been gold. Silver was affordable and I could buy it for myself. And I found it has a certain magic quality about it. Protection from Werewolves might not just be a myth.
#9. My refrigerator is nearly empty. I mean — all the time. I could be a single man, or college student. I only keep the bare necessities in there. Like half and half. And hummingbird nectar. Maybe some hummus. I’m really a good cook and an excellent baker. But also half Italian — the part that isn’t Scottish. So I like company when I eat. Usually I go out. Either with friends or to a pub to sit at the bar to bask in the ‘peopleness’. I have to be in a pretty damn reclusive mood to cook my own food these days.
#10. When I was about six years old the 15 year boy across the street sexually abused me. I don’t talk about it or write about it. It was the root event which caused my lifelong battle with anxiety because a six-year-old has no words to describe what is happening to her. She only has pain and fear. I had a damn good therapist to help me sort out all the tangle of emotions. Everyone needs a damn good therapist — I don’t care who you are or what your traumas. Therapists can save your soul. My past lives in my past now and that is thanks to the work I did together with my therapist. I can live in my Now. If you’re in pain — a therapist can help. But know, just as there are people who shouldn’t be nurses, there are people who shouldn’t be therapists. Ask around — find someone you can trust to hold your pain for you. Then you can be free to move into the life you were meant to live.