Remember those silly "25 things about me" things? I never did those, but I secretly enjoyed reading them. In a world of surface level relationships, we don't often get to know the "secrets" of those around us, the things that make us, that made our history, that make us unique and maybe possibly a little insane.
I'm feeling nostalgic today, and I'm doing this, so grab a cup of coffee and some snacks and prepare to learn more random information about me than you'd ever really care to know. Or close the page and save yourself some wasted time. Either way.
So let's pretend we're on a first date, you and I. I'll be the awkward one who can't stop talking. And here's what I would tell you. You may or may not get a word in edgewise; it's a problem I have.
- I firmly believe that food has a time of day in which it should be eaten. Dinner food is not for breakfast, with the exception of cold pizza. Smelling non-breakfast food at breakfast time literally turns my stomach. My husband does not agree with this at all and it is a source of struggle for me.
- My favorite years of being alive were 1997-2000. Those were the years that I had the most freedom and independence. I remember being most confident then. I literally had the best friends in the world and I spent every free minute with them. I did so much stuff that just thinking of it now makes me a little exhausted. I absolutely loved that time of my life and would go back in a heartbeat.
- In 1996 or 1997 I got banned from Six Flags for a year. And that's all I'll say about that.
- I had always wanted a tattoo. My mother did not want me to have a tattoo. Shortly after I turned 18, I drove an hour and a half away to get a tattoo, only to find that the studio was closed for the day. I drove back to my town and went to another tattoo parlor, only to find that the tattoo artist was extremely hungover. He told me that he was going to get something to eat and if I was still there when he came back, he'd do it. I waited. It's a butterfly on my left shoulder. His name was Spider and I later found out that he was kind of a legend in our town. He died a few years back. I'm not sorry that I waited.
- Out of all the books that I've read in my lifetime, two that I can read over and over again without getting tired of them are The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I was really disappointed in the movie version of Time Traveler's Wife and I can't let it go.
- I am not actually a book collector. I don't typically like to re-read books. I do not need to own all the books. However, that said, we have more books in our house than a small library, even though I haven't bought a paper book for myself in a long, long time. I hate it and I love it. I love finding new old books that I forgot about. I have a hard time letting go of my favorites.
- When I was younger, I used to go to concerts all the time. It's probably the thing I miss most now that I have kids and am nervous about other people watching my kids. I would go see anything. I had a friend that worked at a concert hall and could get us into almost anything for free. It was awesome. Sometimes we were one of only a handful of people there, and I didn't care. My favorite concerts, in no particular order are: G Love and the Special Sauce, Three Dog Night, Dave Matthews Band, Nickel Creek, and Simon and Garfunkel (which I saw with my mom, and I was easily the youngest person there and it was awesome). I really can't wait to start doing that again, I miss it so much.
- When I graduated from high school, my dad was the one who handed me my diploma as I crossed the stage. He had just been elected to the school board. It means more to me now than it did then. A few years later, he handed my brother his too.
- I totally got my desire for community service from my dad. He has always volunteered for everything. He could have been a politician. I don't remember feeling one way or another about it when I was growing up, but it obviously made an impression. I have had to learn how to say no to certain obligations since I started staying at home. I always feel better when I am volunteering, but there's a limit.
- In my jewelry box, I have a collection of pins that I've gotten over the years. I got "Volunteer of the Year" for our school in 2010. It was a nice honor, but I have to wonder where you wear pins like that? I have a few from the bank that I worked at too. Honestly, I'd rather that they just cough up the $15 or whatever and get a gift card.
- I have a not so secret addiction to 80s music. I'm not ashamed, I love it. Michael Jackson is my all time favorite 80s singer and whenever I hear any MJ songs, I have to stop and sing along. Human Nature is easily in my Top 10 songs of all time.
- When I was a kid, I was really mean to my younger brother. I used to convince him to do stuff for me all the time, like clean my room for a quarter. And he'd do it. I literally did not care that he was in the house with me, I was doing my own thing. It's interesting to me now, and probably karma, that my son does this with his younger sisters. It drives me nuts. I can see that I must have driven my parents nuts too. It makes me empathetic towards my son, because I was exactly like him in almost every way. It makes it easy, and hard, to parent him because I can tell him the mistakes that he's going to make, but he's not going to listen. I wouldn't have either.
- When I was in college, I went through a vegetarian phase. It really wasn't that I had thoughts about killing animals for food, I just didn't like meat all that much. It's kind of a pain in the butt to cook when you're living in the dorms or your first apartment. When I met my husband, I made him soy tacos. He told me to never do that again. He grew up raising cattle. And that was the end of that. Also, soy started giving me hot flashes so maybe it was for the best. I'm still a little indifferent towards meat though.
- I met my husband in college. He came over to our apartment to work on a project with my roommate and when he came in the door, I swear that I had a vision that this was the man I was going to marry. He did not have the same vision, go figure, but we got married anyway.
- I was the one who asked my husband out. He's not what you'd call observant about things like that. On our first date, we went to a bank dinner and then to a fraternity party. It was a really good night. At the end, he told me to stop talking.
- I have had a very similar life to my mother, so far. Even to the point where we lived in the house where she grew up. I look a lot like she did when she was younger. It took awhile for me to see it, but I remember one time at the mall, I came out of a store and a woman gasped and said, "Patty???" My mom's name is Pat and she hates being called Patty, so this was obviously someone who knew her from way back when. I frowned. I used to hate being compared to my mom, but it's impossible to not see it when I look at old pictures.
- My mom and my grandma and I all have the same exact voice. My brother had it too until he matured into a deeper, man voice. It was a little confusing growing up, when people would call and try to guess who had answered the phone. Even now, sometimes when I am telling a story, I hear my voice and think that it's just like the way my mom would tell the story. It's a little unnerving, to tell the truth.
- My favorite foods are mashed potatoes and Swedish meatballs. No one else in my house really cares for these foods. I also adore sushi and all fish. My husband hates sushi. It's a problem. I miss these foods.
- When I was in college, I wrote a short story that took me no time at all and flew from my fingertips. My creative writing teacher told me that it could be a book. I held that comment in my heart and promptly did nothing with it. I still wonder what happened to that story. I should try to see if it's in a box somewhere. It was easily the best thing I've ever written and I loved it.
- I have been a bit passive about my career. Writing was never presented to me as a career choice. Or, if it was, I never really pursued it. I applied to a publishing workshop and then I got engaged, so I never went. I applied to a college in North Carolina to study interior design and then I got pregnant, so we stayed here. It makes me a little sad to think about those missed opportunities, but I wouldn't change things.
- Women in my family have had to have hysterectomies pretty young. My great-grandma, my grandma, and my mom all had them. My mom was not yet 40 when she had hers. So, growing up, I always knew that if I wanted to have kids, I had to have them young. I can't say that this didn't shape the way I chose my life path.
- One of my greatest fears is that someone will break into my house and harm my kids. I used to worry about it a lot, and then we got alarms on the doors and I feel a little better about it. I still freak out when the dog barks at random things in the middle of the night. I sleep with the phone by my pillow when my husband goes out of town.
- Well, this got serious. Let's think of something funny.
- I cry when little kids give performances. It doesn't matter if I know them or not. I can't help it and it's something that I've always done. They are just so sweet and perfect. I cried when a friend gave a monologue at a talent show in high school, she was just so good.
- Sometimes seeing something beautiful can knock me on my butt. Nature or art, it doesn't matter, but especially art. I love to see people use their abilities to create something lovely. I strive for that.
- My son's name was partially influenced by a character on Survivor. That's where I remember hearing it, anyway, and he was a good guy on the show. I'm not particularly proud of that, but there it is.
I just counted and that's 25 things, so I'm going to call it done. If you made it this far, bravo. Happy to kill some time for you and to stroll down memory lane for myself.
Will we go on another date, maybe? You've seen parts of my freak flag now, so we'll see if you're up for it.