Writing a first entry can be intimidating. You want to get it right. You want to say things that resonate with your reader (all one of you), or maybe leave that vast audience in a state of unable-to-catch-my-breath laughter. Perhaps, you just want someone to nod and say ‘I feel like that too’.
I think relating to other (real) people is one of the most under-used abilities we have as humans. So many of us can think about a character in a book, movie or tv show and say “I am just like him/her” or “I understand them, where they are coming from”, but we often look around the bus stop, the grocery store line, our work places, and see aliens.
So, with that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of (mostly) useless information about Me (and I do so love to indulge in the talking of Myself) so that you can relate to a little bit of my life, and in exchange, maybe share a little bit of yours. If we do this, horses all over the world will be sparkly unicorns, fairies will no longer depend on clapping to survive and Facebook will spontaneously combust the computer of any asshole who tries to post political jargon after the election (c’mon now, it’s like white after labor day).
The point is, this is good for fighting global warming (and who doesn’t want to share a long kept secret?).
(Insert some number here)
Of Things You Never Knew You Wanted To Know
1. I grew up in Levittown, on Long Island in New York, and despite being raised by a wonderful and loving mother, and having all of my family within 5 miles, I knew I would never stay there.
2. I am a child of divorce. This is a far less traumatic thing now (at least by society’s standards) than it was in 1992.
3. My fondest summer memories are of sleep away camp, the second one I went to (Island Lake) and not the first one (Camp Starlight) where the girls sensed my less-than roots (Levittown not Roslyn!) and were cruel in a way that I am pretty sure lead to the screen play “Mean Girls”.
4. At 15, lonely and filled with teenage angst I joined an online poetry website. Scarred by my mother’s insistence that everyone on the internet was in fact, a 59-year-old balding man living in his own mothers basement (which somehow, in my head, always meant he could straight into my bedroom window as well), I took up the name “Riley Jade” (to be safe and annonymous!) and posted poems about moving to NYC, unrequited love (the fact that I had never had a date didn’t deter me), and a character named Death who had exceptionally long fingers and a penchant for omelettes. Looking back at this now, Riley Jade rings more the name of a stripper than a poet. Memories!
5. I have always been afraid of the dark. To the point where I am quite certain, anyone wishing to know the hours my husband does or does not keep away from the home after dark, need only to peer at my house from inside a one mile radius. Lit up like a lighthouse? My better-half is 100% on a boys night out, dark to the point of needing night-vision goggles? I feel safe, and my beloved is safely (locked) inside with me.
6. Relating to being afraid of the dark, I also choose poorly when it comes to what to watch on tv. Being afraid of the dark (and also, my sliding glass doors in the back of the house, where I am sure one day I will look out from and there will be a man standing there ready to do me in, and also my basement, which I will not go down into after dark) you would think my tv choices would be limited to The Disney Channel, Sprout, HGTV (which does not air scary movie commercials, thankfully), but no. I am an Investigative Discovery junkie, American Horror Story addict, 666 Park Avenue aficionado, always jonesing for the next scary movie. Then, wondering why I feel the compulsive need to not close the shower door for fear of murderation! (Or more shamefully, why I took the laundry room door off its hinges entirely).
7. Seven seems a highly appropriate number to say that I have been married for seven years. I met my husband at a fat camp (oh the shame, but there I said it! Now you have to tell me two secrets of yours!) through my mom. He, having been fat, and now thin in 2003 and me, having graduated highschool and determined to reinvent myself in the months before college. I was introduced to him in North Carolina (where he was living) at the end of June, and by the end of July, I had happily moved myself into his apartment (I am a real catch) and decided to forget school, forget Long Island, forget everything that did not include the words; Joe, North Carolina, Living With, Forever and Ever. Only, he did not feel the same way (those unrequited love poems come to mind) and after a summer filled with adventures, sent me home. (This story has a happy ending, and not in a ‘Misery’ kind of way [I promise, Joe is not chained up somewhere with broken legs]).
8. I don’t have a favorite color (although my daughter insists my favorite color is “Sparkles”).
9. I do have a favorite season though, and it is fall. Oh fall, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. Pumpkins, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin picking, crisp McIntosh apples, Halloween, the smell of crunchy leaves, the first fires of the season, the first batch of my moms chicken soup, I could go on.
10. I have a problem with snoring. Not mine, anyone elses. Snoring makes my eyes twitch and horns pop from my skull. I have been known to swing violently upon being woken up by snoring.
11. I love cheese. I have never met a cheese I didn’t want to consume.
12. I have a bad habit of speaking like a truck driver. I’ve been told that this means I need to broaden my vocabulary but really, it just means I’m fucking lazy.
13. I went to community college for one year. I had an awesome english professor with the last name of Yezzo who held a class at 615am. It was the only time in my life that I did not resent getting up before the sun.
14. I have held three (paying) jobs in my life. The first was for my Uncles produce business in the South Bronx, the second was at a Pet Smart in North Carolina and the third was at a Costco here in Pittsburgh. While I always thought in order to write something worthy of being published I would need to live in either LA or NYC, or perhaps traipse lazily across the world soaking in foreign cultures, I have been corrected. I am pretty sure I could write an entire book on any of these subjects: the customers of Costco, why you should never eat ‘fast food’, ways to insult a cashier, 100 things people want that the pizza counter does not supply (mayo, ranch dressing, manners apparently, to name a few).
15. I have gotten to number 15 without properly mentioning my children (because I am more than Sam and Marilyn’s mother, dammit!). Sam is my first-born son, he is six (and a half, I know he will implore me to add). He likes to be outside, put together Lego’s and play UNO! Marilyn is my second child, and my only daughter. At 3 (and a half!) she is funnier than Chelsea Lately and with more sass to prove it. Currently she is a Disney Princess expert and a comedian. She likes bunnies, little teapots and hot chocolate (which she lovingly refers to as “Marilyn Coffee”).
16. I’m about to have a third child, which really just translates into Joe and I are batshit crazy.
17. Despite regularly complaining about having to both decorate my home (for each season) and clean it (every day… okay every week), I really do love organization and home decoration. I dream of being locked in The Container Store and robbing the nearest Crate & Barrel.
18. I like animals. I’ve never owned a dog, but I have two cats (Atticus and Ambrosious), two frogs (Ooh and Aah [Aah is an amputee after an unfortunate incident with Walter, the Newt]), and three fish tanks full of fish that either a. won’t die or b. wont stop having babies. In the past I’ve also had, mice, (remind me to tell you about the time I went to sleep away camp and left the mice from my school science project with my mom and she let them free in the sump behind Center Lane.) You’re Welcome Levittown! Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Gerbils, Hamsters, a bird, just to name a few.
19. This is getting very involved and long. I think we should all break for coffee. (I have recently learned that coffee can be a very controversial topic, and not just on the basis of whether or not you employ underage children to pick it illegally from trees for you, but just whether you drink it or not). I have come to the following conclusion, there are two types of people in the world, those who drink coffee, and those who drink haterade. (Haterade, I have also just learned [from the six-year-old] is what people drink in the morning to make them mean, all parking authority employees are obligated to drink 8 glasses per day).