(Okay, I'm thrilled to announce that for the past three days, Bloggger has logged me on automatically on this computer. I think it speaks to the size of my world that this makes me really happy.)
(Yo, it's not every writer who can START a blog post with a digression. I'm telling you people, you're in the presence of Digression Greatness here.)
So, I was surfing around (Oh, the insomnia. How productive I would be if I could not sleep at night and then not be a complete ZOMBIE during the day. That's the big catch of this insomnia deal--the resulting Zombitude.) and I found this meme and well, I liked it. So, even though I wasn't tagged, I am once again tagging myself. (Which probably isn't even legal in most states so keep it kind of quiet.)
1. What were you afraid of as a child? For a long while, like a year, I was afraid of some random shooter dude looking in my window and seeing my bed across from it and shooting me. I honestly was. I had this incredibly huge and hideous stuffed purple elephant and I would try to hide behind it so the gunman couldn't see me. Why I didn't just move my bed, I'll never know.
2. When have you been most courageous? Well, there's that whole having children thing. I think it takes great courage to tap into the requisite vulnerability that it takes to be a good parent. It's like having pets, right? You KNOW that your heart will be broken at some point. Loving anything that deeply is a set up. But if you didn't love that deeply, you would miss half of the joy and growth that comes with having kids, too. So, it's worth it. But it takes courage to do it right --you gotta go into it 100%. No holding anything back in case they hurt you--because they WILL hurt you and being hurt is part of your job.
Okay, wait, I just depressed the heck out of myself. I guess it's too late to change my mind?
3. What sound most disturbs you? Oh, I have this whole list of sounds I hate. The recorder, Jane's screaming and Ana's whistling. Also, I'm about sick of the squirrels chattering at me every time I walk out of my house. But all day today, I've been threatening to shoot Scout if he barks one more time. His bark is the single most obnoxious, horrible, piercing sound in the entire Universe. And sometimes, if you're really lucky and you're bending over to tie your shoes, he'll get so excited that he will bark that bark right in your ear. I'm telling you, if we didn't have so much money already invested in him and, um, if we owned a gun, and if I believed in killing animals just because they're incurably stupid, AND if I ever wanted to be the kind of person who got rid of family members because they were inconvenient, I'd SHOOT him.
Perhaps I'm a little on edge.
4. What is the greatest amount of physical pain you’ve been in? This is a hard question for me because I have a really high tolerance for pain. My mom has it, too, and I think Jane has it, as well. I know everyone says that but in my case, well... for example, when my doctor performed my foot surgery, he said that it looked like my foot had sustained several fractures and, um, I never noticed.
The most painful things I can remember are (in order) 1. when my OB broke my water with a hook thingy that looked like the hook thingy we use to open our chimney flue and suddenly I went from sporadic contractions to one continuous, endless contraction. My husband says it was like watching someone you love get run over by a steam roller. 2) The colposcopy I had where my OB/GYN (same doctor) snipped living tissue off of my cervix to biopsy. It came back cancerous, so it needed to be done, but I told the doctor I was NEVER having that procedure again without at least a fifth of Scotch. And I don't even DRINK Scotch. ("This will hurt about as much as a menstrual cramp" my a**.) and 3) When I slammed my hand in the door of our Explorer and broke my index finger in two places. Although this is a distant third and I'm just throwing it in here because I like to have three things.
5. What’s your biggest fear for your children? (or children in general if you don’t have some of your own.) I fear that my children will make the same mistakes I have made--especially the ones where I gave away essential parts of myself like party favors to boys who didn't deserve to even be invited to the party. I hope their self-esteem will come from inside of them, and not from the valuation other people place on them.
I pray that my children will never be physically nor sexually abused, that they will never know hunger or the pain of chronic disease and that they will themselves become parents some day so that they may understand the unfathomable love I have for them.
6. What is the hardest physical challenge you’ve achieved? Well, getting pregnant, I guess. I also ran a 10K, maybe that? Maybe it's the recovery from this foot surgery, which is apparently endless and zaps my morale.
7. Which do you prefer: Mountains or oceans/big water? Oceans. The ocean matches whatever inner rhythm it is that makes me peaceful. It gives me far-seeing eyes. I have NEVER had insomnia at the beach.
8. What is the one thing you do for yourself that helps you keep everything together? Writing. It's the thread that has tied all of the stages of my life together. When I can write about it, I can process it.
9. Ever had a close relative or friend with cancer? Yes, lots.
10. What are the things your friends count on you for? I've been thinking and thinking about this and you know, I don't think there is one thing anyone counts on me for. Maybe to always be able to offer a glass of wine. Honestly, I have no idea. (Friends? Speak up if you're out there.)
11. What is the best part of being in a committed relationship? Waking up every morning next to the man I love most in this world and wondering what adventure will greet us today. Having someone who knows me so well I don't always have to explain myself. Sharing the joys and hardships of parenting. And, um, well...the naked thing.
12. What is the hardest part of being in a committed relationship? Sticking it out when all of my instincts tell me to leave the party before I'm asked to leave. And also, trusting that my partner is in it for the long haul and isn't going to leave me because I've gained some weight or have to do five months on bed rest or wrecked his car or whatever. (The car's fine, honey, I was just using it as an example.)
13. Summer or Winter? Why? Well, in Texas, I like the Winters because the summers are so long and so freaking hot. We'll see if that changes in New York when the winters are so long.
14. Have you ever been in a school-yard fight? Why and what happened? Yes. In fifth grade, Sharon Compton challenged me to a fist fight. She hated me and I was so dweeby and awful, I'm sure she thought she would win. But I was tall and I had brothers and I punched her right in the nose and she crumpled to the ground. I didn't know what to do next so I SAT on her. Nice. I should be living that down, oh, never.
15. Why blog? You know, I can never figure out why this blogging thing is SO FUN. I really hope it's not a narcissistic sort of thing. I think maybe it's about connection with other people who share my...not to insult you but... strange bent and sense of humor. I like challenging myself to write things more succinctly or to mention naughty subjects, but without naming them. I love that this is the best sort of scrapbook--I get to punctuate it with pictures but mostly it's about narrative. Is it narcissistic? Well, don't tell me if it is. I just love it. I really love the people I've met and I live for my comments. It's the best part of writing my column (So, the thing is)too, but with the blog, it's every single day instead of monthly and it's a different audience.
Okay, it's probably just a narcissistic thing.
16. Did you learn about sex, and/or sex safety from your parents? BWAHAHAHAHA! You kill me! I mean, if you count that my mother bought me a book after I came home in fifth grade (after having seen The Film) totally freaking appalled about the idea of hitting puberty and all that it entailed. (I mean, WTF? I have an older sister--do ya think maybe she could have clued me in? She was extraordinarily helpful later on though, so maybe she was already gone from home at this time. At any rate, it came as a shock.) I got to skim that book and then it disappeared never to be seen again. I wish I'd read it closer because I still have some questions...
17. How do you plan to talk to your kids about sex and/or sex safety? I plan to sit each of them down (years apart so I can stop twitching after each one) and answer all of their questions. And with Ana, I'm going to do it very soon because she's asked a question or two but usually when Jane was right there and I couldn't answer her fully. (I have nothing against Jane knowing but I know her and she will tell all of her classmates and then I'll be the school pariah. Maybe I ought to tell her before we move so she can shock all the kids in her class HERE and then be over it by the time she meets her new friends.) At any rate, I resolve to be as open as I possibly can about everything. And I vow to use the correct body part names because I haven't ever talked down to my children and I'm not going to start now.
Probably no books unless they just ask for them.
18. What are you most thankful for this year? This is a great question because I'm at this time in my life where I feel like every day I offer up a gratitude prayer. I am so blessed --in every way possible (except for maybe Scout) and I honestly KNOW it. You know how sometimes you don't appreciate something until it's gone and it's too late? Well, I seem to have the opposite of that these days. I am so blessed to live this life and have this family and these friends and this blog and my camera and time to write and Edward, the fuzzy orange tabby. I don't have any car trouble and my health is mostly good and I get hugs and kisses daily from every one of my roommates.
I swear, I want to get down on my knees every single day and give thanks for it all. (I give y'all permission to remind me of this mercilessly when I start whining about all the stress I'm under.)
Okay, I'm tagging Rockstories (although she may want to answer this on one of her other blogs) and the Bloghore and suburbancorrespondent and MadMad and Mrs. Q. And hokgardner and Liz in Ink and DK. It's a good pre-Thanksgiving exercise ---no, seriously. You might even thank me!
There are other people I'd like to tag but I feel sort of shy about so if you read this and you want to play along, send me a note so I can read it!