Friday, November 16, 2007

Tagging Myself Again

(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.

Also, snakes.

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!

15 comments:

Mokihana said...

Wow. I wanna be like you when I grow up!

I loved this post!

Kathy, the Bloghore said...

O.K. - I'm doin' it...just not today...well, maybe tonight. Thanks for giving me something to blog...I'm kinda empty right now.

Suna said...

I know you're probably mad at me because I am not fond of New York (still I am SURE you will do great there--like everyone says, Long Island is a cool place--I hear they have ducks). But, I did like this meme a lot. Very interesting questions that made me think, already. So, I will try to do it if I have time.

I found it interesting that you listed that colcoscopy thingie as a most painful event. That will be on my list, too. Horrible event when I was home on break in college--I couldn't drive myself home, I was in such shock afterward. My dad drove over and yelled at the doctor for hurting me (this was my very sickly mom's semi-quack DO she saw for years, just a block or two away). I thought that was sweet. After that I had OB/GYNs do my gyn. procedures.

hokgardner said...

Thanks for the tag, but I'm saving it for another day, because I've already written today's post.

suburbancorrespondent said...

Oh, so cool. I wrote in the comments after hokgardner's UFO post that for a long time, I was terrified someone would shoot me in the back while I slept; so I always slept with my back to the wall. And it wasn't as if I were growing up in the inner city or anything.

And someone told me yesterday that one of the symptoms of menopause was an increased sensitivity to sound. And here I thought I was just crazy after 16 years of non-stop whining and chatter and noise.

And you tagged me! This is junior high, you know - blogging may just be an extension of passing notes in class, don't you think?

Barb said...

HOK--I didn't mean you had to do it TODAY. Just if you want to, some time. Just whenever. Thanks for holding my hand while the yarn fumes compelled me to buy more, more, more. I love my new earrings. --Barb

LaDonna said...

Well, Barb, I know you don't have any idea who I am, but I've been reading your blog and column for quite awhile now so, in a way, I do feel like you are a friend...or at least your writing is a friend. Does that even make sense?

Anyway, I count on you for a bite of reality each day. Whenever your blog posts pop up in my inbox, I wonder if Barb will be funny or angry or down or whatever...but I always know you will be real. You don't candy coat the issues in your life, you put them out there for all to see, and I so appreciate and respect that. I can always count on you to remind me that it's not just me, life can be crazy everywhere and for everyone.

Hope that helps!

Heidi Malott said...

Ditto to what Ladonna said :) (sorry I am not feeling too original today, Have a Wonderful weekend!

Mrs.Q said...

Tag back!

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Ok, we could easily be BFFs and sit cross-legged and braid each other's hair!

Anonymous said...

Barb,

What a good read! I got here from suburbancorrespondent. Just thought I'd let you know.
Also, I love being a New Englander, and New York is right next door. New York City is great too. Very interesting teacher conference realization.
Best of luck with the move.
KR

Kathy, the Bloghore said...

Are you kidding me? I just actually read you answers!

I'm your friend and I depend on you alot, even though I never see you (although that will change soon!). If I need a level head to talk to or some truly good advice, you are the first person I would think of. I come to your blog EVERY day because I know I can't get through it without my daily dose of Y.O.U.

You are the best!

Lynn said...

I am right there with you on the pain and regret of giving part of oneself away to those who don't deserve it. Been there, done that, many years ago.

Considering myself tagged and have already prepared my response to be posted tomorrow.

Sending you virtual boxes for all of the packing.

Lisa said...

no dang kidding about that 'little snip no worse than a cramp' - if I hadn't liked my Dr so much I think I might have resorted to smacking him silly

always something interesting - today was thought provoking

Liz in Ink said...

Am I allowed to guiltily admit -- 2 weeks late -- that I never did my due diligence on this one? Oi. I'm sorry. I'm flattered to be tagged by you and I hope that I follow through on this but I can be oh-so-flakey with the ol' memes. Oi again...